Memrise app review: learning a new language with Memrise is easy and fun

(CNN) –

Over the past few months, we’ve been trying a handful of language learning programs. From Babbel to Busuu to Rosetta Stone, we have explored all the different learning styles and methods. One app that sets itself apart from the rest is Memrise. Another language learning app, Memrise, immerses you in local pronunciation and dialect to keep you busy and excited about learning a new language. A lifetime subscription to Memrise Language Learning is now on sale for only $ 99.99 (originally $ 139). The price may seem solid, but we think it’s definitely worth it for the quality of the lessons and features of the app.

Memrise offers lessons in 22 different languages, including regional specification options for certain languages, such as speaking Spanish in Mexico instead of Spain. It’s fantastic that the app is becoming so specific, and that’s part of why we think it’s taking extra effort to immerse you in the local culture and dialect.

Memrise is very different from the other language programs we tested. We found that there was more video content, a simple and effective approach to learning words and bonus features (which we will discuss later) that elevated the app to the top.

First things first: you will need a headset if you use this app with others. Almost every aspect of learning with Memrise involves listening to sound, so you want to make sure you can hear clearly. The lessons in which sound was not involved were grammatical lessons, which in our opinion were more difficult to read than difficult to listen to. Either way, we much prefer to use headphones when we use Memrise so we can really listen and focus.

We were really impressed with the graphic design of the app, which is colorful and straightforward. The interface is really intuitive and easy to navigate. It’s a trendy feel that keeps it simple and cool and is much less textbook-like than other programs we’ve tested. There is not too much to tap through when you open the program. You choose your language and starting level; if you have background knowledge in the language, you can choose to start at a higher level (if not, you can start with level 1 like us). Then you will be taken to the home page to start learning.

Navigating in Memrise is very simple as there are only three pages to explore. There’s your homepage, a learning and then an exploring tab. The homepage shows your daily goals, how many words you have learned and a button to click on to start learning. There is also a button that looks like a tile that will take you to a menu of all your learning options. There you can switch from vocabulary to grammar and gain access to previous lessons you have already completed. If you go to the learning tab, you will see the linear progress of how you will learn your new language. It guides you through the lessons you will work through before moving on to the next level. We liked the way Memrise mapped your learning process. It set out a clear path for us and let us know what was coming.

Like we said, Memrise is super sound-heavy. You hear words being spoken over and over again, which we found useful in devoting vocabulary to memory. You will hear between words uttered by someone speaking in a video, hear the word while only looking at the spelling and going through the possible definitions of each word. We find that Memrise uses videos of native speakers that use the vocabulary words because it engages us visually and auditorily. There is even a section of the app called ‘Learn With Residents’ where you can watch videos of native speakers doing their day and speaking the language you are learning.

One of the coolest features of Memrise is exploring the page. We were surprised that the app asked permission to access our camera, but we were excited when we saw the target. Through the app, you can use the camera of your phone to take photos of objects and have the translation appear on the screen below the object. This function was also quite accurate in naming objects properly. It confused some things depending on the camera angles, like labeling a laptop as a TV. But when we moved the camera around to include more defining features, such as the keyboard, it was able to correctly identify our laptop. You can even tap the small speaker icon next to the translation to hear the word being pronounced in the language you are learning.

Once you take a photo with the app, save it in your library in the app. When you click on your library, the app organizes photos in advance into folders based on the category of the item you photographed. Folders have been set up for photos of objects in categories such as office, animals, food and even specific categories such as Easter, Halloween and Earth Day. It’s great that the app quickly organizes things into folders for you and stores your images so you can look at them if you want to remember the vocabulary next time. We think the camera function would be ideal if you can not remember a word or want to communicate quickly with someone.

Memrise also offers some standard features we found in other language programs. You can set daily goals for learning, such as learning 5, 10 or 15 words a day. You can also turn on notifications for reminders to open the app and spend time each day learning your new language. The reminders are not overwhelming and allow you to customize your experience with the app. If you know you need to spend more time on Memrise at night, you can set reminders for later in the day instead of during the morning so you can get the most out of your experience. Overall, Memrise offered us favorite features from other apps and added new and different options in a user interface that is simple and easy to follow.

The price may seem high for Memrise, but at $ 99.99 for a lifetime subscription, you get 22 different languages ​​in an efficient and engaging way. The app has an intuitive interface that makes it easy to navigate, so you can start learning right away instead of spending time where you need to start. We loved the inclusion of videos in vocab lessons because it kept us busy and interested. Plus, the bonus feature of using your camera to identify objects and get instant translations really sets Memrise apart from the other language apps we’ve tested.

A lifetime subscription to Memrise is currently on sale for $ 99.99, originally $ 139. If you want to fill your extra time by learning a new language or improving your old speaking skills, we think Memrise is the right way to to go.