Fun way to learn a new language

Hi everyone!

I stumbled upon this page yesterday and thought that this was too good not to share if you’re interested in learning a new language.

The website is called memrise.com. Intruiged, I signed up an account with them for the fun of it (it’s free at the moment) and tried out a Mandarin course, and I’m quite surprised at how fun the whole experience was!

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Here, you could try out different courses like the Arts, Maths and Geography. Although I think the language segment is the most popular. Once you’ve decided to participate in it, you’re given unlimited time to learn and complete each segment (although the quizzes are timed!)

I like the idea of how we plant the seed when we start a segment and harvest flowers when we’re done with the segment! I’ve never played farmville before, but I think this is better than farmville. At least you get something tangible out of it :p

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Here is how the lesson starts. I love how you are given mnemonics to help you to remember the words (or figures) With Mandarin it’s interesting as a lot of the characters can be re-imagined as pictures.

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After that the game starts and you’re quizzed on the words that you just learned. It gets progressively harder as you go along. First 4 multiple choices, then 6 and then you have to type out the answer.

(As a sidenote, the Italian course is kinda simple for me. Nevertheless, there are still several words that I’ve never seen before, so it’s still nice to play with)

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The plus factor for me is definitely the quiz section. I may not be a competitive person, but I like the challenge of seeing 100% accuracy.

AND seeing my name rise in the leaderboard is very very motivating! Woohoo! I want to try to get to top 10!

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I love this website! The only small thing that I can think of in improving it, is perhaps allowing some of the courses to be edited by a non author. I was at the Malay language segment, and as a native speaker, some of the choice of words didn’t seem flow well to me.

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We’d normally use Malu instead of Segan. And Lambat instead of Lewat and Lihat instead of Tengok. To me it sounds more colloquial, but hmm … I may need a second opinion. Also, there are no audio for this particular lesson, and I’m pretty sure that there are others who would be happy to contribute 🙂

All in all, I may not be fluent at the end of my Mandarin challenge. But I’m having fun playing with memrise and maybe one day, it may come useful if I ever read a Chinese menu in China :p

(Hey wait! I could go to the numerous Chinese restaurants here in Rome. THAT would be so cool if I can make out the words there!)

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