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!
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
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.
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)
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!
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.
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!)