I have been absolutely addicted. A week ago Thursday I discovered a new site. It was an article over at the makezine blog talking about the benefits of learning mandarin for what they do. I’ve always been intrigued by mandarin – I remember learning a bit of cantonese in Hong Kong and have a short book on chinese symbols. I must admit a lifelong fascination with languages (there’s the study new languages site, my how to learn spanish for beginners site and my onlineradiotv.com site which each have highlights of my interest in languages and the great exposure to other languages that the internet can bring. Anyway…. I’ve used a flash card program for a long time to work on vocabulary (mnemosyne) – I have around 10,000 spanish cards right now – a bunch of french (200) and italian (400) and german (6000+) cards as well. I’ve cracked the book a bit on chinese, but not much. So, one of the resource sites they mentioned was memrise.com
First off, let me say, this has been a busy week for memrise – after the mention in makezine which had them swamped with traffic, there was a mention on the Kim Komando show which swamped them with traffic and so…. at times this week, their site has been painfully slow. That much said, most of the time this week it’s been okay enough to work with.
So, what’s there? Basically, they have several languages that they (or their users) have created word lists for. You can edit word lists, add sounds, videos, mems (which might be mnemonics or other ways to help remember a word). Words can have pronunciation attached as well. So, I started by diving into the french list that I found of 200 basic french words.
Their analogy to memorizing words is “planting seeds”. So, you start by being introduced (7 words at a time) to your new words, and get multiple choice questions to identify them after their initial presentation. After a certain period of time these seeds will be ready to harvest (to move from a potted plant into the garden in their analogy.) After they have been harvested and are in the garden, regular watering keeps the memory from wilting. As you are more familiar with words, you will find the multiple choice entries progress to type in the blank entries. I’ve been impressed at how forgiving the type in the blank entries can be (missing diacritics work out just fine – typing a instead of á or n instead of ñ both are passable.) Some may not like this permissiveness, I think it makes the bar a bit lower (easier) for just anyone to sit down and try to learn without having to figure out keyboard mappings or copy/paste from character maps.
The other thing to note is that you have a fixed time limit to answer the questions – typically it varies based on the length of the word. You also get points for your answers 20 points for correct multiple choice, 50 for correct type in the blank and sometimes you’ll get points for being “close”. They have daily/weekly and all time ratings for site members (I’ve made it to #26 in one week!) At this point in time I’ve jumped in feet first to the russian alphabet (already learned it, but could use brushing up – this was something I needed a keymap to deal with.) the greek alphabet – I was always fuzzy on a few of those, morse code (yes, I already know it but it could use brushing up.) spanish, french, italian, german, swedish and mandarin comprehensive wordlists…. along with a few others. Yes… I’m ambitious I guess. So, in one week I’ve seen 1412 words on their site and racked up 353,759 points – expanded my vocabulary a bit in spanish – I found a two or three words I hadn’t run into before, expanded quite a bit of my italian, french and german vocabularies, learned my first 14 words in swedish and have got over 250 chinese characters (and pronunciations) under my belt.
It’s been very addictive as you can see. If I were planning a trip, maybe I would be a bit more focused and could add word lists of my choosing here.
So, how does it compare to mnemosyne which is what I’ve used in the past for word lists? Quite favorably. I’m still using mnemosyne and the one thing that it has going for it a website will not easily beat – SPEED. I can go through 60 words to review in mnemosyne in 5 minutes give or take. On the memrise site, it takes quite a bit longer to get through that many. They do plan to give a dashboard view showing all the items needing watering at a glance, currently you have to go to each list you have and then see what items are “wilting”…. All in all, the competitive and collaborative aspects of memrise.com make it a great option for learning vocabulary (or really any other list of information – I saw one list of world capitals for instance.)
Related PostsRelated Posts
- I'm sorry, so sorry... At least that's what zdnet UK is saying to Google. Earlier this week it was mentioned that Google was not talking to CNet for a while because of an article in which a CNet reporter disclosed information he found on the CEO of Google, USING google.com a his search engine......
- Another interesting Google Buy? There are rumors that Google may be acquiring Riya. Riya makes software that aims at recognizing faces in images and pulling text out of images (recognizing text on signs in a picture for instance.) ( facial recognition searching ) I don't know if this is true, it sounds like it's......
- Can I have more than One Antivirus Program? This is a question I see quite a bit... in fact I just saw this questoin while browsing the web. Generally it's NOT a good idea to have more than one antivirus program. Given the low level system access that antivirus software needs to have it can interfere with correctly......
- Amazing Strategies Regarding On Page Search Engine Optimisation - Exactly How Many Words Is Appropriate Just how many words is "wordy," and just how many words is not really adequate? The reason Why should a write-up be five hundred words long and exactly why is this often regarded as being a little bit excessive for your current blog? Most of these are good issues although......
- Your Web Site Here are a few tips from the Urbane Lab on how to create or improve your web site. If you're creating your first apartment website, or just looking for a refresher course on how to get started, follow these Top 10 Tips for creating, maintaining, and improving your website.Simple navigation......
- Search Engine Secrets - Get Top Listings On Google & Yahoo! Let me show you How to Get Top Listings for every page of your site and Rank #1 for all of your Keywords in the Search Engines - Guaranteed. Did you believe this? If your like me you've probably seen a million pages and emails like this that claim they......
- Translating web pages
- Ripping a DVD with Multiple Audio tracks
- Universal Translator Plugin for WordPress
- Computer security day….
- My Other Sites