Memrise vs Duolingo: The Ultimate Language Learning Showdown

tl;dr: Memrise and Duolingo are both popular language learning apps, but they have different features and approaches. When it comes to learning a new language, there are countless resources available, but two of the most …

memrise vs duolingo

tl;dr: Memrise and Duolingo are both popular language learning apps, but they have different features and approaches.

tl;dr: Memrise and Duolingo are both popular language learning apps, but they have different features and approaches.

When it comes to learning a new language, there are countless resources available, but two of the most popular options are Memrise vs Duolingo. Both apps offer a convenient and interactive way to learn languages, but they have distinct features and approaches.

In this article, we will compare Memrise vs Duolingo in terms of their features, learning methods, language availability, user reviews, cost, and more.

Feature Memrise Duolingo
Language Selection Wide variety of languages available Numerous languages offered, with some less common options
Learning Method Focus on vocabulary through spaced repetition and mnemonics Emphasis on gamified lessons, covering grammar and phrases
Course Structure Divided into individual courses with themed lessons Organized in a tree-like structure, covering different topics
Content Types Vocabulary, phrases, and sentences with multimedia elements Mix of vocabulary, phrases, sentences, and grammar exercises
Grammar Instruction Limited focus on grammar, more emphasis on practical usage Grammar explanations provided within lessons
Gamification Basic gamification elements with points and streaks Strong gamification with levels, rewards, and competitive features
Speaking Practice Limited speaking exercises, more focused on listening and reading Includes speaking exercises for pronunciation practice
Offline Access Available with a premium subscription Offline access for lessons with a premium subscription
Community Features Limited community features Community forums, language clubs, and social features
Price Freemium model with premium subscription options Freemium model with premium subscription options
Ads Ad-supported in the free version Ad-supported in the free version
Mobile App Yes, available on iOS and Android Yes, available on iOS and Android

Overview of Memrise


Memrise is a language learning app that focuses on vocabulary and phrases. It offers a user-friendly interface with features designed to enhance your learning experience.

Features and interface

Memrise provides a variety of features to help you learn a new language effectively. These include:

– Flashcards: Memrise uses flashcards to help you memorize vocabulary and phrases. The app utilizes spaced repetition, which means it will show you flashcards at specific intervals to reinforce your learning.

– Audio and video clips: Memrise incorporates audio and video clips to improve your pronunciation and listening skills. This feature allows you to hear native speakers and practice speaking in a natural way.

– Chatbots: Memrise offers interactive chatbots that simulate real conversations. This feature allows you to practice your language skills in a conversational setting.

Focus on vocabulary and phrases

Memrise places a strong emphasis on vocabulary and phrases. The app offers a wide range of courses that cover various topics and themes. You can choose courses based on your interests or specific language goals. This focus on vocabulary and phrases makes Memrise a great choice for those who want to quickly build their language skills for everyday conversations.

Community and user-generated content

One unique aspect of Memrise is its community and user-generated content. Users can create their own courses and share them with others. This allows for a diverse range of learning materials and provides an opportunity for learners to connect with each other.

Overview of Duolingo

arabic duolingo

Duolingo is another popular language learning app that offers a different approach to language acquisition. It is known for its structured lessons and gamified learning experience.

Features and interface

Duolingo provides a user-friendly interface with features designed to make language learning enjoyable. Some of the key features of Duolingo include:

– Bite-sized lessons: Duolingo breaks down language learning into small, manageable lessons. This approach allows you to learn at your own pace and easily fit language practice into your daily routine.

– Gamification: Duolingo incorporates gamification elements to make learning fun and engaging. You earn points, unlock new levels, and compete with friends to stay motivated and track your progress.

– Immersion exercises: Duolingo offers immersion exercises where you can practice reading and translating real-world texts. This feature helps you apply your language skills in a practical context.

Structured lessons and gamification

Duolingo’s structured lessons guide you through various language skills, including grammar, vocabulary, and sentence structure. The app introduces new concepts gradually and reinforces them through practice exercises. The gamification elements, such as earning points and leveling up, add a sense of achievement and encourage regular practice.

Progress tracking and leveling up

Duolingo provides a comprehensive progress tracking system that allows you to see your improvement over time. The app also offers a leveling system, where you can earn badges and unlock new content as you progress through the lessons. This sense of progression keeps you motivated and engaged in your language learning journey.

Comparison of learning methods

Memrise and Duolingo have different approaches to language learning, which cater to different learning styles and goals.

Memrise’s emphasis on memorization and repetition

Memrise focuses on memorization and repetition to help you remember vocabulary and phrases. The app utilizes spaced repetition, which is a scientifically proven method for effective learning. By reviewing flashcards at specific intervals, Memrise helps you retain information in your long-term memory.

Duolingo’s focus on grammar and sentence structure

Duolingo places a strong emphasis on grammar and sentence structure. The app introduces grammar concepts gradually and provides practice exercises to reinforce your understanding. This approach is beneficial for learners who want to develop a solid foundation in the language’s structure and rules.

Availability of languages

Availability of languages

Both Memrise and Duolingo offer a wide range of languages to learn, allowing you to choose the language that interests you the most.

Languages offered by Memrise

Memrise offers courses in over 16 languages, including popular options like Spanish, French, German, and Japanese. It also provides courses for less commonly taught languages, such as Icelandic, Swahili, and Esperanto.

Languages offered by Duolingo

Duolingo offers courses in over 40 languages, making it one of the most comprehensive language learning platforms available. In addition to popular languages, it also offers courses for languages like Navajo, Hawaiian, and High Valyrian.

Effectiveness and user reviews

Effectiveness and user reviews

Both Memrise and Duolingo have received positive feedback from users, but they also have their limitations.

Positive feedback for Memrise

Users praise Memrise for its engaging interface, effective flashcard system, and user-generated content. Many learners find that Memrise helps them quickly build their vocabulary and improve their conversational skills.

Positive feedback for Duolingo

Duolingo is highly regarded for its gamified learning experience, bite-sized lessons, and comprehensive progress tracking. Users appreciate the app’s interactive exercises and the sense of achievement they get from leveling up.

Critiques and limitations of both apps

Some users have criticized Memrise for its heavy reliance on memorization, which may not suit all learning styles. Duolingo has been criticized for its limited focus on grammar and lack of in-depth explanations for language concepts. Additionally, both apps may not be sufficient for advanced language learners who require more specialized content.

Cost and pricing options

Both Memrise and Duolingo offer free features, but they also provide paid subscriptions with additional benefits.

Free features and paid subscriptions for Memrise

Memrise offers a free version that includes access to basic features and a limited number of courses. The paid subscription, called Memrise Pro, provides additional features such as offline access, chatbot practice, and more extensive course options.

Free features and paid subscriptions for Duolingo

Duolingo is primarily free to use, with access to all its core features. However, it offers a premium subscription called Duolingo Plus, which removes ads, provides offline access, and offers additional perks like unlimited hearts and progress quizzes.



In conclusion, both Memrise and Duolingo are popular language learning apps that offer unique features and approaches. Memrise focuses on vocabulary and phrases, utilizing memorization and repetition techniques, while Duolingo emphasizes grammar and sentence structure through structured lessons and gamification.

The choice between the two ultimately depends on your learning style, language goals, and personal preferences. Both apps have their strengths and limitations, so it’s worth trying them out to see which one suits you best.


  • Is Memrise better than Duolingo?

    After testing the lessons and apps from both companies, our team thinks Memrise is more effective than Duolingo for learning a new language. Memrise’s program is more robust and offers deeper lessons.

  • Can you become fluent with Memrise?

    Memrise cannot make a learner completely fluent in a foreign language, but it can get beginners to an intermediate or advanced learning level with regular practice.

  • What is the disadvantage of Memrise?

    Quality of user-created content varies a lot. Memrise offers courses curated by the staff. But also, any user can create their own program. And that results in too much content – you can quickly lose yourself in the sea of courses.

  • Is there anything better than Duolingo?

    Other important factors to consider when researching alternatives to Duolingo include reliability and ease of use. We have compiled a list of solutions that reviewers voted as the best overall alternatives and competitors to Duolingo, including Rosetta Stone, Busuu, Lingvist, and Babbel for Business.

Originally posted 2023-10-20 16:18:58.

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