Memrise logoThere is not particular secret or any magic formula to learn a new language.

Key points are often the same for any languages:

  • Motivation: some people are moving backward as soon as they need to go to their language classroom
  • Leave in the country : is it really possible to learn French from the US?
  • Have a good teacher and go to the courses
  • Define personal challenges: official exam, usage in the enterprise…

Chinese language is one of the most complicated language to learn (just after Arabic and Hebrew) but also one of the “trendy” language these years.

New students need to follow my initial recommendations and be ready for an important personal investment. I stop counting hours reading, listening lessons or writing endless lines of characters in order to prepare my next courses.

Today, numerous tools are available online to help students during this tough time. Memrise is the one that I adopted following a recommendation from one French intern at work (Hi Guillaume!). This software uses an amazing learning algorithm. Founders reused their previous studies on brain and memory mechanisms to create this company.

Users define their own goals (100 Chinese words, HSK Level5…) and create their own gardens in few clicks. All gardens will contain seeds (one seed, one word) that they will need to harvest and water at different time intervals (short term memory). Seeds become flowers that they will water less frequently if they answer correctly (long term memory).

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The questions/answers repetition following the software algorithm work amazingly well. This is impressive to see how our brain can remember weeks later a specific word or character thanks to this software.

Fun appears when friends join the game. The idea is to beat them and have the highest point number (thanks to right answers).

LOL

Note that Memrise is not for beginners who want to start learning Chinese. This is an amazing complementary tool to develop and/or enrich vocabulary that users can use if they follow my initial advices. I should update this blog post title and use “Memrise, a simple way to improve Chinese”…