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The Memrise Story

Our Origin Story

Image the scene… It’s the late noughties, the primary iPhone has just lately been launched and Beyoncé’s ‘Single Girls’ is on repeat on the radio. In the meantime, 3 scientists – Ben, Ed and Greg – meet at Oxford College. With a shared love of language studying, a deep understanding of neuroscience and a knack for cool reminiscence strategies, they embark on an epic journey. Following commencement, Ben strikes to China to use his theories on second language acquisition, Ed turns into US Reminiscence Champion, and Greg begins his PhD in neuroscience at Princeton.

3 friends 1

Maintaining with the story? Okay, now let’s fast-forward to 2010. The chums reunite in London to mix their separate analysis, and find yourself creating what’s now one of the vital widespread language studying platforms on this planet. You guessed it: we’re speaking about Memrise!

So what was the key recipe that made Memrise so widespread? Effectively, from day one, Ben, Ed and Greg held the sturdy perception that finding out languages from textbooks and inside school rooms wasn’t serving to folks use a language in actual life. And for those who can’t use a language in actual life, you must ask your self ‘what’s the purpose?’. In spite of everything, we’d be keen to wager that each learner’s core purpose is to have the ability to talk successfully, whereas having enjoyable alongside the way in which.

Ben, Ed and Greg additionally wished to problem the false perceptions that language studying is boring, inflexible and tough for those who’re naturally “unhealthy” at it (btw, there’s no such factor as being “unhealthy” at languages – phew!).

What the three pals all agreed upon was that full immersion is the way you actually purchase a brand new language. Why? As a result of immersion means attending to know the true language of native audio system, in addition to the idioms, pure rhythms, emotional tones, physique language, and cultural habits that come as a part of the entire package deal. In different phrases, studying a language isn’t nearly memorizing phrases. And so, the Be taught, Immerse Talk methodology was born.

The three legs of the Memrise stool

We’re not going to inform you that utilizing an app at residence is healthier than going in-country and studying a language by talking it to folks (irrespective of how good the app is likely to be!). However, for many people, packing our baggage and transferring to a rustic that speaks that language you wish to be taught simply isn’t lifelike. So our 3 founders had to determine the subsequent smartest thing: making real-life language immersion obtainable 24/7, within the palm of your hand.

We’ve spent over a decade going deep into the examine of *why* language immersion works so properly, which has given us our underlying method to educating a language. This method might be represented as a three-legged stool. Bear with us. The stool has a stable seat – a platform that helps you in your studying journey – and three legs to help it:

Yellow Stool Image

First, we train you vocabulary that you simply’re truly going to make use of. It’s so simple as that. Subsequent, we present you that language in real-life contexts, by immersive movies. Lastly, you utilize what you’ve discovered to observe conversing confidently.

Every of those legs is essential. With out considered one of them the stool would topple. Language programs are inclined to give attention to simply the Be taught leg, whereas language companions focus primarily on the Talk leg. However your studying journey is simply totally supported when utilizing all three of those stable legs. Right this moment, our platform, and subsequently our studying journey, is specified by 3 sections: one to characterize every of those 3 legs. However that doesn’t imply that our Be taught, Immerse, Talk methodology is a brand new factor.

We have at all times been about immersion

Again in 2016, for instance, the Memrise workforce set off on a throughout Europe. With a brilliant blue, double-decker ‘MemBus’ as their residence, the group traveled 12,000 miles throughout 10 international locations to create the world’s first video dictionary! They recorded hundreds upon hundreds of movies of locals saying phrases of their native language, with their distinctive pronunciation and physique language. When the workforce returned, these movies have been added to Memrise, offering learners with hundreds of immersive classes to make them really feel as if they have been within the nation too.

Membus 2

Why are we telling you in regards to the MemBus 7 years on? As a result of we wish to spotlight how vital immersive studying has at all times been, and at all times will likely be, to the Memrise mission. Our product and our model could have modified rather a lot through the years, however our perception within the effectiveness of immersion as a studying instrument has stayed the identical.

After all, all of this immersive studying could be for nothing with out the ultimate step of the Memrise methodology: Talk. We’ve heard ‘observe makes excellent’ one million instances, however, within the case of language studying, it truly is true. With out observe, it’s inconceivable to enhance. Ever puzzled why a pal got here again from a brief backpacking journey in Mexico talking fairly respectable Spanish? It’s as a result of they’d limitless alternatives to observe over these few weeks. Even our co-founder Ben studied French for 8 years in school however freezes up when he has to talk it.

So, at Memrise, how might we presumably re-produce the expertise of speaking ‘within the wild’? This was undoubtedly the toughest a part of our 3-step pedagogy to deliver to life in our product. After many iterations, and with the assistance of some fairly cool new tech (hello GPT-3), our workforce constructed the world’s first AI-powered Language Companion, known as MemBot, which sits within the Talk tab of our product. And we’re tremendous pleased with it.

MemBot provides our learners fully accessible language observe. They’ll work on their spoken language abilities anytime, anyplace, on-demand by a sequence of thrilling conversations created by our proficient workforce. From one second to the subsequent, MemBot can play the function of a pleasant barista, a job interview panelist, or a pal organizing a shock social gathering. On high of this, MemBot is definitely confirmed to considerably decrease the stress that many individuals expertise when practising with a human language tutor. Fairly cool, huh?

The place we are actually

In order that’s the story of how Memrise grew from an thought between 3 college pals, to a platform with its very personal AI chatbot, loved by over 65 million learners the world over (that’s like the entire inhabitants of France, by the way in which).

MemBot banner

We’re within the midst of a really thrilling second at Memrise, with our Be taught, Immerse, Talk methodology underpinning the whole lot. Our platform does precisely what we’ve at all times believed it might do, and we will’t look forward to extra of you to affix us on the journey!



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