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Memrise vs Rocket Languages
See which language learning app is better in this Rocket Languages vs Memrise comparison
Memrise and Rocket Languages are two of the most well-known language learning programs in the world, but for different reasons. Memrise is known for their quick-hit lessons, sleek mobile app, and short videos of native speakers, while Rocket is more so known for their interactive audio lessons and detailed grammar instruction. Both are good; just in different ways. In this post, we discuss the strengths and weaknesses of each language course so you can figure out which one is a better fit for your situation.
Since this is a detailed article, we’ve included jump-to links above for quick navigation.
Video Guide: Rocket vs Memrise
In the above video, team member John covers how the language apps from Memrise and Rocket Languages stack up, and which type of person each would be best for. Please continue reading for more detail.
Strengths Of The Rocket Languages Program
To kick this comparison off, let’s review the areas in which Rocket Languages is superior to Memrise.
Effective For Developing Your Speaking Skills
Simply put, Rocket is much better than Memrise at developing your speaking and conversational skills. Rather than just listening or reading an individual word or phrase and then repeating it in order to remember or learn it like you do with Memrise most of the time, the Rocket audio lessons are much more detailed and comprehensive.
Their audio lessons prompt you use vocabulary and respond to a native speaker in the context of an ACTUAL simulated conversation. You’re actively involved in following the conversation and the moderator of the audio lessons keeps you awake and engaged since you need to understand what’s going on and respond at the right times.
In my opinion, this dynamic participation is powerful at getting you to recall and use the language under pressure just as you would in real world situations. That’s the important point here, you’re getting simulated real-world experience with Rocket, which, in my opinion, is about the best practice you can get for learning a new language (rather than just listening and repeating words independently like you do with Memrise). Therefore, I think Rocket Languages has a big leg up over Memrise in this category.
Lessons Are More Comprehensive Compared To Memrise
The second strength in favor of Rocket (and this somewhat relates back to my previous point) is that I think their lessons, curriculum and overall learning framework are better suited for people looking to gain an intermediate to advanced understanding of a new language.
With Memrise, because their language courses are somewhat basic and simply focus on learning new vocabulary, there’s really no opportunity for you to practice using the language within the context of an actual conversation, which as you now know is an area where Rocket Languages shines. Thus, I have to hand it to Rocket, their lessons are just much more thorough and better prepare you to speak your target language.
Rocket Emphasizes Grammar Content
The Rocket lessons emphasize grammar and local culture, whereas with Memrise, these topics sort of take a backseat. Moreover, Rocket mixes-in grammar and cultural content into their lessons in multiple ways.
First, as you complete Rocket’s interactive audio lessons, the moderator routinely stops to touch on different grammar principles and verbally explain the rationale behind them. Then of course, the bulk of the grammar instruction is delivered through the company’s language and culture lessons, which sort of the take the form of a digital textbook.
Rocket does a great job breaking these lessons down into short, digestible chunks for users. Each section within the grammar lessons is only about three to six sentences long on average, and within the lessons, there are dozens of stoppage points where you interact with examples and pictures to keep you engaged.
Overall, I was just really impressed with the level of grammar and cultural insights the Rocket courses provide as well as HOW the company integrates this material into their lessons.
Now that you know the areas in which Rocket Languages excel, let’s discuss the strengths of the Memrise courses and app.
Videos Of Native Speakers
When it comes to Memrise, their biggest strength in my opinion are the short videos they integrate into their lessons. This is pretty unique feature that you don’t see very often in the language learning industry. For example, with Rocket Languages, there are no videos, only audio, text and images.
On the other hand, with Memrise, you actually get to see locals with your own eyes speak the target language. This makes the lessons feel a lot more intimate and personal since you can observe and judge their body language, hand gestures, and voice inflections. This really helps you understand the subtle nuances of your target language. For this reason, you have to hand it to Memrise for going the extra mile and using video to help highlight the language.
Courses That Cover Niche Topics
With Memrise, customers get access to hundreds and hundreds of user-generated courses in addition to the company’s own proprietary courses. This allows you to go beyond the standard lessons and really dig-into specific topics that may be intriguing to you.
For example, if you’re learning French, there are courses that cover everything you need to know about French Holidays, baking, tennis, cycling, etc. I think it’s safe to say you’ll likely never run out of content with Memrise. I find it amazing that you can find super niche courses that match your specific interests, hobbies, and passions. You can essentially build an entire language program around your individual likes and dislikes to keep yourself interested and motivated.
The last feature I’d like to point out regarding Memrise is the fact you can personalize the length of lessons and learning sessions. Rocket’s lessons, on the other hand, take around an hour or so to complete from start to finish with no option to adjust to length.
However, because you have more command with Memrise, you can sort of sculpt the lessons around your schedule. If you’re generally free and don’t have much going on, you set your words per review session to 100 and quickly advance your knowledge.
On the flip side, if you have a full-time job or you’re a busy mom or dad and don’t have a ton of free time, you can set your words per review session to 5 and really move at a slower pace. Overall, I just think Memrise deserves some credit for how flexible their lessons can be.
Memrise actually offers a free plan, however due to its limitations, a lot of folks end up opting for the Pro Plan, which unlocks all Memrise content and features. The Pro Plan is still very affordable though. It costs around $5 per month if you pay in advance for an entire year or around $8 if you choose to go month-to-month. Alternatively, if you plan on learning multiple languages over an extended period of time (Memrise covers over 20 different languages in total), you can purchase a lifetime pass for around $120.
Rocket Languages, on the other hand, only offers lifetime plans, which range from $150 to $450, depending on how many levels you want to purchase. However, just so you know, the prices above are somewhat deceiving since they’re just the MSRPs. Rocket Languages is almost always running some sort of deal or special promotion, and in most cases, you can expect to receive at least 50% off, if not more.
From an overall cost perspective, Memrise is clearly the more affordable option, but it does sort of depend on what you’re looking for. If you simply want access for a few months to sort of dip your toe in the water, then obviously Memrise is the way to go. With that said, if you’re serious about learning a new language and want lifetime access, then both companies are on a somewhat level playing field in terms of price. I should also mention though that both companies do offer money back guarantees in case you’re not satisfied.
Final Verdict: Memrise vs Rocket Languages
Should you choose Memrise or Rocket Languages? Well, after testing each program, I actually think it’s an easy call. Rocket is clearly the winner. In my opinion, they offer the more complete language courses from top to bottom.
Although I like that Memrise incorporates video into their lessons and they offer you access to all sorts of unique, user-generated courses, Memrise just simply can’t compete with Rocket’s interactive audio lessons or the level of grammar instruction they provide. Therefore, if you’re truly serious about learning a second or third language and you don’t mind paying a little extra to do so, then Rocket is the answer.
Which program/app is more effective, Rocket Languages or Memrise?
After testing both programs/apps, our team thinks Rocket Languages is more effective than Memrise for learning a new language.
Is Memrise more affordable than Rocket Languages?
Yes, the Memrise Pro plans are more affordable than the courses from Rocket Languages. Though when looking at the lifetime packages, the companies are close to the same price.
Do Memrise and Rocket Languages offer money back guarantees?
Yes, both Memrise and Rocket Languages offer customers money back guarantees in case they are not satisfied.
What is the difference between Memrise and Rocket Languages?
The primary differences between Memrise and Rocket Languages are lesson length and lesson format. The Rocket lessons are more comprehensive, emphasize grammar instruction and do an excellent job developing your conversational abilities, whereas the Memrise lessons are shorter and more basic in-nature.