Memrise Vs Duolingo: The Better App For Right Reasons!

Memrise vs Duolingo
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Both Duolingo & Memrise have different learning objectives. For people who need training in vocabulary, Memrise is much better and cheaper with native language speakers. Others wanting to start from basics and learn grammar and sentence formation should go for Duolingo.


Duolingo has more than 130 million users and is undoubtedly one of the most popular language-learning platforms in the world. Millions of people use it every month.


On the contrary, the slightly lesser-known Memrise also has more than 60 million users, but its popularity is not because of the app’s effectiveness. Instead, it is predominantly because of the marketing strategies employed by it.


In our view, Memrise vs Duolingo is not the right call as they are not competitors in the real sense. These are different tools that complement each other.


So, comparing the two is like pitting apples against oranges. They both work well and can help you accomplish different goals. Duolingo is an excellent language learning platform with a learning curve, but Memrise is primarily vocabulary.


Memrise and Duolingo employ different methods – spaced repetition for Memrise and gradual progression for Duolingo. They work hand-in-hand.


So, is Memrise better than Duolingo? Well, Memrise can be a bit better than Duolingo as the latter has only finite pre-determined courses. On the contrary, Memrise has infinite vocabulary options, provided you are willing to dedicate time to taking your course.


Duolingo is a beginner-friendly excellent platform, but Memrise is a league above that. The comparison below will dig into detail to understand why we say that.

Which Is Better, Duolingo or Memrise?

Attribute Memrise Duolingo
Pricing 5 to 8 dollars per month 84 dollars per year
Languages >20 >30
Moneyback guarantee Yes No
Learners Beginner to intermediate Beginner to intermediate
Flashcard usage Yes No
Verbal practice Light Light
Tests Spaced repetition Gamified tests
Video lessons Yes No
Grammar instructions Minimal Light explanations


Memrise vs Duolingo – Who Wins?

Memrise and Duolingo are two of the most widely popular language learning platforms, which have garnered immense international popularity. Inspite of being quite different, these two have always been at war, from their user-friendly outlook to the extensive language-learning content.


Today, we will compare the two and help you conclude is Memrise or Duolingo better so you can pick one over the other and enjoy your experience of learning a new language. So, let us dive right in and compare the two.


A. Duolingo and Memrise Lesson structure and length

Both have short lessons, but Memrise lets you stretch and customize the length per your learning pace.


Duolingo has short lectures, ranging between five to ten minutes. Every lesson comprises dozens of exercises and drills that challenge your speaking, writing, and reading skills.


You will find translating sentences, sentence puzzles, fill-in-the-blanks, completing mock conversations, matching pairs, and more. These are primary exercises with varied difficulty levels.


On the contrary, Memrise’s lessons are analogous to Duolingo in multiple ways. They also have many exercises and quick-hit drills. But there are two differences between them:


  1. Memrise starts with several short videos comprising locals speaking in their native language to get you well-acquainted with the new phrases and words.
  2. Memrise tends to adapt to their preferences and lets you control how long the session should be. So, if you like shorter lessons, you can keep the setting to 10, but if you want to stretch it, you can change it to 50 new words per session for a quicker learning experience.


B. Teaching methodology of Memrise vs Duolingo

Memrise wins for us because the use of repetitive exercises and flashcards makes learning more engaging.


Memrise employs flashcards and repetitive exercises for learning, which are beneficial for the users. The platform focuses on intensive content for language acquisition. So, with proper commitment, learners can get well-versed in the language.


Duolingo is gaining popularity for its user-friendly learning method. It has ample exercises on vocabulary that build your conversational skills.


The app sends constant reminders, which can be motivating for learners. It has different content formats, making it easier for the users to progress smoothly.


C. Pricing: Is Memrise or Duolingo better?

Memrise is cheaper than Duolingo.
In Duolingo’s premium plan, Duolingo Plus, you get several features in exchange for an annual or monthly. In the paid version, you will not see any ads, and you can complete as many lessons as you like without any restrictions. You can also take as many progress quizzes as desired.


On a month-on-month basis, it costs $12.99 per month, but if you book an annual subscription, it earns you a massive discount, amounting to $79.99 per year, meaning only $7 per month.


Duolingo also has a family plan for 2-6 members at $119.99 per year. Even if two people use this subscription, it is still a sweeter deal than an individual plan.


On the contrary, Memrise’s pro version is relatively affordable. You get access to all the language courses. It has more than 30,000 native speakers’ video clips and an option to download the courses for offline learning. You can opt for a lifetime subscription that renews automatically and costs $119.99. If you choose to pay month-on-month, it will cost $8.49, and an annual subscription amounts to $59.98 per year.


D. Grammar and vocabulary coverage in Memrise and Duolingo

Duolingo should be preferred if you are interested in solidifying your grammar, but Memrise is better for vocabulary learning.


Both Duolingo has lessons to help you solidify your grammar and vocabulary understanding. However, in Duolingo, the stress on grammar is more, but when it comes to vocabulary, Memrise has an edge.


But you will find substantial material for practice on both platforms with motivations and graphics that help you remain consistent. Also, both have a desktop version and mobile apps.



Memrise Vs Duolingo – What Are Their Individual Strengths?

We have already performed a detailed comparison between Memrise and Duolingo, but now we will discuss the individual strengths or the areas in which one ranks over the other.


Is Memrise Actually Good?

Yes, it is. Memrise is an excellent application that enables users to memorize vocabulary, expressions, and signs. Even though it is primarily about learning a language, you can use the platform to study any subject class created and shared by the user. So, from economics to science, math, or any other course, it has it all.


The platform has an easy-to-use interface but is not very highly polished. You can start the first lecture before you start the class. It motivates you to complete the lessons you start.


So, all sessions remain locked till you finish the current one. So, you can consider it as a game. If you do not complete the ongoing level, you cannot move on to the next level.


They have free and paid versions. The free members can select as many classes as they like because there is no upper limit. They have programs for beginners and advanced learners, but what you pick depends on your present understanding and level.


If you think the teacher is taking it too slow, you can modify the number of subjects you study from the settings.


So, what pace you move forward is a matter of personal choice. Fascinatingly enough, the icon in the plant’s shape starts to grow when you progress further. So, the farther you reach, the more it grows, developing leaves, stems, and a flower.


To understand which is better, Duolingo or Memrise, you must also know the pros and cons of each. So, we will lay them down below.


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What Makes Memrise Unique?

Makes Memrise Unique

1. Lessons have videos of native speakers.

Memrise contains videos in their lessons, something uncommon in the language learning industry. On the contrary, Duolingo does not have any video clips. So, you will listen to your phone or computer speak the phrases or words.


Memrise lets you visually view and listen to how locals converse in the language. It feels way more intimate as you observe their voice inflections, hand gestures, and body language and know how they pronounce sentences, words, and phrases.


All of this can give you more value than blind audio. The presence of visual components can help you get well-acquainted with the nuances of the language faster.


2. Is Memrise better than Duolingo in terms of vocabulary?

Yes! Memrise ranks ahead and is much more beneficial for memorizing vocabulary. It does not mean Duolingo is not good, but Memrise is just a bit superior. It employs a spaced repetition learning system.


So as you progress through the lessons, you will come across different phrases and words for the first time, and then only a few seconds later, you will be asked to recall them, again a few minutes later, and then again some days later.


It helps transfer the words from your short-term memory to your permanent memory.


Beyond this, Memrise also employs adaptive technology to tailor your lessons and modify them as you learn. So, if you are experiencing any trouble understanding a particular word or phrase, Memrise will prompt you to review it more frequently till it gets engrained in your memory.


3. 100s of courses on unique topics

Memrise has several user-generated sessions beyond their company lessons. So, you can access all sorts of topics beyond the standard ones.


4. Natural language

Lastly, between Memrise vs Duolingo, Memrise is better at using natural terms and languages than Duolingo. Even though Duolingo tries to match Memrise, you will still notice some awkward phrases and sentences, leaving you perplexed.


Of course, it does not happen frequently, but it can disrupt the learning experience. Hence, Memrise is way more accurate for learning the language.


Pros Cons
  1. Twenty-one language courses
  2. Better sound recording from native speakers to memorize words better
  3. Vocabulary-oriented with lists that let you personalize your experience as per your needs
  4. Immerse section
  5. Variety of topics and content
  6. Video Lessons
  7. Perfect for irregular verbs
  8. Beginner friendly
  9. Infinite possibilities in terms of vocabulary
  10. Spaced repetition system
  11. Ideal for remembering isolated phrases or words
  12. The free version contains everything


  1. No level placement test
  2. Grammar instructions limited
  3. Not suitable for advanced language learners
  4. The quality of content can be better
  5. Lack of human interaction
  6. Only vocabulary focused
  7. Exercises can get repetitive
  8. No access to in-app extra courses
  9. The website is designed poorly.
  10. Lack of uniformity because of abundant user-created content
  11. Vocabulary lists addition possible only via a web browser




Memrise Review and Some Important Doubts!

Ques 1. Does Memrise have a lifetime subscription?

Ans. Yes, they have a lifetime subscription that renews automatically and costs $119.99.


Ques 2. Is Memrise enough to learn German?

Ans. Even though Memrise is an excellent platform to learn German, it will not give you complete proficiency. So, you can use your acquired knowledge as a base and advance your understanding via other sources.


Ques 3. Can Memrise make you fluent?

Ans. Memrise can give you basic and intermediate language learning. However, it cannot make you fluent in any language.


Ques 4. When should I choose Memrise?

Ans. Opt for the former in Memrise vs Duolingo when:

  1. You want a more interactive and engaging learning experience.
  2. You want to work on your speaking skills.
  3. You enjoy video lessons.
  4. You want to learn more accurate translations.
  5. You are looking for a cheaper alternative.


Is It Worth Paying For Duolingo?

Is It Worth Paying For Duolingo

The following Duolingo’s pros listed below make it worth paying for. Duolingo has a game-like format. So, you cross different levels by taking simple tasks. Every lecture comprises one or more tests and the final test that you can do to update the words of the complete lesson.


The tests slowly take you through the process of language learning. In every test, you will find a couple of new words. So, once you finish the test, you will have a better vocabulary than what you started the lesson with. The test is not a problem for you to ace, even though you are unfamiliar with many new words.


Duolingo employs pictures to introduce you to new phrases routinely tested in continuation. You will find instances where you place these words in the expression and sentences to determine them.


So, if you answer a question incorrectly, it will show you the answer, and then the incorrectly answered question is repeated at the end of the test to ensure that you answer it correctly.


Once you finish and pass all the tests in the lesson, the app opens a new lesson for you to learn in the next period and gives two lingots. Lingots is a Duolingo currency. You can exchange it in the shop for different game improvements or benefits.


What Does Duolingo Offer?

1. Additional learning resources – which is better, Duolingo or Memrise?

With Duolingo, you can access various additional resources to amplify your language learning experience. So, Duolingo is better here. However, Memrise does not have much beyond its user-generated courses or standard lessons. On Duolingo, you will find:

  1. Podcasts for on-the-go learning
  2. Translation dictionary
  3. Forums to connect with other learners to discuss the tips and get answers to every question
  4. Short stories to amplify your listening and reading skills


Online events to interact with other learners via Zoom and practice discussing or speaking whatever is on your mind.


2. Is Memrise or Duolingo better in terms of speech recognition technology

Lastly, Duolingo’s speech recognition technology is better than Memrise’s. It is more accurate and thus more likable.


Pros Cons
  1. Several drills and exercises within the lesson make it engaging and interesting
  2. Variety of resources available for the users
  3. Apt speed recognition technology
  4. 98 language courses in 38 languages
  5. Polished and well-designed
  6. Better if you wish to learn to construct sentences
  7. Gradually progresses in levels
  8. It contains gamified testing options.
  9. Offers good grammar tips
  10. Easy to navigate
  11. Recording exercises to better your speaking skills
  12. Vocabulary and phrases you learn are spoken out loud.
  13. Very beginner-friendly
  14. Consistency in content is evident
  15. Keeps a tab on your weak words and repeats them at the end of every lesson for exclusive focus.


  1. The free version is limited.
  2. Grammar is not a priority in the lessons
  3. It is not very useful to completely learn a language
  4. Robotic sounding for a few languages
  5. Lacks videos
  6. No simulated conversational practice within the classes
  7. Too many repetitions
  8. Nonsensical sentences
  9. Not very suitable for advanced language learners
  10. It can be misleading for languages with different alphabets.
  11. You cannot access the next topic (or any specific topic) you wish to learn before completing the current one.
  12. No information in the beginning about how the session works.
  13. The app tends to break, sometimes temporarily, while other times permanently
  14. The team does not fix the bugs




Still, Have Doubts About Duolingo? These FAQs Will Help!

Ques 1. I am a beginner. Is Duolingo right for me?

Ans. Yes, Duolingo can be an excellent choice for beginners.

Check out this detailed Duolingo review before making a choice.

Ques 2. Can you become fluent in Duolingo?

Ans. As stated, no application is comprehensive enough to give you absolute proficiency in the language.


Ques 3. Is the Duolingo certificate worth it?

Ans. Of course, it can authenticate you took the class, but your spoken and written proficiency in the language will make more difference.


Final Word – Is Memrise Better Than Duolingo?

Memrise and Duolingo can help you build stronger habits and become more consistent. Casual learners will enjoy learning at their convenience. Both are beginner-friendly, but neither Duolingo nor Memrise can lead you to absolute fluency.


These apps will let you go from A1 to A2 (Memrise may be a little above), but you will need more learning to advance.


So, Memrise vs Duolingo – which is better? The choice depends on your needs and requirements. If you are well-acquainted with grammar and sentence structure, you can opt for Duolingo, but if you need more immersive and vocabulary-driven learning, Memrise is better.


Moreover, Memrise’s inclusion of videos from native speakers works in its favor and helps it shine brighter than Duolingo. It is also relatively cheaper.


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