When comparing Memrise vs Busuu, the Slant community recommends Memrise for most people. In the question“What are the best sites for learning foreign languages?” Memrise is ranked 2nd while Busuu is ranked 7th. The most important reason people chose Memrise is:
Memrise uses "mems" to increase your vocabulary, which are a way to connect a word to its meaning. A common example is associating a word with an image. Mnemonics are another one they use to help you remember new words. For example, "le parcours" (route or course) could be remembered with the mem "People who do parkour pick their own route".
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Pro Helps grow your vocabulary quickly
Memrise uses "mems" to increase your vocabulary, which are a way to connect a word to its meaning.
A common example is associating a word with an image.
Mnemonics are another one they use to help you remember new words. For example,
"le parcours" (route or course) could be remembered with the mem "People who do parkour pick their own route".
Pro Free account without a time limit
The Basic account is totally free (has no time limit) and is very generous.
An upgrade (with more features) is available for 9 USD / month.
Pro Huge vocabulary
The courses can teach you a very large vocabulary (for example, the first level Spanish course has 1705 words).
Pro Easy to use
You will understand quickly what you should do, and you will begin to learn in less than a minute.
Pro Foreign keyboard on screen when necessary
This saves you from having to copy/paste characters or worry about your keyboard settings.
Pro Learn from natives
Official courses have videos of natives, recorded recently, to help you along.
Pro It makes you write the words
If you choose this option, writing is a very efficient way of memorization.
Pro Android app can be used offline
You can download courses to use offline with the Android app. Great for when you're traveling.
Pro Awesome community made courses
Pro Courses available using Tim Ferriss' method
Pro Teaches realistic conversation behavior
Since Busuu puts learners in direct contact with natives, the learning is done in a realistic way - not an idealistic textbook way.
Pro Fast response time
For popular languages, translations can be received very quickly from real people.
Pro Teaches by theme
Instead of teaching words by most used, they are taught by case. This way, users can prepare for specific situations.
Con Doesn't teach much grammar
Memrise is more focused on increasing your vocabulary, so has very little on grammar and sentence structure.
Con No grammar
Con Typos and other mistakes in target languages
There is no guarantee that the word you just learned is the correct spelling, because there are so many errors throughout many of the user-made courses.
Con No context
Con Not really effective
Con Some useful functions like pinning your active courses were removed
It is hard to have an organized dashboard if you have more courses, which is most likely to happen, as starting them is the only way to bookmark them for later.
Con Lack of uniformity
It is driven by community, that can be good, but quality isn't always the same and it misses some uniformity.
Con Lack of diversity in some courses
Some courses will have a very poor diversity for vocabulary lessons. For example, a Russian reading lesson, will repeat the 5 same people names for 8 to 10 minutes. It can be annoying, or demotivating.
Con Low level and mistakes in the official courses
Memorization of a phrasebook is not a good system for many learners.
Con The search function is broken
It is very hard to find most courses, many user-made jewels are hidden at the bottom of the pile and are quite impossible to find without knowing precise details.
Con No way to rate courses in the official or the community made ones
Con Not funny
Con The staff doesn't communicate well with the userbase
Explanations of changes, responses to feedback by large groups of users, implementation of new stuff based on user's needs and not against them, all that could use improvement.
Con The app is too easy
Con Rhythm is too slow
Con Ineffective "review" section
When a section is over, there is a multiple review session. Many of the questions are totally irrelevant and are not useful for learners.
Con Chat system doesn't support letters with accents
Busuu only accepts regular characters in the text fields, so non-native languages may be limited.