I’m sorry, but I just have to vent here. Memrise is INSANE. I’ve been beating my head against a wall trying to understand how it’s laid out, but the more I investigate the more maddening it becomes. If you don’t want to read my rant, skip to the questions I have at the end. Thank you.
I want to learn Japanese. I heard about Duolingo a long time ago and started that course, which was fine at first. Eventually, though, it starts throwing sentences at you without introducing grammar at all. It feels weird to make grammar mistakes knowing that it never teaches you the rules. It’s like a parent who gets mad at a child even though the parent never told the child not to do the thing he/she got mad about.
Anyway, I did some searching and heard a lot of people saying good things about Memrise. I didn’t want to immediately go into the paid version, and besides there were a lot of people who said the paid version wasn’t worth the money. Basically, I wanted to try out the free version before committing any money to it.
As many people do these days, I downloaded the app and browsed everything on my phone. This seems to be part of the problem for me: Memrise in a browser seems to have A LOT more functionality than the iOS app.
I start Japanese 1, and the first problem is that the app is very…busy. There are planets in the middle with connecting lines and all these bubbles off to the sides and some kind of planetary map…none of this stuff is explained. I eventually come to understand that each planet is a particular lesson and you’ll move from one to the other. OK.
But what’s up with the numbering of the planets? They go 1, 3, 4, 5, 6, 8, 10, and so on. Some numbers are skipped even at higher levels. I don’t understand what that means.
I start doing the exercises. I get to 4 pretty quickly because I already knew the hiragana. I’m trying to get to Planet 5 now but it’s locked and I don’t understand what to do. When I tap on the lock symbol, the app throws up a message asking if I want to pay for the Pro version.
That’s when I got on a PC and tried to look at Memrise community forums. That turned into its own nightmare…there are so many topics and little organization. I found some topic that looked promising, but scrolling up loaded more and more messages and there was no way to go all the way to the top.
Getting on a PC is also when I discovered all of the user-created courses, which is another thing I don’t understand. Some user-created courses have links to other media like Slideshare PPT presentations, videos, and all kinds of junk.
I have no idea what’s going on or how to use Memrise and it’s very frustrating. Duolingo doesn’t teach grammar, but at least I can easily understand how the app is laid out.
Anyway, here are my questions:
Why are some “planets” in Japanese 1 missing? They’re numbered 1, 3, 4, 5, 6, 8, 10, and so on. What happened to 2 and 7? Are they only available to Pro users?
Why can’t I advance to “planet 5” in Japanese 1? Is “planet 5” and above only available to Pro users?
Thank you for your time and for listening to my rant.