[Course Forum] All Mexican Spanish courses by OliviaZavala


Does this mean that these awesome courses will now be maintained? Cool! They have appeared to be abandoned.

The linked list doesn’t include http://www.memrise.com/course/79389/learn-basic-spanish/
which has thousands of students.

Learn Basic Spanish was unlisted because the creator can no longer maintain it. I have made it public again and will try to correct any errors as and when they arise but would love if anyone was to come forward as a contributor to any of these courses.

I’m really enjoying this course:


But have come across some inconsistencies that make it frustrating sometimes.

Articles: Can some nouns (at least those for which the audio recording does not include the article) allow for them to be typed without the article? When Memrise gives only an audio prompt and says “Type what you hear”, and one types exactly what they hear (i.e. a noun without an article), they are often currently marked wrong.

Reflexive verbs. For “to shut up”, callarse is not currently accepted. Shouldn’t callar, cállate, and callarse all be accepted?

@jblinguaphile - Just speaking as another user, I think it is important to recognize that that course was actually created a few years before Memrise added the “Type what you hear” feature.

I think learning with joy on Memrise requires occasional use of the “ignore” button. For callarse, you clearly understand the verb; you could ignore the word, or just continue watering and being marked wrong until you feel ready to ignore.

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la eficacia and la eficiencia have the same English clue “efficiency”.

I suggest changing the English prompts to:

efficiency (not eficiencia)


efficiency (not eficacia)

I think this is a better solution than adding them as alternates, because the students see and learn both words.

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Yep. I figured that that feature was more recent, as I hadn’t see it before. I actually help to maintain a course or two on Memrise, so I know it’s not that hard to add alternative acceptable answers. It can be a pain when you have to list out every possible combination of variants for a whole sentence. But it’s really easy when it’s just a single word and you only have to have alternatives with and without the article, or with and without the reflexive pronouns.

Thanks for your suggestion of using the “ignore” option. I have been reserving that for words I already know really well. (I don’t often tell people to “shut up”, so I want to keep reminding myself about callarse. :slight_smile:) But I guess I could also use “ignore” for entries that are “problematic” for whatever reason (like using the “delete” button in Anki). But, as a user who appreciates quality and consistency, I try to contribute back to courses I value by helping to make them better. If I’m not a contributor on the course, that means making suggestions.

Not sure where I should go to make a comment on a frustration with the “1500 Word Spanish Intro” course -

‘to find’ is the only definition, but it marks ‘encontrar’ as wrong and will only accept ‘hallar’ as the answer. There is nothing to indicate that ‘hallar’ is the only accepted answer, which is extremely frustrating when you are doing many other courses where either verb is accepted or one is differentiated. Can someone please add ‘encontrar’ to the alternative answers or add (not encontrar) or something? Of course, I can always ignore the word, but that’s sort of against the whole purpose.


Thanks for your comments and suggestions. Would any of you like to become a contributor for these courses?
If so, please let me know which course (link or full title) you would like to edit and I’ll add you.

Hi! I could help out with Hacking Spanish, if you like.

I just started using memrise to learn Spanish and was wondering if it would be sufficient using OliviaZavala’s courses? If so, what is the recommended order and/or what other courses should I do alongside for grammar?

In regards to the Learn Basic Spanish course the audio needs to be normalized. I’m going through the Spanish course and the volume for the various audio samples varies, a lot. I set my volume down so as to not disturb anyone else and some of the audio sample are just about shouting at me.

Please normalize your audio.

I’m a gringo but I live in Colombia. I can tell you from personal experience - using “American” or “Americano” as the nationality of the US is going to offend people, including myself. Why? Because everyone born in North and South America is American. The correct nationality to use in the Spanish courses is “Estadounidense”. And when referring to a person from North America use the word “Norteamericano”. And for the many who will think ‘you’re just being to picky’ and so on, no, that’s not it, it’s about being correct and teaching the language correctly. Please, anyone with a Spanish course, change this word in your course(s).


I’m agree with you! But North American for the US people it’s no 100% correct because Mexico and Canada are part of the North America (continent) so, which another way exists?? In Spanish is easier because exist Estadounidense but we could not say Unitedstatesofamerican. It’s not easy to be 100% politically correct! Always someone gonna be offended!

Regarding the post about la eficacia and la eficiencia having the same English clue “efficiency”.

Eficacia should translate to English as “efficacy”. It’s not the same as efficiency. It’s more akin to effectiveness.

I would like to contribute to Beginner’s Spanish 20: Religion if no one else has asked. Thank you!