Why are there (almost) duplicate courses? Also, number of Memrise courses

So I have two questions. The first is, why did Memrise make two nearly identically course sets for one topic? For instance, there are two German 1-7 course sets for English speakers, mostly parallel, but with very slight differences in the German vocab. Why is that? It doesn’t seem to be dialectical, like Spanish(Mexico vs. Spain). There’s no way to differentiate them unless you actually look through them and compare them.

My other question is will there be the same amount of courses for each language? Most languages go 1-7, but Japanese only has 1-3. Are they going to add more?


I have not noticed that? What courses do you mean? I just went to the site to check, I can only see the set of 1 to 7 and then courses from other creators.
If you refer to the old courses A1, A2, B1, B2 they are discontinued.

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Well, to be fair, you have to go to Memrise’s profile to see it. You can find them right next to each other.

Here and here are the German 1 courses that I’m using as an example but it seems to be going on with a lot of the courses in this style. I’m asking why that happened.

And I don’t really think I ever used those courses. I like these a lot.


Indeed, I understand perfectly your point. I wonder if @Lien or @mario2189 can enlighten us on this.


The first one is German for English (US) speakers

The second course is for English speakers.


It makes some sense that there are different courses for UK and U.S. English
but then why are there differences in the German vocab? Why do some of these courses and lessons have more words than the other?

I originally suspected that, but thank you for confirming it.


Do you have any examples of differences in the German vocabulary? I have not checked out the differences for these specific courses. But for the Memrise courses in general they contain some localization. For instance these English to German courses have the words for both Englishman; Englishwoman and American.

And the Memrises courses are maintained seperately. So they in time they will probably drift apart a bit.

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In the first set of the first lesson, for “let’s go,” “lass uns gehen” while the other has “los geht’s”

There’s also a discrepancy between some numbers. Like, the sixth course has a difference of 43 words.

I guess it does make sense that being maintained by different teams would cause differences like this. And I guess it’s not really a big deal knowing that that’s the case.

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It seems like they accidently left out three levels in the US course.

Actually there seem to be a lot of differences even between the levels for that course. The US one is missing both words and levels.


There seems to be a slight difference in numbers between a lot of the courses and their counterparts, usually about five words, if there is a difference.

I’m still not too sure as to why there are different sets for UK and U.S. English. It seems like it would be simpler to curate a single set.


Based on my experience with A1 and A2 German, there are some differences in the way Brits versus Americans say things. There’s one case in A1 or A2, where the English clue is “pants,” but the German answer is, “Unterhose.” An American would think they’re asking for “Hose,” not underwear/underpants. Someone asked them to change it, and they refused, stating that they wanted to use British English. That’s not the only example, but it’s one that I remember because I found it annoying. There’s another English clue somewhere where to me the grammar sounds wrong, but apparently it’s normal in British English.

Instead of splitting their German courses into German from British English and German from American English, I’d rather they have one set of courses and give clues that include both American and British English… The clue could read, “pants/underpants,” for example. But, they’ve chosen to do it the other way…


Actually, that’s a pretty good explanation. I didn’t really consider that.

And exactly. They have the option of accepting different answers, so I think it makes more sense to just have one course that accepts answers that would be typical of a British or U.S. interpretation/answer. It seems more efficient.

also @Kaspian, @duaal and @sircemloud thank you for bringing this up! There indeed are two sets of German courses, one for British English and one for American English speakers. The quite big differences between them arise from the fact that German 1-7 for British English speakers are the old courses which we have created and uploaded earlier this year, while German for American speakers has been uploaded recently and differs based on a new approach. Ideally, we will also adapt the courses for British speakers, however this might not mean that the sets of German courses for both groups will be exactly the same afterwards. Hope this resolves some of the confusion. Happy learning everyone! Mario


What is the difference between the old and the new approach and does that mean the American course is recommended to new learners because it follows the newer (improved) approach?


Not if it was made clear that the course was in UK English.

Personally it seems like it would be easier to combine all the courses that are split between the two and just add one US to UK English course.

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So now I’m wondering the same thing as others: are the courses for U.S. English speakers recommended? Does Memrise just plan on merging these someday?

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One problem with the British English versions is that they were the only ones available initially, therefore many non-Englsh speakers joined those courses and created mems in their native language. Fair enough - but the mems aren’t particularly useful to English speakers.

Speculation: I would expect the US courses to have fewer mems overall, but those it does have to be of a higher quality (from an English speakers perspective). I haven’t checked this is true though.

Another point (mentioned above) is that the US English courses contain improvements. This might not always be the case - for example: it is the British version of the Danish course that has been enhanced recently.

So unless the above points particularly sway you, then you are probably better off going with the version of English you are most familiar with.

PS: I very much doubt they will be merged in the future. That would mean that all the effort splitting them, and creating new categories, would be wasted.

also @Somelauw @WildSage @WahahaDrills sorry if I was confusing all of you more than it actually helped you! What I meant was that we are trying to improve our German courses, the overall concept is still the same. Ideally, the German content for both US and UK English speakers should not differ substantially once we have actually found the time to reflect improvements also in the German course for UK English speakers. The course for US English simply is the one we have released later and is therefore more up to date. Hope this clarifies a few things, thank you all and happy learning!


Hopefully, you’ll also take into account that most people here find the fact that those courses are separate rather silly and unpractical and merge them in the future. :slight_smile:

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You realise that would involve merging all our learning data for each user. That sounds like a horrendous (and costly) programming exercise.

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