duolingo vs. memrise

When looking for free German courses, you find yourself on either duolingo.com or memrise.com within a minute. Signing up is easy enough but how effective are those courses. Let’s have a look.


Duolingo teaches words and grammar through short sentences, which you have to say, write or translate. There are also some multiple choice questions regarding grammar. You can look up the meaning of a word by clicking on it and you find additional grammar explanations in most chapters.

It usually takes about 5 minutes or less to work your way through one lesson. The questions, which you didn’t answer correctly, are showing up again and again, until you get them right. You can set yourself daily goals (10-50 points – equal 1-5 lessons), your daily streak is shown on your profile in addition to the number of lingots (gems) you got awarded for different tasks.


Memrise is not a course but rather a vocabulary trainer only. You can choose from a variety of courses (= vocabulary lists). Some are provided by memrise, others have been added by motivated teachers or learners (attention – be careful: Those courses might include mistakes). They also have different base-languages. Some courses contain the „complete“ vocabulary of a certain level, others are based on a specific book and some are specialized on a certain topic.

When starting learning you see and hear a new word and then have to show, that you remember it (multiple choice or by writing it). Each time you provide a correct answer, a flower is growing. After a number of times getting the answer right (the flower is blossoming) the word gets filled. Then after a certain amount of days, each word gets repeated.

As in duolingo you can set yourself daily goals (5, 15 or 45 minutes) and collect some points and rewards along the way. You can use and add „mems“, cards which help you learn (for example explanations, common phrases, examples, pictures).

Now the two most important questions:

Can you learn a language by using duolingo or memrise only?

No! A clear „NO“ with memrise, which is a vocabulary trainer only and a „no“ towards duolingo. Duolingo can teach you the very basics of a language including structure and grammar. Using duolingo as additional trainer is a fun way to learn but using duolingo as your only ressource is boring and time consuming and I doubt the success.

What is the better platform?

As I suggest to use this platforms as an addition to other courses and learning material, it is actually your personal preference.



  • Works with complete sentences.
  • Has grammar explanations.
  • Each phrase has a discussion board, where probably every possible question is already answered.


  • It is time consuming.


  • Fast paced.
  • Can be personalized.


  • No grammar and not to many sentences.
My opinion

I love both sites and also use both sites, when learning Spanish. But I only use them in addition to another course (book, audio-course, tutor or teacher). As an addition to push your vocabulary and understanding of the German language, both websites are worth a lot – and they are for free! So you should use them as they will help you to accomplish your goal of learning German.


Which is the better platform?

Schreibe einen Kommentar

Deine E-Mail-Adresse wird nicht veröffentlicht. Erforderliche Felder sind mit * markiert