Memrise Community Courses: How to keep learning despite the app changes

Memrise Community Courses: How to keep learning despite the app changes

Now, if you’re an avid language learner, unless you’ve been living under a rock, you’ve probably heard about the chaos over at Memrise. They’ve basically pulled the plug on their community courses on the app, and it’s a mess! They’ve pushed everything over to a different subdomain, and let me tell you, people are not happy about it—including me.

A brief history of Memrise

Memrise used to be this cool new kid on the block for online learning. It was all about using memory tricks and spaced repetition to help us learn languages fast. Flashcards are nothing new, but Memrise found a way to make them a little better.

For example, it gave anyone the ability to whip up a course on anything, and I do mean anything. You could learn Icelandic, street slang, or even Tolkien’s Elvish! It was perfect for those of us craving stuff beyond just the usual Spanish or French.

Memrise’s community courses—everything that made the app great

The real gold in Memrise was the community courses, in my opinion. I mean, where else could you find a course on Scottish Gaelic or even constructed languages like Klingon, all made by users who actually speak and study these languages?

Seriously, the Toki Pona courses over there were awesome. I myself spent weeks using them and improved my skills in the language considerably.

This wasn’t just some corporate content, or the same old hackneyed phrases you’d find in any language learning app; it was real people sharing their passions and niche knowledge. It made learning personal, fun, and super diverse.

Memrise decides to axe its community courses—but why?

So, why drop these gems? Well, the CEO says it’s all about “focusing on high-quality core products.” Honestly, it feels like they’re ditching what made them special for the sake of something more mainstream and polished.

One of the issues the CEO mentioned in his Reddit responses was that the site was showing up in search engines for… let’s just say “less than ideal” content. In other words, some of the user-generated courses weren’t exactly up to par with the professional image Memrise wanted to project. They were worried about the mixed quality of these community courses affecting their brand.

All right, I get all of that, but if you start to read between the lines (or read the actual lines, in fact, straight from the horse’s mouth), you’ll quickly realise that money played a big part in the decision. Because, as you well know, the community courses were completely free. Yep, they were attracting tons of traffic, and Memrise wasn’t getting a dime!

On the other hand, Memrise’s official courses pay the bills, and that’s pretty much all they promote now, having pushed those community courses that made them stand out from the crowd into the virtual ghetto.

A sound business move? Well, maybe not…

Memrise users leave in droves

Just head over to Reddit, if you’re brave enough, and you’ll quickly see the fury. Complaints of useless AI courses and unhelpful content for advanced learners abound.

We’re talking about losing years of curated courses, unique languages, and the community vibe (lost when the forum shut down). It’s a real slap in the face for those of us who’ve spent years building, sharing, and heavily relying on these courses. The forums used to buzz with tips, support, and friendships—all going, going, gone.

Where to find community courses now

The good news? The community courses aren’t completely dead, although judging by the less than enthusiastic way the Memrise team talks about them, they’re probably not long for this world.

For now, though, they’ve been shuffled off to a corner of the web where the wild things (and hardcore language enthusiasts) roam. You can still get your hands on those oddly specific courses you love so much, and they’re still free.

Head on over to Memrise’s Community Courses. It’s not the app, and it might have a whiff of mothballs and old books, but at least it’s something.

Downside (because there’s always one) is that you’ll need Internet access, something the app didn’t require. Le sigh…

Alternatives to Memrise

Of course, if you’re ready to ditch Memrise once and for all, I wouldn’t blame you. Luckily, there are a handful of alternatives. I’m not going to promise that they’ll scratch the same itch, but you can still get something out of them.


This one’s for the DIYers. It’s a bit bare-bones but super powerful for creating custom flashcards.


A platform for spaced repetition learning. Create or improve decks with text, images, and audio for studying vocabulary, trivia, and more.

My Little Word Land

A playful, engaging platform for language lovers to create, share, and explore unique vocabulary courses.


Great for collaborative learning and has a ton of user-generated content.


It’s fun, it’s gamified, and it’s got a huge range of languages. Not a flashcard app, but useful in its own way.

(From what I gather, the Memrise team assisted some developers in moving many of the community courses over to Deckademy and My Little Word Land, so those two in particular might be worth a look.)

Language Hobo’s vocabulary game

While it’s nowhere near as vast as Memrise’s repository, if you’re a beginner, do check out Lingua Pet—our new vocabulary practice game.

Lingua Pet - virtual pet language vocabulary game online

It’s like flashcards meet Tamagotchi, where you learn new words whilst taking care of a cute digital pet. It’s a fun, interactive way to practice and grow your vocabulary in a more engaging format.

Going forward

Look, I don’t know what to tell you. I personally think Memrise’s decision was short-sighted, but at the same time, I don’t have their overhead, nor do I have to make those tough business calls. It’s easy for us on the sidelines to criticize, but managing a platform with such a vast, global reach involves challenges we might not fully understand.

My only hope is that someone, somewhere sees that there’s now a gap in the market and steps in to fill it. There’s clearly a demand for the kind of unique, community-driven content that Memrise was hosting.

Maybe a new platform will emerge, or perhaps an existing one will see the opportunity to expand. This could be a chance to create something even better and more user-focused.