Memrise is moving our decks to Decks

General discussion about learning languages
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Languages: English (N), Cebuano (basic spoken daily, best L2), Spanish (beginner, but can read), Esperanto (beginner and not maintained). Sometimes dabble with Dutch, Serbian, Slovak, Czech, German and Arabic.
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Re: Memrise is moving our decks to Decks

Postby Whodathunkitz » Sat Mar 02, 2019 10:56 pm

Short: very disappointed. Will check out alternatives and try to save some of my own and user generated courses elsewhere.


For unusual languages (Cebuano), memrise was fantastic.

Being a language learning novice with no resources and lots of 5 minute sessions available most days (waiting for people to show up to meetings, baby sitting multitasking) I got through thousands of items (words and phrases) in just a few months.

I just checked. I'm at 7.3 million points and 6500 words/phrases (mostly from a few months in 2015). All using the app. I'm currently and was above a few memrise staff (eg. Ben Whately but plenty more at the time). Nowhere near some of the people like ericad, suba etc at 200/100 million plus who I suspect have slowed down from their peaks anyway.

It really got me going even though many of the courses were incomplete, plain wrong, based on archaic versions of Cebuano. It was by far the most effective thing for me at that time. I found sentence courses best for me, but needed the word ones initially.

I haven't used it extensively for a few years (well not as mad) but dip in now and then (EG on a shuttle bus). I created some courses but the best Cebuano ones were added by a user quite recently and I have a lot more of their courses to go through.

I felt uneasy at changes to the app and read up on how the first contributers seemed to have been promised reward via some mechanism and then the app went wifi only (since changed), annoying and I found listening-reading, readlang, 10000 sentences (Spanish), my own code instead.

I think that the initial premise as I understand it was correct and everything since then has been wrong. They had a niche that they dominated and now they want to go and compete in segments which Duolingo and others have sewn up.

I'm also aware that some teachers/schools create memrise courses and set homework of so many points per week.

I really don't get it.

Hosting user created courses is pretty cheap. Text used for some courses EG Cebuano really cheap. Audio/images/video maybe more expensive but cloud hosting gets ever cheaper. Downloading once to an offline app should be cheap.

Sharing just a little money (prizes?) with course creators is much cheaper than employing course creators. And can they do it better or cheaper than the Duolingo model?

10000 sentences android app (creator is on here? It's fast and good) Could form a basis / inspiration for a replacement with a web interface for using on big screens and also course creation. If commercial, I'd like to see course creators get rewarded through money or at least recognition.

The only problem is marketing, how to reach. That's expensive for a commercial app/site.
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Re: Memrise is moving our decks to Decks

Postby dicentra8 » Fri Mar 15, 2019 3:14 pm

Some good news concerning Decks! (source)

After weighing this up, we’ve decided to build a Decks app for iOS and Android.
In terms of how the Decks app will work:
    It will work essentially the same way as the Memrise app for community course learning
    It will contain offline mode, which you’ll be able to use if you’re a Memrise subscriber
    Like the Decks website, you’ll be able to use your Memrise details to log into the Decks app and all your progress will be retained and moved across.
    Until the Decks mobile app launches, you’ll be able to carry on learning community-created courses in the Memrise app as you do now.
Last but not least, on Monday the Decks website will go live.

But personally I'm still "will believe when I actually see it". :P
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Cèid Donn
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Re: Memrise is moving our decks to Decks

Postby Cèid Donn » Mon Mar 18, 2019 12:38 am

I like how in that email Memrise sent out a few days ago, it alludes to how they supposedly informed everyone about Decks back when they first announced it, except they didn't. Most people never got an email, and the only other ways people heard about it was from announcements on the forum (which most users never visit) and on the log-in page of the website (which you would miss if you stayed logged in or used the app, as many users do). It felt like they were trying not to get teh word out, to be honest. The main reason news spread was because of people on the Memrise forum were making so much noise about it.

Anyhow, I didn't enjoy a week of logging on to the Memrise app and not being sure if my courses would be there or not, because "mid May" isn't exactly precise. At least for now I can take small comfort that they wouldn't touch the app until they get this Deck app going.

The whole thing is so ridiculous--this has to be about money and monetizing content in a way where they won't be obligated to pay community course creators. That's the only thing that makes any sense.
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Note from an educator and former ESL/test skills tutor: Any learner, including self-learners, can use the CEFR for self-assessment. The CEFR is for helping learners progress and not for gatekeeping and bullying.

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Re: Memrise is moving our decks to Decks

Postby zenmonkey » Mon Mar 18, 2019 10:54 am

Cèid Donn wrote:The whole thing is so ridiculous--this has to be about money and monetizing content in a way where they won't be obligated to pay community course creators. That's the only thing that makes any sense.

I don't think it's about paying creators but certainly about money. They aren't obligated to pay anyone now, nor is Anki, nor Wikipedia or even this forum. What you place somewhere for free is managed by their license/copyright statement that you agree upon when using the service.

More likely, they have copyright risk related to existing content and rather than monitor that continuously they are going to port that risk to the new platform. This allows them to have a product that doesn't contain copyright issues and that they can continue to a) distribute on Apple / Google platforms b) look to merge or sell their business to a third party without that risk.

(statement above is speculative not to be considered as fact.)
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