If you’re going to be traveling this summer and want to impress locals or your friends, now is the time to learn a foreign language. I recently wrote about an in-depth course you can take with Assimil, which is great, but they don’t have an app. If you’re looking for something free and not quite as intense, the Memrise app might be what you’re looking for. They make a video game out of learning. It’s available for both Android and iOS.
Memrise wants you to pretend you’re a master spy and you need to your language learning skills to go deep undercover as a spy in a distant universe. “You’ll be in charge of protecting the diversity of languages in the Multiverse from the evil Uniform is Front!” You can choose from French, Spanish (from Mexico or from Spain), German, English, Chinese, Japanese, Korean, Turkish, Russian, Italian, Portuguese (from Brazil or from Portugal), Swedish, Norwegian, Danish, and more. I just chose Italian (my grandparents would be proud) and they asked if I was a beginner or skilled. I chose beginner and the words were basic, but they drill them into you using a number of ways, including with video of locals speaking and numerous multiple choice questions. The goal is to learn five new words a day. I met it within 10 minutes.
Check it out. Soon, you’ll be saying grazie.