- Mistype things on purpose. Yes, you read that right. See, Memrise is driven by an algorithm. This algorithm works on a principle of spaced repetition – if you input the word correctly you will see it less often, if you make a mistake you will see it again sooner. It is a good algorithm for minimizing effort and maximizing retention, but, as such things go, it simplifies the reality quite a bit.
(This tip presumes you already know how to type Korean. In the case you don’t here is a series of post about setting up Korean keyboard and learning how to type Korean faster)
Typing the world correctly doesn’t always mean you knew it with 100% certainty.
Sometimes, I find I accidentally guess the word. Other times, another word I reviewed recently sparks my memory. But even though I guessed it correctly, I just don’t feel that I really knew the word. And sure enough, often when the word comes up later, I am clueless.
I got into habit of just hitting an extra ㄴ when I’m too uncertain about a Korean word. I still do try to type the word as correctly as possible so that I get the practice and so that Memrise can do the comparison for me:
By making this deliberate mistake you are tricking the program to show you the word sooner. Consider it one of the Memrise cheats.
→ How to learn Korean
- Add collocations and idioms to your courses. Everyone agrees making your own course is the best way to get the most out of Memrise (or any other spaced repetition program you use). Just like everyone agrees that adding a word in context is a lot better than learning the word in isolation. Following this advice I diligently added sample sentences too, for every word I added.
But very soon I found this to be way overwhelming.
Expectedly, a whole sentence takes a lot longer to type. It also makes it a lot easier to make a typo. One little mistake and you find yourself typing the same long sentence over and over again until you convince the algorithm that you really do know it and it was an honest mistake. In addition, translating the whole sentence correctly is especially difficult for Korean. “I have a friend.” could be 친구 있어요. 친구가 있습니다. 저는 친구 있어요. 저는 친구가 있어요. 친구 있다. etc. Even though you may know all of these sentences, you either have to give yourself clues which exact sentence the program is expecting, or resolve to guesswork.
I finally solved this problem by adding collocations instead of whole sentences.
Collocations are word combinations that are used often and sound natural to native speakers. For example, in English words “big” and “large” have basically the same meaning. Yet “big trouble” sounds right while “large trouble” doesn’t. Similarly, “big decision” sounds natural, while “large decision” doesn’t. Same happens in Korean language too.
Then there are idioms. Unlike with collocations, where making a mistake such as saying “large trouble” will still allow the native speaker to understand what you mean even if they cringe a bit, with idioms it is impossible to know their meaning without learning them directly.
For example, “at large” has nothing to do with size or being big, and all to do with being free, but there is no way to know this just by knowing the meaning of the word large.
In conclusion, by inputting idioms and collocations, you get the benefit of a context when learning the new word without the added trouble of struggling with whole sentences.
For Korean, I use Naver’s dictionary idiom list which is on the bottom of every page for the English translation:
This is an example of some of the collocations that Naver dictionary gives for Korean word 준비. For each Korean word I usually select two or three collocations max so as not to overwhelm myself when time to review comes.
I hope these two quick Memrise tips will speed up your vocabulary learning and make it more effective.
Are you using Memrise to learn Korean vocabulary? What are you favorite Memrise tips?