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Halfway through the Memathon

As we are halfway through September and the memathon, we have decided to take a look at the global leaderboards and have a quick chat with some of the impressive learners who are leading the pack. We asked them about their learning techniques, why they are so motivated to learn and whether they feel this competition has really helped them further their language skills.

Here are a selection of the front runners – but remember we are only half way, a lot can change in a matter of 2 weeks! Happy learning everyone, stay motivated!

Rebecca: reblroses

Rebecca lives in Colorado U.S.A, where she owns her own business focusing on vacation homes. Even though the busy period for tourism is coming to an end, she still is keeping very busy at work, but also tries to find time to learn with Memrise regularly.

Rebecca believes that joining in the Memathon will give her the discipline she lacks and help her become more motivated to learn Nepalese, which she has now been learning for almost 6 years. It’s a great opportunity to really learn the language and be able to communicate with Nepalese people living in her community. Her progress is already noticeable, as she has been able to communicate better with Nepalese friends. Verging out into new areas with the aid of new vocabulary words has been quite exciting.

Speaking to others in their native tongue is a whole different way of connecting. When you use English, she says it closes a door, however, when she speaks Nepalese, people are happy to hear their own tongue and they form a better connection.

Since being a little girl Rebecca has been immersed in different cultures thanks to her parents. As a child her best friend was deaf, so she quickly learnt sign language, followed by Spanish, French, Nepalese, Latin, Italian, Japanese and some Cantonese at school and in later years.

Rebecca only signed up to Memrise in the beginning of the summer and she decided to conquer Nepalese first, before refreshing her Spanish. Hence, she has been mainly learning Nepalese for the competition and creating her own mems along the way.

She is excited to try to win this competition and will definitely join in next time as well!

Noha: Noheee

Noha is dedicating all her time to get to the top of the global leaderboards for the memathon before she heads back to university to study pharmaceutical studies in Egypt. She joined Memrise during the summer and started learning German as she hopes to move to Germany one day. Learning has always been a passion of hers, while she also enjoys languages, this memathon has been the perfect outlet for her.

The competition is very competitive she says, the leaderboards are very motivating and she feels it will be difficult to get to the very top as many are competing against her. Noha started out with a beginners’ German course and a TOEFL and SAT English course. As she is learning very fast, reviewing items proves to be a very efficient way to learn. Once she finished these courses, Noha started learning a no-typing French course, since she is able to learn it much quicker. Seeing her motivation her brother also joined in on the fun.

It will be tough to get to the top of the leaderboard, however, Noha isn’t the kind of person who gives up easily. She says that even if she won’t win the competition she will get something out of it at the end of the day.

Chris: Zakone7

Chris maintains a busy work life as a Captain for a regional airline in the Western United States, however, he still finds time to learn. He has always been a lover of education, having studied Italian and International Business at University level. He tries to learn using Memrise any time he has downtime.

Chris’s work schedule is not consistent so sometimes he spends long periods learning, while other times he simply does a few short spurts. He enjoys the offline learning function as well, as he can use it while commuting in the air to work. The competitive element gives him motivation to learn more quickly. The courses he has been working on have proved to be very helpful as they help the words stick.

This week his main focus has been the French A1 course, however, he is also studying German, Spanish, Italian, Polish, Czech, Croatian, Slovenian, Tagalog, Russian, and Hungarian.

He has chosen French and Spanish due to his official B2 ability. He also wished to add a couple of additional Latin languages. German and the Eastern European languages were a choice, because Chris hopes to research his German and Polish roots and understand the histories and cultures of these areas better. Tagalog is a personal decision as his wife is Filipino.

Chris has a strong interest in learning many topics including world history and different cultures. His main aspiration in life is to go back to University and travel the world to teach English and Italian. Since joining Memrise in May, Chris has mentioned the app to virtually everybody he came in contact with who is intrigued by learning new languages. Memrise has proven to be the most useful app in becoming functional and fluent in a language.

Lucija: loesvanbos

Lucija works as a painter in Zagreb, however, her plans entail moving to South-West Germany. So it is essential for her to perfect her German skills. The memathon has proved to be a great stimulation to do just that.

The challenge has motivated her to learn more than before. She finds time to learn in-between projects. Lucija uses a special technique as she learns for the memathon. She starts with trying to recognise the root of each new word, attempting to remember similar words in different languages. When she finds it difficult to find a relevant word, she creates mems as an aid. The leaderboards have proved to be very motivating, the competitiveness helps Lucija.

As typing courses tend to take more time, she mainly learns without typing, which mostly strengthens her language recognition. However, remembering 30% of 10,000 words is still a better achievement than before the competition started. Lucija has definitely deepened her general knowledge of languages and has helped her understanding of them.

She has been doing Spanish courses, simply because it’s her favourite language. German is an obvious choice, due to her fast approaching move. She finds Italian considerably easier thanks to its familiarity with Spanish. She also started French, since she travelled to Luxembourg and Belgium recently on holiday. Lastly, Czech has grown on Lucija this summer as a result of listening to Czech songs.

She has been enjoying learning with Memrise since spring of 2014 as it is similar to playing video games, yet you are also learning along the way.

Lucija’s love for learning and passion for languages has gotten her into a real frenzy to win the memathon.

Discussion

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