A web app that can help anyone memorise anything
Joshua Foer learns basic Lingala in a few weeks, using the Memrise application. (In fact the website challenges you to learn to read a Chinese menu!)
"Memrise encourages you to create a mnemonic, which it calls a "mem", for every word you want to learn. A mem could be a rhyme, an image, a video or just a note about the word's etymology, or something striking about its pronunciation. In the case of languages such as French and Chinese, where there are thousands of people learning it at any one time, you can browse through a catalogue of mems created by other members of the Memrise community. This is especially fun for Chinese, where users have uploaded videos of various logographic characters morphing into cartoons of the words they represent.