Can't use lingq for free

I can no longer use lingq for free. It always says that all lingqs are used up.

Yes, we do limit access to the site to 20 LingQs. You do still have access to all the content but to create LingQs and track vocabulary you have to upgrade to Premium.
You can invite friends to join LingQ. For each friend who joins you both get 100 LingQs. Visit the invite page for more details - Login - LingQ

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It’s fair that you limit the number of lingQs for free accounts, but I must say I found 20 too low to really try it out and see how it works before buying. Before I had figured out how to use it, I had already filled up the LingQs.
In the end I signed up anyway but I could imagine some potential customers get frustrated. Why not use a slightly larger number, perhaps 50 or 100 - enough for trying it out but not enough for real language learning?


I think it separates the casual learners from those that are dedicated learners. Also my guess it does take up space every time a new person creates an account on their server that saves all of our information.
I am glad you have joined such an amazing program and I hope you enjoy the learning experience. Don’t forget to import your own content using the chrome extension. Netflix is amazing for content and so is youtube. Enjoy your adventure!

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So wat happens to learners who are dedıcated but due to thırd world status can’t afford to buy a monthly package…


If those people can afford an internet connection, they will find tons of resources to learn virtually any language for free. Google and Youtube are full of free content.


Agree with Jan.

If I couldn’t afford LingQ but wanted to do a similar thing, reading articles, news, wikipedia, etc online using google translate browser extension (set to automatic pop up when I highlight a word or phrase) is what I would do. It actually works extremely well and is very fast. I often do it if I just want to read something quick without the hassle of importing into LingQ.

There’s tons of youtube content. There are ways to grab the subtitles and you can then use google translate or deepl to get translations as needed. There’s also the learning languages with you tube (akin to the one with netflix). It doesn’t work quite as well last time I tried, but better than nothing.

It’s definitely nice having stats and also nice to store content and be able to access various dictionaries quickly, but I think if one is serious about learning a language, then all the tools above would work quite well. Along with a Teach Yourself book, or Assimil, if available.


I’ve studied 3 languages before using LingQ, including free exchange conversations with students, public libraries, free programs everywhere.

For whoever is “dedicated” there is no problem at all.


Learning a language takes time and is an investment. People have been learning languages long before the internet. LingQ is just like any other program while it is a great program someone has to invest time and money to keep information kept on servers and such. Not to mention the on going updates. We live in a world were so much is now information is now free.

For those who are unable able to afford Lingq, Rosetta Stone, Michael, Pimsuelsar, and the list can go on. If they are dedicated to learning their language they will find a way to make it happen. There are more resources available to learn a language for free than there ever has been in history.

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That is a general problem (and I don’t agree with the other posters who just dismiss it and I find some comments rather unpleasantly patronising).

It would be good if LingQ could find a way to offer reduced options for people in difficult situations. But in the end it is a company that sells a product, so it is their decision what they offer (I’m just a user too and only comment to say that I support your request in principle).

Of course one can learn languages in many other ways, but if it was so easy, then nobody would have a need for LingQ in the first place.

I do not see this as patronising at all since we are not talking about withholding a vital resource like bread and water to people, who cannot afford it. In some way, Lingq is a luxury tool. It is a bit like going to a rock concert when you can watch the whole album for free on Youtube. People can use Lingq if they feel the need for it, but it is by no means essential. I know tons of affluent people, who study languages very successfully, but who do not want to use Linqq. In fact 99,9999% of people, who have studied languages to fluency, have not used Lingq.


I agree amongst all of my friends who study languages and many have studied for years. They choose to not use Lingq and can financially choose this program, but they choose a traditional approach with a large dictionary. I recently purchased the Larousse unabridged Spanish/English dictionary! I use Lingq to check my skills and really just for some added language fun. Learning a language can be boring at times.

There’s nothing magical about LingQ. As I mentioned in my earlier reply, you can do many of the things LingQ does for free. There are definitely things like statistics and the ability to easily/quickly check in more than one dictionary for things that do make it very nice to use, but are not essential to a motivated learner. Again, simply using google translate extension set to “automatic popup” is a great tool (frankly it’s easier and quicker to use than lingq reader, at least for the language I’m learning). Learning languages on Netflix and Youtube are other free options (minus the Netflix subscription). I think there are some other tools like readlang and others than may have a free tier.

Would be great if LingQ had a free tier…maybe import x # of words per day or something like that. Or x # of ling’s a day. I do agree the trial limit of 20 is not nearly enough for one to understand what’s going on.

I don’t think the replies were meant to be patronizing at all, but merely offering suggestions, in the absence of such a free tier.

A bit of a reply to Rabenwald below. Despite my “nothing magical” comment, LingQ I feel is invaluable to me. Sure, there are the other options listed above, but if one can afford it, I think the entire package brings everything together so much nicer than anything out there. I merely wanted to list some other ways one could get a similar experience and concept through free resources. LingQ’s “magic” is that I can import it all into the same place. I can keep track of my progress. I have an app and desktop application I can use. It makes things a lot easier.

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google translate generally does suck…

reply to san31: it has greatly improved over the past few years in my experience (for German). It’s not perfect and sometimes one might need to highlight a phrase or sentence to get the better result, but generally you can highlight a whole news article and it does quite well (may depend on the language). I think deepl is better, but there isn’t any chrome extension that I’m aware of that allows for this quick popup translation.


@san31: before there was nothing at all so you had to translate by yourself no matter what language level you had or ask to someone else all the time. So, it’s a great improvement even if it’s not perfect and it will improve more and more. I use it all the time I need an extra understanding of the sentence and many times it’s very useful.

I think you all convinced me.
I’ve learned languages since before the Internet was even available, and I’ve tried many different ways.
I signed up for LingQ as I genuinely thought it makes learning easier, but you’re quite right that it was quite unnecessary as it doesn’t provide much in addition to all the classical, less expensive ways.
Now that I paid for a while in advance, I’ll continue to use it until the subscription runs out, but after actually using it I find it’s not as great as I thought and as the reviews said.
I guess, it was a mistake to sign up before I had a chance to test it thoroughly.

“they choose a traditional approach with a large dictionary.”
Hm, having taught more than 10k hours (not only languages, but also math) I can tell you that a lot of the traditional, esp. grammar heavy, translation-based, etc. approaches don´t work. So, there are good reasons why they have been abandoned, at least in many Western countries.
Reg. “learning a language with a large (paper-based) dictionary”:
Do you guys “really know” how that feels? For example, reading a novel like Flaubert´s “Madame Bovary” at an intermediate level in French can take you months: Been there, done that, not recommended - because you need a very high frustration tolerance that many people, esp. younger students. simply don´t have. Apart from the fact that it´s a bad learning strategy .
In general, the real question is “not” how many people try to learn a language with traditional methods and tools, but how many actually succeed in doing so. I´d say most of them never reach an advanced level in their L2 (and I don´t mean a native-like level in listening, speaking, reading, and writing. I´m just talking about a C1 level here).

In sum: Traditional / classical language learning, esp. in schools world-wide, almost completely failed! One of the few approaches that really worked well in the last couple of years was “bilingual teaching”. In other words, it´s one of the few success stories in schools - and that´s an input- / interaction-based approach!

“the classical, less expensive ways”
Only a few classical ways worked well in the pre-Internet era, especially:

  1. Living in a foreign country for an extended period of time - with a lot of immersion and interaction.
  2. Bilingual reading (l_harangi is a strong proponent of this approach on the LingQ forum. And I couldn´t agree with him more!)
  3. A lot of watching TV and / or listening to the radio in the L2
  4. Participating in conversation-heavy classes or tutoring sessions

1), 2) and 4) were (and still are) usually more “expensive” than a LingQ subscription at 8 EUR / month (for an annual subscription).

“I genuinely thought it makes learning easier,”
Of course, it does. A content-flexible audio reader Ă  la LingQ helps a lot in assisted reading / listening and can be used on the whole language learning journey (from the lowest beginner to the highest native-like level, but only reg. listening and reading comprehension).
And it also works extremely well with a spaced-repetition app like Anki.

  • But I could use a classical (paper-based) dictionary instead? Good luck with that! Most learners are likely to give up with this tool - rather sooner than latter.
  • But I could use “Google Translate” instead? Sorry, Eric [I hate to contradict you :-)]. I´ve tested “Google Translate” with many languages (English, French, Spanish, Portuguese, Japanese, and Latin) over the last few years. Often, it´s extremely painful to stand the level of “idiocy” (in bestem Deutsch: “Grenzdebilität”) of Google´s AI translation tool. At the moment, I´d say there´s only “” that´s worth our time as language learners. However, if you want to translate longer texts, you´ve got to pay for Deepl., too.
  • Besides, what we want as language learners are “retention systems” with known word groups / phrases. And that´s something that AI translation tools don´t offer, but LingQ does (esp. in combo with an SRS like Anki). Paper-based notebooks, word lists, the Gold list method, etc. are no match for that (keyword: media gap, Deutsch: “Medienbruch”).
  • But I could use free “Audio Readers” instead? ReadLang´s development was stopped a few years ago and LWT is too tech-heavy for many language learners. Next question?
    etc. pp.

To wrap it all up:
LingQ is definitely not perfect. And it works a little better for Indo-European than for Asian languages. But, it´s one of the few tools I wish I had when I started with language learning decades ago.
In short: Gimme content and gimme LingQ - and I can tackle many foreign languages without too much pain :slight_smile:


I do agree the trial limit of 20 is not nearly enough for one to understand what’s going on. (ericb100)
Prima vista, this makes sense. But, Mark Kaufmann (LingQ´s co-founder) wrote a few months ago that when they did AB tests they had more subscriptions with 20 than with 50 or 100 LingQs as the trial limit.

Yes, it´s counter-intuitive. But, this is not “opinion vs opinion”. It´s “AB-test vs opinion” :slight_smile:


I know he’s said that. To me it isn’t completely counter-intuitive in the short run. Basically, one is required to pay for at least a month to really get a feel for it, therefore the curious might be compelled to at least purchase a month (that was my intent when I first bought a month).

What I would be curious of, though, is if it really amounts to long term commitments to the system. Or might they be turning away people who might be long term subscribers.