Discussion about LingQ at HTLAL

“Google alert” alerted me to the fact that there was a discussion about LingQ at HTLAL.


Most comments are critical of LingQ. People complain about the interface, the navigation, the way we count words, and complaints by one person who claims that I would not answer questions about LingQ.

The thread starts with a post by a member of LingQ who implies that a critical review of LingQ here would be censored.

Of course, some of these issues have been brought up and discussed here. We have improved the performance of the site over time, and are continuing to work on making it better.

The suggestion that I would not reply to questions is strange, since I think that I spend a lot of time here, and at youtube and on my blog answering questions on LingQ. As to censorship here, other than spammers, and unwanted links to other sites, and the occasional personal insults, we do not censor this forum.

I tried to register at HTLAL in order to comment on this thread. I filled their cumbersome personal profile, but was unable to register. I have an account there now, šveijk, but when I try to confirm my registration by clicking on the link that I got in an email from HTLAL, I get a message that they “approve registrations manually now” and I should get my spamming thrills elsewhere, or words to that effect. I am unable to log in. I don’t know what to do. I guess I will just leave it.

Hey, no sooner do I start this thread then I get another email from HTLAL and I am now registered. Now when I have the time, I will go and comment. Took over 30 minutes to approve me!

I read the thread. Same old.

I think the issue is that there are different approaches. LingQ, while flexible, caters itself those who are not perfectionists, who will be happy and patient in a fog, at least for a good while.

@Steve: “…As to censorship here, other than spammers, and unwanted links to other sites, and the occasional personal insults, we do not censor this forum.”

Well you did once censor some light-hearted (and entirely cleanly worded) jokes about Benny which I posted in an alcoholic moment shortly before last Christmas, didn’t you Steve? :wink:

However, I agree that you do generally allow people a lot of freedom. It seems very unfair of this guy, Wulfgar, to suggest that you would censor a critical discussion about LingQ’s features here at this forum. I can’t imagine that you would ever do that.

Here is what I said in response to the various comments there.

I was alerted to this thread by google alerts and would like to comment, as the co-founder of LingQ.

  1. I am glad that Wulfgar basically enjoys using LingQ although he has some issues.
    2 I do believe that reading and listening, massive reading and listening and related vocab review, are the most important language learning activities. They are also the easiest to arrange and the cheapest. This does not mean that one need not refer to grammar, talk and write. It is just a matter of priority for me, especially in the beginning stages. This is a reflection of my experience. All we try to do at LingQ is make these activities easier and more efficient. Some people like this philosophy others don’t. Some people like LingQ, others don’t.
  2. LingQ is simply an extension, a more efficient way, of doing the kinds of activities that I spent and still spend most of my language learning time on, listening, reading and vocab review.
  3. There are 20 languages at LingQ. It works better for some languages than others. I use it from time to time for Japanese and Chinese and am happy, but it is not perfect. Few things in language learning are.
    5)The points expiry issue comes up all the time. I do not think most of our learners are concerned about this. Those that are concerned tend to comment on the forum. All of our lessons and content are given to us free of charge and are available for free download. The lesson providers are compensated from confiscated points based on usage. The points expire in 90 days. Members can buy as many or as few points as they want. They can even donate unused points to their friends on the site. This system ensures that points are used, and provides income to content providers. Not shady at all, just a system that we use.
  4. The Forum could be improved, but with our limited resources, it is not a priority at this time.
  5. Ditto for private messaging.
  6. There is no need to click on each blue word. On your first few lessons you can eliminate all the blue words with one click. Thereafter you can also use QuicklingQ to go after new blue words.
  7. There is a wide selection of dictionaries for each language. For Korean the most popular one is Naver, which I have used, and find quite good. Google translate is integrated and comes up immediately, but often is inaccurate.
  8. The site was much clumsier in 2008. We are now in 2012 and many things have changed.
  9. It is only after we reduced the number of free lingqs to 100 from 300, that we have seen a strong growth in paid membership. We have to pay our programmers and other staff, so we prefer any approach that ensures us enough revenue to operate.
  10. We don’t count numbers as words. Proper names and other unwanted words (non-target language etc. ) can be eliminated from the count by the user.
  11. It is easier to count each form of a word, since the definition of what should be included in a word family is arbitrary. I prefer this anyway, and often , in fact, save different forms of the same verb or noun, for a variety of reasons. Not everyone likes this approach, however, but we cannot always agree on everything. I have learned Russian and Czech in this way and feel I have benefited. We cannot conjugate or decline words in different languages, but “Le Conjugeur” and similar resources are available as reference and results can be stored in one’s word cards.
  12. We do rely on members for translations of our interface, and we appreciate this help. There are lots and lots of people doing this for us. It is too difficult to keep track of who did what in order to reward them with points.
  13. Lesson quality is an issue. We have an enormous quantity of lessons. Members can rate them and alert us to bad content, for us to cull. All lessons are free to the users, so it is just a matter of choosing lessons that you like. The Library is one of many areas we will be improving over the next few months.
  14. We do not censor opinions at our Forum. We essentially only censor spam, insults, and vulgarity. There may have been the odd additional thread deleted but that is a rare happening, and it would certainly not be because of negative opinions about LingQ. The oft recurring discussing about the points issue is one example.

It never ceases to amaze me how much time people spend complaining on the internet. If something is not for you, do not use it. I don’t think LingQ is a silver bullet for language learning, but it is a fantastic resource and one that I hope will grow over time.

The recommendation of LWT is interesting to me - as someone who has tried both, I am glad that I pay for LingQ rather than put up with the issues that I faced with LWT. The interface is much easier to use here, and importantly (for me at least) LingQ works with some languages which do not use spaces, like Japanese.

As an aside, I think the 100 number for LingQs was perfect for me, it was enough for me to dip my toes in and see if I would like the system. I may have put off signing up for longer if the limit was 300 instead. It wasn’t until I signed up and didn’t have that “burden” over me that I really noticed how useful LingQs were, and now I LingQ everything.

I was much more turned off by the LWT interface than I ever was with LingQ’s interface. But generally I can put up with a clunky interface.

What is the real killer with LWT is the lack of a mobile app.

Content Edited.

Content Edited.

I’ll try give my humble opinion there.

So, how I can’t sign there, I will give my opinion here.

First I would like to give my humble opinion on the linngQ and say we can not judge a system without first learning to use it properly.
On 16/10/2009 I signed in LingQ because I felt it was time to learn English here in Brazil we do not have many options other than language courses extremely expensive and of poor quality books.
I decided to start learning English at LingQ and as I was lost in the site and did not know how to begin, where to begin, the entire team of LingQ answered my questions with great enthusiasm and concern about whether I had understood how the system worked.
When I learned to use LingQ was as if I had discovered a gold mine because they find unlimited content, audio, text, audio books. A multitude of things that made a difference in my learning of English.
At LingQ I met people, made friends and today I have friends in different parts of the world.The LingQ showed me that the world is much bigger than I thought and that we have learned a new language using the LingQ helped me in school, and at work and in my life. Today I have a great job thanks to the English that I learned using LingQ.
At LingQ I learned English, Italian and I’m learning German, and I am very happy with my progress because I know that everything depends solely on me.
The only thing I can say is, Thank you for everything.
LingQ Method: Works for me and maybe does not work for you because we all learn in different ways.
Flash Cards: They work very well for me and I haven’t to complain about. Membership: you need not pay anything to learn, because I studied English for two years with LingQ being a free member. It is a question if you want or not. Forum: Could be a little more organized.
Team LingQ: all well attentive and able to answer all questions.
Steve: It’s a great linguist who speaks 11 languages, there is no doubt.
Word count: I think most people care to know how many words they know or how they created lingQs than learning the language of truth, I do not care much for it and I think that if people seek to learn more and caring less , we would learn better.
The LingQ interace has a wonderful, but for people who knew the site in 2009, this 1000 times better. I am not in favor of the points being taken, but many times I have been benefited through this distribution of points among the members.
The forum could be without a little more organized if the members cooperate because they post most often things in the wrong categories.
The LingQ is a site of language learning is not advertising, I agree with the exclusion of any other method or whatever it is at LingQ.

I can only thank and wish good luck to all.
That’s it.

Lucas A.S. Raimondi

@TheBrazilianPolyglot “…many times I have been benefited through this distribution of points among the members.”
well dude, you deserve some extra points for that reply! xD (kidding, I do not have any :cry: )

HAHA, I deserve , haha!

Eh… LWT looks pretty cool, but I’ve just grown too terribly attached to my Spanish mariachi avatar to part ways with LingQ now…

@godaddy: “LWT runs on iPads and other tablet devices without any problems. Only the texts should not be too long.”

It runs, yes, but it’s not a pleseant experience on a smaller tablet (I’m talking 7 inch), because you’re just displaying a web page full of frames.

From what I understand, LingQ offers a separate mobile app for the iPad. I’ve not seen it, so I can’t comment on how it works. But it’s not just browsing to the same web page, is it?


@godaddy If LWT did work with Japanese better, I would have been tempted to use it more, but out of the option of hitting the import bookmarket for LingQ here, and choosing Japanese, to having to go through a series of steps (including running the text I want to read through a separate parser), I’m going to pick the one which is easier and has everything in one package. As an aside, if LWT “works indeed with languages which do not use spaces”, why would a separate parser be needed? I guess, strictly speaking, I could use it without inserting the spaces, but that would mean treating each unique sentence as a new “word” instead of using the actual words.

As for with other languages, I have actually recommended a friend of mine try out LWT as they were not comfortable paying for a service like LingQ. Unfortunately they did not get on with it, but I don’t know if they would have gotten on well with LingQ either, so that’s neither here nor there, and I wouldn’t hold it against LWT.

There is always competition. But we do not spam the forum at Livemocha or Buusu.

I am always amazed at the Chutzpah, or lack of common sense, of someone who regularly spams our forum with information about a system that he claims to be like LingQ, and who specifically encourages people to grab all the content at LingQ, contributed by our members, and take it over to his program.Shortly we will close this thread and will do so whenever this troll stops by, and this is unfortunate since it annoys our members.

Well, I have nothing to contribute to the interforum “discussion”, but I’d appreciate if any HTLAL mods reading this would please activate my membership that was deactivated when I tried to update my email address about two or three months ago. My username over there is Rincewind.


I guess he’s a spammer rather than a troll - technically speaking :smiley:

Maybe you can block his IP-address?