Easy introductions to different languages

We have some interesting action started on this idea of easy introductions to the languages at LingQ in order to help people,

I have tried my hand at it. I have uploaded an easy introduction to French and Japanese for English speakers, and an introduction to English for Japanese speakers. These can found in the respective language Libraries.

After getting more feedback, I intend to continue, talking on one language issue at a time in each 10 minute discussion. The question is whether to focus on English and provide explanation in different languages, or to introduce other languages. On the one hand most people are past the beginner stage in English and so the need is less. And is it better for a native speaker to introduce his or her language, or a learner like me. Maybe it is best to have both perspectives.

I will follow the list of ten language issues that I put up on my blog some time ago, and which I am pasting below here. It just seems to me that if others want to try to do this for their own language, or for a language they have learned, it might make sense to follow a common order in introducing these language issues.

It is our hope that most listeners will stop listening to these before the end, and will want to get onto the target language itself. This is not a substitute for LingQ, it is a means to coax the more reluctant language learners (probably the majority) to jump in and enjoy the water, to immerse themselves in a new language using LingQ.

Proposed subjects of discussion for easy introductions. We could even take turns in different languages. Await comments.

Action (Verbs) a brief introduction

I go
You go
He goes
We go
You go
They go

I ,you, he, she, it, we, they went
I ,you, he, she, it, we, they will go

I give
You give
He gives
We give
You give
They give

I ,you, he, she, it, we, they gave
I ,you, he, she, it, we, they will give

say, come, am, have.

Who? (People) pronouns, nouns, gender, agreement, cases, prepositions

I am a man
I am a woman

Who are you?
I am your friend.

You are my friend.
I am his friend too.

Whose friend are you?
I am John’s friend.

To whom did you give the book.
I gave it to them.

Give Anne’s friend the book, give it to her.
Give John’s friend the apple, give it to him.

Everyone who lives here is my friend.
The people who work here are my friends.

Whose orange is this?
It is ours.

Is this yours?
No, it is his. It is his orange.

What? (Things) articles, prepositions,adjectives

What is it?
It is a car, a fast car.

Is it a house?
No it is not a house, it is a factory.

What do you want?
I want to eat the orange.

Give him the book now.
I gave it to him yesterday.

What do you like?
I like to eat meat.

What is that person’s name?
I don’t know what that person’s name is.

Which? relative clauses, comparisons

Which is your car?
This car is mine, that one is yours.

Which one do you like?
I like the big one, the one which you do not like.

Which is the best restaurant?
The restaurant which you go to all the time is not very good.

Which restaurant is closed?
The restaurant which you don’t like is closed.

When? (Time) words of time, clock, tenses,

What time is it right now.
It is 12 noon right now.

What are you doing right now?
Right now I am eating.

What time do you always eat?
I always eat at this time.

What time are you going to eat tomorrow?
I am going to eat later tomorrow.

What time did you eat yesterday?
I ate earlier yesterday.

Just as I was eating, she came in.
As soon as I saw her I said hello.

Since last week I have been sick.
Me too. I have been sick for a three days.

What time is it now?
It is three in the afternoon.

What time is it now?
It is 10 in the morning.

How? (Method and condition) prepositions, postpositions (Japanese), cases

How are you?
I am fine thank you.

How old are you?
I am ten years old.

How big is your house.
It is very big. It is the biggest. It is bigger than yours.

How far is it to the town?
It is far to the town.

How did you come?
I came by train, with my friend.

How did you learn to dance?
I learned at school.

How many and how much? ( Quantity)

How many children do you have?
I have three children.

How much wine do you drink everyday?
I usually drink three glasses every day.

How much money can you make?
I don’t know how much money I can make.

Why? (Reason,purpose and cause)

Why do want to go?
I want to go because I am lonely.

Why do you work?
I work in order to earn money.

I do not need to work. Nevertheless I work. There are many reasons.
Me too. Although I do not need to work, I do. That is because I like to work.

Even though I hate my boss, I still work every day.
Why? Because I need the money.

Where? (Location, direction) prepositions, postpositions, cases

Where are you now?
I am at the store, in Tokyo, near the restaurant.

She went to London from Paris.
Every day she goes from home to work.

Where is my book?
It is on the table, under the window.

Where is my chair.
Your chair is in the room, beside the light.

What if? (Conditions,requests) conditional, subjunctive, modals

If I had more money I would buy a car right now.
Last year, if I had had more money I would have bought a car.

If I like the new book I will give it to you, when I finish reading it.
Last year, if I had known what I know now, I would not have come.

I want you to know that you cannot stay.
I know. I hope you know that I am not happy about it.

Please don’t look so sad.
If I could stay I would be happy.

You cannot stay. Let’s go.
OK. Let’s go then.

May I? (Polite requests) levels of politeness, asking for things

Would you please tell me.
May I have this dance?
Excuse me, could you please…
I am sorry, I do not know

sorry, I did not correct understand. Where would you bring this? The same text in different languages? In a separate collection or in one article?


Mairo started an easy introduction to Portuguese. You can have a look in the Portuguese library. You will see that most of the content is in English. Hitomi and I have attempted the same for some other languages. You can find them in the Japanese and French library.

I was think that others could do the same, but that it might make sense to follow a similar script. I am looking for feedback. It need not be the same in terms of examples, just in terms of the issues covered. Just an idea at this stage.

What you have done with Erste satze is excellent and is another way to go. We are exploring ways to attract the average learner.


I have just started Spanish this week, and I’ve found the “Who is she” series not only to be a wonderful introduction to the language but also to make me very eager to move onto longer content. I’m not sure I would select the kind of material you’ve mentioned from the library.

On the other hand, I am probably not the average learner; I’ve already seen the results of your method with my French studies and I’m excited enough about it to want to stay away from traditional styles.

The one advantage I can see, though, is that this sort of content may provide a bridge for the new folks to the site who want to learn simple phrases first (like all the other language programs start with); they could be disappointed by the absence of that sort of content before they realize why and how LingQ is different. If this sort of content keeps them on the site, they will get exposed to the non-artificial content that makes LingQ special (and a good method).


How about something like this in italian? I would listen to it for sure.


I am not sure where we will go with this idea. Meanwhile what have you listened to in Italian? Have you tried “Who is she?” Have you tried listening in Italian and reading the text in English just to get you started? If not, try it.

Now I visited Mairo’s course. Yes, this is absolutely a very greate idea. That is exactly what a new learner want to have! We should have the same in all languages.

I am really sad for not being able to do this because my English is not good enough :frowning:

I started Steve’s introduction to French, but well, just like jdixon, it’s not my kind of stuff either.
I’m thinking about trying a different approach on this.
It is based on a comment Steve had made to me the other day, about the fact that people don’t understand what to do.
I created a set of small texts (in Portuguese) explaining the basics of LingQ method. This small collection ends with a kind of basic “recipe” of how to study using LingQ.
My initial idea was to create a text that a “brave” beginner could try, but I’m not sure that I succeded in this respect.
Maybe, it could be translated in other languages, and the less brave could read them in their own language. Let me get them recorded, so I can share them in the library, and then you tell me what you think about the whole thing.

I would prefer to see people get into our system as soon as possible. I am disappointed that more people do not invest the time in reading, listening and saving words and phrases for review. I believe that this is the key to language growth.

The discussions and writing are for the finishing stages, and to keep us going, and to provide interaction with others, including tutors. They are important, as is the community.

However, to grow our language skills, it more of a personal discovery of the language and a personal workout for the brain, which can be done quite well on our own.

Ana, I look forward to seeing what you have done. Where do I find them in the Library?

I wrote all the texts, I have 10 itens written, but I need to record them to be able to share. I’ll do this in the next few days, I promise!

By the way, I’ve put some more small things there.

please I want learn swedish but I cant please really I want :A TO Z