Getting exhausted with the constant technical problems on here

I think no one here wants a DuoLingo-style experience on LingQ. We all paid for something we found valuable, and that we think actually works for learning languages. I think we just want the things we’ve been offered to consistently work, or be user-friendly and intuitive. It would be nice if the team communicated with the users more, but it would be better if things just worked.

Granted, most things do work most of the time, and importing lessons has gotten easier than it used to be (for one example), but it’s frustrating when things freeze or the site goes down or you can’t find content you want to engage with or the site ignores your search parameters, etc. Clearly, none of these are deal breakers for us since we’re all still here, but they are still worth highlighting as meaningful areas to improve.

7 Likes

No, we really don’t want Duolingo. I hate Duolingo and don’t think it works as a method and find it painfully boring. I just used it as an example of an app that is in the public consciousness while Lingq is not.

And lets be honest, how would you introduce it to a friend who is not already convinced and experienced in this kind of style, when all its features have broken down.

4 Likes

Yes, absolutely. We sometimes disagree with LingQ decisions and its many bugs can drive you up the wall, but it’s very apparent that they make decisions based on their vision of how to make LingQ better.

For instance: I was highly skeptical when they first said they wanted to integrate AI features. It seemed like jumping on board a hype train just because it’s trendy. But now that we have some of those features, I must say they are really well thought-out.

We have (as far as I know): LLM-based simplification of lesson text, which is AWESOME for languages I’m still struggling with; AI-based speech-to-text transcription, which allows us to import significantly more sources that couldn’t previously be used with LingQ; along with use of the same technology to generate timestamps in lessons that didn’t have it before or that had inaccurate ones, allowing better use of LingQ’s features such as sentence mode; an AI-based solution to a problem LingQ has had with Japanese for a long time, namely splitting its words up correctly, which according to feedback seems to be working rather well. Am I missing a feature?

I must say, that is a significantly more thoughtful integration of AI than I feared when I first heard them mention the trendy word AI integration. Yes, they stumbled some in rather infuriating ways (e.g. accidentally overwriting custom-made timestamps), but there is integrity to the decisions they made.

5 Likes

And it is down again!

1 Like


to be fair, there was a notification earlier, but now it’s been 2 hours of downtime

6 Likes

I was about to create a similar post but here it is. So frustrated with all the recent bugs in the Lingq. For the last 2 days I basically cannot use the app. On Android I have to wait 30+ seconds to open a lesson. On iOS it is much faster but buggy - all words I marked as known were not marked (as I later found out in the desktop version). The SRS dictionary (for the last month or two) is also buggy - it deserves a dedicated post.
Just half a year ago it also was buggy but bearable, and instead of improving it is getting worse and worse. What is going on?

2 Likes

To say that Duolingo has few bugs is absurd. The French course uses highly idiomatic American English, which I as an English person struggle to understand. The translations are often poor, the characters are eccentric and weird, many phrases are weird, and it is a very very poor way to learn a language. I used it for 8 months. It’s atrocious.

3 Likes

LingQ is the best app I know of, but it frustrates me. I use it now as a reader for imported material, but the bugs drive me bananas. And it is expensive for a reader.

4 Likes

I can’t think of another way to learn a language that’s better (in method, ignoring bugs, design problems etc.) and cheaper.

2 Likes

Not to split hairs. You are saying something important too, but… I’m an engineer by trade, so I think of “bugs” as defects in how software works. Like you click a button and nothing happens. Or you lose your progress. And I’d say in terms of software bugs, probably DuoLingo does better than LingQ. With its thousands of employees, that’s no surprise.

I could definitely add to your list of content-related DuoLingo complaints!

2 Likes

There have been a few times over the past 1+ years of LIngq I might have agreed with you. Fortunately my experience has been consistently good lately. Not sure how I can have such luck when I use it daily and y’all are reporting such issues other than I don’t bother with Netflix. Youtube imports are flawless. Playlists are flawless, etc.

3 Likes

I was also an engineer, in software. Yes in the strict sense of software bug, Duolingo had few. But in terms of defects in the course, it was crawling with them.

I’m sure you’re right that Duolingo has far more employees, as it has far more users. I doubt it has thousands of employees, they only fixed a few of the issues I reported, and then it took 6 months or more.

When I play a YouTube import, it’s fine until I switch to Anki, add something, then switch back. LingQ decides that it must restart at time zero. Or I might wish to use an online translator, or look something up when the in app translation sounds off. And the same happens. Sometimes I forget about this bug, and it takes me ages to refind my place in the video. Sometimes I am unable to find my place. That sort of bug makes it near unusable. And of course in LingQ the video is tiny, which reduces the visual feedback.

Now I could just use YouTube directly, it allows me to see the transcript line by line, it provides on screen translation if needed, and it doesn’t have the LingQ bug. So I am seriously asking myself what value LingQ provides, and whether I need it. Over £100 for a simple reader tool is expensive. As for the tally of words read etc, that does not work with YouTube videos. If I want it to be updated, I have to go to line mode, and then manually scroll through each one, sometimes hundreds of lines, Again, this is wasted time spent trying to workaround bugs.

I find a lot of the German content is not so good. A2 material is full of complex sentences. I need huge exposure to simple language to teach me vocabulary and basic grammar, not contorted sentences. It has taken me ages to realise that I am best importing YouTube content rather than use the inbuilt material. LingQ is so unguided, which is a plus and a minus.

LingQ is the best language app I have used. And it has helped me progress in French far more than any other app would have done. However, it took me many months to figure out how to use it effectively, and I am starting to think it is easier to watch YouTube videos directly, and avoid paying £100 a year. That is certainly the case with French, where my level is high, and maybe with German. All this streak stuff is for me just a way to keep me addicted to the app, and hence ensure an income. It doesn’t add real value.

I suspect the problem is that LingQ is not as popular as Duolingo et al, and hence does not generate as much income. That it is complex to use, and relatively expensive, is part of the reason.

I made a minimum not really viable product in good sheets that takes a news feed and tracks words I know; plus translations and there is audio I can play separately. That’s the essence of what comprehensible input (and Lingq) for me.
I wanted it for Irish. Even low code technology isn’t friendly enough for me to do the gymnastics you need to do to text to make something for this language approach. But the tech will improve and make unusual processes easier.

Mainstream tech is shockingly bad at comprehensible input. They’ll be improving Duolingo. Actually, if they improved live subtitles that might be a rival.

Language Reactor could choose to eat at least some of the market.

I’d advise lingq to use modern code and make an engine to do the minimum (deliver text by sentence/block + text to speech audio + translation). That will be enough for some people in some languages and will have secured the future market. Then they can expand.

I’m aware we use Lingq in different ways and some people will want features than I don’t use.

1 Like

I’ll defend LingQ on price. Buy the lifetime subscription for $/£300.
I have that amount of books on my shelf that have been almost no use to me.
Teachers and classes will soon cost more.
Duolingo for Irish was clicky and annoying after 4 days.

A DIFFERENT POINT, I CAN’T DO A SEPARATE COMMENT.
Lingq, would you consider assigning someone to think about the next generation.

  • Clarify a conceptual offering. Comprehensible Input drives much of what you do, but not all of it.
  • Have a core minimal offering (text, audio, translation, shortcut keys, known words but no cards, no SRS, no AI, no mini-stories)
  • have everything else runs as add-ins that people can have or reject. Excel has add-ins. Ecosystems have apps.
  • Ask for help. I’d contribute time or money to get Irish.
1 Like

You can’t move sentence by sentence + audio + translation with one key. That’s fundamental for comprehensible input. That’s all I want Lingq to do beyond delivering text and tracking known words. They should fix the core things first.

2 Likes

I don’t defend Duolingo, I think it’s not much better than traditional classroom learning. £300 is a lot of money, and I can’t convince myself it provides value. After all it’s useless for podcasts, and most of my French listening comes from podcasts while driving or walking.

The value of LingQ is instant access to word definitions while reading. However, with YouTube imports it is so clunky that it’s actually quicker to use YouTube directly and a dictionary! In fact another bug with LingQ is that video audio and text often get out of sink, so I can’t even read the text while listening because it has disappeared off screen.

I just wonder if anyone in LingQ HQ actually uses it with YouTube imports. Maybe this is just on iOS that it is such a complete mess?

What do you mean by “move”? :thinking:

1 Like

What app do you use for french podcast? Podcast addict? Do you passively listen to podcasts or do you process the audio somehow?
I tried using Podcast Addict in tandem with LingQ, ie downloading audio and transcribing through AI feature, but any podcast longer than 30 minutes makes a lesson too long, and therefore quite slow (im talking aboy lessons that have around 10k words in them).
btw, lifetime subscription is 200$, not 300£.

2 Likes

I hadn’t heard of Podcast addict. It doesn’t seem to matter which app I use, I find Google Podcasts works well on my iPhone.

I don’t use transcripts with podcasts, mainly because I can’t get any, and importing does not work on LingQ. I listen to the podcast, for 60 minutes, that’s it. Many months ago I only got the gist of a podcast, now I usually get all or most if it. Some presenters are harder to understand than others, some French speakers do slur a lot, and Parisien French is very clipped. Huge amounts of listening gradually habituates me to an accent. Contrary to Krashen’s (excellent) advice, I do get value when I understand less than 90%.

My belief is that it works best if I mix my learning. Thus 15-30 minutes Anki, one hour free listening, and lastly one hour listening on LingQ with a transcript, looking up words and phrases, sometimes storing them in Anki.

Regarding pricing, I found it incredibly hard to find out the pricing, I had to Google outside LingQ. A lifetime subscription is $200 per language. I’m not convinced given that LingQ is useless for podcasts and Netflix, and seriously flawed for YouTube.

1 Like