I know of quite a few well-known, well established, high profile polyglots who happen to have signed up as LingQ members in the past but who have never actually used LingQ, though they do use other renowned methods such as Assimil for example.
They are very enthusiastic people who love languages and in a good spirited manner invested the time in signing up but never ended up using the site. I know that Richard Simcott has an account here but has never used LingQ, nor has Robert Bigler, nor has Lucas Lampariello nor has Benny (other than to buy one month’s membership in order to review the system years ago), though the languaholic, John Fotheringham did actually use LingQ a little (and also reviewed the system).
Does anyone know of any well-known, excellent polyglots of the Richard Simcott or Lucas Lampariello calibre who have a strong internet presence who have actually heavily used LingQ? Anyone who perhaps avidly still does?
What does “polyglot” mean for you?
Merrian-Webster: speaking or writing several languages : multilingual
So, there are a lot of polyglots using lingq. I am one. You seem to be one yourself, since your mother language is English and you have learned a lot of German and some Spanish here on Lingq.
I am under the impression that by “polyglot” you mean someone who has a youtube channel and goes around giving advice on learning languages.
I guess it is the sign of the times that we tend to believe that recording a few videos puts you in a special category that is worth looking up to.
What’s next? You’re not a cook if you don’t have an Instagram account with over a thousand pics of food?
I fully agree with Ftornay. I have also seen that for some people you have to had learn the languages from scratch without the advantages of growing up in a country where the main language is a different one form the one you speak at home.
So for example before I started to learn languages (voluntarily) I learned Finnish (in a Swedish speaking school) and English in school. My native language is Swedish. So by Merrian-Webster’s I was already a polyglot by the time I started to learn Spanish.
“What’s next? You’re not a cook if you don’t have an Instagram account with over a thousand pics of food?” This sort of mentality can sometimes reach comical proportions. I remember that a long time ago when I read some post about the definition of polyglot I found a thread where there was a heated argument of what it means to be a “true polyglot”. One side argued that in order to be a “true” polyglot you must learn three languages that belong to different language families. I admit that if you are a native Swedish speaker and you speak Swedish, Norwegian and English it is not that of a big achievement. As a said it is long time ago but if you speak English, German and French and not considered a polyglot I think it is a bit extreme.
“…So, there are a lot of polyglots using lingq. I am one…”
I think there are quite a few people here (like Francisco) whose accomplishments are as good as (or indeed better than) most of the “youtube-polyglots”.
In fact, many of the youtube crowd aren’t, in all honesty, very impressive at all in their target languages. Many of them only seem interested in achieving a fairly basic conversational fluency.
There are some who are more serious - like Luca Lampariello, Prof Arguelles, and a couple of others. Robert Bigler too - although I believe he isn’t on youtube anymore.
BTW I think Professor Arguelles recommended LingQ as a possible approach in one of his videos, didn’t he?
Thank you @Jay
In fact, “mediatic” polyglots are the least likely to use Lingq. They have become “famous” for using their own particular method, which is what they usually talk about. It works for them and, more important, they have to insist that it works, so changing for something new, and especially if it comes from another “competing” polyglot may not be the most promising step to take.
In general, once you become a celeb polyglot or aspire to it, your learning process is only partly about actually mastering the language, another important part is about promoting your own particular system.
This, of course, is not true of every person who publicly discusses language learning but I certainly think that it is a usual pattern
Ed Parsons gives a good account of how he used Pimsleur, Italki, LINGQ, Memrise to learn Spanish.
He’s got his own Youtube channel; perhaps not a “polyglot” - more like the rest of us.
The YouTube “polyglots” do not impress me much because I think that many of them don’t even speak half of the languages that they claim they are fluent in.
I think the Lingq system is not designed for people who want to order pizza or record Youtube videos to show off, but for people who want to read novels, history books and listen to podcasts about cultures etc.
The polyglots here can read novels in different languages but I am not sure if the YouTube charlatans can do that.
LingQ is very useful for the levels from A1 to B2.
The people with C1 and higher levels can find a lot of materials from different Internet online sites, they need less and less the learning system of Lingq.
For example, I remember there was in LingQ a good guy from the UK Harry Ness. He was learning here Russian, French and Spanish and gave some English lessons. But then he achieved C level in his target languages and said ‘Good bye’ to Lingq.
Besides, the ‘well-known’ polyglots have made up their own systems, they have their own sites and LingQ is a bit boring for them.
Luca sends me almost every week his new articles, sometimes I have no time to read all his long articles - why will he have to use Lingq?
I am not a real polyglot, I’m rather a teacher by nature, that’s why I’ve been here for 8 years already. I like to make up new lessons and help other learners with them much more than to study some new languages by myself.
Benny the Irish Polyglot was on here briefly during The Great Polyglot War.
As far as really famous people, I don’t know of any. It’s weird, with how many people Steve has chatted with, you’d think they’d at least try each other’s websites out.
Quick, someone here become really famous!
This site definitely does put an emphasis of reading over speaking. I don’t think you can have enough reading, but the philosophy here seems to be simply “just read and listen, don’t worry about speaking”.
There is some merit to this philosophy though. After months of passive learning through reading, listening, and occasional reading out loud, I decided to start speaking with native speakers.
With the right person, I was able to hold a good conversation, as a lot of frequent words I’ve encountered, were really easy to think of right off the bat, so speaking flowed quite well. I think for reading and listening, there’s a trickle down effect, where there will be some words that you will find really easy to use in conversation.
As a whole, I wish LingQ put more emphasis on speaking practice, as it’s quite easy to stay in your comfort of building up lots of passive vocabulary, but never using it.
What is this Great Polyglot War?
Also, Benny’s username is idragon, laoshu505000 is laoshu505000, obviously steve, and alleray, Ress, evgueny are pretty impressive too.
That was several years ago. As far as I can remember, it originally started with an online interview of Steve Kaufmann by Benny. As far as Benny was concerned it was just another little marketing stunt for his website - kind of along the lines: ‘look folks, Steve Kaufmann agrees with me, endorses my product’, etc. The problem was, Steve didn’t really agree with him too much and resisted being manipulated. Things got a little bumpy after that - but Benny lived
I remember that’s when Clugston tried to get in on this by posting his infamous YT videos. He was trying to stir up controversy, but ended up looking like the little kid jumping up and down “look at me!” while the adults were trying to have a conversation.
He’s a mean looking dude who invented a self-defence system which will make any couch potato better than Bruce Lee.
He has studied Linguistics at MIT, has a PhD supervised by Noam Chomsky, and is a qualified language teacher.
He has also graduated from the US Military’s elite language training school, and taught unarmed combat to Navy Seals.
I’m kidding of course
(But some of the above may actually be true…?)
Two things here: 1) " they do use other renowned methods such as Assimil "
Yes, because Assimil IS a method, LingQ is not. LingQ is a language learning tool with a suggested methodology, which is different than a “method”. I’ve used both Assimil and LingQ, side by side at times. They fulfilled different purposes.
- Most “well known polyglots with strong internet presence” are well known because of heavy self marketing with the end goal of monetizing their status (not that there is anything wrong with that.)
Benny, and co. are not in the business of popularizing the competition, they want eyeballs on their channels, clicks on their adds, and sales on their e-books.
Again, this is perfectly fine by me. It’s a business.
And yes, Steve is in the same boat. His business is Lingq, he uses his presence on the web to advertise and monetize it.
If this site works for you, use it. But trying to decide whether it’s a worthy product based on how many “well known” people with opposing self interests are using it is an extremely misguided metric.
Maybe it’s just me, but my experience has been the opposite. I’ve gotten better use out of this site as an interface for more advanced material after the B2 level. There are a lot of options out there for beginners, but it’s a lot harder to find a way to tackle more advanced material such as books etc.
The difference, I think, would be where one wants to go with he language, and in what circumstances.
Meaning, if you just wanna converse well, and you reach C1, and you have the opportunity to talk a lot, then yes, maybe Lingq will become boring.
But if you wanna build up an extensive vocab by reading and listening, and you don’t have many opportunities to talk, I think the site becomes a very useful tool for advanced learners.
I agree with you, t_harangi. I think lingq is perfect to get the vocabulary basis for a really advanced level. Of course you need to do more than input activities to achieve that level but lingq may be the key to get past the “intermediate plateau”.
I still haven’t done that myself, I am at about a B2 level in Russian right now and I’ll be using Lingq for the next year to try and get to the next level. However, my experience learning other languages tell me that reading challenging material is a way to achieve such a level. I used to do it “the hard way”, looking up most words in a dictionary. Lingq makes it much easier and enjoyable