LingQ, what the hell.
I tried your app earlier this month, and on the same day, I bought a one-month subscription. The system that you use for language study is awesome. I was close to buying a one-year subscription, but opted for one month because I wanted to try it some more, and now, about a week later, I’m very glad that I did, while at the same time being angry I didn’t check your app more before committing to one month.
Not only is the interface of your app incredibly poor and inaccessible in places, with missing options/buttons on the one hand (e.g. why can’t I delete a language from my list by just pressing and holding it and having a “delete language” option pop up?) and unintuitive buttons whose functions aren’t obvious and which have no hover-function providing a short explanation on the other (e.g. what does the “+” button one the course overview page do?).
A good part of it just flat out does not work.
Downloading content doesn’t work, I have no idea where to find it on my phone.
Adding tracks in playlists doesn’t work, 50% of the time they just don’t appear.
Removing tracks in playlists doesn’t work, they either just stay where they are, or they disappear from the list, but are still played when playing the playlist.
Rearranging tracks in playlists doesn’t work, they simply pop back into the slot from which I wanted to remove them.
Deleting courses doesn’t work, they still appear in my “continue studying” list after I removed them.
Adding courses doesn’t work, they don’t appear in my “continue studying” list when I want them to.
Setting preferences about my language level doesn’t work, it has no effect on what content appears in my feed.
The pinyin in your Mandarin transliteration is severely flawed.
And those are just the problems I can think of off of the top of my head.
It’s like the app just does what it wants, giving it an incredibly amateurish feel. How can a system that was launched some 15 years ago be this dysfunctional in its user experience? You need to invest some money to make. Your. App. Work.
Honestly, I wouldn’t be this angry if your method wasn’t so goddamn awesome. If your system just sucked, I would cut my losses of 13 EUR and move on. But having such an amazing system offered to me and then just completely spoiled by technical dysfunctionality aggravates me to no end.
Sorry to hear you feel that way and thanks for your feedback. I refunded your payment and expired subscription.
Thanks. Please let me know when you’ve fixed those issues. I’ll pay you 120 EUR per year for the rest of my life if you can get your app to work properly.
Funnily enough, most of the issues you mention are things that seem to work well for me. Which platform are you using?
Android on a Fairphone 3+.
Usually, learners use their phones for listening to playlists only for doing repetitive listening. The bulk of reading/listening is done either on a tablet or a laptop that’s how they derive more benefits from the app. Or do you think in your case using a phone is the only option?
Ok I see. I use the Android app but on a different type of device and I don’t do anything but read lessons on it. On my iPhone it seems all the stuff you mentioned above works well but it is a different app. Have you thought about doing this stuff on the website and just using the app on your phone for reading? That won’t fix the pinyin issue of course but I guess it will fix the others.
I use my phone (android) all the time for reading. I probably use it more than all my devices for reading, because of the convenience ( I can read, literally anywhere…in line, on a bench, etc.).
I find the app on the phone and frankly every device to work quite well so it’s sad to hear someone isn’t having the same experience for themselves.
For OP…there’s a lot of things you’ve brought up. Some of the functionality you describe I think is not available on the phone itself (deleting courses?). As for filtering, I believe this may only work for certain sections…or you may need to drill into specific sections. It seems to work for me, but maybe if you can give Zoran some examples of the things that aren’t working…screenshots and more specific details he could help?
None of these things, even if they didn’t work, seem like deal breakers (to me)? Obviously the pinyin thing may be an issue. I’ve got no experience with that.
When you say the app doesn’t work, is that like in actual usage…i.e. while reading itself? I lot of things are done by swiping. I know someone recently was on here decribing needing to do like 10 clicks to do something that could be done in like two swipes, so maybe things like that, you just need to ask?
I also read quite a bit on my phone. I do longer reading on an eInk tablet but short news articles I read on my phone.
Regarding the Pinyin: I don’t think this problem can be solved from a technical perspective. LingQ is just guessing the pronunciation, probably based on a dictionary. Assigning Pinyin will always be somewhat inaccurate, the pronunciation of a syllable can depend on the surrounding characters, e.g. 你 nǐ 好 hǎo → 你好 níhǎo.
Also note, there are regional differences, for example Taiwanese Mandarin (國語), differs in many points from 普通话 (Mandarin), for example the character 息 is pronounced xí in 國語, while it is xī in 普通话. Which one you prefer is a personal choice imho, and not a question of correctness.
So, I believe there are two proper solutions to the Pinyin problem:
- use TTS or audio to get the pronunciation, I find this far more intuitive than Pinyin
- add your preferred pronunciation to the word’s definition. Countless definitions with Pinyin already exist, provided by the generations of LingQ users before us. Doing it this way can also be helpful for spaced repetition.
Hey everyone, thanks for your interest and trying to help. It seems I can’t reply to your comments individually anymore (?), so I’m posting this comment replying to all of you hoping everyone will see it.
@asad100101, thanks for your input, but I specifically want to use LingQ on my phone and only on my phone, and the functionality of my Android app is what this thread is about.
@ColinJohnstonov, see above. I don’t want to use the website, and I don’t want to have to switch to some other medium from an app that I pay a subscription for.
@bamboozled, the points you mention are not what I’m talking about. Tones phonetically influencing each other’s contours can’t practically be represented by orthography and regional differences are irrelevant in learning Standard Chinese. I’m talking about just flat out wrong information, both in terms of tones and segments (“letters”). That’s just bad data.
By the way, the same problem exists with Japanese transliteration on the app.