Is it worth going Premium?

I’m currently learning Croatian, which is apparently an “incubation” language here on LingQ. So I’m wondering whether it’s worth paying extra for the premium features when there’s probably not nearly as much content for Croatian as there would be for, say, Spanish or French. Thoughts?

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I am not sure if they are still offering lifetime subscription at the cost of 196 euro per language. That is a huge bargain if you compare with the costs of buying books and attending formal classes.

It is a tool that allows us to import ebooks and look up words quickly.

Beyond a few beginner courses I always use content outside LingQ library. It is still way superior than sit down with a physical book and a dictionary. It tracks and highlights our already looked up words.

As long as you are importing content outside LingQ library it is a great tool to have, to be honest, what language courses cost and what language schools charge, buying a lifetime subscription will not drill a hole in your pocket.

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Thanks for your honest response. I’ve been using a language learning resource called iTalki for years now, and it’s an amazing tool to practise conversation with a native speaker of one’s target language, so as far as speaking and listening practise go, I think I’ve got that covered. The problem with a language like Croatian is the lack of reading resources out there, and since reading is such a vital component to language learning, not having much of a variety of reading materials is a real constraint.

I don’t see the option of a life subscription, unfortunately. The least expensive option works out to about $8 per month if you pay for a full two years.

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It’s still online. You just have to search for it. I emailed support about it today, asking about it to be sure.

Still waiting to hear back, but checking with them seemed like the best bet.

But just Google it and pull it up @payne.stephenb, if you’re interested.

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In my opinion, yes. I´ve been usinging it for about three months now, and have decided that this is one of the resources I will keep up with. My target language is Icelandic, which is also a language that suffers from having few reading resources above a basic level. The most valuable resource on here (for me) is that ability to quickly upload news articles, songs, and books that otherwise don´t have great support. Since the translation is instant, I don´t have to go back and forth between the dictionary and the text. It´s the closest thing I´ve found to having a teacher supporting you with interpretation, while also having unlimited repetition.

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I think you cannot compare LingQ with all its bugs and annoyances (since years: wrong Hiragana or Pinyin, wrong text-to-speech, software bugs, wrong text segmentation, etc, etc) with text books or classes. Lingq may be a nice reader for intermediate or advanced learners, but it’s not suitable for beginners, IMHO.

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I disagree, I have used LingQ as a new Portuguese learner and I find the mini-stories are invaluable.

I also use it on IOS, Web and Android tablet and yes there are some bugs, however they are very minor.

A lifetime LingQ membership is a bargain and I have one.

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Not suitable for absolute beginners perhaps. I’d have found LingQ totally overwhelming if I were starting from scratch, in my case I knew around 300 words and it was only somewhat daunting.

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I first completed the Babbel German course, which claims to take one to a B2 level, but in reality it’s no more than an introduction and I wasn’t even B1. It is in essence explicit learning i.e, not acquiring to use Krashen’s terminology, and has relatively little input.

After Babbel I started using the German mini stories, so not a complete beginner, but a relative novice

Yes the mini stories are full of bugs (many were fixed within a few days of reporting, others are being fixed), but like you I find the stories extremely useful. It is of course a different way of learning compared to the traditional approach, and one that I prefer.

I don’t know if an absolute beginner, learning their first ‘foreign’ language could cope with the unstructured nature of Lingq. I have French to at least a B2 level, so I’m not a novice.

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The ability to import content, server side transcribe, keep stats and use LingQ as my content storage database is worth more than $12 a month/$300 lifetime to me.

Maybe a funny story but i definitely helped me kick-start my Finnish journey. I opened a news article and skimmed the pages before accidentally clicking finish lesson. After going back and individually making 700 LingQs to fix the mistake I felt like I was much better at the language.

Can only thank them for the call to action at this point.

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I am learning a mix out of serbian and croatian (whatever I can find).

It works, but neither croatian nor serbian have amazing materials here (the mini stories for serbian had a bunch of typos, not sure how it is for croatian!), so you mostly have to import your own stuff. Also, since these languages (croatian, serbian… not sure if there are others like bosnian and so on) are less popular, the user populated dictionaries can be pretty bad. I often encountered translations in the wrong language inside the dictionaries (mostly russian) or many that were just plain wrong. Also, one of the news site where I tried to import articles from didn’t work and there was nothing they could do about it, so make sure your preferred content works before subscribing.

If you want to transcribe podcasts/youtube videos, it works extremely well out of the box with both croatian and serbian in my experience. So if you’re big on podcasts, LingQ really can offer a lot in that regard.

I also learn japanese and with japanese, the dictionary and the user generated content is miles ahead. It’s just because japanese is more popular, I suppose.

If those “cons” are fine for you, it’s a nice tool, although for me it got worse and worse with bugs the last couple of months so I just cancelled my subscription today after a few years of really enjoying using this product. But I was able to cancel because I can read without needing LingQ as much anymore thanks to LingQ :smiley: , so it definitely helped me along the way.

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For an experienced LingQ user, those problems are nothing more than surmountable annoyances even in a language he’s beginning from scratch. But I’d agree that it’s unsuitable for someone without any experience using LingQ and knowing how to deal with the bugs and flaws.

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I echo Sarjag’s response. For an incubating language, as I Sarjag confirms, there’s probably limited content for Croatian in LingQ. So the bulk of your input will likely need to be from sources that you import. News articles, Croatian wikipedia, youtube?, whatever sources you can find on the internet. So you will need to get comfortable with importing. Super easy to do, might be difficult to find sources of content is the main problem. Or if you’re not wanting to put forth this effort it may ultimately be an obstacle. It’s honestly not that big an effort, but I know some people want more handholding and structure.

Having said that, your own sources are going to be more interesting and more enjoyable to you, so to me, this is an advantage of LingQ and I truly think it’s the most powerful tool to help learn a language. It’s not perfect, but it’s great.

I personally wouldn’t suggest shelling out for a lifetime subscription right off the bat. If you want to experience to its fullest, try it for a month or two and see how it fits. Work out importing some articles or youtube videos. Then if you like it a lot, THEN pay for a lifetime subscription, or yearly, or continue month to month.

I found a couple of quick resources for Croatian. Note, these are probably pretty advanced if you’re just starting out so they might not be particularly easy, but if there truly is a lack of good resources around you may have to do the best with what’s out there.

Croatian wikipedia:

DW Croatian (News):
https://www.dw.com/hr/teme/s-9747

You can import articles using the LingQ browser extension from either of these sites.

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@payne.stephenb I definitely agree with @asad100101 and @ericb100 about importing your own content.

I use my own content at 90% of the time but sometimes I use LingQ’s content only for convenience. But I don’t really care about relying on searching for the right content here, if I see something interesting by chance I import it otherwise I buy or upload my own content.

You can import all the Croatian material you want to by importing everything you want on LingQ. You can even easily scan paper books and import them here. Of course, you might need to dedicate a bit of time on your own material but at the end of the day you need to read and listen to a lot of content so don’t be too picky, just import and work on it.

I agree with @roosterburton that the price is worth it. Even more right now with features like TTS and Whisper. With these integrations the platform is becoming better and better (bugs aside!).

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Found it! It’s per language, right? So if I wanted to add another language I’d need to buy another lifetime membership. I think in that case it’s probably cheaper to just subscribe monthly because then there’s no restriction on the number of languages.

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Yes, per language. I think that’s the drawback of the lifetime access—if you know you’re wanting multiple languages.

I’d love to get this for Korean since I just study the one language. That’s why I feel like it wouldn’t hurt LingQ that much to just include it on their plans page (at the bottom or something… :sweat_smile: )

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I’d pay a lifetime subscription for Irish with no content.

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Premium is, in my opinion, the only viable way to use LingQ.

As I’m sure many have already pointed out, LingQ is more of a tool for self-study than a content library. The core function of LingQ for me is the quick-access translation coupled with the database of known and learned words. That’s what made it a game-changer for me.

Having a good content library is great for the languages that do, but I want to “graduate” to using my own content sooner or later, anyway. (Although admittedly, if you have no beginner-material available on or off LingQ, it would be really tough - albeit not impossible - to start a language from scratch that way.)

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After much thought and consideration of all the great responses here, I decided to pull the trigger on a Premium subscription. Although the life time option was tempting, the fact that it’s limited to one language is, in my opinion, a disadvantage.

Finding content for a language that isn’t considered “mainstream” is really difficult. Croatian is my current target language, and I’ve really struggled to find suitable reading material that is targeted to non-natives. In fact, because of this dilemma I decided to write a mini novel myself, which I then published through Kindle. As far as learning curves go, I’d have to say that writing a book in a target language as difficult as Croatian was incredibly challenging, yet hugely fulfilling. One of the added bonuses about speaking multiple languages was that once I had published the Croatian-English version of my mini novel, it was very easy to produce a Croatian-Spanish version, as well as a Croatian-German version.

Anyhow, I’m really looking forward to unwrapping all of the extra features including in a Premium membership. Hopefully I’ll be impressed!

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Thinking on the novel theme and lack of material…not sure if you used it to help, but you could use ChatGPT to create small stories and/or dialogues that you could import into LingQ. I just tested it out and it knows Croatian. I have no idea how well it did, but it could be useful in re-creating potential scenarios.

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