Is it worth going Premium?

I think the target language plays a big part here. I started from scratch with both Greek and Italian with LingQ. I couldn’t do it with Greek, it was just too much starting from zero, so I messed around with other apps to get a foundation before coming back. With Italian, I jumped in with no background other than some Spanish classes like 15 years ago and it has been fine.


I agree. When I first looked into LingQ, I was frustrated with the “free” part after 10 minutes. On the plus side, I could subscribe to “premium” for a month and try out all the features and then quit, for just $13. That is what I did. Quitting was very easy: no tricks, not hassles, no gimmicks.

Now that I knew what LingQ premium could do, I could re-start it if I ever wanted to use those features. I’ve done that twice since then: once for 3 months and once for 6 months (that one is still continuing).


Although from what I read on here, it seems like quitting is unnecessarily complicated if you’re not subscribing through an app store or the like…? Seems like another weird business decision :confused:


I “quit” by switching from the Premium option to the Free option . That took me only a couple of minutes, and was easy to find as a logged-in member.

In theory I was still a member, but I was not charged (and never would be charged), which is good enough for me.


Yes, I did that too, before I decided to go for annual premium a couple of years ago!

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I don’t think that it will be worth it until they fix all of the kinks and bugs. Can hardly import using their extension as it does not generate any text.


Speaking of: Is LingQ just a scam??

Sigh… That can’t be good for business. I am not sure if it’s user error or LingQ really is making it hard, but the impression “they’re trying to scam me” sticks with people either way :pensive:


I can’t disagree, if LingQ won’t do what you need.

But I suspect that each user has a different experience. If you don’t use a certain feature OR you don’t use that feature in a certain way, you don’t see a problem. The problems are very frustrating, but that doesn’t mean that the feature wasn’t tested. It just means that you are using the feature in a way (or in a situation) that the testers never imagined. Maybe the thing you are trying to import uses a new feature that LingQ was never designed to handle, because it didn’t exist then.

It also might depend on what language you are learning. I recently ran into problems with Japanese (which I reported), which were so obvious that I was amazed they were not reported and fixed years ago.

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I’m sorry but that’s just not the case. I watch YouTube videos on LingQ, that’s not an edge case, that’s a basic function. It’s near unusable because the current text (as spoken in the video) scrolls off the screen, so you can’t read it. How is that unusual? And if I tab out to another app, then tab back, the video resets to the start. How is that unusual? For goodness sake, this is the most basic functionality.

I’m convinced the other poster is right, LingQ is a mon and pop style of operation, with a modest income, they don’t have teams of UI designers and testers, they don’t regression test properly, but they survive.

I’ve been searching for an alternative on iOS, and there isn’t one. That said, I might just watch YouTube and Netflix directly, LingQ is poor on iOS. That’s sad because fundamentally it is very very good, there’s only a few bugs that have a major impact, and they can’t be hard to fix. If only they would fix them.

LingQ are shrewd. They know there are better apps for some languages on some platforms. But they know browser extensions on iOS are rare. So they support many languages and iOS as well as Android and Windows.

Try reimporting. I had a video that imported, but no text. I deleted it, reimported, and all was fine.

Do you mean browser extensions for Safari? Because Firefox/Chrome extensions work on IoS. Edit: Not IoS - OSX

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I did that some years ago, and I found out that Chinese LingQ’s stuff is full of wrong Pinyin, wrong TTS, wrong word splitting, non-matching audio. What’s more, the platform was slow and very buggy. The quality of the material was very low.

A few weeks ago I tested Japanese LingQ, and it’s the same like Chinese a few years ago: wrong Furigana, wrong TTS, wrong word splitting, audio does not match the text. And: the beginner lessons are starting with very complex grammar patterns and low frequency words.

My personal conclusion: LingQ is not suitable for beginners, and - if you are a perfectionist -, even not suitable for intermediate and advanced learners.

Too buggy, Often wrong. Not worth the - now increased - amount of money.

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I’ve been filled with regret ever since I upgraded to premium. There are plenty of other free apps like LingQ available. While they may not be as good, they do come at no cost. Even if Croatian isn’t fully supported, I’m certain they won’t take any steps to improve it.

Good luck on your journey, and take care of the advertissement, most of the time, it’s totaly false…

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@Vanandir I don’t know how you use LingQ but I’m not sure you got it. Name me one app that is a LingQ competitor and that I can use like LingQ. Basically, importing my own book, articles, podcasts, and create my own personal dictionary that will be always there whenever I import new material. That’s the core of LingQ (convenience for input based philosophy).

As far as we know, the only 2 apps that can be closed, or associated, and often used together, are: ReadLang, Language Reactor.
None of those, in any case, are able to substitute the core LingQ philosophy.

I’m just curious, honestly, I’d like to know those free apps that allow me to substitute LingQ.

LingQ is not an SRS, or a videogame, or a grammar check. It is immersion by reading, or eventually reading+listening. You create your own studies and plan. And you can even do a lot more now compared to years ago!


You don’t seem to know LWT, FLTR, Lute, VocabTracker. All can create immersion by reading, and even reading+listening. You create your own studies and plan. And you are the owner of your data. And they are completely free, and the first three are open source,


@walkingpingu I think some of them were already mentioned time ago, connected with a series of problems.
Thanks for mentioning them. I only remember the names LWT and Lute, but I don’t remember the discussions about them anymore.

If they are so easy to use, and great, I would definitely suggest to people that like them to use them. I don’t understand why paying so much if the experience is the same.

Besides the core philosophy of LingQ, I have probably more than 200k dictionary entries in 4 languages. Not sure if those softwares manage them.
I also like the importing features with the various extensions.
I like to have an iOS app that work very well.
I definitely like the new entries with audio transcriptions from podcasts, or the automatic TTS for single sentences, or the automatic audio for entire lessons.

Don’t get me wrong, I know about bugs, but I also know about the good.

But hey, if those programs can give you/him/them that, good for you, save your money.

A few hardcore language learners that have spent quite some time in this forum, haven’t found a good alternative yet. I tend to trust them.
It is easy to mention software names but if you spend few years with them, and they are really good, there is no point to pay for this service for sure.


I did that in 2022 for Chinese and found too many problems. Also, I was already intermediate in Chinese. So I use Language Reactor instead, for Chinese study.

Starting in mid-2023, I’ve been using LingQ (along with other websites) for studying Turkish, and I haven’t found any problems.

I started using LingQ for Japanese a couple weeks ago and found similar problems, even for an imported podcast.


@sarjag I agree that with Japanese there might be some problems that they have improved along the line. I know at least a couple of people here that learn Japanese, and they don’t use an alternative software. They both know other softwares, they both consistently write to the support to fix bugs problems like myself, and they both haven’t switched yet. Because there is not a solid alternative yet.

My answer was for FREE apps that would substitute and do the same job that LingQ does, with the same core philosophy. Not add-ons that you can use together with LingQ.
I have browsers extensions as well for on-the-go translations, but that’s nothing to do what was mentioned before.

The personalized dictionary (or with the free popular meaning when available) is a characteristic of the core philosophy of LingQ. In fact, it is part of the convenience of the methodology. Probably, it is one of the first reasons the software was created by Kaufmann. Input reading and listening, and the convenience to have its own vocabulary already searched, always available.

Of course, if you don’t use LingQ for its philosophy, it makes sense that other alternatives are better for you. But in this case, it has nothing to do with LingQ itself, it means that is not the software for you.

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Unfortunately, the folks at LingQ insist on getting a good number of mini-stories into the system before they consider a language to be past the beta stage. Personally, I don’t really use the mini-stories, as I find them boring. So if I were learning Croatian, the fact that LingQ considered the language to be in the “incubation” stage would not have any impact on me.

The reality is, you can still import Croatian media into LingQ and study with LingQ’s tools, so if you’re willing to do that, and if you’re willing to spend the money to upload and import ebooks and audiobooks, the amount of content is effectively unlimited, despite the lack of mini-stories.

So if you’re like me, I think it would be worth going premium. If, on the other hand, you enjoy doing mini-stories, you might want to hold off until Croatian is fully integrated.


I understand you. I don’t want to underestimate your frustration. I know very well about bugs, in fact, I consider myself an expert on workarounds. :rofl:
I know, it shouldn’t happen, but it does.
I use only the functionalities that usually have less bugs, and I limit myself to what I know it usually works. If something happens to the core functionalities of the software, they usually fix it quite fast. In other situations where it is “less important”, some problems keep happening.

In all these years that I’ve been using LingQ, I have always been able to study every day. I have one streak going on now for something like four years, and I have all 4 languages I study with a streak going on for 1 year. I have never had a problem to complete my daily lessons.
Did I use workarounds? Yes
Did I adapt for few days if something else was broken? Yes
Did I change browser or device if I need to adapt? Yes
Did I change lesson if one is not temporarily working? Yes
And so on…

Does it take me a lot of time? No, usually few minutes to adapt.

Is it the best experience ever? Probably not, but there is nothing I can do about it.

Some things are improving, and the team is listening. In other occasions, I’m afraid but I believe there is nothing anybody can do, unless completely rewrite the entire software. And I don’t think this is gonna happen any time soon. (But that would be another discussion)

Exactly. I practically don’t use anything of the material that is available. I import all my stuff and I create my lessons. This was only why LingQ was created, but for people convenience, there is material available.
I never digested the mini-stories either.

We can create our own mini-stories with a ton of material available online. Or you need to pay for someone to create that material for you if the language is rare. But LingQ can’t take care of that for every language available in the world. That’s an extra. That’s not why we pay for LingQ. And I think this is a confusion as well. I was confused about it as well at the beginning. After a while, your own material and your own way to organise your lessons and course, is the best way to study and learn. Imho.

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