Just Let Me Use The Reader For Whatever Language On Earth

Couldn’t the LingQ reader simply have a dictionary for every language on the planet, then we could import our own books to study obscure languages that don’t have official support yet??

Due to misunderstanding here’s an example use case:

Step 1 - Import a book that’s written in an obscure language.
Step 2 - LingQ deploys one dictionary on its server while my book is open.


[Note: I’m not a LingQ representative, just a random dude]
I will suggest that LingQ limits the dictionaries available in order to make things practical for language learners based on (at least) three reasons…
(1) TAXING: loading all those dictionaries so that they’d be immediately available would be very taxing for any computer system/server/website/application;
(2) 1-WORD, MANY DEFS IN MANY LANGS: Certain words exist in only one language, but there many words exist in many languages - all with different definitions. So, you would look-up a word like “a” and would receive a mountain of different definitions for a mountain of different languages and it would take all day for you to find the splecific translation you’re looking for.
(3) NO NATIVE LANG: dictionaries exist in hundreds of languages neither of which may be in the language you are studying. So, you’d look up the word like, ‘a,’ and would get the Polish dictionary translating a Finnish word - which may not be intelligible or helpful to an English speaker. So, I’m studying Swedish. I asked LingQ to add the dictionary from the Swedish Academy to the list of available dictionaries. They (rightly) replied that since the Swedish Academy dictionary is entirely in Swedish (with no English translations) it would not be helpful to those who still learning the language.

There are probably 100 more reasons, but there’s a few that came to mind for me.

1 Like

Likewise I’m also a random dude; I hope I’m not stepping in to a minefield here but I think these three could be addressed reasonably easily.

  1. add servers, it’s what lingq is doing already.

  2. and 3) these issues have already been addressed, by definition, in yandex translate and google translate.

I’m not sure that lingq even has their own translation engine. If I was taking a stab at this I’d just use the google or yandex APIs.

The lingq system here is really pretty straightforward. To me it looks like they are selling themselves on quality, by which I mean, a complete beginner can come in and get going pretty quickly without being overwhelmed, and without having to hunt for appropriate content.

Ultimately I think the OP is right. Once you get to a certain level you really don’t need any of the material that lingq provides. Then you’re just left with a fairly simple system of applying tags to text.

And in that way I think lingq will find themselves with competition in the long run, especially when the language learning market realizes that this is the best method of learning a language.


its not true that an all target language dictionary is useless for an L2 learner, it actually becomes preferable past a certain level

1 Like

@BabyRuth You’re absolutely correct. Indeed the argument you just relayed to me just now was the same one I recited to LingQ - arguing for access to the all-target-language dictionaries (I’ll refer to those as ATLDs)

Indeed, even though the Swedish Academy dictionary isn’t available to me via LingQ (because of the language I defined as ‘native’ in my account settings), you can better believe I have that tab open in another browsing during every LingQ session.

I absolutely love to dissect and decompose a vocabulary term into its component parts and (mostly) only the ATLDs will provide that kind of etymology.

I totally hear - and agree with - your argument. That said, I also understand LingQs need to create a product which is not too complex for the novice / newbie user.

If LingQ decided to include 100,000 different options, tweaks, settings, and preferences (like my suggestion of letting L2+ users have access to ATLDs), then the interface would quickly become quite cumbersome and complicated (at least for newbies).

So, for now, I thank my lucky stars for LingQ - just as she is - and simply manually engage with ATLDs when I need to.

We are in agreement, my friend. :slight_smile:

@bechanbrech I agree with you wholeheartedly. I don’t contest a word you’ve said. I would love to have access to “all-target-language” dictionaries or multi-language dictionaries.

I’m particularly pleased to share that you’ve introduced me to Yandex. I haven’t come across that before and am giddy to explore it.

Thank you for sharing your thoughts and ideas! :slight_smile:

1 Like

You’re reacting to a misunderstanding. Let me clarify with an example.
Use Case:
Step 1 - I import my book in obscure language.
Step 2 - LingQ has a listing of all dictionaries and I select one.
Step 2 - LingQ loads one obscure dictionary for use while I’m reading this book.

1 Like

There’s no tax on the servers if I can just select one tiny dictionary to open without any of the other dictionaries while I’m reading in my obscure language. I don’t know why you guys thought I need every dictionary for every language open while reading in some tiny, obscure language. What sense would that make??

1 Like

An interface is cumbersome when a lousy UX designer makes it cumbersome. LingQ hasn’t won any design awards anyway. But I cancelled my annual service because they wouldn’t just add this dictionary feature that should’ve been available from day one. I was surprised it wasn’t there even when I signed up, then I asked for it for a year and they kept saying they need to recruit apparently PhD level amateurs to build professional quality Mini Stories without payment. It’s a premium multi-language reading app. I don’t need Mini Stories. Where are the dictionaries???

1 Like

It’s not a multi-language reading app, it’s a multi-language learning app. There is a big difference. I’m not sure they would call themselves premium either, they just are what they are. The competition is not really taking anything like a similar approach to language learning.

Where are the dictionaries? Probably on google translate, I would guess that lingq just use the google or yandex API like everyone else.

You might want to write your own app for what you’re trying to do, I know I probably will.

You know… You do live in a capitalist country…

If you think this functionality is collectively (1) so easy to execute, (2) cheap to implement, and (3) so powerfully-demanded, then you could do your American, capitalist duty and take a stab at crushing LingQ into the ground by creating your own multi-language dictionary webpage.

My advice to you is to point that laser-focused, critical-evaluating, judgmental critique into something productive in lieu of pooping on others. I think you’ll find yourself healthier, wealthier, and wiser for it. Besides, pouting doesn’t look good on you.

Was that too snarky?


Try LanguageCrush. Not nearly the community that LingQ has, but I am so disappointed with LingQ that if they can’t listen to their audience, other players will take the competition.


LanguageCrush already does this

1 Like