Language Envy

One bad thing about LingQ is that there are so many temptations.

Once you have even achieved a modest amount of success in one language with LingQ, you suddenly feel that you are Superman and can tackle any language with LingQ. And when you take a look at the profile of some of the senior members, you see that they all have a large number of known words in multiple languages. So you are always tempted to take on more languages. I am only about four months into Spanish and am already constantly thinking what is the next language I should learn. Just the other day, I check out the size of various libaries:

Spanish - 28 pages
French - 49
German - 60

Wow, 60 pages of German content!

I know from my experience with French that 60 pages are a lot of content. I am certain that I’ll be able to learn German to a very level with that much content. So I am really tempted to start German now. The reality of the situation is that I just don’t have the time. I need to spend at least another two years on Spanish, and also more time on Japanese which has stagnated a bit recently. But there are 60 pages of German content…

It doesn’t help that Serge is now learning German, and because I have him as a friend, his activities show up on my home page:

serge33510 is studying Alltagssituationen für Beginner I und II (Daily situations for beginner I and II), Was gibt es zu essen? - ( German )
serge33510 is studying Alltagssituationen für Beginner I und II (Daily situations for beginner I and II), Was machst du jetzt? - ( German )
serge33510 is studying Alltagssituationen für Beginner I und II (Daily situations for beginner I and II), Falsch verbunden… - ( German )

So there is a tiny voice in me which says maybe I can spend just a little bit of time squeezing in a German lesson now and again. Maybe it won’t take that much time…But then there is a more rational voice telling me in no uncertain terms that I shouldn’t bite off more than I can chew. No kidding, just two nights ago I had a dream wherein I heard a voice saying: Don’t start German now!!!

In the meantime, I am seeing:

serge33510 is studying Alltagssituationen für Beginner I und II (Daily situations for beginner I and II), Ein Hotelzimmer buchen - ( German )
serge33510 is studying Ab jetzt lerne ich Deutsch! German Now!, 12.09 Eigenschaften VI - ( German )
serge33510 is studying Alltagssituationen für Beginner I und II (Daily situations for beginner I and II), In ein Café gehen - ( German )


Great post Cantotango,

Just think though. You can indulge all of your language desires with very few negative health or social consequences. That is not true of stuffing your face at banquets every night, abusing the bottle, or other vices pursued by well known athletes and former presidents of the US.

Haha, if anything know that if you decide to start learning it, you can stop at anytime. It’s not like you have to follow through. Also you can study it like every other day. Doesn’t have to be a daily thing. That too has also made me want to start learning another language alongside my Japanese. I plan to start learning it as soon as I get the hang of the alphabet. Good luck, and know that if you choose to start learning German, know it’ll be at least 6 months till you reach competency, especially with other languages on the side.

The best thing about Lingq is that you can learn languages and ‘abuse the bottle’ at the same time… I hope that Steve means drinking alcohol though, when he says 'abusing the bottle" otherwise you probably couldn’t do both at the same time/// :slight_smile:

Hi Desmond,
I’ve often heard this “rational” voice telling me: “Focus on English, stop learning German!” But I decided to turn a deaf ear to this "irrational " voice.
If you feel tempted to start German now, then grab a bite, open the bottle and sip a glassful. My motto is :“Never mind the bottle, let’s just drink it.”
You know what Desmond? What about a rendez-vous, say… next year at the same time for a talk together in… German?

Cantotango is right; LingQ moves people to learn another language and makes the start easier.
I started with Chinese from scratch using another internet resource, but I did it because I realized that it will be possible to continue and achieve some goals with LingQ.

I think you could take sips from other bottles but you should have your favorite one.


I don’t know if I can make it to the rendez-vous. I am going to keep going at the same pace for French and Spanish for a while. In about 6 months’ time, I’ll see what progress I’ve made in these languages. Hopefully by that time I can spare some time for German.

It would be great if you give German a chance. There is a wide variety of content in the German library now. Irene, I and others had worked hard to improve the German library. I created a Google document that should help learners of German. Please take a look:
Please ask if you have any questions about learning German.


You can be sure that once I start learning German, I’ll be asking you lots of questions!

I think there should be a warning on the front page that LingQ is very addictive and could result in excessive fluency in foreign languages, with the risk of envy from friends and colleagues and a significant increase in the size of one’s social network. There is also a danger that prolonged exposure to foreign materials could affect the working of the brain, causing it to operate on a higher level.

Wish it were true! (the bit about the higher level).

It’s clear that I deal with Russian and Spanish most at the moment, with Swedish left behind for obvious reasons (time). The priorities will change as time passes. I had a hard time getting back on track with Russian, so I’m not going to reduce the intensity soon in order not to forego the progress I’ve made.
I don’t have to “learn” English and French, I just read and listen to content for fun or for professional reasons, looking for material to use in class.
Chinese is a different matter. I tried learning it when I was still going to school (I had bought a Teach Yourself book during a stay in England), but didn’t get very far (see reason above). As more and more materials became available, I sometimes couldn’t resist the temptation of buying new books. So I knew what I was in for when I finally made a new start on LingQ. I did it with a planned slow start: just five to ten activity points a day in order not to get overwhelmed and for some weeks I was able to keep up this pace. It has slowed down a bit because of other activities, but I’m not going to stop this time. Maybe I’ll give it more room over several weeks to get into it some more, but first I’ll have to solidify my Russian and Spanish.

yeah there is no downside to language learning, though each language is it’s own lifestyle. Any language takes many years to learn, and a lifetime to perfect and maintain. Do you really want to speak many languages but speak em “just barely”? Life is short so it’s best to specialize.

I like to call it “language lust”