Language Reactor for YouTube Shorts?

At this point, my YouTube feed, including Shorts, is about one-third French.

One can easily complain that TikTok, Shorts, YouTube, and the Internet itself are a time sink.

Suddenly, I can find myself down a “rabbit hole.” The Psychology of Why We Fall Down Internet Rabbit Holes | The Swaddle

If the content is French, rather than English, I can self-justify the time spent as “language acquisition” utilizing “comprehensible input.” I’m not wasting my time, I’m “study” using proven methods!

Language Reactor does pretty good for traditional YouTube videos. Is there anything that works for Shorts?

Rooster Burton… thoughts?


I think you’ve hit the nail on the head. It’s very easy to get distracted and lose focus/topic when you have such dopamine enablers at your fingertips. I have noticed the same phenomenon, being half my suggested video shorts are in Finnish which I can self-justify as studying. I use the Rooster Tools regularly for this purpose, but I think the LingQ import extension should be able to capture these videos too.

Note: Shorts regularly don’t have subtitles and require transcription

Biggest problem usually is the transcribes never completing/failing which I reckon affects close to 50% of shorts


I suspect dopamine is 10th by the time a sloggy import finishes.

My question is, is there anyway to make Shorts work at speed and ease it does without the slow context switch?

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Just like anything, With time, demand and incentive…

Some initial thoughts:
→ A filter to exclude videos without subtitles from shorts menu
→ Redesigning portions of the overlay to fit better with this video width / screen space
→ Add a menu to pre-transcribe a few shorts at once
→ Query the LingQ library for this video ID and then return an existing transcription without delay. (If someone has marked external from within LingQ)

The issues of a 1 man band have become more evident. I don’t know what to spend time on.

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I find you amazing.

I concur with your initial thoughts completely, especially the need to pre-transcribe and being a step-ahead in processing for prepping up the consumption of what’s [likely] next in guiding the user down the rabbit hole of the time sink into content.

Anyhow, I think a focus on Shorts would be powerful because their dopamine generation. I’m not saying this is ideal from an effectiveness of learning perspective, I’m just thinking if someone creates a simple, clean, non-interfering tool and user experience of consuming Shorts in a second language, where the language acquisition tooling is ambient and “barely there,” I think that’ll be a game changer.

I could see a leading language learning platform then loving their branding of such a tool, for brand awareness and loyalty as well as for lead generation and maybe stickiness too.

The whole school of thought of “comprehensible input” is based upon “content that you find interesting.” It’s thus paradoxical in 2024 that the little dopamine hits of Tiktok and Shorts and that have yet to be well tapped into for comprehensible input-based language acquisition with high intentionality.

The social media platforms, with their advanced personalization, suck people into the rabbit hole really, really well. This has yet to really be tapped into for language acquisition tools, yet such as Language Reactor appears quite aware of the benefits of digital-era “immersion”–where YouTube (or whatever) is never left to participate in aided language acquisition. To me, LingQ and its separate app-based book shelf presentation of tiles of lessons looks antiquated. I believe the future’s much more in experiences in the ambience of the media platform, such as what you’re doing with “interactive subtitles” in leading the charge.

Imagine Shorts, right there in YouTube, having pre-transcribed, pre-processed, quick yellow word/blue word subtitles flowing and just a few simple hot keys for word look-ups and quick rewinds, but the Shorts experience otherwise hardly changed and highly, highly addictive.

Especially for English, what percent of Shorts are watched by a person in a second language? Isn’t that the TAM?

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Thanks mate. You write and articulate scores above me and I think you’re really onto something here.

Getting the TikTokers onto LingQ through foreign language video tools sounds like a genius marketing strategy. Although i’m no expert on overlays for existing mobile apps.

Right, I’ve developed a few video tools which are more/less targeted at English learners. From our indirect research, the language of shorts is based on the content you watch elsewhere on Youtube. You’re right, every person on the planet with a PC is the target market.

You sell a good point, auto scrolling or repeat 2-3 times then advance shorts would be great too.
I guess the race is on…

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The second-language learner influencer/content creators have already now gone full steam into creating Shorts. They’re overtly pedagogical yet they’re getting there…

In a couple years, there will be thousands and thousands of situational shorts for using “input” as their medium, offered in entertaining, amusing, informing, quirky and other ways. Imagine an influencer that focuses on eating in Paris using French, another using the trains in Berlin with German, another on getting around the sights of New York with English. Another teaches hip hop for clubbing somewhere else. Imagine different influencers targeting different age groups and market segments (high school, college, young professional, etc.).

Imagine scrolling through that, where the content is targeted at you, with second-language acquisition aids helping out as you waste your time away as your brain concurrently sucks in and sorts away “input.”