Limit on the number of vocabulary items in basic membership?

I want to recommend Lingq to my students as a tool for referencing and recording new vocabulary they’re learning. I know there’s a limit on the number of assignments you can have with a basic membership, but is there a limit as well on the number of vocabulary items you can store (i.e. the number of flashcards you can create)? I’m asking on behalf of those students who are unlikely to purchase a membership upgrade.

We currently do not limit the number of LingQs or vocabulary items. However, we are thinking of doing so in the near future.

I don’t like the idea of a limit. I think the effect is that less people wouldn’t register and try out LingQ if the limitations are high.

I’m very sceptic and doubtfully with offer from the internet that requires a registration. And if limitations are high or strong, I often decide not to register and not try out, because there a lot of other free offers in the internet. I think I’ve looked for the next offer. What a pity. I never would have the chance to get to know LingQ :wink:

Another argument is that most podcaster only give the allowances to transcribe their podcasts und put it into LingQ when there are no limitations. The limitation of ACTIVE assignments is no problem because you can archive the assignments.

I hope you rethink your decision and don’t limit the number of LingQ’s. It’s not a problem for me. I’m now a paying member after tryout of LingQ. But I suspect that a lot of interested people would not sign up.


The limit will work as it does now for assignments. You will be able to delete old LingQs to make room for new ones. Therefore, your podcasters shouldn’t have a problem. Likewise, with new subscribers, the limit is unlikely to affect them until after they have decided whether or not they like the system. I don’t think this will be a problem.

The limit for LingQs will be problem for us free enthusiastic learners. When I delete old LinQs to make room for new ones then probably only new LinQs will appear highlighted by yellow color in new podcasts. Now the more LinQs I have the more highlighted words in podcasts are. I see old LinQs highlighted in new podcasts now too and it helps me to learn. I think that limit LinQs is a problem and it will make impossible use such perfect program fully. I am using your program only one month and I am very satisfied.

Whenever I see any limitations I’m more convinced to write such system for myself. I have several applications written for myself for learning languages and other stuff and the more limit I see, the more I resign from such portals and improve my own work… heh.

It always works both ways :slight_smile:

I guess the idea is that satisfied users upgrade to paid accounts… It’s more or like using a shareware software. After using it a month or so, you are able to decide whether you are going to buy it or not. If not, you’ll be dealing with some kind of limitation.
As the americans like to say, “there is no free lunch”…
In a sense, I agree with Vera. I use to give up on sharewares or trials…
Anyway, I used LingQ for months as a free user before deciding become a paid member. I think $10 is a very reasonable entry price. For me, it was less the price and more the fear of giving my credit card number that prevented me to become a paid user earlier… it far different giving your credit card number to amazon or to a unknown small site… so, I thinking making it easier to pay should be a concern.

Honestly, if there were a limit on vocabulary for the basic account, I would probably just cancel my account. It would make this site too unpleasant and cumbersome to use. Just something to consider.

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I mean, let’s be reasonable, having to go through hundreds of vocab words to find ones to delete would be tedious, boring, frustrating, a waste of precious time and completely against, in my opinion, what this site is about.

Don’t worry, Ipanema, the limit would only apply to Free members. As a Basic member you would have no restrictions.

I hope that lingq does not put a limit on the number of flashcards that free users can create. I don’t mind the limit of active assignments but if you put a similar limit on flashcards then I don’t think I would want to use lingq any more, and if I was not already a member and saw the limit on flashcards I don’t think I would even bother trying out lingq.

Let’s be very clear. We would love to offer LingQ free of charge to everyone in the world. Unfortunately we have employees who have the right to be paid a salary. It is our job as entrepreneurs to ensure that LingQ generates enough revenue to cover its expenses or it cannot continue to operate.The only issue is how to best achieve this.

In our view the best way to proceed is to ask all of those people who enjoy using LingQ to pay a monthly fee of 1000 points or $10. We will offer members more and more opportunities to earn points at LingQ. However, we will be asking for a monthly contribution.

Since most people naturally prefer not to have to pay, if they do not have to, we are obliged to put in some kind of restriction. We feel that it is better to put in a restriction in terms of the number of words a learner can save, rather than the number of articles a learner can keep on their work desk. This number is not yet decided. It will be a number between 300 and 500 words.

The free learner will have the option of deleting words to stay with the system. The free learner will still be able to access all of our content, forums and other activities. I do not think that this is unreasonable.

I should add, that generally speaking, although by no means always, those learners who make a commitment by paying something , are more likely to study seriously and achieve their goals.

So far I have not heard any arguments that would persuade me not to make these planned changes. I am fully aware that we will lose some of our free members.

I think you’re right. You need to have paying members that you can paid salary etc.

First Argument:
What I want to make clear is, that I never signed up for a FREE membership when I got the feeling that there are a lot of restriction. I would never realized how useful LingQ is. There are a lot of free resources in the internet and a lot of other websites. You’re exposed to intense competition. I think the goal is to get more known in the learners world. I think you shoot yourself in the foot and the number of memberships will decrease. It is mathematic in my opinion. If 200 People become Free members a months there are maybe 20 members (= 10 percent) change to paying membership. Maybe after restriction of the number of the LinQ’s only 100 People try out Free members. Maybe now 15 percent sign up because they want to use more of LingQ. But these are only 15 paying members.

Second Argument
A number of 300 or 500 LingQ’s is low. I add about 150 LingQ’s a week and so it is done in two or three weeks. But I learned about 100 LingQ’s a week and so I think as a free member I would be frustrated and given up at a moment when I’m not realized the advances of LingQ. Sorry, but I know that I needed more time for my decision. I have changed to a paying membership after 3 months.

Third (small but important for quality of content) Argument:
I’ve always told the pod cast owners that only the number of assignments is limited. If there are more limitations I break my word and I have to inform them. I think most of them would advice me to remove the material. A lot of hard work is gone :frowning:

Fourth Argument:
In the past you have experienced with paying for the content. You know that it doesn’t work. Do you think this work better? You should be carefully. Competition is high in the internet.

My suggestion for a goal of LingQ is to make LingQ more popular. You do a lot of work in that case and I think time is working for you if you constantly work on this.
And don’t forgot: The best advertisement is the promotion of membership through other members.

I’m probably in the minority in that I only spend time on one assignment at a time (per language - currently three, but I find the two extra slots pretty useful), and still manage to save LingQs, listen, read and flashcard up to the level I find reasonable at the moment. So, I’d prefer to have a limit on the number of active assignments over vocabulary LingQs.

Even the (very low) basic membership fee “only” gives more assignments which I don’t “need” - maybe there are more members who feel this way. Maybe not. Hey, I’m not even sure how to properly spend my earned points (from the “Honour roll”), since I haven’t yet had any Skype conversation on my new computer (even outside LingQ), or sent in a written assignment for correction. Oops.

Just as Vera says, there is a lot of things to think about (the percentage example from Argument #1 was interesting) - I’m far from an expert on PR, advertising et.c. and thus don’t have a solution. Membership level according to uploaded/shared content (slightly similar to those torrent trackers…), several “profit levels” (if a Free member shares content that is used by many members, less points are given than to a Basic member et.c.), Google Ads (!?), tutoring (well, this is already in use, but I’m pretty sure that there are Free members out there willing to tutor, maybe even qualified ones).

This being said, I’d love to contribute in some way to keep this service alive.

I am enjoying this exchange and I just want to add my 2 cents.

I believe all real learning involves full student participation. So I think it human nature to want education for free, especially language education, especially education for its own sake. As far as listening, reading and saving flashcards go, except for writing and tutoring, I could do most of what LingQ offers on my own.So why should I pay if I am doing the work?

Here’s the added value of LingQ: 1) To do the basic work on my own I need more many more clicks and copy/pastes, LingQ simplifies this 2)LingQ integrates our word learning across many texts, and greatly facilitates recycling learned words in writing and possible speaking activities. 3) LingQ offers a very competitive tutoring and writing service 4) LingQ facilitates the location of audio and video. 5) LingQ offers a learning community with LingQs of the day, forums like this etc 6) LingQ keeps motivational statistics

As a language teacher, I recognize most of free internet language site methods as the same old ineffective focus on form, (fill in the blanks etc). LingQ offers a word based or lexical approach mixed with free voluntary intake of texts, both of which are recognised as the leading edge in academic language learning circles.)

There is competition in a broad sense, but is it LingQ? I would love to see a comparable site with comparable prices.

Well, I’m just going to throw this out there, Steve. I hope I won’t insight a riot from the Basic membership. I’d be willing to pay a little more for my basic membership if it meant that you didn’t have to limit the vocab of the free users.

I’ll speak for everyone when I say that we all understand that this is a business, and everyone at has to put bread on the table. The thing about Lingq is that its a website that really takes a while to explore and feel out. If you put more restrictions on the free membership, I think you’ll just loose potential users.

My suggestion is to add Google ads, as Jeff has already mentioned. Perhaps they can only be visible on the Free accounts, and once someone upgrades their account the ads disappear. Yet another incentive to upgrade, and revenue is generated from free users.

Vera is right. People need a lot of time to decide whether they will use the system or not. I guess there are also those people who will get excited and open their wallets right away too. But it will be more difficult to recommend to friends if their will be a lot of limitations on free users. The fact is, the more that free users can do, the more they will enjoy using LingQ. The more they enjoy it, the more likely it is that they will want to upgrade their membership.

Vera also said, “The best advertisement is the promotion of membership through other members.” Free members who are satisfied will recommend LingQ to others. It is those recommendations that could turn into paying members even if some are happy to continue as free members. So fewer free members means fewer recommendations. Everybody is happy to recommend something that can be used for free. But think about what happens when these free members all of sudden hit this new brick wall. Suddenly they have to start deleting LingQs, and suddenly it’s a lot of trouble for them, so they quit. Bye-bye future recommendations.

I think in order to have more paying members, you need more people to know about LingQ. More recommendations, more promotion equals more people and more paying members. More restrictions does not. More restrictions just means fewer people and fewer paying members.

A restriction is a negative. Negatives create dissatisfaction. The key is to create more positives. Positives bring wealth. Positives attract members. Create positives. Do everything you can to make LingQ a positive experience.


For your students, once we start the new system, I recommend the following.

Very very few of our members save even 300 words a month. Once a month you should work with your students to do a vocab cull. The number of words in the Vocab list can be set to 100 to make it easier. Words can be culled because they are not important for now, or because they are known. You can use different sorts (Date, Importance, Status) to help find the words you want to cull.

Before deleting, your students should print the list of words they want to cull, or copy and paste them to another program. Then they delete them.

You could even have one paying membership as a teacher and keep all of the deleted words there for occasional review in the classroom.

I appreciate all of these comments. Whatever we do, including staying the way we are, is a risk.

Most people do very little at LingQ. Very, very few people save 500 words in a month. I believe that the limit on items on the WorkDesk discourages new visitors who are exploring LingQ and start grabbing a few items and suddenly face a limit, get annoyed and leave.

There is lots of value in LingQ even with the saved LingQ restriction. There is the content, the community etc. By regularly printing out vocabulary lists, a keen learner who does not want to spend $10 can still keep going. It will be less convenient, and the free member will not see his previously saved words highlighted in yellow, but there is still lots of value at no cost.

We do not think we will ever have enough members to make advertizing for free members a viable source of revenue. Nevertheless, showing advertizing in the free members view is something we are considering when the time is right.

Vera, despite your hard word with the podcasters, we have to do what is right for LingQ and have to have the freedom to change our conditions of use as we see fit. The podcasters content is still accessible free. Learners can download it and study it, and use much of LingQ’s functionality. We need not guarantee anyone that they have full and free use of all of the functions of LingQ.

One of the things that we have to do is to make LIngQ easier to figure out. It should not take months to explore LingQ and figure out how to use it. This will also be part of the upcoming changes.

We can one day introduce a scholarship program. But right now we have to focus our attention on people who can afford to pay, otherwise we will not have a LingQ program for anyone, free user or paying user.

One last thing. At The Linguist, when we insisted on first putting down a credit card before exploring the site, we had more people join than when we had a free trial without having to put down a credit card. IN other words, it is a good idea to force people to make a commitment. If you had a book store and said, just come in and take the books you like. If, one day you want to start paying for the books, that is fine, but meanwhile just help yourself, two things would happen.

  1. Very few people would buy a book.
  2. Most of the books that people took would not be read.

I agree with Steve and I can not understand the opinions of other members having all things for free. If I get a benefit I have to do or to give something for that. In addition, I think 10$ per month is doable for everybody who wants to learn a language. For this amount the learner get a flexible and powerful learning system. He should find it out after a small period.

On the other Hand, it is a pity, that the new(free) members can not submit their writings. For me is this kind of correction one of the best and most important features. Maybe, it should be possible to submit one writing with a maximal account of words.