It has been a relatively quiet year at LingQ for new updates. As many of you know we have been working hard to try and deliver a new version but obviously have yet to complete development. We certainly did continue to improve the existing app in small but impactful ways.
Largely these changes were centred on enabling more and more content types and sources to be easily imported into LingQ using the browser extensions.
You can find a list of the sources of content we have enabled importing from here:
As well, we continued optimizing the ability of our importer to recognize and import timestamps where available to make it easier to play the actual sentence audio in Sentence View. If you’re not familiar with this functionality or the automatic timestamping capabilities, read more about it here:
As for the new version of LingQ, we are hard at work with as many resources as we can muster. We do have prototype and beta versions we are using and refining. We hope to expand our iOS beta and launch web and Android betas as well sometime in the next few months. Be on the lookout for announcements about these developments as they occur.
We had certainly hoped to have launched our new version by now but, at the same time, we aren’t going to rush it along. The current app works very well as it is so we aren’t about to introduce a new app until it does at least as much as the current app and then some. There will be some great new features we promise!
We know many of you have been waiting patiently and we ask that you wait just a little while longer. The fact is the app, as it is now, has a lot of functionality and recreating almost all of it from scratch just takes time. A big reason for the rebuild is tol give us a better foundation from which to then iterate and improve upon our core functionality, the previous version having reached the point at which further iteration had become more and more difficult.
All that being said, we are getting there. We are liking what we see and very much looking forward to getting the new apps in the hands of you, our users.
Happy New Year and all the best in 2021! Here’s hoping you all achieve your language goals! We look forward to seeing you around the Community!
Mark, many thanks for the update! What are the reasons for introducing new app, website and probably backend, instead of improving what’s been working fine for years?
I’m happy to try and explain a bit. First off, we are still maintaining a lot of our backend infrastructure that has been in place for years and continues to work well. It is largely on the front end where new updates are being made. On the web this will mostly involve the Library and Reader only. The Reader, in particular, had become too cumbersome to iterate on since so much technical debt exists after all the years of updates. One of our biggest challenges with the web reader was showing a full page of text regardless of your screen resolution. We have figured this out now but it required a new approach.
On mobile the same thing is true. The current app has been iterated upon so many times that it just became harder and harder to make improvements to it. At a certain point, starting from scratch with new technology makes sense to set us up long term for making the kinds of improvements we would like to make or which we haven’t even thought of yet!
As we looked to improve the apps, it just seemed like continuing to invest in the old implementation no longer made sense since we knew that inevitably we would have to rewrite. It was the right decision but has certainly taken a lot longer than predicted which is not surprising when it comes to software!
I hope you picked up all suggestions which had been given by users to improve the next update.
Not that I know anything about LingQ´s code but it´s like that with any complex program really. They get made with a certain vision and a core is built to which features are added. Then a few things happen over time. New technologies tend to emerge which make a lot of the original code outdated, limited and (relatively) slow. Developers and architects realize a lot of things should have been constructed differently and some problems could have been solved more effectively. Developers and architects realize they want broader features than they originally intended to include, for which the core is not necessarily flexible enough to add on too easily.
We often talk about “legacy issues” in something having been designed with outdated technology or just having been sub-optimally designed to begin with, where it´s hard to get rid of the original code/technology since other features build on it. There is often a lot of benefit of hindsight. That´s why it can eventually end up being a lot better to completely rewrite programs from scratch.
I know this answer is not directly about LingQ in particular or about language learning, but just wanted to offer a little bit of generic insight into software, since of course many ppl here wonder about how language software might be created or maintained.
We’ve certainly used a lot of user feedback to inform many of our decisions. We’ve always done that. Keep in mind that we get lots of feedback all the time and can’t necessarily act on it all.
I personally hope the dark screen reader environment gets added. Such a simple feature to implement, but would be so much easier on the eyes when you binge read on LingQ.
Thanks for the update! I’m still excited for the new version/app/interface! While I’m still far from my personal goals regarding language acquisition, lingq definitely helps. Keep up the good work, all of you, and stay healthy/safe!!
That’s really great! What about minor languages? I’ve heard you’re adding some new languages, so, will be there minor ones, such as Kazakh? That’d be so nice to see them in beta at least!) Thank you and those who are working on Lingq 5.0 as well!
We do have some languages that are ready to be added when we have time. That will happen after we launch the new version. Kazakh is not one of them. You can learn more about adding languages on the Contribute page in the Community section.
Amazing! Thank you for your update. LingQ is truly an amazing tool, I feel like I am progressing very fast and it is a very much worth investment! I am very surprised that I hadn’t heard of this site before 4-5 months ago as I believe you’re the best language learning tool for level from A2 (beginner) to C2 (fluent).
In my opinion, Babbel is nice to get the grammar basics and get started nicely but then it becomes useless and you stagnate. I don’t even want to talk of the mediocre Duolingo. LingQ is the little gem that needs to bloom into the world. So, I am excited and looking forward to the new version!
Hey to whoever are still struggling with the disgusting light mode on every pages. While you wait for the dark screen reader to be implemented, you can go to chrome://flags and enable the dark mode for the beta option : Force Dark Mode for Web Contents. There’s an extension too for the Mozilla Firefox users. Now everything is in dark mode for me and even though it’s still in bêta so it’s not perfect yet, it’s so much better. I can’t look at a normal Google image page without cringing now.
I’m excited for the new languages coming. Is Irish perhaps among them? Thanks for all the great work.
I would love to see Irish here as well:)
Hi Mark, thanks for the update. I think that you guys could do one more thing, just an endpoint that lists the New Languages ready/or not to be imported, instead of a blogpost. It would make these additions much more transparent to users, it would certainly make more users engage in content creation and it could also bring more people to the platform.
Yes, we are working to have a more transparent way of showing the status of new languages , what is ready and waiting to launch, what is being worked on and how close to being ready, etc… It will come in time.
Thank you. I am excited to see what you have in store. To be honest, I think LinQ works great now so I never looked for updates. But this is good to know.
How much more time though? Also what is the email I want to be a beta tester, please and thank you
Estimated timeline on the next update please.