LingQ's top development priorities

Firstly, I hope there isn’t a similarly-themed thread. I couldn’t find one.

A lot of people are constantly asking when new languages will be added, and the answer has always been along the lines of “soon we hope, but we have other priorities to deal with first”. It made me a little curious as to what exactly these priorities are, since adding new languages is by far one of the most commonly-made requests.

If possible, I was thinking this thread could be used for listing and discussing the current priorities that the programmers have on their agendas and are actively working on. The purpose of this would be two-fold:

  1. Firstly, to keep more closely abreast with the developments and future plans for LingQ.

  2. To prevent more future requests for things like getting new languages added, since I’m sure folks like Steve and Mark (and to a lesser extent the forum-goers) are getting rather tired of responding to the same questions, as enthusiastic and sincere as they usually are. This thread could serve as a general reference to those who are curious why such-and-such a feature still hasn’t been fixed or improved or added or removed.

I know this particular forum exists for listing the current changes that have taken place, but would it be possible to list some of the most immediate priorities for LingQ? Assuming this is alright with Mark, Steve and co. and not too much effort to update all the time.

We welcome members telling us what they feel is most important for them. We are reluctant to tell you what we are planning since we are not capable of predicting when these features will be available. When we have tried to predict, we have been to optimistic. We rely on developers who also work for other contractors and their availability to use is unpredictable. This results in ongoing delays.

In general terms we are most interested in doing things that will bring more members to LingQ, especially paying members, since we need to get to that stage where we cover our costs. This has to be one of our major criteria in deciding where to spend our limited resources.

But we are always interested in hearing ideas and suggestions from our members. Our ability to satisfy these requests is limited.

Don’t you want to use the page below.

A thread on the forum is sometimes hard to find.

We’re happy to have a list of requests. I’m not sure the forum is the best place for it since the back and forth quickly makes it hard to see what is there. We have tried Get Satisfaction before. Here is our page there, We can provide better access to it from the site and use it as a place to post feature requests. We tried it before with limited response.

Lightning-speed responses :open_mouth:

Mark, Get Satisfaction seems a lot more convenient than the forum, I agree. I actually wasn’t even aware of it’s existence! It also seems easier to redirect people to when they post requests as comments on Steve’s YouTube channel too. Cool bananas.

yeah the problem with languages is content/tutors- you could add 200 languages but making the content would be the difficult part. Every member will have his preferences regarding what to add. For instance I’d love to converse with a Greek tutor on skype, others would like another language. Perhaps, rather than being limited to language/no lunguage, LingQ should have “full languages”, that include podcasts, reading material,tutors,etc etc- the full deal, and also have the ability to have tutors for languages currently not supported, so like an “other languages tutors” list or something. Eventually content will come as well. Also as content becomes available, perhaps the languages should be categorized by amount of content, sort of like wikipedia does.

So when are there going to be new languages? :wink:

oh, also an edit button, correct email notifications and more payment methods for tutors :slight_smile:

I might add, just for the sake of it, that I cannot flippin’ wait till new languages are added! A joyous day it indeed will be on the day that languages like Vietnamese, Hungarian, Hindi, Welsh and Greek make it onto LingQ.

I agree with Yuriythebest, that eventually ordering the languages by amount of content as Wikipedia does by number of articles is probably the best way to do it.

Sorry for the double-post, but this business of new languages actually got me thinking: are languages that have no sufficient online dictionaries doomed to never being added? I mean, you might find a several-hundred word Malagasy-French dictionary on the web somewhere, and perhaps a more comprehensive paper version (like in my University library), but I’m not even sure larger, more important languages like Hungarian or Bulgarian have such resources online. I suppose this means that for some languages, one might just have to resort to a paper dictionary, and create LingQs that way, which probably isn’t so bad. I would be reasonably willing to study a lesser-supported language like Albanian or Kazakh that way.

One alternative in the absence of adequate dictionary resources, might be to create all content items for those affected languages in a bilingual format, or have the uploader create a word list of some kind. These would probably mostly be restricted to English, but it could work that way provided those who create the content know both languages. Just some thoughts.

yeah I also want to study hindi (in the very distant future) so that would be a plus

Ever so slightly off-topic: Could I already work on Arabic in one of my “free” language slots? I have enough bought material to import privately. If I wanted to write Arabic within LingQ, would I have to type in Word and then copy and paste? (On the other hand, I don’t have enough time to concentrate on my other subjects, so perhaps it’s not that important for me to have Arabic NOW. Whoops, I didn’t mean to shout.)

I know a LingQ student, learning English, who has not got a bilingual dictionary. He has to look new words up in an English-English dictionary and then consult a tutor if he can’t understand the explanation. At least he has no shortage of native tutors to consult. I think providing a language with poor online dictionaries AND no native tutors on hand might be rather tricky.

Yeah, as several have pointed out, it’s more a question of online dictionary+content+tutors than technology. And I fear that all three ingredients must be present. Adding Uighur, Platduits, Shelta, Gutnish and so on, without having “Who is she?” and “Eating out”, 20+ other podcasts, a decent dictionary and a tutor has no point.

It is not a big deal to add other languages. But everything that is not a big deal still ends up taking time. We simply cannot afford to be distracted from what we are doing by every little fix that is not a big deal.

I know that Mark has moved the issue of more languages a little further up the priorities list.

We will probably just let people add languages, and take no responsibility for the content or other issues beyond the core languages that we support. It will be what it is. We are planning to enable all members to be tutors if they want, so tutors will not be an issue. There will either be tutors for a language or not.

But there will be issues, so we are waiting until a few other things are in place.

Ultimately, for the LingQ approach to work, you need a massive amount of input, with massive being the operative word. Of course one can always import materials from the net if there isn’t suffucient member generated content. However if there is no decent online dictionary, than it’s really impossible to learn a language through LingQ.

Well, for the smaller languages that are going to be added but don’t have much content, one can always find a news site and import a news article or what not and start lingqing. Yes one would not have audio, but that can be compensated for it one just gets a beginner course such as Assimil X with Ease, Teach Yourself X, etc so one can start getting the rhythm of the language in their heads.

I happen to see this thread just now, what about “mobilize” LingQ? Port it to Android, Win Mobile and others? It would be heaven: interesting, efficient, motivating, mobile learning!
I think it would attract a bazillion (hopefully paying) more people to LingQ, because, at times, there is just no opportunity to sit in front of the computer.

Is LingQ gonna be released for handheld devices by the end of 2010?

We are working on a flashcard application for iPhone right now. We should have that ready in the next month or so. It would be nice to have a mobile version and is also something on our wish list. We don’t have any immediate plans to do this, however, so I can’t be specific on when we might have it.

Hi! Another suggestion:
It could be nice to be able to write more than 1000 characters in the profile page. You know, if you want to introduce yourself in a couple of languages and add the content you have at LingQ’s library… 1000 characters are quickly spent!!
At least, or even better, it should be nice to be able to use hiperlinks (html) in the page profile. This way, instead of writing “Spanish presentation:” you could just write “Spanish presentation” (with an hiperlink that gets you there). This way it would consume less space and for visitors it would be nicer and easier to visit those links!! I find it a bit annoying when I have to copy, create new window, and paste the links.
I know that you are changing a lot of things in the system right now, but maybe this is a really easy thing to implement, I don’t know! Anyway, I just wanted to propose it! It would be cool!