Losing Patience With Lingq & It's Sloppy Coding

Been using Lingq for around 8 months, and in all that time the same issue around word playback persists.

This is where there is NO AUDIO when you click the word. This happens sporadically and seemingly for no reason. It just drops out.

This is a MAJOR function of the site. Hearing the new word is VITAL in processing it.

I can’t believe that Lingq haven’t been able to solve this issue in all this time, all the while spending money on advertising and marketing.

It is absolutely VITAL that this flaw is solved, or i will not be able to recommend Lingq as a platform, and will not renew my subscription when it expires.

It really feels very shabby that such a major bug has persisted so long, unremedied.

7 Likes

My personal experience for what its worth: until early this year I was using a nine year old macbook pro and experiencing the same issue. Turning off automatic audio playback helped. However, now I’m using a macbook air M3 with no issue whatever. Nothing else changed. Same old internet. Same old wifi router. Automatic playback on.

I never had much issue on my iPhone 12 which once again points to hardware.

There’s a lot going on between the user and the server. Could some sort of coding fix this? Maybe. Maybe not.

2 Likes

I’ve stopped using the web app for that very reason. It is buggy and unreliable. Unfortunately the team seems more focused on adding new gimmicky features (like the new background colours which are a total disaster and have hindered people’s learning for over a week now) ,than on properly correcting existing issues.

10 Likes

The YouTube video mode has serious bugs which I reported months ago. I can’t believe they are hard to fix, as they all come from the same one issue. As you say, they prioritise adding new features over fixing serious faults.

Perhaps they add features as they are scared of competing apps which are appearing left right and centre. Or they don’t consider bugs that make it hard for me to use the app to be serious. Having worked in many small software companies, there’s a lot I could say.

2 Likes

I rarely use this feature, so I cannot comment much on its reliability or help find a workaround. However, I have seen other users mention it on different occasions.

A user who uses this feature multiple times a day will encounter more problems due to its inconsistency. Therefore, I definitely understand their frustration.

This is just speculation, but there may be differences depending on the type of language being learned. I have no idea!

In any case, I agree that the audio for single words is a core functionality of this software. If there is a persistent problem, it would be ideal if it could be fixed first, especially before considering adding new non-essential features.

4 Likes

There is a difference between adding new features and tinkering with existing non-essential features that work.

The competition is very high, and it will only increase. This is why they should work on the reliability of the software while also adding AI features as they are doing.

Current users don’t want to give up a stable product to venture into new unreliable software. However, if their experience is frustrating, they may start looking elsewhere.

The main problem arises when we continuously see changes that are not necessary and create additional problems. For example, changes to the colors in dark mode, changes to the statistics…

I think LingQ should have a clear direction and consolidate all the different departments of the company. This is a time where it is important to make decisions that will guarantee the future of this software.

IMHO.

6 Likes

I agree with everything that you wrote.

2 Likes

I do use the audio for Chinese (Traditional) (Mandarin), and haven’t come across problems with audio when clicking a word (except when I forgot to turn on the audio, my bad.) What I do notice is that sometimes there is a bit of a delay, seems like there’s no audio, and then - Oh, there it is! That can happen sometimes but after a word or two it’s ok. Probably my computer? Or else maybe sometimes the internet is slow? But if I ever have doubts about the pronunciation of a word on LingQ, there’s always Google Translate which can pronounce many languages, and I’ve also found Forvo to be very helpful.

1 Like

Whether this is mayor depends on the language: If the script is quite phonetic and you have learnt it already then you don’t really need it. It is more useful if the script is not your native script or it is not so phonetic such as English or French.

Yeah, I also notice that this happens sometimes. Again sometimes, which is not that nice if you wanna fix that, as it needs to be reproducible.

Another thing is that in Serbian and Croatian, it pronounces sometimes the words as they where English words, even so they aren’t. Probably also something that isn’t easy to fix.

1 Like

I’m using lingQ on Windows PC (win10) and the Firefox browser. I have never experienced not having audio when clicking on words, but sometimes it’s a slight delay.

I’m a new user and have hardly changed any of the default settings, and I’m satisfied with the app. The only issue I have had is the complete lesson button, which changes all blue words to known. Very strange in my opinion, but now when I know this, it’s not a issue anymore.

2 Likes

I try to remain patient with them, but when the bugs just fester, languages take years to add with no guidance and then come still riddled with problems, AND they still find time to tinker with the interface for the 15th time in a way that is not only objectively worse but positively condescending and offensive to users (the head of learner experience literally said users use the platform differently, so they are going to deprive some of information they want to protect the not yet users of the platform from being intimidated by seeing how many words they learned?)…it starts to grate

6 Likes

Yes, I used Forvo a lot. LingQ is just more convenient now for random words here and there. Before AI, Forvo was the reference point. I suppose it still is for many languages or situations. But the software market is different now.

1 Like

It is indeed a major function of the site and I agree, though I cut LingQ some slack since they are likely calling a web service somewhere for the audio, so there are issues of traffic on that web service and network latency, which LingQ does not control. (Though LingQ might be able to buy a more premium service perhaps.)

Similarly, “Show Translation” can be slow. However, I did draw the line when LingQ broke “Show Translation” completely and then took a week to fix.

How could LingQ go live with a version which broke “Show Translation” – another major function?

Does LingQ do any QA at all beyond the programmer’s quick check for a few simple cases?

It seems it’s up to users do the QA and provide step-by-step instructions for recreating the bug. Otherwise – not LingQ’s problem.

8 Likes

In software companies, roles are usually very specific and are segregated. LingQ has separate roles for the UX designer, front-end developer, back-end developer, iOS developer, Android developer, machine learning specialist, etc. The people filling these roles may literally not be able to do the other roles! This is completely standard practice in pretty much every software company. So the people in charge of the new graphical interface for the browser are NOT necessary the same people who are fixing the Android bugs or the bugs related to YouTube video imports. You can’t blame the UX designer for not fixing some TTS bug on iOS or whatever, which they have zero knowledge about and may literally not even know the programming language.

It’s probably not completely up-to-date, but check out LingQ’s staff page to see the roles they have: https://www.lingq.com/en/about/

1 Like

We know that. It doesn’t change the fact that the team constantly make unwanted (or should I say very poorly tested) changes, introduce new bugs, have to fix said bugs, which results in a very frustrating user experience. The web app being the worst of all.

I think people would be more understanding if communication was better AND if it didn’t happen as often as it does. This is a paying service, and without expecting perfection, people are entitled to expect reliability, which is far from being the case.

8 Likes

I don’t understand your comment and its necessity at all. In software companies, there are managers and other positions whose job it is to communicate with all other employees, not just the developers you mentioned.

We are not “blaming” a specific developer for not doing another developer’s job. We are writing in a customer support forum for a company, just like any other company. It’s up to customer support to deliver the feedback, and it’s up to all the other employees, up to and including the owners, to organize things properly.

Exactly!

3 Likes

It all comes down to management. There should be one person, or one person per platform e.g. iOS, who decides which features and which bugs are addressed and when. They should also ensure that there is a process for releasing fixes and new versions which includes regression testing. That means lumping changes together to reduce the testing overhead. It looks as if they just release changes at random. Now testing is time consuming, it may well be that they could release a candidate version to a select group of users who agree to help out, before releasing it more widely. And maybe send each one a LingQ baseball cap as a thank you.

Then there is the architecture side, whereby software is written in a manner that reduces complexity, and coupling. The Software As A Service approach is one methodology that tries to decouple code, making it easier to test and maintain, and reducing unexpected regression in other components. I’ve met too many engineers who write unmaintainable code, and are admired by management because they produce fixes quickly. Pity their colleagues who have to clean up their mess. I’m not suggesting this applies to LingQ engineers, they may be the mutts (brilliant), just that there are ways to write code that is more robust and stable, and perhaps there are areas they could improve.

Yes we are entitled to reliability. And to have basic bugs fixed. When I watch a YouTube video, sometimes I can’t even read the current text. I can tolerate some issues, such as some videos being unimportable, but not seeing the current text is serious. And not updating the current line when a user watches a YouTube video is serious, it is such a complete PITA.

3 Likes

Have you ever been involved in a software project? I have, for 30+ years.

Bug fixing is not easy, and impossible if you can’t create the bug yourself. Asking the users describing in detail there setup, is the only way for software maintainers having any chance to solve the problem. For example in my setup I have no major issues. But of course, the design can always be discussed.

4 Likes

I’m retired now, but I started programming professionally in 1986.

One thing I know is that professional software companies have QA departments which test products on different platforms. They don’t expect users to do QA and file step-by-step QA reports.

I don’t mind doing a bit of that, but imo LingQ expects too much.

I see so many bugs in LingQ I find it hard to believe that the LingQ team doesn’t notice them – assuming they use the product as users do, say for an hour at a time. I find keyboard shortcuts get worse and worse until I finally have to close the window, then click, click, click back to where I was with shortcuts working.

Also, when a major bug like “Show Translation” is broken for a fair number of users, why not use source code management tools to dial back to a working version. I saw no excuse for LingQ to leave so many users hanging.

11 Likes