One year using Lingq, also... What are you favourite parts about Lingq?

Hey everyone,

I have been using Lingq for about a year now and I have had great results.
I have 11300 known words in spanish
~8000 in french
~ 3250 in italian
Here is a brief description of my levels in each of them.

Spanish:

  • Conversationally fluent, lots of words I dont know but I dont have trouble communicating. I have done multiple trips to mexico and I they would always be surprised by my level in the language and accent.

  • French - same story. I can get around through conversations and my friend and I only talk in french together so I could live daily life in french now probably no problem. I have not gone to france but I want to.

  • Italian → 3 months in and I can understand lots of italian, I am just starting with talking and conversations.

I like the Lingq platforms so I thought I would share some of my experiences.
BUT i really wanna know what everyone in the community thinks about lingq.

What are you favourite parts of lingq? And what do you think could be better?

My favourite part is the known words number. I love trying to get that thing higher and higher.
I dislike how buggy the word reader can be when I am trying to fast with my keyboard hotkeys.

Let me know what you guys all think!
Cheers,
Erik

20 Likes

Erik:

Did you know much/any Spanish/French/Italian before you started LingQ?

I too find boosting my Known Words score higher becomes a compelling feature.

I’ve only been self-learning French two months on my own, then two months with LingQ. I’m quite pleased to be reading books in real French like the first Harry Potter and now Camus’ “The Stranger.”

1 Like

I especially like that you can start reading very hard languages without feeling like pain. It helped me massively to get into reading Japanese. In the beginning everything is brutally hard, your brain is not yet rewired to a very different grammar and can’t read kanji with pattern recognition. But you have to read a lot to solve that, which is very annoying.

With LingQ the pain was much more manageable.

For languages that are very similar to your own (in my case Swedish) it’s still nice but not that important I would say. For Japanese it was a game changer for me.

But on the other hand LingQ is still far from ideal for Japanese. Its word or phrases based principle doesn’t really work with grammar where single word like tokoro or koto are not really translateable, they work in combination with other words somewhere else in the sentence and LingQ can’t deal with that (I guess people who learn German also know that problem with trennbare Verben :wink: ).
Also I’d like to have a mode where you can read vertically. Japanese is usually written horizontally in magazines and on websites but vertically in books. And if your brain is trained to horizontal patterns it isn’t trained at all to vertical patterns. I can read Japanese fluently if it’s written horizontally but I struggle massively if it’s vertically. I’d like to train that skill with LingQ.

4 Likes

jt23:
Hey. Cool that you like the words feature too. Also thats amazing you are reading books. Have you ever tried watching videos with subtitles?

To answer your question. I knew zero french and italian. I took 1 year of basic spanish in highschool 5 years before starting with lingq and spanish. So pretty much starting from zero in spanish too ahaha

That’s an impressive amount of reading! My favorite thing is that I’ve become comfortable reading quickly in new languages. It’s nearly a magical experience for me because I used to only read in English. Since I can now read for pleasure and for studying other subjects, it opened up opportunities to explore new cannons of literature, films, music, cultures. I also really appreciate the attention to critical languages. Thanks to the developers.

2 Likes

Honestly, most of my time on LingQ is spent reading things way above my level. I know that this far from the most efficient method, but it’s incredibly motivating when I can make my way through sentences and paragraphs I would have no way of understanding without LingQ or some equivalent service.

It’s also always a very pleasant surprise when I realize that what I’ve been reading isn’t THAT far above my level anymore, and I am starting to understand much quicker and more smoothly.

3 Likes

Erik:

Well, I’m impressed!

I haven’t looked hard, but I haven’t found many French videos with French subtitles (not English), which is what I need. I find “hearing” French very difficult.

However, the problem with videos (and comic books) is that the language component is IMO too dilute.

Plus I’m something of a literature guy. I am intensely motivated to read Real Books in Real French. I don’t mind going over my head into 40%+ Unknown Words to do so.

Perhaps it’s not the most efficient approach, but I don’t mind and it keeps me interested – which is more than half the game as Steve Kaufmann tells it.

2 Likes

Hi,
It’s great to hear about your achivements. I am new to Lingq. I wonder how much time do you put into the learning on Lingq on an average daily base? Thanks!

When it works properly and as advertised.

It could be working properly more often.

11 Likes

I’m also reading material that’s a bit high for my pay grade. What I love most about LingQ is being able to permanently mark words and phrases as unknown. When they show up again later, then you know it has come up before and you can make it a higher priority to learn it.

I’m currently reading the second Harry Potter book and I think it was over 30% when I started it. Now LingQ shows the third book is at 20% (only loaded the first 8 chapters so far). So I can tell that I’m making progress and it’s getting easier to read. Although I’m spending more intensity because I get hooked on it. i.e. (figuring out the difference between “aunque”, “aun cuando”, and “si bien”.) When I come across frequently used verbs that I just cannot learn from reading (like arrastrar or atreverse), I create Anki cards to nail them down. I also like creating cards for nouns with a picture on the front and the noun name on the back. (when I see the object, I want to automatically think of the noun name).

Besides being able to mark words and phrases, I enjoy having the audio attached. LingQ does a great job of lining up the audio with the sentences. So when I have a complex sentence, it’s easy to repeat just that sentence over and over.

I’m hoping that with the 5.0 code, they will be able to better stomp out the bugs and once things are running smoothly, they may be able to add more features. Maybe they’ll eventually be able to let us easily upload a book and have it separate into complete chapters.

i so relate to this! I think the ideas behind Lingq and all the things we can do in the program are brilliant!
I wish I didn’t have to spend time so often trying to find work arounds for bugs!

1 Like

Maybe it’s just the price I have to pay

I’m hoping that with the 5.0 code, they will be able to better stomp out the bugs and once things are running smoothly, they may be able to add more features. Maybe they’ll eventually be able to let us easily upload a book and have it separate into complete chapters.

LingQ has been running on version 5.0+ on the web since Dec. 2021, and even longer on other platforms. Introducing LingQ 5.0 - LingQ Blog

True, but it takes a LONG time to stomp out bugs in a brand new platform. They didn’t start small and grow it; they had to re-create the entire platform with new code.

I don’t think it quite applies here. I would agree if it actually were a brand new platform (it’s not), if the bugs were actually getting fixed (instead of continuously being fixed-and-reintroduced), and if the bugs weren’t as bizarre and unrelated to changes as they seem to be.

5.0 for the web was the last, which means the infrastructure was in place and most of the problems had already been solved. For the platform specific issues, it shouldn’t be taking this long to fix a few things and make sure they don’t keep re-appearing, especially since 5.0 was built specifically to make things more stable and facilitate further development. This would more make sense if this was a hobby project by a solo developer, not a premium product with a team of (at least a few) developers that has existed for what, 10 years now?

3 Likes

I’m hoping that with the 5.0 code, they will be able to better stomp out the bugs and once things are running smoothly, they may be able to add more features. Maybe they’ll eventually be able to let us easily upload a book and have it separate into complete chapters.

I would dearly love this too as I absolutely hate the current splitting into sub lessons. Unfortunately, too much valuable time is spent fixing bugs over and over again, and stuff like this falls at the bottom of the list of priorities. Frustrating, especially considering that Lingq is a paying service.

I don’t mind paying when I get good service, but starting each Monday morning with countless bugs due to new updates is really wearing thin.

Why aren’t developers using a staging area when they have to touch the code? This is a mystery to me.

2 Likes

i guess this doesnt count as a bug but something no one has mentioned is the way it parses lessons into sentences/‘paragraphs’, which makes editing after the fact a nightmare. the old interface was way bette/simpler with this. i dont know if they have plans to improve it

LingQ is great. Getting content that interests you into the platform is so easy. I’m not going to get to the end of some ‘learning path’ and no longer have options to advance my language. I can’t imagine not using it to learn a language now.

Pros:

  • Known word count
  • LingQs are created so effortlessly. Keeping track of every unknown word without it would be exhausting.
  • Ability to import a wide range of content
  • Instant word translation and phrase translation
  • Ability to quickly see how many new words and LingQs i am getting into after importing.
    Cons:
  • Flashcards use the conjugated version of the word. I understand this is the whole LingQ approach, but when studying flashcards I like to have the verb root.
  • When i flip back through pages to reference something I read before, it often counts those pages as ‘words read.’
  • I wish I could hide the video pop up after importing from YouTube. I have to drag the minimized window around the screen. Sometimes it is just the audio that i care about.
2 Likes

The features that you use change with your level in the language and your lifestyle. Cross-platform support is a must though, as I predominately use my phone.

As a beginner, I used the content in the library, Sentence Mode, and TTS. Stats for motivation too.

As an upper beginner/lower intermediate, personally importing YouTube videos and downloading the audio for offline use were very important (it would take much longer as you need to do this manually as of a recent update)

As an upper intermediate, I’m pretty keen on the new Whisper integration.

Obviously the biggest drawback is the sheer number of bugs LingQ has and the fact that every user has signed up to be a beta tester.

7 Likes

I’ve been learning Chinese using LingQ for a little over 2 years, or about 1900 hours. I don’t use it as much anymore, but that’s quite natural as one progresses I feel.
What LingQ offers is really a toolbox, comprising a number of tools that help making the content of your choice comprehensible. The main ones being, time-synced audio in sentence mode, user hints, translations and text-to-speech.
I have found the library to be very helpful as well. To give back to the community I have even shared some content myself.

As to the downsides, one fundamental problem is specific to Chinese and Japanese, as these languages don’t use spaces to delimit words and LingQ has to employ a word splitter or tokenizer. The results are unfortunately rather poor, which means a lot of nonsense words will either bloat your known word count or have to be painstakingly ignored.

It has already been mentioned, the website has been having trouble since LingQ 5 was introduced in January 2022. I use the iOS/iPadOS app basically 95% of the time and have very few issues. My recommendation is to only use the website for uploading content and ignore it otherwise.

LingQ offers many more tools that I cannot comment on, like the spaced repetition system, the sentence review feature, tutors, writing exchange etc. I simply don’t use them.

7 Likes