Pay or not to pay?

Hi Pierre, even if you only transcripe mp3 you have to have the permission of the creator of the mp3. I got the permission of some podcaster, and therefore I transcribe some German podcasts. I can ask for permission if you tell me, which podcasts you like. Ma experience ist, that there is no chance to get the allowance from tv or radio stations.


Thank you for indicating these resources. We hope that lists from Interlex will be importable at LingQ in the not too distant future. This will make it possible to integrate words from these lists into texts and databases at LingQ. I will contact the creator of this system to see if we can work together.

Lexilogos is an interesting source of dictionaries and could be useful to our members to find better dictionaries for their own use, or to integrate with LingQ.

Spanish Podcast and Alba Learning are great resources and I will add them to our spread sheet of language content, and will contact them to see if we can use a few of their items at LingQ with links to their site to promote their work.

Deutsche Welle is quite well known but thanks anyway.

I found Mission Europe childish, although supported with public money, but to each his own.

In our view, the existence of other great resources on the Web should enhance the power of LingQ. That is our market place.

I should add that there seems to be a strange missionary zeal surrounding providing services free of charge on the Internet. To me the existence of free resources is simply an objective fact and a condition of the market. I do not think that a free site is morally superior to a site that charges money. A free site is usually supported by tax-payers, or provided by someone who has another job or source of revenue, or is put up while the creator struggles to find a way to monetize it, or generates income in some other way.

I see nothing wrong in taking advantage of free resources, I do so myself. However, it is hypocrisy to feel that services on the internet SHOULD be free. People who feel that way should consider opening a restaurant or store and letting people pay only if they feel like it, or else only providing services in their profession free of charge. Only mammoth general interest sites like Wikipedia can survive on donations.

I have added Albalearning.

Spanish podcast, Deutsche Welle ( an number of different ones) and Mission Europe were already on the list.

Free members are useful contributors to our community. Not least for saying what they like and don’t like on LingQ!

I like to think that I supplied some good content and maybe even some helpful forum posts while I was using the site for free :slight_smile:

As for working out the functionality of LingQ, it really isn’t too clear to newcomers what there is. I have found no site that comes clost to it for usefulness or value for money, but nearly all my first posts were along the lines of “what’s the point of all this then? (And why should I pay for it???)” Maybe we could have some “tips and tricks” popup boxes?

As for younger members, I suppose you have to get Mum or Dad to pay just like they had to in the olden days when we used cheques. It would be good to have a system where a paying member can donate points to another member. Then I could donate my kids some points for them to submit pieces of writing for correction. They are free members and they are enjoying using LingQ.

@Pierre and Mixy

One value of LingQ besides the fact that you are integrating all the disparate tools you currently use, is that you have a vibrant community which forces members to be accountable for their tutoring, information disseminated in language reports, and on the forums.

Here, I can count on a tutor who will be on time and who will be “interested” in what I have to say, even if the interest is professional. I realise that is not ideal, but good tutors should be able to do that. As well, I think to find the ideal connection on a free forum may not be an efficient use of my time.


I am interested in transcribing copyright-free French audio of 3-5 minutes if you proofread it. In exchange you can import it as yours and get the points awards for it.

I will also proofread similar English audio for importation and the points. The original must be done by a high-intermediate English learner, at least.

On the subject of free content and services on the Internet, I think that the following quote from a Spanish book I am reading right now is quite appropriate. The book is La Sombra del Viento de Carlos Ruiz Zafón. I started a thread on the book in the Spanish language Forum.

“Los regalos se hacen por gusto del que regala, no por merito del que recibe.”

Gifts are made for the pleasure of the person giving, and not because of the merit of the person receiving.

Just a few words in favour of LingQ’s tutors.

I attended many one-on-one speakings and I found them both useful and enjoyable.
I spoke with two different tutors and the experience has always been interesting. They are nice and the conversation always goes on with no problem at all. On the contrary when I glance my PC clock I usually notice the time’s gone.
The report I get back is always useful. Definitely the experience worthies the money I spend for.

Pierre and Victoria

You are first of all saying that there is plenty of content resources on the web and more interesting than those available here at the Library. Well, I would say 70% of the material I 'm studying in Russian is indeed out of the Library. It is material that I import from newspapers, radios and other podcasts as you say. Obviously everybody has different tastes and for personal use you can import whatever you want. The items of the Library is the material that we are allowed to share and you are not restricted to use only that.

Secondly, you are saying about the various tools that are available for free.
So, for a better understanding of how LingQ makes the difference, I propose to do the following:
You go to website, let’s say and you study a text. You click on every unknown word to find the definition and then you have to go to, let’s say to anki, to import the word and the definition in order to make the flashcard. And suppose you have 50 unknown words in the text. After that you do the same in LingQ. How long is it going to take with the first way and how long with the second?
In LingQ you have all three (text + audio, dictionary, flashcard creation, vocabulary list) at the same place and you only need to click one button for every unknown word.
PLUS: Every time you encounter this word in any other text you have it already highlighted and you don’t need to repeat that again. Otherwise you would have to go again to the anki and search if you have that word already saved or not.
Personally, I certainly prefer LingQ for doing all these as a much less time consuming way.

Now for the tutors, I think you are right when you say that you would like to try them first. But I don’t think is so hard to find something in common to talk about! When I first start talking with my tutors we were speaking about movies, news and our hobbies. I think most of the people like to speak about things like that! Now that I know them better I can talk about different things with each one. And even if I have some special interest which is they don’t, I don’t see why that would prevent me to tell them about it.

I think there are things that of course can be improved here, but overall I think it’s the best site for language learning. I use an SRS system too but Lingq really does bring it all together and it’s only ten dollars a month for the basic package.

As far as Steve’s comments on things being free, what lingq is doing is enough to be considered free and it should stay that way, but comparing internet sites to restaurants isn’t an even comparison. The wind is blowing towards mostly free and while you site cases like you have remember that most of those losses probably came from things like over investment. Not everyone’s figured out how to make money on the internet, but one things abundantly clear, unless you’re apple, no one makes a profit by charging… Premium content is one thing but a business plan can’t be built around it if you’re offering intellectual property. And laws concerning them will have to change in the next few years…

I agree that Anki is much more convenient and easier to use than the Lingq flashcards.

I consider LingQ really impressive. If there are other places where we can find (separately) the same “tools”, that’s fine. But, as far as I know, LingQ is the only place where we have all these different tools available together.

Of course there are improves to be made but, when it comes to language learning there’s nothing lacking at LingQ.


The basic laws of economics have not changed. To me any enterprise that has costs is looking for revenues, whether a restaurant or a website. Most people like to be paid for their labour and these is no wind that is going to blow that away.

Youtube costs money because it is expensive to maintain all those videos, and advertizing revenue does not cover it. I am not sure that we, who are not involved in youtube or other projects can really second guess where they choose to invest. It is not easy. It is certainly not true that only Apple makes money by charging on the Internet. There are many successful websites that charge. Again, we are not selling intellectual property at LingQ, we are charging for a service, one that has taken thousands of hours of work to create. so I really do not see the relevance of your comments about intellectual property rights. But how these laws change remains to be seen. Some protection for artistic and technical creation will certainly remain.

Anki or not, is a matter of taste, and we certainly do want to accommodate the different ways people learn. I am not going to convince Anki lovers that they should learn the way I do, and give up a program they are used to and like. I prefer to offer them a chance to benefit from LingQ and still use Anki.

I consider LingQ really impressive. If there are other places where we can find (separately) the same “tools”, that’s fine. But, as far as I know, LingQ is the only place where we have all these different tools available together.

Of course there are improves to be made but, when it comes to language learning there’s nothing lacking at LingQ.

so Steve you feel that the this website is a gift. I know that it has been gor me.


Do you want me to make the mp3 of your french text or do you want my word on the quality of the language or something ? I am not interested in lingq points. As I said I would do that in exchange for similar work in my target languages We could get a third party who will do english to my target language. We would have you interested in french and doing english, the third party interested in english and doing spanish, me interested in spanish and doing french but I prefer a one to one relationship.


Thank you for your kind offer. Right now I am focused on spanish - german will be for later. I have no need for permission as long as I keep for me all material I created from material created by others. Even if something is forbidden how do they know what I do as long as I keep it for me. And if I want to share it for free with my friends why would my friends say anything ?

Among transcrib I am looking for in german - Arturo Ui - Pretty woman - Der “Nachbacher” a movie from Austria.

And in spanish many movies from Spain and South America including Cuba – Salma Hajek in her home land early career- Mexicooooooooooooooo


You are right about missioneurope but are we not all children ? Public money is a problem to you ?

I do not see the point in importing lists from interlex - I thought it was all learning from listening and reading texts here - not lonely words but words from the texts

What is not moral is you want to make money from free material of other and from a community you do not pay.

Most free sites are not supported by tax payers and if some are - I prefer my tax to be used on site like mission europe than on other issues.

Most people offering free sites are also the creator of what they are offering.

If you talk 10 languages you could easily get a well paid job - they often look for translators at the European institutions - but as I understand you dislike public money.

about quality of tutor - I do not look their academic reference either - I watch the questions of Dileme and the answers he gets and I am not sure who is the best french speaker the student or the tutors - So I have question about tutor I would get. And Victoria is right I do not know if I have something to share with them. Beside if all was right with tutoring you still have a problem of offer and demand - if the number of tutors do not fit with the number of students

I do not see why people should be paid for their work.
If you do not like what you are doing - you will not do it well - why would we pay for something badly done
If you like what you are doing - you will do it well - but why would we pay you to do something you like to do - if you like to do it you will do it either we pay you or not
(I am not talking specificly to you Steve)

Specificly for your case Steve - if your goal is to make money your interest is that people never master their target language and keep using your site forever

Now time for learning.


I try anki - looks great but the audio did not work the first time - maybe my old computer is not big enough - I will look into the documentation.

Exactly what is mentioned before - in LingQ you have different tools together!

I agree that working with flashcards is sometimes not satisfyingly but it is the best way to have the vocabularies in an overall view and I can work with different filters and search methods.

A really deciding point to chose LingQ as favorite is the possibility to import my own content (I have found somewhere in the Internet) and can use all tools from LingQ including “ask the tutor” for help!!!
Where do you have this possibility on other places??? The answers are coming so fast! You can learn with the questions from others and the answers they are coming.

I know, the mentality has changed today. All should be for free. Pirate copy is a hot topic how everybody knows. In my feeling is, that I want to pay for what I use and what can help me to improve. LingQ did this and is doing this anyway even if I use some different possibilities in addition.


My conversations about the internet always begin to lean towards intellectual property whether it’s relevant or not ;). I realize that the basic rules of economics won’t change, the basic rule is, I’ve created something and now I should profit from it. My argument is that that the way we’ve been doing for the last 200 years or so post industrial revolution must change and will change. The reason the restaurant metaphor falls apart is because a business isn’t going make money, most of the time, by getting directly paid by the consumer.

Apple was sort of a joke, because they don’t really make money on Itunes I don’t think. They provide a tangible product that is by far better,at least to most people, than any other on the market. Itunes wouldn’t survive either if it wasn’t for how great a product and how great the marketing is/was for the ipod/iphones. Now the question is besides porn, what websites are there, that are stand alone websites, that turn a profit from premium memberships? Unfortuately you’re right, most big websites are paid with public money, if Pierre would like to pay my share for content I don’t use I’d gladly let him.

With all that said, I love lingq and I’m a paying member and plan to upgrade in a few monthswhen I’m ready to start stumbling through French. The people on people on the site are very friendly, I’m happy with where the community is going, happy with the content, and happy enough with the Lingq widget. I could use some polish though, before the Polish people that use this site disappear and then there’s no one to provide content for me ;(…

Hi everyone,

It seems to me that when it comes to money, controversy is largely fuelled. Trying to convince people about the efficiency of such or such a system is a waste of time. Perfection does not exist and one cannot please to everybody. If one likes lingQ, carry on using it, if not, just quit. I do not put up with people who cannot settle for what they have and always want more!

hi to everyone! I like the Lingq very much, but I can’t pay, because I have no time to practise it regularly.

I’m not sure I follow all the arguments on this thread, but here are my thoughts…


I’m not sure if the primary goal of LingQ IS to make money…but it needs to avoid making a loss otherwise it will fold and we will lose a valuable learning resource.

I was under the impression that Steve DOES have a well-paid job. He’s not doing this because he needs the money.

“I do not see why people should be paid for their work.” I don’t understand your point here. Sometimes people are prepared to work for free (Pro Bono), but we all need to do enough paid work to live.

"Most people offering free sites are also the creator of what they are offering. " Are you sure about that? In any case, many LingQ students and tutors are busy creating our own content for the libraries, whether we are paid for it or not, because we think it should be there. If you watch LingQ over the course of a month or two you can see the original material being added. It just takes time, especially with some of the less active languages.

If you aren’t sure if LingQ is worth your money, stay as a free member. When you are ready to step up a gear you can upgrade. If you are not interested in studying languages regularly then maybe it isn’t worth your money. If you are interested in studying regularly, but have very little time, LingQ is a very efficient use of time. It’s the best way I have found of learning a foreign language while chasing a small child about the house with a pair of trousers.
As to the quality of the tutors, it costs $5 to try one out, which is not a big investment. If you have thoughts about what a tutor should or shouldn’t be doing, please feel free to feed them to LingQ support. The tutors are happy to learn new ways to support learning!