Pay or not to pay?

Just some comments to what PierreM has written:

"About the mp3 and the transcribe - I have already a lot of data - all free from the internet. Lingq is one more source for that - a lot of what is available here is available elsewhere - often in a more easy way and with a best preview on the technical quality of recording and difficulty of language. And with a best preview on the quantity of data available (I do not mean the size of the file but the number of them).

We pay here to use the lingq (the vocabulary learning tool) well I have free softwares which do the same - offline"

I agree, anyone can download audio and text from just about anywhere, but to my knowledge there isn’t such as thing as highlighted LingQs (which in turn affect the “unknown words” in later lessons). As for the flashcards, I’ve ranted a bit over the last year (and still think a proper SRS is the best thing, since words get repeated anyway). Anki is my “main” vocabulary tool, but I save/learn/upgrade/downgrade words here too, for the “word count” reasons.

$10 isn’t that much, especially not as it’s quite easy to earn points for more than that value during a month - provided that you share enough content (and it’s used!).

Yeah 10 dollars per month is very reasonable and that’s why I pay it. Also I think skyblue sums it up. I don’t think this website is supposed to make the creators rich, I think it’s a to bring Steve’s learning practices alive and to create some kind of profit from it and the work. I think lingq is a great tool as it stands now.

My goals are to be fluent in at least 5 languages and there are a lot of polyglots online with a lot of different methods (all interesting enough have a variation on input being the key). Steve’s interests me the most because one he’s developed a system that can used and two because he’s a normal guy with a normal job who learned his languages as a hobby. He’s not some crazy autistic guy or a university professor that’s spent hours studying intently. And the people around Steve have created this system. While I don’t think a website can really turn any meaningful profit hoping to do it through premium content, I pay because it’s worth it.


The initial question was why free member do not pay or something- I give my ideas on this.

If Steve has a good job why does he want to get our money ? And more important when will he implement the new ideas or work on problems ?

I understand your point on we all need to make some money to live but if we all use what is free in stead of paying for things we will need a lot less money.

If people offering free site are not creator of what they offer it means their site is a copycat of the creator one - if the copycat is better than the original, well that is all good for the community and if both do not target money but bringing something to the world - they should have no problem working together.- if the copycat is not as good as the original well the better will survive.

By the way I like your pseudo - In french it is “une tasse de thé ciel bleu”


About comparing working with a lot of free material and with lingq. There are advantage to both side but I prefer to lose lingq that the other things.

If Steve or his host decide to close lingq or if I am cut from the internet. I keep all my job and material - lingq users would lose a lot more.
I have no limit as the number of words in my vocabulary learning center
If I do not like one or two things about lingq I am able to manage my work in my own way.
I do not have the words blinked when I already have them in my database but I see that as an advantage. If I feel I need to work on a word that is because I do not understand it - and if I need to work on it many times I will do it. If on lingq you do not work on a word because it is blinked you make a mistake because the same word could have many different translations and uses.

Still not able to use audio with anki but it is not important - the config of mplayer was empty I put a line they suggest but it does not help

<If Steve has a good job why does he want to get our money ? And more important when will he implement the new ideas or work on problems ? >

It doesn’t mean he wants to spend all his money on us either… Magic doesn’t bring a website online or pay for its upkeep or all the data transfer ect…

I’m sorry I know this is a bit off the topic, but please let me leave a few words about the system…

I’ve used LingQ as a free member for about a month (mostly just lurking) and just upgraded to a basic yesterday. I learnt about Steve’s approach when I was listening to a language learning podcasting program by a local TV broadcasting(?) in Vancouver. I was really impressed with his simple but effective method of vocabulary building and still keep the episode on my PC even now for my reference.

Once I tried to use the website, however, I had some problems in using as some instructions and explanations shown in my language were tricky for me to understand, which discouraged me to become a paying member for a while. From what Steve explained on the podcasting program I knew the system is really worth using it, but I’m not quite sure if I would have paid if I didn’t happen to come across the Steve’s words. In the end it took me more than a month until I figured out how it works and paid for a basic package:) I would suggest that some of the explanations and instructions in FAQ or HELP (in my language) be improved to make them clearer, and by doing that I suppose it might encourage at least some users from my countries to become a paying member.

I’m not criticizing about the quality of translation. Hope my comments help improve the website.

I wouldn’t transcribe it I cannot share it at LingQ. Transcribing is a lot of work. And therefore I think a lot of people should participate. To get allowance for movies is maybe not possible. That is my experience.

I’m a little tired about this discussion. I agree with Serge. We can hear the arguments of people who don’t want to pay for things on the Internet. But we cannot convince them. And I agree that there are a lot of things for free on the Internet. But I found nothing like LingQ. This is my personal opinion. Other users can make there own conclusions.

To speak for myself, I was convinced after using LingQ for 2 or 3 months. And then I upgraded.

Sorry, first part of my post is for Pierre. I forgot to write it down.
@Pierre: I wouldn’t transcribe if I cannot share content at LingQ. Transcribing is a lot of work. And therefore I think a lot of people should participate. To get allowance for movies is maybe not possible. That is my experience.

Pay or not pay

I don’t think that it is appropriate to discuss about money. People should see LingQ as a plattform, where they can learn new languages and meet interesting people. And this plattform is not gratis. That is the fact. But discussing too much about if they have to pay or not would bring a negative image for the team. it would be like you were putting money first and then everything else like the tutorial, the leraning material. if some people stay as free member ist also ok. A free member is a potential future basic or premim member. Or a free member kann inform his frriends about lingQ. it depends on everyone’s needs. I began an a free member then i upgraded I am thinking about upgrading again because i need more englisch knowledge and I am happy with my tutor. So don’t put money first. ask about proposals, changes or comments which could make the website or the lessons better. Cheers aicha

"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 "

Pierre, are you talking about this?

In that exchange that you were included in there were no French tutors/native speakers involved. I propose you pay more attention to what you write about.

As to finding someone to “share with” getting accurate information and having a regular schedule, without a monetary interest, well, good luck.

As to your observations about the “morality” of LingQ, I think you should go to a country side pub and interview farmers of the food you eat and ask them to describe how much they liked growing it.

Thank you Aicha. We are a site which offers many services free of charge but would like to attract more paying members in order to cover its costs. Some like it and some do not. Pierre does not.

But Pierre, if you do not like LingQ why are you so active on our Forum? You are not the kind of person who is going to like LingQ for at least three reasons. I offer this not to try t convince you, which is of no interest to me, but for the sake of others who make be following this discussion.

  1. You think it is important to correct people, I do not. The greatest benefit of people asking questions on the French tutors forum may be that they use French to communicate, just like you have used English here. Whether they are answered by a tutor or a native speaking learner or a person who is studying to become a French teacher is irrelevant. And in most cases a tutor will intervene. And if more than one answer is provided and a lively discussion is had, so much the better. That exchange is more useful than the explanation that will likely be forgotten. If I corrected every mistake in your English you would still continue making the same mistakes for quite some time.

  2. You do not believe that people who work at LingQ should be paid for their work. Do you get paid for your work ( I am assuming you are a working adult, although I do not know why)? Granted LingQ has no right to be paid. It has to earn that pay, and it can only do that if enough people appreciate the service that is provided, and so we are motivated to improve our product. LingQ has built a platform, that is what you pay for, if you value the service. The content is exchanged free of charge between the members using the platform. Someone had to build the platform, and that cost money.

  3. “I understand your point on we all need to make some money to live but if we all use what is free in stead of paying for things we will need a lot less money.”

You seem to believe that goods and services come from heaven, or that other people should pay for things that you want to use. Most things are produced by people who need to be paid. Publicly funded services are paid for by the tax payer, like MissionEurope. Who knows how much that cost? Who knows if there is a large demand for it? Certainly the vast majority of people who paid for it were not asked if they wanted it, do not know it exists and would not use it if they knew of it. Why is that a better model than LingQ?

I understand that you have your way of learning a language and you know what is best for you. I am only in favor of LingQ because it has worked for me.
I was Free member for about 5 days before I upgrade straight away to a Plus member. To me it was obvious from the beginning that this is what I am searching for. And I haven’t regret it so far, it has certainly fulfil my expectations.
If there is one person who prefers free stuff on the web rather paying, then this is me! I was a student for four years, now I graduated but I still don’t have a full time job. For me it is a big decision to pay this money.
(Now I have downgraded two days ago because I m going to Greece soon and I won’t spend much time studying this period)

Hi, I like using LingQ very much but I’m really not interested in fueling the discussion even more… My question is how it’s possible to earn points by providing content. I’m using LingQ for my Portuguese and as far as I know some content has been provided by members, but it does not seem that they received any points for this?! I’m just asking this because I have not found that much content that interests me and I hope that the people contributing to the LingQ-library will continue doing so and I think that earning points might be an encouragement for them. :slight_smile:

Points are earned based on usage. When members buy points these expire after 3 months. Unused points are redistributed to members who create content.

What is your level? What kind of content are you looking for? I am also studying Portuguese. I think our Portuguese speaking members can benefit from knowing what learners are looking for.

At the beginning is was very reluctant to pay $10. When I discovered the usefulness of Lingq, I didn’t bother about the $10. It’s very little and worth it.

Hi Pierre,

I find all your comments about lingQ very heartening because it has interested you enough to comment on it. I have found so much on the internet that I couldn’t be bothered to sign up for, let alone try out and post on their forum!

“If Steve has a good job why does he want to get our money ? And more important when will he implement the new ideas or work on problems ?”

Both excellent questions, and the same answer will do for both. Steve may or may not be giving his time for free (or cheap), but the programmers who maintain the system have to be paid. The more money lingQ makes, the more programmers can be employed and the more stuff can be done.

I also liked your point that, at present, LingQ hold all the data about our learning. My computer is old and cranky and I trust Mark and his band of Merry Men with my data more than I trust myself. They do regular back-ups and stuff, which is more than I do :wink:

I dare say that on the “to do” list is a means of exporting our data so we can work offline.

Hi Steve, thank you for the information. I’m actually very bad at self-evaluation but I’d say I’m an intermediate student in Portuguese (I have been studying for about 2 and a half years now). My “problem” ist that I’m rather picky concerning the pronunciation of the audio files. I’m studying European Portuguese and that’s why I prefer listening to European content. I have nothing against Brazilian Portuguese, I just feel that I’m not so good at Portuguese right now not to mix the two of them up.

I am really enjoying a number of podcasts from this site.

Unfortunately there are no transcripts. I have written them to ask for transcripts and got no answer. I will try again. Let me know what you think. Maybe yo can also email them and ask. Ideally we could import transcripts into our Library, but even if they only offer them on their site we could import them and use them.

Let’s keep our eyes open for other resources we can share.

First of all, I’m also not interested in adding more fuel to the fire. LingQ is, in my humble opinion, a great website, full of great people. The price is still a bit too steep for me, a student who doesn’t work yet. But it is very likely that I’ll pay in the future when I’m able to. Until then, I’ll stay active and contribute with more content.

Well, I know this is getting off-topic… but since you mentioned TSF, I wanted to say I’d be glad to provide the transcripts. A pity they didn’t write me back…

Wow, the site seems really great. I don’t know if we can do that (legally) but I could also try to transcribe podcasts (it would be a good exercice :wink: ) and have them corrected by a native speaker so that we can use them on LingQ.

I’m a little tired about this discussion. Nevertheless, I want to say my opinion too in order to declare my favour for LingQ and to support the other active members. I’m a member since 3 years, most of the time paying, although I had breaks in this time. During the last years, I have tried several other systems for language learning in the Internet. Finally, I have preferred LingQ. I don’t want repeat the advantages for me, other students did it before. We know, there are a lot more ideas and improvements to realise (on other systems too), but the last years have demonstrated that LingQ is going the right way. For me, it is naturally to pay for a service.

Aside from paying, I was very disappointed about the statement, the content in the German library is boring. Today we have a great selection of different topics and levels, thanks the hard work of Vera and Irene. Maybe the front end of the library is not optimal at the moment in order to show the complete diversity, but we hope it will change the next time.

At last: Every learner has to find his own way and this is often time consuming too. Nobody can await that one system is fitting for all his needs, but everybody can take part to improve a system: for example us member of the community in discussions, us active student or us tutor.