Reasons for Leaving

I think I’m done with LingQ for now. The ideas behind it are wonderful. I enjoy Steve’s blog and podcasts. The main reason that I will be taking a break is that I find the system to be clunky. I know that the site is still under development, so I’m sure it will get better. Here are a few of the problems that I see:

At least for German, I think that the library is too limited. Interesting content is critical, and I haven’t found very much. I think the problem for me is that it doesn’t seem genuine. It still seems forced and pedagogical, despite an aim to the contrary. I’d like to see the types of things that I read in English, or like Germans read in German. Topics that are interesting regardless of the language.

I can think of a couple of remedies, neither of which strike me as being particularly simple. The first is establishing partnerships with news sources, getting permission to use their content and finding an easy way to navigate through it. It seems likely that LingQ would have to be responsible for most of the accompanying audio content, so it wouldn’t be practical to have audio for every article.

The second is having an interactive forum where you would be able to check or add words on the fly, without having to import the content to your library. This would allow for genuine, informal use of the language to connect with people, without taking the training wheels away.

-Awkward/counter-intuitive interface.
What really tipped me over the edge was deleting my unused content so that I could downgrade. I had to delete each piece individually (without, for example, check-boxes), and with every one that I had clicked the “I’m all done!” button for, I had to use the drop-down menu to direct myself to the “completed” page. I did this over 30 times, which was indescribably frustrating.

I find similar quirks and frustrations throughout the site, and sometimes I don’t even realize how frustrated I get by the clunky design until I go to a more complete web site. It’s a difficult issue to put one’s finger on, but I can say that a more cohesive and intuitive design would make a huge difference to me.

For now, I’m using a Firefox extension that translates individual words. I find audio where I can. I use StumbleUpon to find German sites that interest me. Although this method provides a world of content, I think that a fully integrated system like LingQ is far preferable, if it manages to be orderly while maintaining diversity and ease of use. Easier said than done, I know.

I write this not to criticize and complain, but because I love the idea here. I want to see this venture succeed. But until it’s more user-friendly, I can’t see using it myself.


Thanks for using LingQ, and for your words of advice.

LingQ is a young and growing community and a place to study languages in an integrated fashion. It is an idea and a vision. People helping each other to learn, not just ten languages, but eventually an unlimited number of languages. It will not appeal to everyone.

We certainly need more content, not only in German, but in all languages other than English. Our GermanLingQ podcasts, as well as podcasts in other languages, is one way of adding content. But we do rely on our members. Certain members have done a tremendous job in uploading content for use by other members. Sometimes they create this content themselves and sometimes thy contact other sites to obtain permission to use third party content. Of course we need to do more. I do not know if you have contributed any content here.

Our interface and navigation can be improved, will be improve them. But for many users, including me, it works very satisfactorily. We do intend to have a “mobile” LingQ widget as you suggest. And much much more.

With regard to having to delete files in order to downgrade, the other option for you is to upgrade from FREE to Basic or Plus or Premium and enjoy the site without this inconvenience. In any case this restriction may be phased out in the future.

So LingQ will continue to grow and improve, and we appreciate having you had you along as a passenger.


Thanks for your reply. As I mentioned, I think that this is an excellent idea, and I recognize that it is still in the beginning stages. I will visit often and look forward to watching it grow. I can see myself returning at some point in the future.

I wanted to clarify one point. My frustration was not with having to delete pieces, but rather the manner in which I needed to do it. Rather than selecting them in a group and clicking the “delete” button once or twice, I had to do it more than 40 times. When deleting the “completed” pieces, not only did I have to delete them individually, I also had to navigate back to the “completed” page each time. This took me much, much longer than it would have if there had been some way to delete them in one group.

Also, I have and will continue to tell my friends about your site, including a few caveats about how it is still under development. Despite my various frustrations, I value the unorthodox (though, I think, most natural and effective) educational philosophy.

One other thing to keep in mind is that you can import German content from anywhere on the web into LingQ and use it just like our regular content. Import articles from your favourite German news site. If you find a site with both audio and text, you can import both into LingQ. Obviously, you can’t share this content with everyone else since it is copyrighted but you can certainly study it yourself on LingQ.

I was just discussing this issue of content with an american friend who studies Portuguese, and is very advanced. I believe there is no way of LingQ satisfying the needs of an advanced learner, because the range of interests is very large.
I agree with some of the criticisms of Motive-power about the interface, mainly the thing of deleting/archiving items. That simply doesn’t make sense, and maybe it would be a good idea to solve this not in a distant future. I understand that this would be an improvement more aimed to free members (although I use it quite often), but it’s so akward that it could be preventing some of them to become paid members…
But for me the great thing at LingQ are the workdesk and vocabulary areas, and it is what really makes the difference. Actually, you can find very well designed interfaces around there, but they are still trying to give us boring classes, instead of offering us such useful tools.


I think we can increase the range of our content in Portuguese or other languages. Our English content is quite rich. And of course the learner can import content. When we are larger we hope we can work with content providers like radio or audio book people on some basis.

The deleting issue is likely to change with our next major revision. At that time there will be a number of other changes as well. Stay tuned. We know that we can improve many areas of navigation and user-friendliness and we are working towards it.

By the way welcome as a tutor. I am looking forward to my first discussion with you in Portuguese.

I agree with Ana.
Here are some point who I see further advantages (I was on other places for learning before):
Where do you have a place for importing own material and using the tools of the provider (LingQ)?
Here we have a forum for wishes regarding time or topic for conversations.
Here we have flexibility for Status. We can change when we go on a journey or we have not time for a longer period.
When we write to the support, in less than 24 hours we get answer.
The support has an open ear for us and our meaning is worthful.
The conversations are in little groups, not more than four members. I know other situations!
And last not least all what LingQ is doing with the vocabulary section.

These were the most important points for me to engage myself when LingQ saw the light of day.

I had problems too at first when I came to “TheLinguist”. My English was not good and I’m no hero with PC. But I had the will power to understand how it works.

At that time all was only in English - no Demo or headlines in my native language. That is better now.

My special Tip for a new member:

Each new member could enter in “my native language” - the native language and in “the language I want to learn” the same, his native language.
Then he or she could click around and test a little in his or her native language.

That could help to understand better how LingQ works!

On the other hand, here is a forum for each language where people can ask questions in the native language and very quickly is there a helper!