Sentence mode on android app - doesn't translate long sentences

I just discovered the sentence mode - I haven’t thought of trying it out seriously, because I have been happy with the full-text mode. I’ve recently been having problems with the page mode cutting out the last sentence on the screen (an issue i already reported) so I figured I’d try sentence mode.

And what a discovery! I love having the sentence, text-to-speak of the whole sentence and a google-translation lined up for each page. This is great for my study routine!

However - the translate button only works on short sentences. Anything longer than two lines, and the button is not responsive. (Android ver. 9 on a oneplus 5 - studying Arabic)

And another thing: Is it possible to add an option for the translation to be displayed automatically? I know that some people like to guess first, but for my case, having to click and wait half a second for google to work each time is a little weary for a long book.

Oh and another bug: I can’t write on this forum from my phone’s chrome-browser. Each time i write a word, it’s deleted by the next word.

Happy lingqing everyone. Of all my monthly expenses, the 10$ I spend on LingQ is by far the most worthwhile!


I agree, the sentence mode is indeed great and I have also noticed that very long sentences occasionally do get cut off. Would like to know the answer myself!

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I am a software developer and I have previously looked into translation APIs for my small projects, so I believe I have a little knowledge that might help here:

The Google Translate API pricing is scalable IIRC, so they only pay for the amount that they send in to Google to translate. Therefore, if LingQ limits the amount of characters/words you can send in to translate at one time, they can prevent people from just highlighting a massive body of text and clicking “translate”, which would rack their costs up pretty quickly.

It’s much more cost effective to have people translate on a per-chunk basis, because most people don’t have the motivation to translate every single sentence (or two) individually of a massive body of text.

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That makes sense - at least as to why there isn’t an auto-translate option. But perhaps they should allow larger chunks so that all types of sentences that work in “sentence mode” are also able to be translated.

I naively thought google translate was completely free to use, but perhaps google hasn’t figured out a sneaky way to make money off translations otherwise :wink:

I just downloaded the latest version from March 14th and the android app still can only translate short sentences in sentence view. It is unresponsive for longer sentences.

LingQ support: Is there an estimate for when this issue will be fixed?

I’m curious, how long are your sentences? I have an android and it works in sentence mode pretty much all the time.

For example, this sentence gets translated even though it is quite long:

北京 に ある 日本 大使 館 に よる と 、 春節 の 休み に 日本 に 行く 中国 人 に 出した ビザ は 、 去年 より 多く なって い ます 。

According to the Japanese ambassador building in Beijing, visas issued to Chinese who go to Japan during the New Year holiday are more than last year.

This isn’t an issue, it is a design decision. See my explanation a couple posts above and it will make more sense.

When I have a long sentence I want to translate, I drag the sentence into Google Translate myself, which isn’t too bad since I don’t have too many sentences that aren’t supported.

You propose that it is a LingQ design decision based on financial reasons, but that would only make sense if the behaviour was the same in the web version. The Translate button works fine for the same sentences when I use the web version. It just doesn’t work in the android app version. That’s a bug.

Apart from that, in another thread that was raised for the same problem, Zoran mentioned over three months ago that they are looking into the issue and would have it fixed by the next release: Translate Sentence Not Working In App? - Language Forum @...

Hmm, interesting. Why can I not highlight a long sentence on the web version though and add it to LingQ?

I am learning Chinese, and I can only highlight sentences around ten characters in length. On the iOS version, I can highlight probably around thirty characters.

I’m not asking you in a rhetorical way, I just find it really odd that the behaviour is still mimicked in this sense on the web version even if sentence mode does allow you to translate any length of sentence.

This question wasn’t directed at me, but I’ll answer anyway…here is one example of a sentence that translates in sentence mode on the web version but not android:

Doch dann verschlägt es den Kindern für einen Moment die Sprache, denn sie werden nicht in das gleiche Schullandheim wie im vorigen Jahr fahren.

24 words. Seems pretty comparable to your example.

FYI for anyone reading who thinks this may be a “bug”, the same behaviour is presented on the iOS app.

How likely is it that the exact same bug appears in both apps written in two completely different languages? Highly unlikely, IMHO. I still believe that this is intended behaviour of the apps.

Odd, well, we’ll have to look into this. Thanks for the heads up.