Sharing lessons too cumbersome

One of the big issues with importing lessons is sharing them with others. This is all regarding the experience in the (Chrome) browser.

There are currently 3 requirements (that I know of) that need to be met before you share the lesson:

  1. The lesson needs at least 2 tags
  2. The lesson needs audio
  3. The lesson needs a picture
  4. Level, and accent (for some languages).

If you want to share anything, that’s very problematic. Personally, I import things first and foremost for myself, and I imagine others do as well. But, I’d also like to share some of the lessons since I think they could be useful to others.

For example I recently imported over 100 episodes of a Spanish podcast, fully transcribed, etc. which in itself was awful because LingQ for whatever reason makes importing take as many steps as possible and doesn’t offer bulk importing.

I imagine that course would also be beneficial to others, but because of these silly requirements I just can’t be bothered. Why does every lesson need a picture…?

Here are a few potential solutions to improve the UX:

  1. Tags - mass setting the tags from within the “Edit course” page is fine if all lessons in the page should be tagged the same way. But if that’s the case then the tags shouldn’t be set on the lessons but on the course. Lessons without tags should be share-able even if they’d be more difficult to search for.

Side note - I’ve noticed that if I set 2 tags before generating a lesson, one of them always gets removed after it’s generated.

  1. Audio - If someone wants to they can generate the audio themselves. If it’s a podcast then it’ll already have audio, and it’s a complete nonsense for e.g. news articles which often don’t come with any audio, assuming you would have access to mp3 anyway. Audio is even required if the lesson has a video :thinking:. No audio should be required to share a lesson.

  2. Picture - LingQ should generate a picture itself if it doesn’t already exist, which usually means using a placeholder picture, and the only picture that should potentially be required is for the course, not for every lesson.

  3. Level and accent - The accent is I think a reasonable requirement if the lesson is to be made public.

Level however is very tricky because you’re learning a language. How are you supposed to know the level, and why should it be up to you to know and decide it as a learner? Would intermediate 1 or 2 be more accurate? You get the idea.

The solution to this is LingQ analyzing the text in the lesson for the word frequency and determining the overall difficulty level. This shouldn’t be too difficult to implement considering all the data you’ve got access to. Setting the level of your own lesson should be optional.

  1. Share button - there shouldn’t be an option to make the lesson private/shared before you generate it if it needs to be generated in the first place before it can be shared. It also should be on the top of the page (below Resources on the left sidebar would IMO be the best), not at the very bottom where you have to unnecessarily scroll to through up to 2k words.
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Thanks for your feedback, we are always happy to hear users thoughts and suggestions. We’ll look into improving the import feature.

Re: Every lesson needs a picture - I share my lessons with my “private” student so perhaps things work differently than when sharing publicly (I haven’t done any of that in the current version)…BUT my experience is different. The picture that is given to the course is then applied automatically to every lesson in the course.

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Re: Audio - If you import a video from YouTube, LingQ splits off the audio itself and makes it available in the lesson with a different control than the video playback. You do not have to supply audio for videos.

That being said, audio and text together are a powerful combination. I would be loathe to see the library at LingQ filled with lessons that had no audio. (Text to speech audio leaves me cold when it comes to language learning.)

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Thanks. I’m thinking that those features are somewhat underdeveloped because maybe cultivating that “sharing mentality” hasn’t exactly been the focus of LingQ, but it’s something I believe would benefit LingQ as the aspect of community and engagement would increase which is always nice to see and be a part of.

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I’ll reply to both your posts here!

It’s true that the picture seems to be duplicating or “overflowing” onto other lessons in the course, but it seems it’s only visual and a lesson without explicitly set picture will still count as not having it. So if you were to share that lesson you’d still need to upload a picture to it. It’s probably also a bug that the lesson seem to get a picture since you might have completely unrelated lessons (for example music, news articles, podcast episodes) with picture only related to one of them.

As for video/audio I don’t think it’s enough that the audio gets added automatically when you import it because you’ll often not import a lesson from YouTube but simply add a YouTube link to the lesson, especially if the transcription isn’t in the video’s captions, which LingQ can use, but somewhere else. For example I have made a music playlist for Spanish and it’s quickest for me to just add one lesson after another, with links and the lyrics prepared beforehand and never import directly from YouTube. Unfortunately in that case the audio must be manually generated for the lesson (or mp3 added) and it would generate text-to-speech voice instead of using audio from the linked video.

As for lessons without audio, I think it’s better than nothing. I get text from all kinds of places - Reddit posts, news articles, articles about psychology, philosophy or whatever and they’ve never been dictated (if an mp3 is available I always use it). So the best I could do there would be to generate it but it shouldn’t affect sharing a lesson since generating audio is a feature available to everyone.

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The picture…The way the system works now is great for me because my courses have themes so the picture applies to all of them. But, as I said, I am using LingQ in a way very specific to my goals.

Audio…My opinions are perhaps colored by my experiences here. When I first started using LingQ, many of the lessons were created “lovingly” especially for LingQ by other members. They wrote and recorded the lessons themselves. When I say “lovingly”, I don’t think that is an exaggeration. The feeling was that they wanted to give LingQ the best library possible…

But that was then. This is now, and things have changed, I suppose.

(I’m not implying they have changed for the worse, necessarily!)