The most important thing LingQ could do

I’ve been a consistent LingQ user for two years now. I’m a developer by background and do software product strategy for a living.

While I would have a lot of feature-level and capability-oriented thoughts on the LingQ platform’s continued innovation, what I think would be the most important thing to do wouldn’t actually require much or even any new code.

Yes, generative AI is transformational in its impact to language acquisition. You need to graft in the power of AI directly into the user experience. Yet, I’d rank it thematically #2 for you.

I’d suggest the most powerful thing you could do right now is tie-ups with language content creators, the entrepreneurial innovators who have figured out how to create sufficiently profitable side-gig and full-time endeavors in creating high-quality comprehensible input at beginning and intermediate levels. In French, it’s such as Alice Ayel, Easy French, Hello French with Elisabeth, innerFrench, Français Authentique, French Mornings with Elisa, Français avec Nelly, French School TV, Français avec Fred, Français avec Pierre, Ma Prof de Français, Wandering French, and more. I’ve seen a similar maturing “market” of language acquisition content in other languages as well.

Rather than a neutral approach to the content, you’d benefit from collaboration. Many of these Youtubers collaborate with each other. Here’s an example between Hugo of innerFrench and Geneviève of Ma Prof de Français ( French QUEBEC vs FRANCE // French Quebec expressions vs France expressions w/@maprofdefrancais - YouTube ). I know, for instance, Steve even did a collaborative video with Hugo of innerFrench ( Interview in French With Hugo From InnerFrench - YouTube ).

There are many collaborative things you could do that mutually benefit. I’ll offer three examples. First, you could do videos with all of them, promoted by them on their channels and on LingQ here as well. You could have them introduce LingQ to their audience. Could be a review, could be an interview with a student describing what tools they’ve used, etc. Second, you could highlight their content in various ways in your platform. For instance, I think there should be an innerFrench “course” where all Hugo’s content is easy to access. Perhaps Hugo would benefit from knowing who’s signed up. Even better, perhaps Hugo would benefit from interacting with them on LingQ too. Obviously, care would need to be given to help their revenue model. As it sits right now, many are going to third-party online learning and other content management software platforms to offer premium content and services for their more dedicated subscribers where perhaps those interactions would be better served on LingQ. Third, you could do novel things such as have the Youtubers sponsor level milestones. Once someone reaches a level, they might be in the perfect audience for a Youtuber’s content.

LingQ works as if it’s struggled to get out of its origins and background as a language learner’s tool that leverages content with lack of concern or interaction with the content creators. They matter too. I would suggest this is why the LingQ Tutor capabilities haven’t been as successful as envisioned. Personally, at this point, I think the influencers would be more important than the tutors into a business more like a two-sided platform where the platform’s role benefits synergistically both the sides–the learners and the creators/influencers/tutors. (Perhaps a tie-up with iTalki or similar would be more powerful than the built-in features.)

This is why network-building is more important than AI’s potential because in this context, one thinks about how generative AI benefits not just the language learner but also the comprehensible input creators, the social media influencers, and the professional and community online teachers and tutors, and a language acquisition platform’s role in that more holistic context.

LingQ’s successor (whether LingQ or other) may bring those pieces together. Personally, I think a low-cost, low-risk place to start is to explore collaboration with the leading intermediate-level content creators in the primary languages. From what I see, you already share certain important cultural ethos and language acquisition philosophy and once you get incentives aligned there’s potential for shared success in an environment where language acquisition methods are continuing to evolve quickly.


For sure, organising a solid network of collaborations would be an important factor of growth for the future of LingQ.


that sounds amazing. I really like the idea of creator specific milestones. For context, I’ve been learning Hebrew for a while on LinQ, and I would love to see my favorite youtube hebrew-learning creators have their own programs on LinQ. I’ve seen a lot of these channels creating their own programs, but to be totally honest, they’re just simply not as good when compared to LinQ. I think this could be a really cool idea to make LinQ a centralized hub for language learning content on the internet.


I incidentally today listened to a Fluidité Fabien Sausset French video where the author unabashedly gave strong recommendation for LingQ.

It seems to me that all of these Youtubers have a five-fold call to action in their videos. 1) Like, 2) Subscribe, 3) Click on the bell for notifications, 4) Download my [vocab or other] linked reference material and 5) Join my [exclusive/members/VIP/private] club or group!

For the last one, the tech that they have to use, and still fit within a cost structure to deliver some degree of profit, is typically quite limited.

I’d think most of these emergent content creators share Steve’s passions. When LingQ was born, there simply was not a maturing market of independent content creators. Imagine if LingQ seriously got in the two-sided platform game where subscribers could optionally add-on subscriptions to “premium” content and the platform would take care of the billing, content hosting, quizzes, and more for the independent content creators. Most of these content creators are already working in an ad-driven and freemium business model that LingQ could offer them the platform to access a broader audience of serious language learners.

Perhaps simply private equity needs to buy LingQ (or somewhat equivalent) and iTalki (or somewhat equivalent) and maybe a beginner-ish tool such as Duolingo or Babbel (or somewhat equivalent) , and sufficiently fuse together into one experience, including with some utilization of generative AI, and then cultivate relationship with these content creators in each language and essentially dominate the language learning software platform market that is overripe for consolidation IMHO.

I learned Japanese quite a while back using the most traditional and primitive of methods. I’m delighted to have learned French through the pandemic completely online, centrally between LingQ, the youtubers, and iTalki. I’m about to start up German which I’m probably going to have to learn with self-cobbled tooling similar to how I’ve learned French.

I’m hoping I learn another language after that (in my 60s, sigh…), with something much better. :slight_smile:



Just saw… Les SECRETS d'un POLYGLOTTE | Conseils et Méthode pour Apprendre le Français Facilement - YouTube

Really getting synergistic about this is within arm’s reach!

I agree completely, the LingQ tool is adequate the emphasis should be on providing more access to quality content, i.e. developing more mini-stories.

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@bstein I agree, more quality content should be very welcomed. I’m not a fan of mini-stories but quality text+audio would be a real shortcut to avoid wasting time in searching material.


I wonder if current LingQ beginner content triggers subscriber exit through its reference to MP3 players.

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My experience with LingQ was somewhat similar when I started, I thought that there was not enough “content”. And I would really appreciate if someone took it upon themselves to make a library of classics for every language. Most of the classical romans are already in public domain so I guess it wouldn’t be that difficult to make minor changes in the way text is split into chapters, the thing I struggle the most when I import.
Yet I don’t think that there is any need in collaborative effort between content makers and LingQ, since right now everyone just imports what they like, maybe even share it with each other.
For example, InnerFrench’s podcast is available on the platform, alll 120+ episodes, with transcript and audio, same goes for the regular videos.

My suggestion would be to have more mods for each language that just organize the content that was imported so that it would be easier to access.

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It would be great to have classic novels etc. on LingQ (for instance, “Les Misérables” is available for French chapter by chapter, volume by volume, along with a public domain recording - which is awesome!)

But I don’t think it would impact beginners much, since these works are almost universally too difficult for them to get into.

In response to baguetteenjoyer…

I don’t think there’s anybody to “take it upon themselves” quite like that. I think, instead, LingQ would be better served by cultivating synergistic relationships with those who have already and realistically “taken it upon themselves” and have built language-learning content based businesses.