The naked truth about adding languages at LingQ

I am like you, Susanne: I like writing long texts. The first text I submitted for correction was in Portuguese and the second in English: in both cases I had to make them shorter than the original ones before sending them, or I would have run out of points.
However, some people who are not so advanced as to be able to write long texts may find it useful for their learning to have a short text corrected for 200 points than to sign up for a conversation for 500 points. To make an example: I think I won’t have a conversation in Swedish for many months, while I may wish to have a short text corrected in a couple of months. I prefer waiting to speak until I feel comfortable enough with a language.

I am aware of the Post and Submit function in the forum, but I thought it would cost just as much as submitting a text from the “Write” page. Is this feature free of charge?

No, it is just a more spontaneous way of submitting writing, the charges are the same. The post is added to the thread and we’ll then get our corrections later, just as in the normal way of submitting writing.

As I don’t use the function often, I don’t know how the tutor is chosen.

Oh, I see. Thank you for the explanation.

I have just tested it. I submitted a Spanish post, the tutor selection works as usual.

@blindside - I agree that we can’t expect an explosion of content in any new language. At the same time, we have to make sure we don’t add a new language which sits there with no content in it. Whether the languages are asterisked or not, we will get complaints from people. Having said that, we do have languages with limited content like Italian, Swedish, Chinese that have been up a long time. As you say, all it takes are one or two strong contributors in a language. We are very impressed with what Jarda has done and will take it into account when adding our next language.

@mikebond - If you are shy to record yourself, perhaps you can find Italian content online which you can share on LingQ. As long as it has audio and transcript and you can get permission, you can share it as your own. You can even do as Vera has done and transcribe Italian podcasts if the owner gives permission. Ideally, the podcast creator will also mention the work you are doing and LingQ in exchange for the transcripts. Just a few ideas. Obviously, the better the Italian library, the more people will study Italian and the more students you will have.

Mark, I have looked for copyright-free Italian podcasts but I haven’t found any. And none of those I’m aware of offers a transcript too. I could do the transcript, of course, but I don’t think I would be given the permission. Anyway, I will never know this if I don’t try… I wish I weren’t so shy!


You will certainly have to ask permission but most podcasters should be happy to give it since it will help promote their podcast and they will get a transcript which is beneficial for them in terms of being found more easily by search engines. Of course, the big national broadcasters are unlikely to give permission but any independent podcasters should be keen.

Mark: thanks :slight_smile: nice to hear that

Mark, I don’t know any independent podcasters, actually, but if anyone knew one, I would ask them permission to transcript their podcasts.

Although I can understand anyone’s right to have his or her idiosyncratic desires for specific languages, I can’t see the point of adding a lot of minority languages, from a business perspective.We have 11 languages already, most of them spoken by millions of people, but still, some of them suffer terribly of lack of content, lack of tutors and even worse, lack of interested learners. I’m not an specialist in the worldwide market for language learning, nor I want to offend anybody, but in my opinion, even Korean was a tremendous waste of LingQ’s valuable and scarce resources. I think these resources would have been better employed in polishing the system or in working on innovative ways to spread the word among “normal people”. I guess this is the real bottleneck: how to achieve the average language learner?
As a lot of enthusiastic LingQ users, I tried hard to convince a lot of my friends, most of them young, computer-savvy, well-educated and in urgent need for some language. Only one of them became a paid user, and in tandem with a traditional course. People who really need to pass a language exam do prefer to pay a lot of money in a conventional course out of fear. Anyway, if something goes wrong, they can at least say that they’ve done everything ‘right’ (even if they haven’t made too much effort in the course). But what if they’ve been using only LingQ, with its ‘crazy’ method? How are they going tho justify it to their bosses, their advisors and to themselves?
But, the point is, those kind of people are the majority of language learners out there. I guess most LingQ users nowadays are language passionates, but I don’t think there are enough language nerds around the world to make lingq profitable. So, if we, the nerds, do want to have our beloved Lingq alive for a long time, we’d better stop crying for “that incredibly interesting language” (for who? for how many?) and start helping these amazing guys in approaching the kind of people who can bring the money needed to keep our preferred toy working.

By the way, maybe a better approach to minority languages would be to create “blank slate language areas”, in which users could choose any language, use all LingQ tools, but in which they themselves would be the responsible to find and import appropriate content for private use. Of course, those 3 or 4 users interested in the same exotic language could exchange tips and resources among them via forum or personal walls.

It seems to me that most of the current hard core users of LingQ are sort of free spirited people who like to do things on their own, not following the crowd. With this in mind, you could look at tweaking LingQ so it can be a place where people who want to study esoteric languages can be rewarded with a platform (for the normal monthly charge) if they can create a good enough library. Of course you can keep the mainstream languages too