Today's email

Today I got an email from LingQ-Support recommending audiobooks including “Le petit prince”.

I’m wondering how it can be in the library. It is still under copyright. The author died in 1944, so it is still protected.

"Looking to improve your vocabulary? Try an audiobook!

Audiobooks are a great way to learn new words and practice your listening and reading comprehension. You can also load them on your mp3 player and take them with you wherever you go. "( = LingQ-Support)

In the LingQ.library:
Alice in the Wonderland with different Audios. It is great to listen the same text from different voices! (The video is with a other voice!)
Alice in Wonderland - LingQ Language Library
Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll - LingQ Language Library
Alice's Adventures in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll - LingQ Language Library

and the same story in France!



I think you guys could/should have mentioned audiobooks in the other languages as well. There are a lot of free audiobooks available in the Italian library.

@Vera - I wasn’t around when this collection was shared, so I don’t know the specifics. Though I can only assume gave us permission to share this collection.

@mikebond - Send me a few links to Italian audiobook collections that you would like to see in the future. I’ll see what I can do to fit them in next time :slight_smile:

Canadian copyright comes into existence automatically, at the time the work was created, and, in the case of most works, it continues until the end of the calendar year in which the author of the work dies (regardless of whether the author has sold or assigned the copyright in the work or not), and continues for an additional period of 50 years.

This Canadian site publishes “Le Petit Prince”:
“This work is in the public domain in countries where the copyright term is the author’s life plus 60 years or less, but may still be copyrighted in the USA and some countries in Europe. It is the responsibility of the user to determine whether the works are in the public domain in his or her respective country.”

The Main Page of says: “This site is hosted in Canada and therefore it follows the Canadian copyright law.”

LingQ is a Canadian site, so there should be no problem.
L’Étranger by Camus is also published here, and Camus died later than the author of “Le Petit Prince”.

A list of Italian audiobooks available for free at LingQ:

These are just the most known works. There are some other audiobooks of less known novels, stories and more.

Thank you Hape. I didn’t know that in this detail.

I think it is strange that canada can decide about the rights of a french author book in a way that differs from his home country. But it is not on us to judge.

And I think it is strange that the book is not free on You have to pay for it.

grazie. quando io sono più migliore en italiano studierò queste lezione

We will be sending more notices like this out, and we will definitely mention audio books in all languages, since we have them for most languages at LingQ.

I think every country can decide its own copyright laws, patent laws etc. While I am in favour of protecting the rights of authors who are alive, I think the lengthy periods of protection provided under copyright laws are simply ridiculous. But then that is not for me to decide.

I agree with Vera that it is unlikely that Gallimard gave permission to use their version of the audio book, and we should check into it.

I also love learning from audio books, and feel that the most important quality of an audio book for language learning (aside from the interest of the book itself) is the quality of the narration. This can make a big difference in how well I learn from the book. For that reason, I do not mind paying for the audio book, importing it into LingQ and enjoying it for months.

I am surprised at how little use is made of audio books at LingQ. Most people study short content.

At the beginning, short content is great. For Dutch, in which I’m solidly intermediate, I use audiobooks exclusively at the moment. I very much share Steve’s enthusiasm for them. I’m working through my third now and I’ve got about another 15 lined up. When I finish them, I might play around with some news websites or focus on particular topics, but I’d prefer longer articles than short ones. Maybe even featured Wikipedia articles on topics I enjoy would be good to use.

Veral, the Berne Convention (that most countries subscribe to) requires 50 years after the original copyright. Countries are free to extend that if they want to, but it has to be a minimum of 50 years. Canada, it appears, chooses to only go with 50 years and not extend that time further. Gallimard is under French law which will extend the copyright.

Yes, it is strange that it’s like that, but different countries have different laws.

Yes Steve, I agree that it is ridiculous that the period after the dead of the author is so long. In Europe it is protected 70 years after the dead, much too long in my opinion. 30 years would be enough to protect the children of the author and gave them enough time to make their own money.

Personally I like audio books but I prefer to study more contemporary content, so I import these lessons private. And often I just listen to audio-books and don’t import them.
On LingQ I prefer short chunks because it is easier to deal with them. I’m often short on time, and I like it when I can finish a lesson in one go.

@Imyirtseshem: I find Wikipedia articles often a bit to technical or boring. I like more well written articles. There are some nice podcasts available on LingQ. Especially I like the EnglishLingQ podcast for example.

I also like audiobooks. I wish I could find at least one good European Portuguese audiobook with text (nothing new on that side, Steve?). Generally, I think it would be great to have more audiobooks in all the languages offered.

Veral, I think it would depend on the topic. Some of the articles are particularly well written, some terribly (which applies to anything, not just Wikipedia.).That’s why I said ‘featured’ articles. They are chosen because of they stand out above the rest. At the end of the day, I’m an academic type of person and am interested in reading some topics which are, by their nature, quite technical. Nothing is ‘boring’ by nature. One person’s junk is another’s treasure.

One question: what do you mean by ‘contemporary content’? Perhaps you are referring to the fact that only old books are shared publicly. I don’t use those either.

The reason that I rarely study any audiobooks here on Lingq is obvious: The language in those audiobooks is completely out of date, thus with antique words and spellings that nobody speaks or writes today. Furthermore the way of speaking is very different, too.
This is all due to the unreasonable exaggerated long copyright terms. It’s not for the benefit of the longtime dead author (or his/her children who in many cases even don’t exist) but for the enrichment of the corresponding publishing company. Well, that’s at least my opinion.

I don’t think that’s very obvious. If the only audiobooks that existed were those on the site, I wouldn’t either. Surely you know how to import?

However, I do think that there’s a place for older book in the advanced stages of our study. I’ve read old books in English and am no worse off for it. The world has been going for a lot longer than just today. There are some true classics which existed before Harry Potter. hehe :smiley:

Not that I don’t appreciate the classical literature, there are a lot of masterworks which I’d love to read one day. It’s simply not the right material, if you want to learn languages how they are spoken today. No one would consider to consult an encyclopedia printed more than 100 years ago, to learn something about Computers. :slight_smile:
But that doesn’t mean that the quality of this book might be inferior to contemporary encyclopedias (maybe even much better).

And if computers were in encyclopaedias 100 years ago? :stuck_out_tongue:

Yiddish, whose literary high point was around 100 years ago, is an interesting case. I’ve got 1 audiobook of an 1894 novel by Sholem Aleichem* and it is surprisingly, very close to what I hear and read of today. But, there are no very new audiobooks for the language. I might get something from the 40s or 50s when a collection comes out mid next year.

Some languages move slower like that, and in that case, I recommend that people read some older stuff too. For languages which have changed quickly in recent times, I’d definitely suggest going with modern materials then moving onto others at advanced stages.

Reading older Dutch stuff is useless (for developing skills in the modern language - unless you count understanding the case system for getting a deeper feel for the limited number of archaisms in the language which uses them…yeah, not so useful haha).

*Sholem Aleichem had a mortal fear of the number 13. His manuscripts never have a page 13; he numbered the thirteenth pages of his manuscripts as 12a and his headstone carries the date of his death as “May 12a, 1916”. (From Wikipedia) I’ve always found this amusing. :smiley:

I have enjoyed learning Russian from Tolstoy, Italian from I Promessi Sposi, and Pinocchio, and have also enjoyed the Spanish audio books at LingQ by Perez Galdos. It does not bother me that the language is a little dated.

@ Imy… Yes, I made the same with my age. I stop to count when I was 29 and added a letter each year beginning with a. This way I’ll always stay under 30, yeah…

The only problem is, I still don’t know what I’ll do when I reach the “z”. But this is still loong time in the future :wink: