What about an Active Wave?

I have been using LingQ pretty much every day for a month now (sometimes for several hours a day).

Overall, I have been really impressed with how effective it is for absorbing vocabulary and idioms.

It seems to work very similarly to the Assimil courses - where content is king, and a major emphasis is placed on passive vocabulary.

A glaring omission, though, is the “active wave” from Assimil, where you translate back from your own language into your target language. I found the active wave to be essential to loosening my tongue and actually gain active vocabulary. It also seems that this would be an excellent addition to LingQ.

Of course, I know full well that a LingQ lesson can optionally have translations into various languages as an additional resource, but very few seem to provide this, and there is no in-built explicit support for an active wave.

Which leads me to ask: is this because writing and tutoring are considered to be superior for becoming active in a language? Although I agree that those approaches are excellent, they are usually very time-constrained - and wouldn’t direct support for an assimil style active wave be a great supplement to them?

1 Like

At Anthony-I don’t really know that much about active wave. However, at LingQ we have authentic content Which means we are unlikely to have questions interspersed with the content in many cases. However, our content creators can create lessons however they like. I suppose that if some content Creators decided to add some of these active wave principles into their lessons then the lessons could contain the types of questions you are looking for. Perhaps you can create some lessons like this to illustrate how it is done.

I absolutely agree. An active wave would be fantastic, I feel that I can improve my passive skills easily with audio books and reading and it’s the activation that is the challenge. Mark you seemed to duck the question, a speedy bit of research will soon fill you in on an what an active wave /phase is. It’s not unique to Assimil either but to produce your own literal translations takes time and it would be great to have a team like the Lingq folks working on the other side of what it takes to learning a language.

I also agree, although the term “active wave” is coined almost specifically for Assimil courses. I find it to be the most important part of the learning process. You can understand all you want but at some point you’re going to have to produce, and that’s where the active principle comes in. Maybe Mr. Lauder could demonstrate, like Mark said, exactly what he were talking about!

My ideas:
Maybe create lessons in the form of a whole course similar to an Assimil course but maybe 50 lessons.
Each no more than 3 minutes or so.
Small Grammar notes in target language.
Translations into base languages.
Request of after say 25 lessons go back and try to translate from L1>L2.

Obviously that would be just a perfect scenario. Problem is, who’s willing to create those lessons?

I’ve always thought that LingQ should try to make a deal with Assimil. It is quite evident that even if you hate grammar explanations, Assimil’s content is just effective, and quite frankly covers a wide range of topics. To me Assimil and LingQ is a perfect combination, but I think for the time being they will remain separate entities, though someday I would like to see the combination, as I think it would prove itself very effective.

1 Like


When I start learning Spanish in August, I’m going to be uploading my entire Assimal Spanish with Ease book onto the lingq system. I spoke to someone who has done this with the German system, too.

I used Assimil without lingq for my French, and it was really effective. I’m going to bet with Lingq the learning will be super-powered.

Have you tried putting your Assimil courses onto lingq? We’re not going to see the companies merge until one buys the other.


I have uploaded Assimil courses onto LingQ, but I have not shared them, since they have a copyright.

@ Le_Jr

Which Assimil courses have you uploaded? I am using the Russian book and CDs at the moment, but I can’t be bothered typing it all out, so I don’t use it on LingQ.

Somebody above asked what I meant in my original post about an active wave. Here is what I had in mind:

As well as having the text in the target language, the text would also be available in my own language. This could be viewed in three ways, with the user being able to switch between them:

  • Side by side texts (with paragraphs aligned)
  • Interleaved texts, so that every sentence (or paragraph) in one language is followed immediately by its equivalent in the other languages (with the user able to choose which comes first)
  • Only showing one language at a time

When you hover over a word or phrase in one language, it shows you the equivalent word or phrase in the other language (both in a dictionary and - if there is a literal equivalent in the text then also highlighted directly in the text body)

This would help me tremendously in being able to translate in my head between the two languages, working in a very similar way to the assimil active wave.