Why I'm cancelling my subscription after 6+ months of devoted usage

I hope this post will not come across as inflammatory, but I want to (hopefully) provide valuable feedback to the LingQ team.

I’m cancelling my subscription after 6+ months of devoted usage because I was no longer able to justify the value I was getting while having to pay $13/month. Specifically, the SRS tools are insufficient when compared to Anki, and the import bug have made the reading experience worse than free alternatives.

Because I have so many known word/lingqs, using the out-of-the-box SRS is fundamentally useless.

I created a thread on this problem, and the recommendation was to use “tags.” However, even after trying this, I found it clunky and tedious to use, especially for sentence mining. I can go in to more detail if people care, but simply put, LingQ’s SRS needs improvement before it could be considered a substitute for even basic Anki usage. When you consider that Anki is free and offers a better user experience, it hard to justify paying $13/month for this feature.

I used to enjoy the reading experience in LingQ, but this import bug has been open for weeks and still has not been fixed: Importing Japanese book no longer respects paragraphs

This bug impacted my reading experience such that I just started reading in Calibre or the Kindle app.

In order to maintain my stat tracking and study streak, I’d go back through the content I had read and mark it in LingQ. This was frustrating and tedious, but I love my stats, so I did it. Then one day, I forgot to do it which messed up my stats and my study streak.

It made me reflect on my usage of LingQ and I realized the better reading experience offered by free alternatives did not justify the $13/month. Even if/when the bug is fixed, $13/month for stat tracking is a steep price to pay.

For alternatives, I use Calibre + DeepL desktop + YomiChan on desktop, and on mobile, Kindle offers (barely) passable dictionary lookup and machine translation which in someways works better because it can handle multiple sentence translation and LingQ cannot.

(After some initial setup, YomiChan also works better for sentence mining and can be used to quickly import words into Anki decks for SRS reviews that are much easier to do than in LingQ. However, Kindle doesn’t have a friendly way to import into Anki.)

I will truly miss the stat tracking, study streak tracking and the nice sentence based reading experience with quick dictionary lookup and machine translation, Those were my favorite features in LingQ. However, because the SRS tools are better outside of LingQ and because the reading experience has been diminished for almost 2 months now, I can no longer justify paying the $13/month when there are free alternatives that meet or exceed the features LingQ provides.

I still highly value the time I spent using LingQ and I hope the service continues to improve.

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yes, unfortunately the SRS indeed is basically useless. here’s hoping they would revamp it completely… I am using another (paid) app to do my SRS, and it would be so great to have these two combined into one and sharing each other’s vocabulary/cloze clauses.

but LingQ is still great value for me, with its article import+review with easy dictionaries access (I’m so not looking up dozens of words in a paper dictionary for each article I read…) , text-to-speech and the latest addition of transcript the other way around.

though the pricing is steep…

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While some things annoy me greatly about LingQ, I don’t find $13 too much for sentence level translations, stat tracking, and the ability to relatively easily collect words and phrases for later Anki review. Maybe I just haven’t looked around enough but the free alternatives I’ve come across don’t handle all these things well. There are alternatives that handle particular things well but not all in one (mostly) easy package.

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In my experience, YomiChan is also better at parsing words when it comes to Japanese. LingQ often parses words wrong and then I get the correct meaning via YomiChan. I am slowly moving my Japanese Studies off the platform because it’s really not working out for me in it’s current state. Not sure if I will keep my subscription, but I will wait until it renews and then check how LingQ is doing with the bugs that are hindering my enjoyment deeply, like the wrong import paragraph problem.

I’ve been a LingQ user for far longer and for some reason the platform - in my experience - gets worse and worse. Might be subjective and wrong, but that is how it feels. Especially since things break that I was using for a long time without issues (like book import, furigana above words, …)

I would be happy with the pricing if there were less bugs. I don’t think it’s really expensive. But I want to have a stable platform and not scratch a day of working on my languages because there’s a new bug at LingQ that I don’t know how to work around yet :confused:

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I purchased the lifetime language option since I know it’ll be years before I’ll be comfortably fluent. There are many useful bits of LingQ for me. (SRS not being one of them, obviously.) But the main useful feature, for me, is the ability to track words and phrases that I don’t know across multiple books. When I start reading a new book and yellow words and phrases turn up, then I know those are the ones I most likely should pay more attention to.

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