LingQ Review (2022): Helpful or Overhyped? What You Need to Know
This LingQ review tells you everything you need to know about the app. Is it REALLY worth it? Plus, a look at its price and alternatives.
LingQ is an app that helps you learn a language through reading and listening to native content. One of its best features is that you can import your own content and automatically create new lessons. Overall, LingQ's platform might be a little buggy and distracting in places, but it still provides solid value for its price.
- Wide variety of languages
- Interactive ways to learn
- Effective combination of reading and listening
- Helpful for everyone: offers beginner to advanced levels
- Bugs in some beta languages
- Avatar and coins can be distracting
- Not the easiest to navigate
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English, German, French, Spanish, Korean, Portuguese, Chinese (Mandarin), Italian, Japanese, Swedish, Arabic, Dutch, Finnish, Greek, Hebrew, Latin, Norwegian, Polish, Romanian, Russian, Esperanto, Turkish, Czech, and Ukrainian
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Table of Contents
LingQ has a huge library of audio and written content in a variety of languages. The founder, Steve Kaufman, invented the LingQ method. He’s a polyglot who has had quite a journey learning different languages. He now speaks around 20 languages and you can find videos around the web of him practicing each one.
LingQ offers popular languages like English, German, French, Spanish, Chinese, Japanese, Portuguese, and Italian, plus a few more. By incorporating LingQ into your language study plan, you will gain more exposure to the language through authentic, engaging content. It’s a decent option for all levels, from beginner to advanced learners.
LingQ is a lot different than most other language apps. Its features are pretty cool and let you learn a language your way. They’re not all perfect, but I think they’re definitely on the right track. Let’s take a closer look at what you get when you use LingQ.
LingQ’s main selling point is its authentic language learning content. These materials are mostly from outside sources, like YouTube videos and podcasts. LingQ enhances the language learning aspect though by creating automatic lessons from the content. The videos, audio recordings, and text are in the language you’re trying to learn. It’s really similar to another app called Lingopie.
LingQ also makes the content accessible no matter what your level is. You can speed up or slow down the audio to improve your comprehension.
LingQ is also a useful tool for building your vocabulary. It has interactive features to help you understand the content more clearly, and it also creates customized flashcard sets for you to practice. I definitely prefer LingQ’s flashcards over other apps, like Memrise.
Each lesson also includes the audio and a transcript. As you read through the transcript while listening, you can click on words you don’t understand. When you do this, you’ll see the translation and also how the word is used in other contexts.
This is a really cool feature because most other language apps only teach you the direct translation of words. They don’t show you how to use it in different situations. Another app that does this really well is FluentU.
LingQ has a huge amount of content, especially for popular languages like Spanish and French. It’s pretty easy to find something interesting though because the app organizes content into different categories. Business, sports, science, self-help, and other topics are among them.
LingQ also separates the content into six different levels, from Beginner 1 to Advanced 2.
The main reason LingQ stands out from some other popular language apps is that it allows you to import your own content. If there’s a podcast or YouTube channel you really like, you can import them into LingQ and use them to study (as long as there’s a text transcript). There’s already a lot of material available in LingQ, but if it’s missing something you like, just add it!
What can you upload? Basically, anything that involves text or audio. Podcasts, YouTube videos, emails, songs and their lyrics, e-books, news stories, and other types of content can all be imported on the app.
LingQ currently offers full courses in 24 languages, which are: English, German, French, Spanish, Korean, Portuguese, Chinese (Mandarin), Italian, Japanese, Swedish, Arabic, Dutch, Finnish, Greek, Hebrew, Latin, Norwegian, Polish, Romanian, Russian, Czech, Esperanto, Turkish, and Ukrainian. Some additional languages are currently in development, too: Belarussian, Bulgarian, Chinese (Cantonese), Catalan, Croatian, Danish, Gujarati, Hungarian, Indonesian, Malay, Persian, and Serbian.
You can access all of these courses from both the free and premium versions of LingQ. However, not all language courses have the same amount of content. Depending on the language you’re learning, LingQ may or may not be the best choice. To help you decide, I wanted to take a closer look at some specific languages within LingQ.
LingQ offers a pretty complete Korean course that’s useful for beginner and intermediate learners. It’s important to note that LingQ doesn’t teach you to read and write Korean though. You’ll need to use other Korean learning apps to do that. There is a lot of Korean content to practice with once you’ve learned that though.
Korean is also becoming a more popular language to learn, and users continue to add more and more Korean content to the platform. LingQ is a cool way to discover what’s popular in South Korea.
The LingQ Spanish course can help learners of all levels improve their communication skills. There’s also a huge amount of Spanish content available, like books, news, podcasts, YouTube videos, and more.
While LingQ won’t help you improve your speaking skills (there are other apps for that), it’s still a useful tool for improving your listening and reading. Some Spanish words have different meanings in different countries, and LingQ’s library shows you how native speakers use those words differently. This is a really powerful resource.
There is a full course on Japanese, with the content and features to match. LingQ offers varied levels (beginner to advanced) and a large range of topics within the Japanese course. There’s also a lot of content that can teach you about everything from entertainment and sports to technology.
Unfortunately, you don’t learn to write Japanese in LingQ’s course, so you’ll need to find other Japanese apps to do that.
There’s a limited free version of LingQ available as well as two different paid subscriptions. The LingQ Premium subscription costs between $7.99 and $12.99 per month, depending on the length of your subscription. The LingQ Premium Plus subscription costs $39.99 per month and includes 3,000 LingQ points to buy additional features.
With these points, you can:
- Book classes on Skype with tutors to help you better learn the language.
- Submit writing for correction in whichever language you are learning.
- Buy premium content in the LingQ store
LingQ’s cost is pretty similar to most other language apps. It’s common to pay around $10 per month for language apps. You can also buy lifetime access to one language for $199.00, which is a little more than other apps like Rosetta Stone ($179.99).
LingQ offers a free 7-day trial. This lets you test the different features of the app. There is also a 30-day money-back guarantee if you pay for a subscription and end up changing your mind. Payments after your first month are non-refundable.
LingQ offers discounts if you refer your friends to the platform. When they create a LingQ account, they will be linked to your account for as long as they are active on the app. You and your friend will each earn 100 LingQs as a bonus. You will also receive 20% of all payments they make on LingQ.
Overall, I enjoyed using LingQ because it makes immersing yourself in a language so easy. It’s also a really flexible app to use and getting started is very simple. LingQ is more self-directed than other immersion apps like Rosetta Stone, too. You can choose what you want to learn and follow your interests.
Between browsing the library of content, creating your own flashcards, and importing new lessons, LingQ will definitely help you improve your language skills. It’s definitely not for everyone though. If you prefer a more structured course, apps like Busuu or Mondly may be better options.
Despite the benefits it provides language learners, LingQ still has some areas of improvement. Some of them are pretty noticeable, too.
The user interface of LingQ is one of the app’s biggest flaws. It has a pretty basic appearance compared to other apps, and it’s not the easiest to navigate. It takes some getting used to and it’s not always easy to find what you want. Overall, it’s a little clumsy visually. It seems like the team tried to pack too many features into one app.
LingQ believes that grammar should not be taught directly; learners should “acquire” grammar as they immerse themselves in the language. There are a lot of different approaches to learning grammar though. It would be nice to include at least some grammar explanations in the courses. Apps like LingoDeer really focus on teaching you grammar rules.
The free version is pretty limited in what it offers. That’s completely understandable, but don’t count on studying a lot with LingQ on just the free version. If you’re looking for apps that offer a lot more content for free, you may want to check out Duolingo and Clozemaster.
LingQ is definitely a unique language learning app, but it’s certainly not the only one. Some of the best LingQ alternatives include Duolingo, Babbel, Pimsleur, Rocket Languages, and MosaLingua. Each app offers different languages, different teaching methods, and focuses on different aspects of language learning.
In Duolingo, you basically translate from one language to the other. In LingQ, however, you learn through immersion. This is usually more effective. In terms of the user interface though, Duolingo is a lot easier to navigate than LingQ. Plus, it offers more languages (34 to LingQ’s 22). As for costs, both apps have free accounts with a wide selection of content, but LingQ offers more value for its premium account price with additional features.You can learn more about Duolingo in this review.
The main difference between LingQ and Babbel is the approach to language learning. Babbel holds your hand as it guides you through complete language courses. LingQ is a bit more flexible and lets you focus on what you want to learn. Both methods have their advantages. If you’re a complete beginner though, Babbel is definitely the better choice between the two. Both offer free trials and content though, so give each one a try and see which you prefer. See more about Babbel in this review.
Pimsleur offers a total of 51 languages, and it focuses on helping you become conversational quickly. It’s price is a little higher than LingQ’s, but you’ll learn to speak a lot faster. LingQ, on the other hand, helps you improve your listening and reading skills. It doesn’t include much speaking practice though. Depending on your needs, both apps are solid options. If you’re just focused on speaking though, Pimsleur is the better choice. Learn more about Pimsleur in this review.
Rocket Languages offers in-depth language courses that start from absolute zero. LingQ’s courses are a solid competitor to Rocket Languages, but LingQ’s courses aren’t as elaborate. Where LingQ beats out Rocket Languages is its additional content. You can completely immerse yourself in another language with LingQ, while Rocket Languages tends to have a much slower pace. Read more about it in this Rocket Languages review.
LingQ vs. Glossika
Glossika only has one plan that includes all languages and features. It costs $30 per month or $24.99 per month for a yearly subscription. The main focus in Glossika is learning through repetition. In my opinion, LingQ offers more value for money with the interactive and engaging nature of its interface. It’s easy to get bored with Glossika, but using LingQ can be motivating. LingQ is also quite a bit cheaper. You can learn more in this Glossika review.
MosaLingua and LingQ are actually pretty similar in their approaches to language learning. Both give you a lot of content and resources in your target language. They also help you create flashcards with words you actually want to learn. Their main difference is price. MosaLingua is quite a bit cheaper than LingQ. And for its low price, MosaLingua offers a huge amount of value. It also offers a free 15-day trial. Read more about it in this MosaLingua review.
LingQ has a free subscription as well as premium subscriptions that range from $7.99 to $39.99 per month. While the free subscription lets you access quite a bit of content, you need a paid subscription to use all of LingQ’s additional features. The price you pay depends on the features you want and the length of your subscription.
LingQ has one of the most comprehensive collections of language learning materials, and it’s generally worth it if you plan to use it consistently. It’s important to remember that not all language courses have the same amount of content though. LingQ isn’t worth it if you’re learning a less popular language like Turkish or Arabic.
LingQ can definitely help you improve your fluency, but it won’t make you fluent by itself. The app has a lot of resources for practicing your target language, but you’ll still need a more robust app to actually become fluent. The best way to become fluent is to practice with native speakers. Apps like italki and Lingoda help you do this easily.
You can use LingQ for free and access a lot of language content, but the features are limited. To take advantage of all of LingQ’s features and access all content, you need a paid subscription. These subscriptions cost anywhere from $7.99 to $39.99 per month.
LingQ’s free trial is 7 days long and it gives you access to all of the app’s features. It’s the perfect way to test everything out and decide whether or not LingQ is a good fit for you.