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7 comments on “Language Learning and ugh! Money


While I agree with your premise about business in general, you do realize that a huge part of the value of your product is provided by paying members for free, don’t you? The reason Lingq is a better system than other comparable, free systems is primarily that the Lingq community has created and uploaded lots of free content and lingqed millions of words that others can later use quickly as a good working definition of a word without having to figure it out for themselves. The early days of the Korean Lingq content, for example, were essentially worthless to a new Korean learner. It took the work of lots of community members to turn it into something valuable. You should certainly be rewarded for your efforts, but if others did not add value to your product for free, Lingq would not really be worth a whole lot.

You are absolutely right, Zach. The contribution of all LingQ members is essential to the development of the site and the community. I don’t think that LingQ contradicts what I said. LingQ members who upload content, or LingQ words are doing so for variety of reasons. They are happy to contribute to the community, or they may want to earn points for their further study on LingQ, or they are actively LingQing in order to learn one or several languages. I believe there is a realization by most members that the more they put in, the more they will all get out. Most altruistic actions are based on this sense of reciprocity. At the same time the members pursuit of their own interests benefits everyone. In a way LingQ is a marketplace as well as a learning community. The fact that LingQ is paid for by the members’ fees, rather than by government funding, doesn’t make it a less worthwhile learning exchange. It does make it less accessible for some people.


I agree that being able to buy resources or employ the skills and talents of others is essential. I just wish more effort would be on giving advice on the ‘how’ to learn and not just ‘what’ to learn. I’m not talking about Linq here; I think it’s a great site that has really pushed me in my studies and, more importantly, allowed me to enjoy studying even more. I just wish I knew all this long ago. I’ve been studying Japanese on my own for about seven years and yet I’m only just getting into intermediate. I’ve spent loads of money on cards, textbooks, JLPT practice books etc. I think I’ve learned a great deal by doing all this by myself. Surely, though, I should be better at the language? Lately I’ve really felt as though I’ve made a big step in my skills primarily because of Linq. I’ve recently started to study Mandarin; I’ll be interested to see how my progress fairs.

Victor Mendez

Hi, steve, with all due respect, may I have your opinion about the following question? In your own expercience, comparing german and english, wich one is easier for someone to learn, do they have the same level of dificulty?
PD, I`m learning english, but my netx goal is german.


This is hard to say. I would say German is more difficult for you because there are fewer Latin based words. The vocabulary will be harder. The grammar in German is a bit difficult but then English has a lot of issues with verbs that cause trouble. I think the main thing is you motivation. Good luck.


The question is really should people who teach or who enable others to learn languages be paid. If you think they should not, then language learning should be free. If you think people should be paid a fair wage for working, well then it shouldn’t.

eva anna von behne

I can’t believe that you have to justify charging a fee for what you do. Yes, a long time ago it was a fact that people like teachers and doctors worked for free because it was thought horrible for them to charge. Now to the other extreme: look what it costs to get a college degree? Everyone deserves to be paid for their work and that includes you. Or would you prefer living in a tent in a park? You deserve every dime you get and you are right. Money is a great invention.

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