Import YouTube videos into LingQ using the browser extension

mark ca Canada


For those of you who enjoy watching YouTube videos in your new language, we recently pushed an update which lets you import them into LingQ with 1-click using the browser extension.

You just need to make sure the video has captions (the cc indicator) and then you can click the extension to import it. It will import the video, the audio and the text. The text is often auto-generated so it's likely not perfect. But, it is normally plenty good enough and let's you learn from a ton of videos on YouTube.

Find out more in this blog post -

Enjoy importing from YouTube! Let us know what you think and make sure to share any interesting YouTube channels that you find!

October 31 at 00:29
  • amop567 us United States

    Hi Mark,

    Thank you so much for adding this great feature.

    There still are some minor kinks to work out for Japanese though as each caption line is registered as a single word. This can be solved by resplitting the text in the edit window, but it would be nice to have the text split automatically.

    October 31 at 10:10
    • Administrator
      mark ca Canada

      I see there are some issues with Japanese. We will look into those. Thanks!

      October 31 at 17:17
  • davidrobinson gb United Kingdom

    This is an excellent new update. Cant wait to give it a try!

    October 31 at 10:16
  • MystTerra ru Russian Federation

    Wow, that's awesome news indeed! Thank you so much!

    October 31 at 10:53
  • Ryrbo se Sweden

    That's great! This will really come in handy. By the way, is there any way to add videos to lessons I've already created? I've got around a hundred episodes of some 快乐汉语 episodes transcribed and added as lessons on Lingq, but have been watching the videos in a separate app while going through the lessons. Being able to add the video and audio for the episodes would be great, and then I could even share the lessons which I can't now since they are text only.

    October 31 at 11:33
    • benscheelings nl Netherlands

      Import videos: when in a lesson, click on the three points in the right upper corner, then click on edit lesson and on the middle of the three boxes above the text. Now you get a pull-down menu and you'll find the possibility, among others, to import a video.

      October 31 at 15:23
    • Administrator
      mark ca Canada

      As benscheelings says, you can click on the Resources tab when editing the lesson and add your video url there. This won't automatically generate the audio though I'm afraid. The only way to do that is by using the import extension and then copying your transcriptions to the new lessons.

      October 31 at 16:56
    • JanTea nl Netherlands

      Do you have the transcripts available anywhere?

      December 06 at 16:40
  • scgrant176 us United States

    This is a great idea, but it still has some challenges, I think. I've only tried it on a few videos, but the Portuguese words were imported without accent marks. All the "new" words showed up as Blue, even though they are known words when the accent marks are included. At this point, unless I'm doing something wrong, its a great idea but not currently functional.

    October 31 at 12:14
  • riquillers qa Qatar

    Cool :-D it messes up some letters though, like the Swedish å ä ö

    October 31 at 13:28
    • Administrator
      mark ca Canada

      @scgrant176, riquillers - Thanks for reporting this. Are the accented characters showing properly in the closed captions on YouTube?

      October 31 at 16:58
      • scgrant176 us United States

        That's a good question, I'm not sure now that you ask. I'll check that tonight and let you know.

        October 31 at 17:09
        • scgrant176 us United States

          Yes, the accent marks seem correct in the video. Here's the video URL

          October 31 at 21:48
          • Administrator
            mark ca Canada

            Thanks, it does seem to be an issue for all accented languages. We are working on this.

            October 31 at 23:03
  • DLusby ca Canada

    I was happy to see this. It's too bad that many videos only have only auto-generated subtitles instead of subtitles that have been checked for errors, but that's YouTube.

    Still, it's a great addition. Thank you!

    October 31 at 13:49
  • word20 se Sweden

    I have tried to do this with a vlog in Italian #72 from youtube but there is an error in opening the lesson. It worked fine two times but the third time it does not work.

    This feature is a flop when it does not work as intended.

    What is the problem? What is the reason that it does not work?

    October 31 at 16:07
    • Administrator
      mark ca Canada

      You mean you were able to import 2 videos but the 3rd video didn't import? Or, that you tried opening the lesson the third time and that didn't work? Are you opening the lesson from within LingQ?

      October 31 at 17:34
      • word20 se Sweden

        I have opened it in the app on the browser it is only giving the text in English, not in Italian

        October 31 at 20:12
        • Administrator
          mark ca Canada

          You would have to post the video link here so we can take a look. Does that video have Italian captions?

          October 31 at 20:59
  • ak49r us United States

    Hi Mark,

    This is a fantastic! idea. I have often told my friends that I think the holy grail would be the ability to have Linq-like capability on any video I wanted, so I see this as a huge step in that direction. When I got the notification I immediately went and tried it on a german-language MrWissen2Go episode. It worked pretty well, but none of the umlauts came through. I think this is the same issue others have mentioned for portugese and swedish. I am looking forward to continued improvements along this line. Thanks!

    October 31 at 20:05
    • Oxygen. us United States

      yep my problem is no umlauts

      November 02 at 03:36
    • run2explore99 de Germany

      same here

      November 06 at 10:25
  • Ginkgo58 au Australia

    Thanks for adding this significant feature. I have tried it with an English YouTube video with complete success. I have not been able to import a BBC YouTube video in Chinese. Fellow LingQ Chinese learners, What videos have you had success with?

    October 31 at 22:25
    • Ryrbo se Sweden

      I am wondering the same thing. I've been looking around Youtube for content with chinese cc subtitles, but since most chinese tv shows and videos already tend to have hardcoded subtitles as standard, it seems usually people don't bother creating separate cc subtitles.

      November 01 at 09:00
  • mendinfences us United States


    Thanks for all your hard work!! This is a GREAT feature.

    Is it possible to then listen/watch these offline?

    November 01 at 01:22
    • Administrator
      mark ca Canada

      You won't be able to watch the video because it is shown on YouTube and requires an internet connection. But the audio will be available offline as will the text.

      November 02 at 00:31
  • Imani us United States

    Great new feature, but it’s not working for me. I’ve tried to import about seven Korean videos. I keep getting “Error.”

    November 01 at 20:41
    • Administrator
      mark ca Canada

      Can you post some of the video links so we can try those videos and try and figure out why they aren't working?

      November 02 at 00:30
      • Imani us United States

        Below are links to several of the videos. I just tried a couple of them again… I wonder if the length of the video is the issue. Is there a limit on length? ~~Thank you for looking into this, Mark. I appreciate your help.

        November 02 at 00:50
        • Administrator
          mark ca Canada

          I just tried the first 3 but they all worked fine for me. I have had the import error before although not for a while. Which browser are you in? I tried it in Safari and it was fine. Did you try refreshing the page and then trying again? Any more information you can give will help us track down the issue.

          November 02 at 04:57
          • Imani us United States

            It’s working now! I have no idea why it didn’t work yesterday, but all is fine today. Thank you for your attention to this matter. And thanks for adding this new feature. It’s awesome!

            November 02 at 17:06
  • piotrj pl Poland

    That is a great feature, I really appreciate it!

    If I may suggest something, it would be much better if a click on a word didn't hide a whole player but only pause the video. After return to video from creating new lingq the whole player and video is reloading again, which is kinda slow and annoying.

    November 03 at 13:46
    • Administrator
      mark ca Canada

      Obviously, the word information shows up in the same place as the video so we can't show both at once. You also don't need to look at the video while dealing with your words. We would have to figure out a different way to show the video to enable this. It may be something for the future. In the meantime, the video does stop when you click on a word and it does start up from where you left off. Are you not seeing this?

      November 05 at 00:34
  • Administrator
    mark ca Canada

    A few updates to pass along here:

    • Accented characters should be importing correctly now. If you previously imported a video which imported accented characters incorrectly, you should remove that lesson first before re-importing it using the extension. Otherwise, the original won't be replaced and will just keep being shown.
    • Asian language videos should be importing properly now as well. Before they were just importing the descriptions.
    • The maximum lesson size for content imported through the extension has been increased to 4000 words so that fewer imports need to be split into parts. Very long imports will continue to get split into multiple 2000 word parts.
    November 05 at 00:38
  • AlanBrown pl Poland

    hey guys,

    I'm really grateful for this extension! It gives me more freedom and make my learning more efficient.

    I face with one problem though, which is:

    Sometimes, for some reason I can't save the whole phrase or sentence cause I'm allowed to save only few words of it.

    If screenshot is needed I can deliver it.


    November 05 at 10:56
    • Administrator
      mark ca Canada

      There is a maximum length for phrases that you can save. Really you should be saving words and short phrases of 2 to 5 words maximum. Chunks of language that you can learn and reuse.

      November 06 at 06:19
      • piotrj pl Poland

        I also noticed that. It's not possible to select a phrase which is broken into two different lines, no matter how many words it is. I guess it may be related to end of sentence markings, unfortunately, in autogenerated captions, they are in literally random places.

        November 06 at 07:07
        • benscheelings nl Netherlands

          If you want to select a whole sentence or a longer part of a whole sentence, click on the « complete text » button which you find in the upper part of the screen, above the text. There you can select and copy whole sentences, and more if you want. If you want to use the chosen sentences for review purposes, you could save them together in a new lesson.

          November 06 at 15:49
      • AlanBrown pl Poland

        hey Mark, thanks for your prompt replay. I know that.

        Piotrj just described above that exact situation I'm facing with the auto generated subtitles. Is it possible to fix it in some way?

        November 06 at 15:16
        • Administrator
          mark ca Canada

          Ahh..that is due to the formatting of the captions as Piotr suggests. You would have to edit the lessons and remove the funny spacing between the two parts of the sentence you want to save.

          November 06 at 16:02
          • AlanBrown pl Poland

            I'm of course aware of manual way of dealing with this issue. It takes a whole lot time though and is not convenient at all. The solution I see would be connecting those lines together during leading data from YT. If that is possible, of course.

            Another thing I found - I cannot jump from window with notifications directly to the forum as I do with lingQs of the day kind of notifications.


            November 06 at 17:14
            • Administrator
              mark ca Canada

              Unfortunately, we probably can't do anything here. We aren't able to tell when those breaks should be there and when they should be removed. I'm afraid you will have to manually edit lessons to LingQ phrases across lines in texts imported from youtube.

              We will look into the issue with forum notifications. Thanks.

              November 07 at 05:01
  • npiv be Belgium

    Amazing. Thank you Mark & LingQ Team!

    November 07 at 06:11
  • michaelgreer es Spain

    This is absolutely fantastic.Well done

    November 07 at 23:18
  • aitchemm gb United Kingdom

    Oh my stars! This is fantastic! I just tried it with my favourite Norwegian tv show, and it worked a treat! So glad that NRK adds Norwegian subtitles to so many of their shows. Now, if only I could do that with the full episodes and shows that are on their website. That would be living the dream!

    November 08 at 07:35
  • ivargas ar Argentina

    Points to improve.

    -I was doing a lesson, and when I click in one word to save it, I need to get back to the video manually.

    -Another annoying point is my video keeps at the same spot always, so when I need to get back to the video, even if I'm at the minute 20, my start point is like 2 minutes of video, and I need to find out where I was.

    Other than that, I'm pleased with this new feature. Thanks

    November 08 at 17:14
    • Administrator
      mark ca Canada

      The video plays in the sidebar. It does have to stop to show the word information. Not much we can do there I'm afraid. As for the video, it should stop when you click on a word and then when you click back to the video it should start where it left off. Is this not happening for you? Which browser are you in?

      November 08 at 18:48
      • ivargas ar Argentina

        It isn't. I'm using google chrome. Today I was doing a 22 min lesson, and when I had to save one word, the video always kept starting from minute 2.

        November 08 at 21:39
        • Administrator
          mark ca Canada

          That does seem strange. That doesn't happen for me and others that I've checked. Could you list the steps to reproduce this issue as detailed as possible. ie. 1. Start the video 2. click on a blue word . 3. choose a popular translation 4. Click the video button.

          November 08 at 22:13
          • ivargas ar Argentina

            Exactly like you described. I'll try to do another lesson later, to see if it will happen again.

            November 08 at 23:02
          • wnint se Sweden

            I have a similar problem, although not every time I press a word. It seems it doesn’t save the time every time the youtube window closes. Browser Safari.

            November 09 at 06:03
          • ivargas ar Argentina

            Hey Mark, I just did a lesson, and I had the same problem. When I click back in the video button, it's not where I had stopped before.

            November 10 at 00:46
      • HeIsOnly de Germany

        but at least you can assign a shortcut like `esc` so that we can continue with video Because every time we clicked the unknown word, we need to go up the beginning of the page and manually we need to click the video icon and start to video again.

        So, you can basically assign a shortcut combination button from keyboard to allow us to exit from the unknown words and continue with the video where we left.

        November 10 at 01:05
      • piotrj pl Poland

        I suggested it above, you can also try to pause and hide video player instead of deleting it and creating a new one.

        As an example:

        November 10 at 13:09
        • Administrator
          mark ca Canada

          Thanks for the suggestion but this is how it should be working now. That is how it works for me. Can you send a video showing it working differently?

          November 12 at 01:57
  • Resurgence1689 us United States

    This is fantastic and very exciting!

    November 08 at 18:25
  • redstrat gb United Kingdom

    Great stuff, thanks.

    November 10 at 09:25
  • HeIsOnly de Germany

    Can you please assign a shortcut like `esc` so that we can continue with video. Because every time we click the unknown word, we need to go up the beginning of the page and manually we need to click the video icon and start to video again.

    So, the basic solution is that you can basically assign a shortcut combination button(lets say``ctrl+b`` ) from keyboard to allow us to exit from the unknown words and continue with the video where we left.

    November 10 at 11:30
    • Administrator
      mark ca Canada

      I'm not sure what you mean by beginning of the page. You just click on the Video icon in the top right beside the title.

      November 12 at 01:58
      • HeIsOnly de Germany

        Firsty, I need to say that this facility is very useful. I am really grateful lingq team for this. you guys doing great job. However, I think you need to make sure that it is working smoothly. Maybe, you can consider piotrj suggestion.

        I am using classic version of reading facility. So whenever I click a word, the video stop and since it is classic version I need to go up means beginning of the page to continue the video.

        Even in new version of reading facility, it is really annoying to go forth and back with mouse to continue with video when we click the words. What i mean by shortcut in keyboard is that, after we save our linq, we should easy go with the video by assigned shortcut. lets say `esc`. After we click the `esc` the video should continue.

        November 12 at 20:52
  • KatysLanguages fr France

    thanks a lot, that is so useful!

    November 13 at 11:25
  • MarkEChavez us United States

    I love this new Feature! but there are a lot of great videos that have subtitles but arn't on youtube. I wish I could import from here as well. websites like has so many videos with subtitles.

    November 14 at 21:33
    • Administrator
      mark ca Canada

      That is something we are planning on looking into. We'll see if we can add additional video import sources. Thanks for the suggestion. You'll have to wait and see!

      November 15 at 01:13
    • Administrator
      mark ca Canada

      @MarkEChavez - By the way, you should now be able to import video content from and from The videos can't be displayed since they are not Youtube videos but the audio and text are imported into LingQ through the import extension. Enjoy!

      November 28 at 18:59
  • NickHoyt us United States

    I just used this to upload about 10 YouTube videos of Kizuna AI (a Japanese virtual YouTuber) and it worked perfectly! Thank you guys for this amazing update!

    November 16 at 04:50
  • Sunflower28 gb United Kingdom

    Yippee! This is wonderful!

    November 20 at 16:37
  • Administrator
    mark ca Canada

    We have just pushed an update which now shows the video on the page above the sentence in Sentence Mode. It's still in the sidebar in Page Mode, of course.

    November 21 at 20:38
  • rambles gb United Kingdom

    It's amazing! Thank you.

    November 23 at 19:10
  • ShaylaFrahm us United States

    Wow, thank you guys so much for this. Love LingQ you guys are always making the money we pay worth every penny with these new features.

    November 29 at 19:41
  • KatysLanguages fr France

    Hi Mark. I've imported some of the videos from my channel to share them on Lingq. The first time I did it without any issue and I found it amazing but today it's impossible to share new lessons because the audio is not imported from the video. Could you check what it is due to? Thanks a lot!

    December 01 at 13:53
    • Administrator
      mark ca Canada

      @KatysLanguages - Thanks for the heads up! We'll get that fixed. Sorry about that.

      December 01 at 23:06
    • Administrator
      mark ca Canada

      @KatysLanguages - It should be working properly now. In fact, your audio should be there now. The audio import was delayed by some issues in the import queue.. Hopefully, this shouldn't happen again but let us know if you notice it again.

      December 03 at 20:12
      • KatysLanguages fr France

        Yes, it's perfect now, thanks a lot Mark!!

        December 04 at 17:22
      • ShaylaFrahm us United States

        I am trying for Spanish and the Audio is not importing... Is there a way to add the audio on if it doesn't self-generate? If it doesn't self generate will it just take some time and the audio will be available in a few days? I want to share this content with others so They can use it too. It also makes reviewing the speech easier when you have the rewind 5 seconds button.

        December 04 at 19:34
        • Administrator
          mark ca Canada

          It should eventually show up. If not, I would delete that lesson and then try to re-import it. Otherwise, there is no way to add the audio after the fact short of extracting it yourself somehow and uploading it directly on the import page.

          Saturday at 18:40
  • michaelkennedy1 us United States

    Is it possible to upload a video without subtitles? Most Chinese video have embedded subtitles so I was hoping to import the video and transcribe the subtitles manually, but the Chrome extension threw an error for "no subtitles."

    December 07 at 19:42
    • michaelkennedy1 us United States

      Also, I just found this video and tried to import but also had an import error despite there being subtitles.

      Is there a problem that is actively being worked on this issue or is this error expected?

      Looking forward to using this feature! Thanks

      Saturday at 14:14
      • Administrator
        mark ca Canada

        Thanks for reporting that. I've forwarded it to the team. It seems that the formatting is different for different videos so letting us know about videos that don't work is the best way to go.

        Saturday at 19:49
    • Administrator
      mark ca Canada

      No, the importer needs the text to work I'm afraid. You can add the video in the Resources tab just by pasting the url. Then you can add the subtitles manually.

      Saturday at 18:46
  • ramonek cz Czech Republic

    It is a cool function but why only Youtube? Should it not be possible to download the subtitles from any streaming video using the same technology? It would be fantastic, if I could also import captions from ČT (Czech Television). They post their content to their website with subtitles. I would love to use the subtitles as a text to work with them. Can this be done somehow? It doesnt seem to work at the moment as the converter only imports the text of the website but not the captions of the embedded video. I am not knowledgeable enough technically to know if there is a difference between youtube captions and the captions for other streaming videos. I have no hope finding czech content with captions on Youtube. so if it would be possible to also use other sources the value of Lingq would increase immensely for me and probably many other users. I really started to love this website and hope to hear back from you.

    Wednesday at 21:01
    • Administrator
      mark ca Canada

      We only have the ability to show videos from YouTube but we can and have enabled import of other videos from,, and We import the captions and audio from these other sources along with the original url. That sounds like a good source. Send us a url and we'll try to enable it.

      12 hours, 54 minutes ago