Update on Hindi 2022
Actually LingQ offers hindi thru its touch dictionary.I just downloaded BBC hindi News and made it Work thru the touch dictionary!
How did you manage that? Did you import an article under a different language and then proceed from there?
I'd like to know that as well. I think I heard some people saying that they`ve used a language slot they wouldn't learn and attribute the dictionary of interest.
I'd like to know if the stats work well this way. Maybe I'll try putting Hindi instead of Esperanto, a language I'm sure I'll never try to learn :-)
I just tried it but I couldn't make it work perfectly. I tried to change the Google translate settings to Hindi and sometimes it works but it often reverts back to the original language setting (Esperanto in my case). The definitions exist in the Hindi dictionary though and it's possible to adjust manually (it would take a lot of work to change the settings everytime manually). I don't know if it's possible to do a little hack with that, maybe vidarvollund can clarify how.
I downloaded BBC hindi written News to the Persian site! But the translations are not perfect. I also downloaded short stories in hindi from the web and the dictionary worked better than the BBC texts!
I’m assuming there was no text to speech because you used the Persian slot. Right?
sounds wonderful, please give detailed instructions on how to do it!!
And by the by, meanwhile I have been testing Hindi at Readlang, they do have it! It's not a supported language and it's still Beta though. The platform is not as elaborated as LingQ and it's a pity that they don't show the stats like LingQ. Anyway it's a reader as well and we have more easiness to look up words and create flashcards in case you all haven't tested yet.
languagecrush has it
Awesome! Thank you Azarya, great shout!
Like others have said, the problem of language usage in the mini-stories is a serious one. It's not just a question of being oriented towards beginners or not.
I would add a lack of cultural reference too. Since they are translated from English, besides the grammar level problem already mentioned, there are things that become totally irrelevant or important things that are missing in a different cultural context.
Stories adapted to each country would be better, including local names. For example I find a bit silly to only use and translate English names in the Chinese mini-stories.
My friend who contributed with the first 5 mini-stories in Hindi was having difficulty with things like that. On the other hand, modern Hindi has many English loanwords and many things like "shopping cart" are just said in English and my friend didn't even know how to write that in Hindi. Probably the quality of the translation wasn't much accurate and that's another reason LingQ shouldn't rely only on the good will of contributors. If they don't want to pay and provide a professional service, then why does LingQ require them as a pre-requisite to start a language? That's actually quite a nonsense.
names are translated, aren't they ? I've used them in a couple languages. But i think you have a good point-- if we just translate from English we may lose things that are common things to do/say in that particular culture. So it makes sense for one's first lessons to have things very common in that language, not just translations from English.
On the other hand, even though I said the mini-stories are boring, they become less boring when the language is unfamiliar. Then the repetition is useful. So I am happy to have them there, if they are good quality. But it's not like the stories are very engaging in themselves .
So, Zoran or anyone from the team, if you are reading this, can't you consider changing your pre-requirement for mini-stories, which isn't well regarded by the members in general?
Also, Zoran, can't you be transparent about the status of Hindi and other languages as it was pointed by other users? I know you said it won't be added soon BUT
for example, could you say if the first 5 Hindi mini-stories my acquaintance provided are of bad quality so I could have an idea on what to request from possible new contributors? What about the other two contacts I sent you, did they produce anything? How many stories do you have now?
I think Norwegian was released before you had the mini-stories ready, so why can't you do the same with such a major language as Hindi?
Hi Atlan, we don't have any approved mini stories for Hindi. unfortunately the samples I received were not good. if you please send an email to me at sahra @ lingq.com I can send you the instructions for the possible new contributors you might know.
yeah, i find the mini-stories to be somewhat boring myself. But I could see them being useful in languages where there is not a lot of beginner content and where the sounds are very different from my native language (English.) Actually what would be useful is a forum of compiled resources that other users have found helpful. Then we could import it ourselves.
It's extremely disappointing to read that Hindi won't be added anytime soon. There are threads dating 12 years back requesting Hindi. In many of those threads it has been said that Hindi would be added after the big update. How did they not manage to get the mini stories in 12 years? I am also disappointed that apparently free translations from community members are needed, so mini stories can be added. So, LingQ cannot just pay a professional English-Hindi translator? Really?
I'd also like to add that I don't personally use the mini stories anymore. For the existing languages they are usually not high quality. They are not high quality in my native language (German) and I found mistakes or simply weird ways to say things in other languages as well. But it's not just about the mistakes. Since the stories have been translated from English and have been designed (in English) to try and teach certain grammar points, they often force tenses or other grammar concepts just so the reader can see that grammar point in the text. This can lead to an unnatural use of certain tenses or even sentence structure in the target language. The whole point of LingQ is to read texts that reflect how the language is spoken/written in real life, not to read mini stories that will (for example) use the future tense in German just because that is the grammar point of the lesson, even though no native speaker would use it in that situation (in fact, German speakers almost never use the future tense, not even in written/formal texts). One of the main reasons to read and listen to texts in your target language is to learn when and how to use the grammar in real life. It's to see grammar in action. The mini stories don't do that.
Finally, I don't see why new languages can't just be added without mini stories. People can just start importing texts and other learning materials that are around for free. I would love to see this happen.
I feel like the LingQ team is always pushing for those mini stories to be there, but is there really a demand for it? I mean, do users really mind if there are no mini stories for a language? I doubt that anyone would complain if a new Beta language was added without mini stories.
I agree 100 percent.
That's disappointing to learn that many mini-stories are unnatural :( Especially in German as was considering using them for that language.
I think if people were just starting off in a language, they would be really useful if they were natural. That or something like Assimil.
I would love Hindi but especially Bangla. But I guess no hope for it.
To be fair. it's not all of the text in the mini stories that is unnatural. It's just some parts. Most of the parts are probably fine. I stopped using them, because in a new language I won't be able to distinguish what sounds natural and what doesn't. This is really important to me. I still used a lot of them for Turkish and also learned plenty of things.
Although, I just looked at one of the German stories again, and for German in particular, most of the stories don't sound very natural. Besides the forced use of certain tenses, the problem in German is the lack of modal particles. These are extremely common and hard to grasp for learners who are not used to them. They require a lot of input to learn. Because the stories have been translated from English (and not by professional translators), they don't use modal particles at all, which makes them sound like translations rather than natural speech or writing.
To be fair. They are for beginners. If you look at any beginner material, it is fairly unnatural. Very simple sentences. Modal particles are really an intermediate/advanced thing imo. The mini stories are meant to teach the basic structures of a sentence, the basic tenses and a decent chunk of beginner level vocabulary.
If modal particles are hard to grasp (and I total agree they are), it's best not to confuse the situation for beginners by introducing these right off the bat. There are enough confusing elements to German =)
This is a serious problem with LingQ, and a problem that has never been properly addressed. The website sells languages and targets language learners, yet is full of errors.
The odd mistake, here, there (and everywhere) if corrected in the long run is fine. The problem is this is hardly ever the case. Errors abound and persist and persist, until observant learners like yourself stop using material they cannot judge because of the errors observed in their mother tongue.
It is essential that beginner material is 100% correct and 100% natural.
Most unfortunately I don't think the mini stories in German will ever be corrected such that they sound natural (despite the fact that German modals are learned at beginner A1 level).
1. Edited out polyglot bit as irrelevant.
2. ericb100, as I cannot respond to your post below as there is no "reply" tab option only an "import" tab, please note miriamblanca's response to your question about modals.
Luca, Benny, and Moses are and were selling their own systems and advice (not sure about Richard). So they don't stand to benefit by telling someone to just go use LingQ. I don't think Benny's or Moses "style" really fits the LingQ model. Luca more closely maybe, but he's probably also just ingrained in his own ways.
Who knows, maybe they all use it behind the scenes. =)
As for modals...are you referring to verbs or particles? Miriam mentioned particles which I don't think are "A1" at all, and probably not "A2" (although I have never taken a class in German so I will certain accept being corrected on this statement. Modal VERBS on the other hand are most definitely level A1 or A2...certainly beginner level in general.
@maria2 @ericb100 Sure, there are serious problems with LingQ. I also have my own ways to learn languages. I am however a paying member and LingQ is useful to me when I import content from other sources. It makes looking up words very easy. Plus, since I don't usually use flashcards or anything like that (I find it boring), having the LingQs gives me peace of mind. I know the words and expressions are there and I can do the rare flashcard review after seeing them in a text. I also found a few podcasts and books through the platform that were really good.
So, I do find LingQ useful and that's why I'm still here as a paying member. It's just that the contents they produce are not great. So, it's very frustrating for me when languages I really want are not added with the excuse that these contents (I don't care about) are not ready and as far as I can tell will never be ready within the next 30 years. Like many people here, especially like many paying members here, I just want to be able to import stuff, maybe see what other people import, or what native content creators provide, and create LingQs. I mean the content can be accessed for free. We actually pay for importing and creating LingQs. So, I'd hope that we'd be able to do that in the languages we want as well.
Having alpha languages without contents just for paying members may also be an option since free members can't import contents anyways.
By the way, I already completely switched to DuChinese for Chinese. You can't import contents there, but they actually do have a well-organized library of high quality content, written by people who understand how to teach Chinese and write engaging stories, rather than translations of rather boring stories by non-professional translators. So, right now for me LingQ is neither for Chinese nor for Hindi, and I'm not focusing so much on other languages now. So, I'm simply using it less and less. It makes me wonder how much longer I'll keep up my subscription. Not sure. As I said. I still find it useful. But their weird decisions just always make it a little less so.
@ericb100 Regarding, modal particles, you should definitely learn them from the beginning. That doesn't mean you need to fully master them, but the texts you read should use them as they would be used in natural speech. I teach German and speak/learn Dutch. Materials for both languages will make use of modal articles since lesson 1 or maybe 2. This is where any old textbook is actually better and much more natural than LinQs own contents, although LingQ will try to tell you that textbooks are somehow bad. Lesson 2 from my Dutch book has sentences like "Zegt u het maar", "Geef mij maar een pilsje." "dan moet u even wachten." "maar" and "even" being moddal particles. Any simple (natural) sounding conversation will have modal particles. Like I said, beginners don't need to master them, but they need to get used to them and hear their use from the beginning.
Besides, the mini stories are meant for beginners but can include complex structures early on, as they follow what's easy in English. They use relative clauses right away. These are a bit tricky in Turkish, for example, and are usually considered B1, the more complex ones even B2. That is because understanding the tenses and cases is necessary to even consider making a relative clause. Past tense and future tense on the other hand are A1 in Turkish, not really that hard. That is another disadvantage of having translations to learn from rather than authentic text in the target language.
Either way, I don't mind if other people want to use the mini stories. It's their choice. I just don't use them and don't like them being a requisite for new languages to be added/excuse for them not to be added. It's not what I'm here for.
I definitely do agree with that. I think if there's a decent online dictionary that covers the language (and maybe not even that), they should open up particularly requested languages. Call it a beta language or whatever.
After all, that's one of Lingq's main selling points is the ability to add your own content, so what does it matter if there are mini stories or not.
@miriam re: modal particles
Thanks for the information regarding teaching of modal particles. My understanding from other's experiences was that it was considered "intermediate" and from my own experience I've tended to agree (not textbook oriented, unless you count Assimil German, which btw DOES start introducing some of them fairly early).
I agree, though, you certainly need to be aware of these early (especially if importing your own content), and I remember in earlier stages I would look up, what are all the weird "extra" words and learned to quickly more or less ignore for the earlier stages as it was rather confusing to try and remember them. I think that's what much of the learning material I'd see would say..."hey, this is am modal particle...you'll learn more about these later". OK then, I'll wait until later =)
Modal particles I agree are something that should appear even in beginner texts. Learners will not use them correctly, except in fixed expressions, but, because they are so important for natural speech, learners should be made aware early that they exist and to watch for them, but not to worry about them for a few hundred hours (at least).
@mbilsker I'm German and I don't see this problem. The MS are totally fine for what they are. Basic language, a lot of repetitions and you get exposed to different accents of German. You can easily supplement it with other beginner material like the free course Nicos Weg from Deutsche Welle.
Here's an example from story 20 part B.
"Ich versuchte, mein Auto zu starten. Aber es war draußen zu kalt. Also konnte ich nicht mein Auto starten. Ich habe zuerst den Busfahrplan überprüft."
Sounds right? I mean, aside from the fact that there is absolutely no flow and it sounds robotic, they teach Imperfekt here, which is not usually used when speaking. Nobody says, "Ich versuchte, mein Auto zu starten." But ok, maybe they want to simply teach the tense, fine. Except they don't because they switch tense three sentences later for no reason. I also don't usually "überprüfen" a bus schedule. That's just not a verb I've heard anyone use in that context ever. Sounds like a bad translation of "check the bus schedule". And "Also konnte ich nicht mein Auto starten," is simply incorrect. The "nicht" is just not in the right position. It's "Also konnte ich mein Auto nicht starten." I've seen this a lot with adverbs in the mini stories as well. They're just not in the right position.
I really didn't cherry-pick this passage. I just randomly opened a story and stuff like that is right there.
Here's a more natural text for the same content:
Ich habe versucht mein Auto zu starten, aber draußen war es sehr kalt. Deshalb konnte ich mein Auto nicht starten. (or better: Deshalb wollte mein Auto einfach nicht starten.) Also habe ich mir erst einmal den Busfahrplan angesehen.
Hi , we are getting German mini stories proofread by native speakers, so far we have re-recorded some of them and we will re-record the rest if they have unnatural sentences. thanks for the points you mentioned in this thread.
I have always thought it odd that they rely on free volunteers to translate and record ministories. I see plenty of people in the forums requesting a single language. Surely if all of those people signed up for a month or a year, it would make up for the cost of hiring a native to do the recordings. Certainly with languages like Hindi, Vietnamese, and Tagalog, where labor is cheap.
As for the ministory requirements, I understand that the average user may want content already present in the app, however, why not just add a third category? Why not make an Alpha Language category that states very clearly, "this language has no content." Ministories are about the least unique thing about LingQ. I can find videos on youtube, graded readers, beginner podcasts. There is plenty of ministory-like content out there, but nothing like LingQ's reader. That's what we are here for.
Maybe I just don't understand. But it seems like LingQ wastes a lot of time with weird decisions. The process to cancel a premium account is so complicated that there are posts almost daily asking Zoran to close their accounts, one of them has 278 comments. I have to wonder how much time he spends just closing accounts. At what point is it more efficient to just make things simpler for users?
Why not just add the requested languages as hidden "alpha" languages. Folks in the forum aren't asking "when are the minstories coming?" they are asking when the language is coming. People want the reader functionality. Why waste all the time stringing people along?
Very well said! I would call it a Gamma category, since it's not even Beta. But just to allow people to pool their resources (time) by looking up vocabulary and save it publicly so that other people can see it, and we end collaborating and finding out words' meanings.
I guess there are hidden costs for Duolingo that we do not yet understand, perhaps they explained it before
I think total transperency about the status of each new language should be the goal. Something like "we have ministories in Lituahian/Hindi/... but the quality is not good. It should proabably take annother 2/3 months to have theam ready, but they will be released etc,,, If anything about this chages, I will let you know and update the information on forum or by private message"
It is not neccessary for LingQ to establish short stories for hindi, it could just be enough to implement a touch dictionary! We who study hindi can download texts and audio from GLOSS dfli!
Exactly! This requirement for mini-stories is ridiculous, who needs them? I couldn't care less for them. As it was already pointed, they don't correspond to a natural usage in each language and are full of other mistakes. We basically just need a dictionary and the memory slot for the language.
I mean it's true, the Mini Stories do offer a scripted version of the language, which doesn't represent spontaneous dialogue, which in real life, wouldn't be as rhythmic or pristine. I really don't know why such a mechanism of needing x amount of Mini Stories to release a language actually exists, I mean it's not as though they can't change their own rules and it's not as though all of the current Mini Stories are of an audible quality anyway, since some of them are, or at leat were pretty terrible last time I checked.
It is frustrating, as someone who contributed Hindi dictionaries and online material, that we are hung up on mini-stories and such.
It wouldn't be a bad idea for paying members to have access to requested betas that only have dictionaries and news articles linked, with the option to import content. Today, many learners can take Hindi subs from Netflix and other platforms, so the material is hardly an issue.
I once tried calculating the general cost of creating mini-stories and intermediate stories based on Fiverr contracts. I think I came up to nearly $3,000 per language for content and audio.
If you assume that (and the revenue is incredibly uncertain because I don't have clear, updated premium user stats):
- There are around 4,000 active, premium-paying members (https://www.lingq.com/en/community/forum/open-forum/how-many-members-are-there-in-the-lingq-community)
- Assume all are paying the low-tier ($107) plan.
- That's about $480,000
- Account for taxes - let's assume 35%
- You're left with $278,200 for salaries, infrastructure costs, marketing
- Then there's about 20-25 on staff.
It's easy to see why they would need to rely on volunteers. Even if I up the revenue, there are a lot of costs.
But ultimately, I feel like it's imperative to add additional languages and that they can do so to their advantage. Again, either through offering the basic functions for "beta" languages. Or maybe even forking over the $3,000 for 1 new language a year based on a userbase vote.
For me, I don't put much weight on the mini-stories. They aren't supposed to be incredibly interesting or natural. Just enough to get a feel for the language and motivate with basic comprehension. Of course, I tend to use LingQ more for languages past the A1 level and after a general grammar review, so when I'm reading, I have an idea of grammar.
Yeah but unfortunately they have created this silly requirement for the mini-stories. By the way, your flag says India but your mother tongue says English, are you a Hindi speaker as well? Have you ever contributed to the mini-stories? Even if you don't put much weight on the mini-stories (as I and many others don't ), if they have this stupid requirement, maybe we could have Hindi implemented faster if Hindi speakers had the same spirit like our dear fellow Rokkvi, who greatly contributed with ALL Icelandic mini-stories.
I understand it's a requirement. My point is that it may be an unnecessary one.
No, I'm not a Hindi-speaker. I'm just living abroad. I did contribute one intermediate story, which I paid for, to get an estimate cost and see if it's viable from my end. But it wasn't.
Furthermore, while I think it's amazing that there are people who have the time to volunteer their labor, many do not have that time or expertise. Sure, I could translate the mini-stories, maybe up to 10-15. But as a non-native speaker, who needs Hindi to navigate but doesn't live in a Hindi-speaking region, and whose surroundings speak a local dialect of Hindi, not pure Hindi, I can guarantee that my translations would be far from perfect.
Then there's the issue of time, as I mentioned. Many people work full-time already. Volunteering at that level is a second job. Translating and speaking might help me as a learner, but my practice materials are hardly going to help someone else. Especially with my non-native accent. :)
Many work full-time, have chores, and family commitments. Volunteering on this scale doesn't make sense unless you are a) a student, b) financially independent or c) retired.
Yes , it was clear they are unnecessary and the reasons you stated are more points against their absurd requirement. It´s asking too much when the stories are essentially not much relevant anyway.
LingQ should use the US military language school to take advantage of its large quantity of learning material. It comes with text ,audio and translation and it is free. You can find it at GLOSS dfli!
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I agree, too.
Would also really appreciate Hindi being added.
please add Urdu
Not yet sure about the date, can't promise anything. But I know our content managers are doing their best to get high quality mini stories in several languages and to have them released as soon as possible.
can you confirm that you already have the high quality mini stories for Hindi? and if you do not have them what is the plan to get them?
No, we don't have high quality mini stories in Hindi, so not sure if we will have it added in the near future. Our content team is looking for Librarians and trying to get as many stories done as possible for several languages that are in incubation, not just Hindi.
If you are not sure could you find out? I purchased a years subsription nearly a year ago on the expectation that Hind( or Urdu) was going to be added soon after the 5 came out. Is the near future a few weeks or a few years? Hindi is the fourth most spoken language in the world and is spoken in most of the old British empire countries? It is more important than many of the "minor" languages that are available on lingq. Please try to give a definite answer.
I’m not sure I would say it’s more important than other languages on LingQ but I too have been waiting a long time for Hindi to be added. I second the request for a transparent action plan to be made available for paying LingQ customers. 🙏
@marlene666 I checked with our content team. Hindi won't be added anytime soon. At the moment Swahili and Tagalog are making most progress and it's most likely that those two are next two in line to be added.
Any progress with this?
Ditto from me.