Anyone got strong opinions on LinQ or similar apps? I'll listen to them for free

Morning folks,
My generic video streaming service managed to convince me to watch another Steve Kauffman interview this morning, and what he said about LinQ did seem quite interesting this time around. I’d poked around with the app in the past, but it didn’t convince me to part with any cash or spend much time on it. However, maybe I’m just being lazy, and I should start using something like LinQ or FluentU or something else to ease me into reading and listening to more Japanese?
I recently hit level 21 and I’ve been trying to read more and get conversation practice the old-fashioned way, but it’s true I could use more listening practice and reading with stuff like easy look-up, subtitles, and even more crafty methods like being forced to answer questions on what I’d seen or read etc.
Anyone have strong opinions either way?

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I do not have a STRONG opinion, but I have an opinion. :wink:

LingQ is not terrible. I’ve only used it sparingly though as I didn’t want to pay. The interface is clunky but it works.

The important thing to do is to find something you will use. LingQ has not been in my top go to resources and so I won’t be paying for a subscription. I like MemRise a bit better and StackSocial is running a $99 lifetime deal for it which I am debating. Can’t decide if I want to do MemRise or BunPro or BunP at this point… Still trying to figure out my next best step really.

In the end though, if you like LingQ and it will get you learning, listening, and moving forward, give it a shot.

I’ve never tried FluentU so I have no opinion on that one.

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Start with a correction, BunP I meant to type BunPo. It’s a service similar to BunPro in that it aims to teach you grammar.

StackSocial is a middle man service that negotiates discounts for products. They don’t have a direct connection to Memrise but they do offer lifetime for $99 at the moment. They also offer discounts on other language learning products and apps as well. Includind… shudder…Rosetta Stone lol.

An alternative to LingQ is an open source project called Learning with Texts. It requires effort to install unless you use the web version. I don’t have experience with the web version and I am not sure it’s officially official (I know, open source means people can do whatever they want with it). From what I read, you can download a lot of LingQs texts and use it with this using a free LingQ account. Not sure how that all works as I never tried though.

Duilingo was OK. It wasn’t all that useful but while I was pretending to learn it at least had me practicing SOMETHING. Overall value was low but that was before the latest (within last 2 years) refresh which made it a little better iMO. Still not a replacement for WK/BunPro but in lieu of nothing…

Memrise to me feels slow. By slow I mean, in the amount of time I focus on Memrise could be better served with another resource. But I have only been messing with the early level stuff and I do find it somewhat useful. Just can’t decide if I want to pull that lever and jump in.
The pay version unlocks how much you can learn from what I understand. There are activities that are locked behind the paywall. I ran into them pretty quickly and it just felt annoying. And every time you turn around, they are trying to sell you a subscription. The amount of times they claim the yearly subscription is on sale is obnoxious and part of what’s turned me off. The Tofugu folks seem to not dislike it which is why I am still debating…

I would say you are suffering a bit from what I’ve experienced over the last 20 years with “learning” Japanese. There are so many tools that it’s just too easy to sample them all and never commit. For me, I then ran into the issue where I thought I know more than I do simply because doing the beginner stuff repeatedly means it sticks. After 20 years of avoiding kanji, I found WaniKani and I’ve stuck to it. While I understand a lot of spoken Japanese, I can’t really speak that well and I only really knew the kana. WaniKani and these forums lead me to another tool rabbit hole but decided I needed to commit. I committed today to BunPro and went with the lifetime subscription.

For me, WK for kanji, BunPro for grammar, along with Tae Kim / Genki, and for speaking, Pimsleur. Pimsleur is the equivalent of shadowing and it has helped with pronunciation and starting to be able to more reliably form spoken sentences.

Hope that helps! Keep us updated on how it all goes for you!

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Do you usually charge people for how many opinions they tell you? What is “I’ll listen to them for free” supposed to mean??

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I hadn’t considered Pimsleur, but maybe that could be useful.

Like every tool out there… you can get a free trial. I convinced my company to pay for a lifetime subscription and went for the full 5 levels. I’ve worked through Lvl 1 and 3/4 of Lvl 2. Some of the conversations are lame but speaking and hearing Japanese using shadowing has proved useful. For me anyway. And there are ways you can obtain the files for Pimsleur in questionably legal ways… Can’t help with that part.

What is it with US sites and not being straightforward on pricing?

What!? You don’t want to give away your email address and information to save $10!?
Funny thing is, given you can create new email address aliases with gmail and outlook and could essentially get the 10% off constantly… then delete the alias once you redeem the code for whatever you bought…

I was also a bit miffed with Wanikani when

Luckily, WK was one of the tools I have tested over the years that I REALLY dug into learning about before parting with my cash. I went with the yearly option and will end up using about 6 months of credit when the lifetime deal pops in December.

Good luck!

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Yeah. Pimsleur is EVIL. While you can sometimes get discounts, it’s never anywhere as inexpensive (comparatively speaking) as a WK or BunPro lifetime subscription.

There are CDs you could go with instead but then you have to rip and manage everything yourself. There are definitely questionable ways to get MP3s of all the lessons if that is all you would want.

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