@dev_temp Hi! I know how you feel, there is some really great stuff on here. However, I'm moving threads that are really useful to our blog. If you have one that you think is worth keeping, please let me know and I will make sure it migrates to the blog.
So many things to love. Starting with your list:
The minimalist design - oh my goodness yes. I'm so tired of gaudy, overdone designs in every app that's trying to sustain me through my supposedly limited attention span. I appreciate the clean and calm.
Milestones and progress at bottom; separate stats page - yes, both of these. I appreciate the understated but immediate feedback on where I'm at, and being able to get a more thorough look at how far I've progressed through the content, how that relates to reading text.
The fact that it teaches words by frequency - Absolutely appreciated. Especially appreciate how you have them set up so that it's not thematic from the start, like most programs' beginnings.
The example sentences - While I don't necessarily love the business focus that I hit early in Spanish, I can appreciate that they are frequent words and thus included. Otherwise, I've been impressed with selection of sentences, with some using more complex grammar than I can yet decipher, but it gives me that first exposure. Related, I also love the reinforcement of vocabulary throughout your example sentences. For example, I first learned "señale" as a new word in a sentence. Maybe 5 minutes later, I learned another new word but "señale" was part of the sentence. Reinforcement without testing that word again! I've seen this over and over again, and it's a strategy that has really been missing from many other programs I've tried.
The voices that read the sentences - I don't know about sexy, but the voices are truly great. They are clear, distinct, faster paced without being incomprehensible, and consistent throughout. Voice recordings vary in quality/volume/clarity in other programs, so I appreciate the selections (for French and Spanish, at least).
(haven't seen the forums until today; grammar is definitely helpful on a few words, but hasn't been one of my key strategies since this is based on contextual learning. I get more grammar through my supplemental learning, and don't crave it here--contextual learning and simplicity is perfect for this!)
And some other things:
Some offline - I highly appreciate that I've been able to use the app for a while even though I'm offline, not connected. It meant I could continue to train in one of my languages while on a flight recently, and that in general I don't have to worry about maintaining steady connection (hello Metro). Don't know how far I can continue offline, and haven't been able to switch languages while offline, but it's still better than any other apps I've tried. (Of course, would love to have the option to have everything work offline...)
Simplicity of offerings - You do a few things, and you do them really well. As much as I really want other offerings (videos with subtitles! long passages! audio to follow those passages! Live conversation! Role playing! Compose your own text!), there is immense value in what you already offer, and I'd hate to see you suffer by stretching too thin. The contextual, production-based, smart SRS training that allows you to test into a higher level and is useful to intermediate learners is not something I've found elsewhere, and really needed. (haven't tried your conversations much, seem to be less enthused with those from my limited exposure, but I'm still happy with the primary service!)
Backed by research - Everything I've been reading up on emphasizes contextual learning of words, reducing the use of translation as much as possible, SRS, etc. This fits in with this. There are some things missing, but I don't think you'd be able to scale them to this app (recall images--Memrise tries to do this but it doesn't really work; pronunciation trainers--haven't seen anything effective for this yet). But what you can do? You've developed into this.
Gentle gamification - There is gamification, but it's not extra. There's goals to meet, but there's no made-up story line, no incentive for cheating, no daily notification or guilt-trip to get me to come back in if I need to take some time off, nothing superfluous. This ties back into the minimalism mentioned above, but it goes beyond design to include the experience. It's simple, enticing for those of us that are intrinsically motivated, and I love it.
"Immersion" via text - Tying back into the comments on contextual learning, I love that I'm not translating full sentences--I'm reading full sentences with one word missing, and only that word is a translation. It would be hard to do this without that one word of translation, so I can't begrudge that, but otherwise reading everything in my target language? Talk about a confidence builder! And for those sentences I just can't figure out, there is the optional translation--I pull that down, review the sentence to decipher what I was missing, and then the next time I see the sentence I usually don't need the translation again.
Not just for beginners - I'm a beginner in Spanish, but have a fair amount of imperfect French under my belt. I'm missing some basic words and a lot of grammar, but also have an odd collection of advanced terminology. So, testing in to a higher level to skip all the basic stuff I definitely know? Invaluable. This app has really helped me start to pull that all together in a way that verb drills can't, because I"m not training on a particular verb tense at one time (and thus committing the structure to short-term memory), I'm training on all of them as used in the language (and thus getting used to thinking of those verb tenses in different contexts). There's a lot of beginner friendly apps, and not a lot of intermediate/advanced, so this definitely meets an important need.
So... kind of a lot. Sorry not sorry for the book, but since I know there's real people on the other side of this technology, I decided it was worth laying this all out. I appreciate the work you do, that you've created this app that is essentially what I had spent a couple years looking for. Thank you!
Today I just completed the Russian course, which means that I've now completed Spanish, German, and Russian courses (although new words have been added to Spanish and I haven't quite gone through them yet.)
For the future, I'm less interested in adding more words and more interested in getting more languages added. My top priorities would be Portuguese, Chinese (Mandarin), Japanese, Hindi, and Indonesian/Malay, but I would also be interested in Turkish and possibly other languages. Which one is added first is less relevant to me: I think Lingvist is such an efficient tool for me that I'd probably choose to focus on whatever language were added next.
The reason I want things prioritized in this way is that it is often very hard to get from 0 to functional in a language, whereas once I've gotten to the 3000-4000 mark, I'm kinda functional...I can stumble through conversations, express myself, and look words up in a dictionary, and that's "good enough" for me to go the rest of the way by immersion.
Starting out cold though, is very hard. And this is where I find lingvist indispensible...getting me that early vocabulary and also helping me to wrestle with the meaning through the passive exposure, listening and reading sentences and doing whole-sentence level thinking in my head.
I don't know what kind of resources Lingvist has and I don't know why they haven't been adding more languages, but I'm starting to get frustrated that no more languages have been added recently. I have paid for a year subscription now for the second year, but I'm quickly exhausting what Lingvist had to offer. I paid in large part because I want to support Lingvist and fund its farther development. If no new Languages are added, I most likely will cancel my subscription at the end of my current one. And I will feel considerable frustration if doing so. I really want to see the team get their act together and get another language launched.
How hard can it really be?
I would say make sure there's some note about the change that is visible to users if they become mandatory. I got tired of typing üöä and capitalizing because I was trying to just breeze through the words fast. But I was never wrong about whether I thought an umlaut belonged there, and I certainly never was wrong about whether a word ought to be capitalized. I just got more pressed for time.
Although I guess the first word I missed for diacritical reason I'd realize "oh they're mandatory now"
I'm not particularly interested in a functionality or feature to switch off "unnecessary" words. Lingvist is teaching the most frequently occurring words in a language, and as such, I want to know all of them.
I have repeatedly noticed that words that seem superfluous initially, end up coming up frequently.
For example, I'm not really that into sports...but...(1) other people talk about sports a lot anyway and if I am immersed in a culture I'm gonna encounter people talking about sports (2) people use sports as metaphors and analogies so knowing those terms actually ends up being essential to talk about other things.
I haven't ever learned a word in Lingvist that I thought was superfluous or unwanted.
I don't understand a lot of what people are saying here. I would really like to start again from scratch because I have had a break and now find I can't remember a lot of the words. The reason I gave up before was because it was giving me far too many new words each session and I just couldn't remember them all. Is there any way I can start again or should I just give up and find another programme.
Yeah, that's great that you finally had a web app that can be accessed with mobile phone. As before i used to download your learning videos with and them watching them offline. I was not that bad, but you always have to remember to do that and if you have forgotten - no videos for you today. Anyways, great news, gonna try is asap
I doubt they will follow your suggestion as up to 3000 can be used with "Lingvist Free".
What is the point in providing "Unlimited" yearly member subscriptions which just take affect for >3000 words when they would add 1-3+ courses below this mark and paying members do not really benefit?
I still wonder why the PT audio cannot be turned ON for the reverse PT->EN course when the system is able to show the Portuguese sentence at the top.
Yes. I've been learning Russian, German, and Spanish and you can switch between them quite easily.
Just go to Account --> Course --> Change, and then you can click "Add a Course".
It works beautifully; switching between courses is easy and seamless.
I'd love to have the same feature. Because the audio is so slow, I turn the audio off via option in lower left corner. (Thanks for that!) I know I'm missing listening practice not having the audio but it slows things down so much I don't have the patience for it.