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Language learning is hard work, and most people fail quickly at it once they realize it'll be several hundred hours before they'll be at a useful level. That's probably why it's so hard to make money with a product primarily tailored to the needs of intermediate and advanced learners. Learner attrition means that most people attracted by the idea of language learning don't make it that far.

I've tried Readlang briefly and thought the look of the site was much nicer than the clunky interface sported by LingQ, but I still didn't feel ready to make free reading a major part of my study as a ~B1+ self-learner of Spanish. Most texts for natives, even children's books like Harry Potter, are still very slow/difficult to read at my current level.

Import tools are nice, but the content I stumble on is often too hard for me to read efficiently. What I really need is help finding stuff I like that is only ~5% unknown words so I can read more fluidly/enjoyably. I'm not sure how to tackle the problem, but if you can crack the content discovery nut it will make the tool more accessible to lower level language students at the "widest" portion of the language learning funnel.

Another thing I've noticed is that Readlang seems very "quiet". Other platforms like Duolingo and LingQ have active user forums where people can share their experiences and problems. It'd be nice to have a discussion place to swap suggestions, get encouragement, and (most important) see testimonials/success stories.

Anyway, good luck. I hope the product is still around when I'm more advanced and ready to make reading a bigger part of my study.




Thanks, you make some good points.

Good beginner content is a big problem, I agree that recommending a stream of content with ~5% unknown words would be very cool. On the other hand, being a small indie developer, maybe it's better that I concentrate the smaller niche of advanced learners since I'm then not directly competing with Duolingo and other highly funded sites.

I would like Readlang to be more social, but haven't got around to it yet. I thought about adding disqus comments as a quick solution but they aren't ideal, requiring you to log in a second time.

It's probably more sensible for me to polish and optimise the current feature set first before adding social features.


there is language immersion tool for that: http://www.everydaylanguagelearner.com/2012/05/09/why-i-inst...


They have the public library section where the texts are automatically given difficulty ratings (B1 etc). You could start by reading the A2 texts and working your way up?


Leaving aside the fact that many language learners in the US don't know anything about the CEFR scale (Common European Framework of Reference for Languages), the CEFR categories are very broad and vaguely defined especially once you get past the core 1000 words or so that everybody learns at the beginning. I know that my own fluency is very uneven from one area to the next. More granular, accurate, and personalized classification of texts based on absolute difficulty and similarity to texts I've already read would be very helpful.


Oh ok. I only mentioned it because you used the CEFR in your own comment. :/




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