Attention language learners! In this article, we're looking at HiNative vs. LingQ. The language learning app market is full of helpful resources to turn you from a language learning zero to a language learning hero. HiNative and LingQ are two more exciting additions to the market.
This article covers available languages, an overview of both companies, the pros, and cons of both apps, pricing, and an author's conclusion.
If you look on Google PlayStore, HiNative says: Ask any questions about English, Korean, Japanese, Spanish, French, Chinese, Russian, Arabic, Portuguese, German, Italian, and over a hundred other languages and dialects.
Although this is true, many of the lesser-known languages have far fewer subscribers, and finding a suitable answer or any answer at all might be difficult.
HiNative is a unique product on the market, and it's difficult to think of many other language learning apps that replicate it. HiNative is fundamentally a question and answers app, similar to Quora, however, focusing only on languages and culture. You become an expert in your native language(or second languages you have learned) and offer answers in your natural expertise.
It is not just a copy of Quora, though, it improves some elements of the question and answer format by offering question templates, so those who don't quite know how to formulate their question can contribute.
LingQ is best used as a reading platform for B1-C2 learners. It is possible to learn a language from scratch from reading, but it isn't easy, especially if you don't know the alphabet.
LingQ takes its name from its spaced repetition flashcards system. Any words you don't understand are marked as LingQ's, and you can test yourself on them at a later time.
HiNative has a free and Premium version. The premium version is $5.68/month or $59.63 manually(that saves you about 50cents a month). The only significant difference with the premium version is listening to and recording voice and video.
|The question template is useful for getting people to order their words and thoughts||Some of the questions are pointless and users would be much better suited to using Google Translate|
|The app has its own internal economy of points and rewards||Repeat answers. Sometimes you see a simple question answered multiple times.|
|Simple and effective User Interface||Doesn't give you the fundamentals of how to learn a language|
|Allows cultural exchange in a way other non-community apps don't|
|Connect with native speakers|
|The community voted for top translation, as opposed to Google translate||Bugs with some flashcards. A target language is sometimes presented before you have a chance to guess it.|
|Known word counter' tracks progress||Messy User Interface (even worse on the mobile app)|
|LingQ's are a great way to create flashcards to new words||More expensive than similar apps|
|You can upload Youtube and Netflix videos and integrate them into lessons||A free version is almost unusable(You get a max of 20 LingQ's|
|Tutoring service(extra cost)||Apps like DuoLingo and Ling are better for beginners|
|Language exchange in the community tab|
|Wide choice of languages|
|There is no ceiling for progress. You can keep uploading more and more advanced material|
If this review hasn't been made clear so far, HiNative and LingQ are very different language learning apps.
With LingQ, you could feasibly start with very little knowledge of your target language and get to the point of reading and listening mastery(speaking and pronunciation are something different).
This would be impossible on HiNative, and to be fair to them, they don't market themselves this way either. HiNative is a handy aide to have on your language learning journey. That being said, I'm not sure I'd be willing to pay $60 a year for something that Reddit and Quora already do(albeit not as good).
As a general point, I think it's critical somewhere along the way to connect with native speakers of your target language. Without sounding too mercantile, learning a second language is expensive. You can spend $1000's per year paying a teacher to answer your questions and practice your speaking. If you can make friends with someone in a language exchange, you save a lot of money and have a point of contact if you ever decide to travel to that country and get even deeper into the culture.
LingQ- If you're serious about learning a language.
I like HiNative, and the free version is good, but it doesn't offer me enough of an alternative from other free, more popular websites.
Learning a new language is a fascinating journey to take.
I've reviewed many of these apps now, and although there's no magic bullet to learn languages fast, I feel Ling is about as close as you can get to an app that will take you from beginner to advanced in a foreign language.
It is a Duolingo-style app, but it accomplishes something DuoLingo doesn't, offering high-quality content in lesser-known languages. As you can see from some of my other blogs, like Names and Nicknames in Lao and Sorry in Albanian, we focus on those languages that deserve more recognition.