Multiple issues with Phrase Pump.

It seems that Phrase Pump could be such a great product but it is sadly unusable in its current state:

The problems are:

  1. No way we can customise the algorithm (i.e. choose intervals etc), but what’s worse is that there is not even any transparency about how the algorithm works.

  2. Machine translations are always used when far superior human translations are clearly available, but we aren’t given a choice to use them instead (they are literally displayed in the Saved Items section but can’t be use in Phrase Pump???)

  3. When the ‘practice’ option is set rather than the ‘quiz’ option there is no way to say whether or not we remembered the word/phrase and we have absolutely no transparency (or control) of when we are going to see it again.

  4. The text to speech is monotonous and grating on the ears, can’t we use the original audio? I know that ripping the original audio out and saving it as a separate file could take up a lot of space (although if it was offered as an option I would gladly pay extra for this) but what about just linking directly to the video in Netflix?

  5. The lack of response from any of the developers whenever these issues are mentioned. I have made two posts about Phrase Pump now and both have been completely ignored. Not even a “we’re working on it” or some kind of acknowledgement from anyone from Language Reactor is a bit disappointing when I’m paying a subscription fee.

Normally if I’m not happy with a service I’d just cancel and use something else however I can see that so much work has gone into developing Language Reactor and it just seems like such a shame that just a few small tweaks could take it from being barely useful to a near perfect resource.

I have just cancelled my subscription as I’m finding that the Pro features do not provide any kind of additional value for me, however if the above issues were addressed I’d gladly pay double (or more).

Seriously, even if you make a Premium (properly working) version of Phrase Pump and charge me separately for it I would gladly pay.

I’m sure that I’m not alone as Immerse->Export->SRS is such a common workflow for so many language learners.

If there are any other users of Language Reactor who feel the same way please comment here so hopefully the devs will notice.


Hi, LR dev here, sorry about the problems, should check some details with colleague, but:

  1. The algorithms are relatively simple, based on spaced repetition, it is not secret, just we should write about them more and fine-tune them a bit still… We’re busy making Chat and ASR now… Almost everything on the website is in Beta still. Likely we should have had different priorities, but we will fix lots of things soon, I think.
  2. Yes, we have lots of human translations and will add them soon.
  3. Yes, will check that.
  4. Maybe, bit tricky.
  5. Sorry, I largely agree with your points. Could you send me your email address in a private message, that you used for the subscription? Just to send you a small thanks for the feedback.
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  1. Even if it were simple I would like a way to be able to customise it a little bit or at least know what it is because that may affect how many cards I choose to add.

  2. The human translations already exist from Netflix. They can be seen next to the Phrases in the Saved Items option and also on the sidebar (see my previous post where I have a screen shot).

  3. Thank you.

  4. Definitely could be. However in the Saved Items section there is a link to the relevant section of Netflix so it should be fairly straightforward to just make that link appear in Phrase Pump.

In fact the Saved Items Section has everything I want for Phrase Pump already (the human translation and the link) if you could just link those to Phrase Pump section (or give use the option to) it would improve it a lot.

  1. Done

While ASR and Chat would no doubt be cool features they’re not what I wanted to use Language Reactor for (there are already other tools out there for that). I simply wanted a way I could watch Netflix with dual subs and export the subtitles (which Language Reactor does beautifully) and have a means to review them (which was what this post was about).

Personally I think it would provide a lot more value to do a couple of things really well than to do try to do too much at once. However since there are so far no other users agreeing with me maybe I’m on my own here.

Either way I wish you guys all the best with the project and I’ll try and keep an eye on it and might resubscribe in the future it these issues are addressed.

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I just logged back in to have another look and it looks like Phrase Pump now uses audio from directly from Netflix.

This is a total game changer.

Excellent stuff.

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