Not for profit, not for loss

I was interviewed yesterday by a government funded language learning organization, which promotes the national language of a certain country, world wide. I was interviewed in that language. I did not mention LingQ, but rather spoke about language learning in general. I was happy to help out.

When it was over, I asked if the organization would consider making some of their language content available, with attribution of course, to our learners at LingQ. They could publicize their activities, which they do very actively on the Internet anyway, and we could get content in a language where we do not have as much content as we would like.

The first question was, “are you for profit?”. I explained that we are, after a fashion, a for profit corporation, since we do not have government funding. This made things more complicated. “Can’t you get a sponsor?”was the follow up question. Well, no, actually that is probably not so easy. But why should it matter. Your organization buys computers, cameras to film me, and do they buy them from not for profit corporations? Do we buy “not for profit” shoes, wine, cars, even apples? It is fine that there are government funded educational institutions, but why boycott private initiatives in education. I come cross this attitude all the time and it always annoys me immensely.

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