2021 language learning reflections

Hi everyone,

As we head towards a new year I felt the urge to post some reflections on the (relatively short) time I have been using LingQ. I’m normally just a ‘lurker’ in absolutely every other type of setting, so it feels quite strange for me to do this. But there’s something about this forum that I find really engaging, so here goes, I guess!

At the risk of looking like a bit of a weirdo, I’ve written this in a Q&A format. That way you can copy the questions and share your own answers if you like. Even if you just pick one question, I’d love to hear your thoughts.

What’s your background and level?
I’m learning Chinese and I came to LingQ with some prior knowledge. I’d say I’m around the ‘upper beginner’ / ‘lower intermediate’ level.

How long have you been using LingQ?
About 5 months

What has gone well this year?
I am so grateful I found LingQ. I had no idea it existed, until I randomly stumbled across a link on a different forum. I haven’t been using the site for long, but I feel like I have made such a lot of progress. Before LingQ I was using flashcards and dabbling in Duolingo. When I compare where I am now, to where I was before, the difference is massive.

I also love being able to engage with fellow language learning nerds (I hope you don’t mind me calling you that). I enjoy reading all the threads on this forum, and I’ve come across some great advice on there. My favourite posts are the ones where people share a lot of detail about their particular journey or method - I find them really insightful. I’m also really grateful for all the people that have taken the time to upload content. I’d like ‘put back in’, but I find myself getting nervous/confused about copyright laws. One of my goals for next year is to understand it all a bit better.

What techniques/methods/hacks work best for you?
I don’t have any special methods I’m afraid (if I ever invent something cool, I’ll share it here). My biggest ‘lightbulb’ moment was when I saw some people commenting about the number of listening hours / words read that it takes to get to a certain level. That, and the advice to stick to a really low percentage of unknown words. I have completely embraced the idea of extensive reading and listening, so my focus is simply to consume as much content as I can each day, rather than trying to get as many LingQs as possible, or trying to force myself to remember words (I personally don’t bother with the SRS, but I know everyone is different). I’ve found it really enjoyable so far. I supplement my time on LingQ with graded readers, just to give my eyes a break, and switch things up a bit.

What do you struggle with on your language learning journey?
At the moment, I’m just really envious of learners who can dedicate their whole day to language learning. I have a full-time job which means it’s difficult to dedicate as much time as I’d like to. Sometimes I dream that somebody would pay me to learn Chinese. Has anyone here changed their career to get closer to their target language? I’d be curious to hear how you went about it.

In terms of other things I struggle with … I guess like all other language learners, I have good days and bad days. It really sucks when you listen to something that should be easy, but you don’t understand it at all. But I find it’s cancelled out by the good days, when you feel like you have made a breakthrough with something.

If you could add one feature to LingQ, what would it be?
I am not sure if this already exists on the new version, so apologies if it is not relevant. But I’d love the possibility to have multiple playlists, and to have an endless number of lessons for each playlist (instead of being capped at 100). I instinctively want to have 2 playlists - one for content I am still ‘digesting’ (where I frequently pause the lesson, rewind, listen again, pause, rewind, look up words), and one for lessons where I can understand pretty much every word. I think having that second playlist would be really helpful, because I could stick it on shuffle and listen to it when I am out and about.

Any advice to your former self?
Please stop messing around with flashcards and character stroke order and actually read some content :slight_smile:

What are your goals for 2022?
Find ways to read and listen more. I would love to be somebody who manages to read 10,000 words a day, but it seems pretty impossible at the moment. Maybe I can get it up to something like 4000 a day next year.

In terms of known words, I’d really love it if I could reach 10,000 in the next year. I’m hoping it’s achievable if I meet my targets every day.

I’d like to start practicing some speaking and writing next year - I’ve pretty much only been reading and listening so far.

I’d like to figure out a way to give back to the community. I am bilingual in Dutch and English, and I’m guessing that because Dutch is less popular, there might be more need for content/support there. I’d love to help out in some way, although I would be really poor at explaining grammar or why things are the way they are. I haven’t really explored the ‘contribute’ and ‘writing exchange’ parts of the website yet, so I’m going to take a look at those.

Anyway, that’s it! I hope everyone gets some time to relax over the holiday, and I hope 2022 is a great year for you.

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I have started my journey for learning German 20 months ago from ground zero and have been using LingQ for the last 497 days. If I compare with my former self I have come a long way where now natives in Germany try speaking in German instead of English. I treated German learning as a full-time job; I feel very humbled that how much language exposure natives get over their lifetime. They can use your “active vocabulary” on the fly. It is a long road but fog is lifting off bit by bit when it comes to listening and reading which is a positive sign. I think I should have spent more time on “reading”, however, some of this time I had to spend on my academic studies.

My next goal for 2022 will be spending time 70% on reading and 30% on listening. I am doing a weekend job so I get to put some of my passive knowledge actively. That’s my speaking practice in a very limited way. I try to use whatever sentences or phrases I can come up with.

It exposes my gaps so I have to select the content that is geared towards conversations so I will be watching a lot of Youtube videos created by German natives.

That’s the plan need to up my reading. Best of luck with your language studies.

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Great post! I would say you describe the ideal LingQ user experience that probably a lot of us went through, but may not got to post about in such succinct words.

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I came to lingQ with about 1 year in japanese. I am now using it for japanese and german with over 400 days streak in both languages. I had a good feedback this days, when my aunt who studies german for countless years came to me and said “you are reading better them I do, what is your magic?” hahaha.

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Great job, man! Impressive work.

It is quite a turning point when you get natives preferring to speak with you at your level in their language instead of vice versa. Another (at times closely related) point is when you speak their language better than they do “yours.”

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What’s your background and level?
I am an anglophone Canadian learning french.
I’d been using duolingo off and on for years without much to show for it.
Then the pandemic quarantine came along and I used it as an opportunity to focus on french.

How long have you been using LingQ?
Only about 3 or 4 months so far. I’m just now getting addicted to it.

What has gone well this year?
I made so many breakthroughs this year. I basically can’t believe it. It’s my first ‘‘foreign’’ language and I’d never had any success in learning it in school or on my own so I’m amazed that its actually working. I mean it was just 6 months ago that I was struggling to read books with any comprehension whatsoever, but since since then I’ve been pillaging my local library twice a week and just devouring content.

What are your goals for 2022?
My learning so far has been pretty tilted towards reading rather than listening so I’d like to find some ways to address my oral comprehension. I’m thinking of moving to a bigger city with a bigger francophone population in the near future. Hopefully that opens up some opportunities.

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I found lingQ at about month 4 of my six month experiment into learning french just form watching youtube and memorizing the sounds of the most frequent 5,000 words. I think it helped the grammar without having to put any effort into learning the grammar.

This time around (russian for six months) I did lingQ alongside anki and youtube the entire six months. I think it jump started my comprehension when I was at the stage I didn’t have enough words memorized in anki to understand anything. It really helps with motivation, especially when you get the little “congratulations, you’ve reached upper beginner” (or whatever). I’m continuing with lingQ and will use it after I’ve done russian. I believe it also really helps for languages which have a lot of grammar. Plus I just enjoy the stories.

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Germans compensate for it with their helpfulness. They use my active vocabulary in a different context to allow me to see how a certain word can be used in a different situation. Hence, I get more exposure. and develop a natural feeling for its usage. But I have to show some willingness to learn it in the first place.

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