35 known words per day? Isn't that excessive?

Hi, I just realized that LingQ is expecting me to add 35 Greek known words per day at my current level. That is in addition to the LingQ’s I have to “learn”, which are only 6.

That seems a little extreme to me: only having to learn six words I’ve already seen, but having to “know” 35 words I’ve never lingq’ed before! Shouldn’t it be the other way around?

At this rate, I’m having a hard time keeping up with my challenges, because the number of known words is always much lower than the number of words I’ve learned.

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I don’t really have anything to say necessarily, specifically about the title question but it sort of touches something that have been on my mind for quite some while. I think that it would be good if users could define their own goals because “different people different strokes”. For example, I am someone who tense to get really immersed in one language for a few months and more or less abandon the other languages for aforementioned few months.

I guess you could take the number of lings/words known, etc. and multiply them with the days that I am “in the zone” for a certain language. But I think that this is quite a lot of work for something, that I believe would have a quite an easy technically solution (i.e letting people set their own goals).

I technically could write down on an excel sheet the vital statistics every day and count the average, how many words I add to known and how many words I have read and so on but again quite a lot of work (….)

I do understand the lingq staff’s viewpoint on this matter, one thing that I have noticed over the years whenever someone raises a concern like this one the standard (or common) answer is we want to encourage people to do this and that. Which I think is good for an absolute beginner who is new to lingq and possibly even to language learning. But I would say that there are quite a few language nerds (such as myself included) who has a certain routine and a certain way of doing.

When you are a complete beginner in a language it can be hard to add known words but, as you progress, you start to realize that there are many words that you see that you already know because you have encountered them in different forms earlier. Even more so in languages that are similar to your own or have related vocabulary. Of course, this is less so in a language that is very different from any that you already know. We try to approximate the rate at which you should be adding known words. Which language are you studying and what is your level? This isn’t an exact science. We want to motivate and push people but don’t want the targets to seem out of reach.

In the standard 90-day challenge we don’t track individual stats but simply coins so there is no need to get known words specifically. You must be in the hard core challenge. Fundamentally, most users don’t add enough LingQs and move through enough content. That is what we are trying to encourage with these targets. Create lots and lots of LingQs, move through lessons, rereading and doing lots of listening but always continuing to move on. You will naturally encounter your LingQs in future lessons and this natural review will help you learn more words faster than trying to learn them through reviewing up front.

As for setting your own targets, we will be starting to introduce some of this although not to the extent Swedishfiinngermanophile seems to be looking for.


Agreed. It can seem daunting. I agree with both Mark and Finn.

Perssonally, i just seek to out in an hour to hour and a half a day, esp during a challenge and let’s the Goals fall where they may. If I want to be satisfied, i Something’s shoot for the weekly targets depending on where I am that day. If I’m not doing any reading for a few days I won’t get 35 a day if I’m just listening for example. Eventually it evens out

I would add that, due to the way LingQ and language learning works, you will be adding more and more as you meet “new words” that are almost guessable. Words like “act” and “react” for example. This has been my experience in Japanese and Italian anyway.

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gregf, adding 35 known words per day at your level would probably require you to read about 1500 words per day at a reasonable difficulty. That doesn’t seem too extreme to me. I have slightly more spanish words than you have greek, and my current (known words)/(words read) rate is about 1:40. LingQs learned is roughly 1/5 of known words rate. So if you aim to read 2000 words a day then it should easily get you to LingQ’s goals. Personally, I’d recommend not even worrying too much about LingQ’s goals and just aim to read 60k words per month at your current level, and then keep bumping that up every month by maybe 10% or something until you reach something reasonable per day.


The LingQ metrics are meaningless for me, because of the way I am using LingQ.

I am primarily using LingQ because it has graded materials with audios and transcripts. For a new lesson, I will read it online, listen to the audio online, and then download the audio and the transcript. After that, I do all of my listening offline, and after I have listened enough times so that it is easy to understand what I am listening to, then I login to LingQ and mark the lesson as complete.

When I read the lesson online, I never create any LingQs, and so all of the words become “known words” when I am done. This works for me – “known words” are the words I have seen before. After listening to an audio 30 times or more, I am familiar with any new words and feel like I “know” them, at least in that context. And if a word is truly important, I will continue to encounter it in future readings and audios, and “know” it more deeply.

Another reason why I do not pay any attention to the LingQ metrics is that I have been learning Italian for two years before I joined LingQ, and I have other sources of materials for reading and listening.

I do not need metrics, because I can tell when I am improving. And with all of the graded materials available on LingQ, I could test myself at the various grades to see where I am currently at.

Having said all of this, I think that LingQ is a great resource for me, and I wish I had found it a lot sooner. I plan to continue using it, until I reach an Advanced level, which is probably still a long ways off for me. And even if the features I am using did not require a paid subscription, I would subscribe anyway because I want to support LingQ because it is helping me and so many others.

And if the LingQ metrics, challenges, etc help to motivate people in their language learning, then I think that is great. But if the metrics don’t work for you, then set your own goals and milestones.

@gregf – You’re assuming the 35 words are entirely words you’ve never LingQed or learned before, which is not the case. If that were so, how could beginners from scratch (not that you are one) learn words they’ve never seen?

Your overall ‘known’ words count/tally includes both ‘learned’ LingQs, and those you automatically recognised and manually marked known without lingQing (or paging moves to known setting) from previous study, cognates, similar LingQ word forms etc.

So the best way to increase ‘known’ words is to revisit old lessons you studied weeks and months ago, in addition to what you’re working on. I like to check through vocabulary lists every now and then (filtering first for all the 3 status words, or maybe 1-3 status). You can filter by lesson or display 200 vocab per page to make it go quicker. You would know from your own experience that words you didn’t know months ago are often now easily recognisable, but you probably never went back to change their status.

For Challenges, you need only amass coins combined from all LingQ activity, and not worry about targets so much (except for Hardcore Challenge).


I agree completely.
It’s fun to revisit old lessons also. It’s like trying on an old t-shirt after you’ve lost a few pounds, haha. Really brings your progress to life.


To return to this subject again, now that I’ve completed about half of my 90-day challenge since January 1st.

Halfway through, and I’ve already met my 90 day goals for both LingQs learned (546) and surpassed my LingQs made (1,383 LingQs made). I’ve also almost reached my number of words read goal (47,055 out of 50,050 words).

However, I’m not even a third of the way through my “Known Words”, which stand at 800 out of 2,730.

For me this is an indication of a serious problem: I’ve nearly doubled my reading and lingqing targets (if I continue at the same pace), and yet my Known Words are woefully low.

I have enough experience with the LingQ method to say that 35 known words (not Learned words), is way too high. It’s having the unfortunate effect of making me mark words as “known” instead of creating a proper LingQ, a clear example of the incentive program failing to work as it is intended.

Unfortunately it is. You can check it yourself on your statistics. Going back through old lessons will increase my Words Learned, but not my Words Known statistics.

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@gregf - Okay, I’m confused. I screenshot my statistics for today (just before midnight) as being 80 known words, 64 lingQs learned, and 854 known words tally.

Then I opened an old lesson and changed a word from ‘3’ status to ‘4’ known status, recognising it.

As a result, my next ‘today’ screenshot after refreshing the page shows my lingQs learned increased from 64 to 65, and known words increased from 80 to 81. The known words tally jumped to 855.

Obviously, words learned from old lessons do increase the words known statistics. However, are you saying in your case the problem is words learned are not counted towards your Challenge known words statistics only (but otherwise are normal on your profile page statistics?) Or are your known words statistics always incorrect,* no matter if you’re doing a Challenge or not? Edit: * incorrect because they wrongly don’t include words learned

I never understand why people care about this stuff. Just use the site to listen and read and worry about accumulating knowledge more than meeting any abstract goals.

On another note; moving 35 words + to ‘well known’ every day is very doable. This isn’t the same as just rote learning 35 new words every day though.

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Aie, I may be mistaken, I just tested it out and I see that moving previously LingQed words to “Known” does indeed increase my “known words” count. Mea culpa, I thought I had already checked this!

I’ll do a little more poking around and report back.

I care because I’m participating in a 90-day challenge and having an unreachable “known words” goal was becoming a major bummer for me.

However, I see from a little experimenting that I may have been wrong about how LingQ is counting LingQs/known words, in which case I’ll apologize to the LingQ staff! :slight_smile:

Greg, I’m surprised by your statistics. You say you’ve learned 800 words and 546 are from LingQs learned. So only 254 are non LingQ’d known words? That sounds very low to me. If you had 1000 total known words in Greek I would understand, but not 12k+. By this point you should have a pretty good understsnding of conjugations, cases, etc. to feel comfortable enough to add a decent amount of known words without lingQing them.

I wouldn’t worry about the number so much, just read what you can and LingQ new words as you go. Nobody can remember 35 new words a day, but it’s good to discover new words and keep going back. Overtime, you’ll get there.

I have 3000 plus known words according to LingQ in Japanese, I know less than 1000 in reality. But over time, I’m recognizing more and more.

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“Nobody can remember 35 new words a day.” yes they can. It took me 6 months to LingQ 33,800 words in another language three years ago here.

That’s 187 words per day on average.

The thing is, it’s not the same as getting a list of 35 words, memorising them in a day, and then getting another 35 and memorising those, and so on.

It snowballs subconsciously and words are coming at you as known from all angles after multiple exposures. So you’ll read 5 or 6 texts and from context dozens and dozens of words will become known to you in one day. The more words you get the more you can infer from context and the quicker you can learn them. Conjugated forms can help. So if all of a sudden the notion of ‘to do’ becomes known to you, it’s very likely you’ll also move ‘did’, ‘would do’, ‘didn’t’, ‘will do’, ‘does’ to well known the very next time you come across them. These do count as different words as they have different meaning, and in some languages these are represented by one word not two (so for French, ferais can be would do).

I moved 57 Swedish words to ‘well known’ yesterday, and 353 in the last 7 days.

I believe Steve has like 8000 words in Arabic after like 4 months or something.


It’s hard to know when a word is “known”, but one measure I use is Anki, a flash card program. If the card is “mature”, meaning the interval until I next see it is 3 weeks or longer then it’s safe to say that word is in my long term memory. My retention for mature language cards is 99.5% so I’m confident those words are known. I supplement my reading with flashcard drills regularly, especially for books or topics I really enjoy.

Over Christmas I exported over a 1000 LingQs from a book I was reading and drilled them relentlessly while I was travelling. I find it really difficult to read in a second language while in public places, but very easy to drill flashcards for some reason. With about 60 minutes a day over the holidays, and 30 minutes a day throughout January those 1000 words were mature by the end of the month. This means that I am confident I learned 1000 words in one month. But that’s not all, I was also reading LingQ lessons during the entire time so I gained even more vocabulary (though I didn’t track that). This is all from about 1-2 hours a day max of language learning a day. So it’s definitely possible, if not downright easy.

I’ve had the same experiences with flashcard memorization but nowadays I think the time is just better spent reading. My initial approach to Russian was building a solid flashcard vocabulary when I was commuting to work and back. Within 1 hr per day I realized I could add 50 words to active memory (well native to target, whatever you want to call that) each day for 6 weeks. As effective as that was, I don’t see myself going back to flashcards. Reading is just too important for other reasons besides just learning individual words, and the depth of understanding is not even close. Besides, acquiring words through reading can still be pretty quick if you give it some good effort. I joined LingQ about 14 months ago, but really only started using it seriously 8 months ago. I wish I would have discovered LingQ a long time before that. Nowadays I probably read 2 hrs per day in Russian (4000-6000 words read) and this gets me 100-200 known LingQ words a day. Spanish is about 1 hr per day (3000-4000 words read) for about 100-150 LingQ words per day, and French is about 1-1.5 hrs per day for 150-200 LingQ words. My retention on these words is very high, but if I come across a ”known” word that I forgot then I just move it back to yellow. As long as my comprehension and speed keep improving I’m just going to keep plowing ahead. So yeah, when you really dig in the results will follow. Don’t worry about minor details and the perfect method and all this stuff. Just keep reading text after text. I don’t think I’ve ever even re-read a text except for some of the very beginning French texts. I think too many people are reading much too lightly to know what they’re missing out on. It’s really not even until 1-2 hrs into reading before my brain starts hitting it‘s peak performance, and I‘m not going to put on the brakes at that point. Maybe sometimes you need to be a raging psycho to make some good progress :slight_smile: