5 reasons why you should save a lot of LingQs

I believe in understanding a language before you can speak it. That is why I believe listening, including repetitive listening, especially at the beginning, is so important. And reading is important, to acquire vocabulary. And both activities will help your brain get used to the new language and understand it.

But at LingQ, I think people underestimate the importance of saving words, of LingQing. Let’s look at why it is so important to save a lot of LingQs.

  1. Your number of saved LingQs is the best measure of your activity and your progress. 100 LingQs a week is a MINIMUM. I average 200 a week. To have 100 to 200 LingQs a week,you need to read and listen a lot. Just keep LingQing and you will improve.

  2. When you LingQ, you get the meaning of the word from the dictionary, and you capture a phrase. You can find more examples of the words in use,and you can Tag the LingQ for review in the Vocabulary section. You start the learning process for these words, or refresh your understanding of words that you kind of know but still cannot use.

  3. Whenever you LingQ, you are setting yourself up to receive them in emails, for review using Flash Cards, on a spaced repetition basis.

  4. The more words you LingQ, the more words will show up highlighted in yellow, in future content. When I opened up a new item from a Russian podcast recently, I had 21% new words in it, but I had 188 words that I had already LingQed, waiting for me, highlighted in yellow. When I read these previously saved words in a fresh context, and occasionally refer to the LingQ again, that is when I finally acquire these words.

  5. When you LingQ, you are adding to the User Hints dictionary. The more our members LingQ, the more we will have dictionary definitions in the learners language already stored in the system, so they can appear instantly. So when you LingQ you are helping the community.

I have found that you can even lingq offline. My study habits, for the moment at least, means I unfortunately spend most of my time reading the text offline after I’ve lingq’d everything. While I am lingqing as many terms as I can, I do a “paper-lingq” of sorts by writing the meanings in very light pencil either side of the margins and underline the word it is associated with. Works well for the moment!

I usually save every word that I don’t know and sometimes words that I know I’ve saved already, but not in that form, maybe in another person or tense, and I can’t remember the meaning.

But I can’t reach 100 LingQ’s a week most of the time… Maybe it’s because I’m simply not reading enough material…

I also don’t know if the count starts on Monday and ends on Sunday or if it starts a week before the present day and I must keep going in order for the LingQs count not to drop…

Anyway should I just read more and do it faster, as I can’t have more than 5 texts on my WorkDesk?

Well, I do agree that LingQs are great, but I also think your numbers are a little too demanding, Steve…
I read a lot, creating a lot of LingQs while doing so. I create a LingQ whenever I have the faintest doubt about a word or expression. I have around 5000 lingQs in English, in 10 months of study, this leaves me with about 500 a month, more or less 125 a week. If I remove from this calculation one or two months because of vacations and other interruptions, it maybe achieves 150 a week.
But it’s the result of A LOT of work. Making LingQs is very time consuming, and I have achieved this studying more than one hour a day, I even had some periods of studying two hours a day, 7 days a week, not to mention the time spent in listening while comuting.
I think this “intensity” is not realistic for most people and that’s why I think that a “minimum” of 100 LingQs a week is too much.

I agree that is useful to underline words and phrases when reading.

If you can import the text in to LingQ, or if the text is from LingQ, you can enter all of the words you have underlined as a list in the Vocabulary section. I often do this to give myself a break from the computer. The only thing you have to do is to click on the dictionary, and on examples to fill out the LingQ box. This is time well spent.

I have entered up to 100 or so words this way. After filling out the Hints and Phrases, I then run through them in Flash Cards.


I am not sure whether the 100 is the last 7 days or when it starts. Mark is away right now.

It may be that in English you simply do not meet that many words you do not know.

We can talk about the 5 item restriction again in a few weeks when that will change.


I have saved close to 400 this week. However, I am reading and listening to some fascinating podcasts from Russia which contain about 20% new words. It may be that you do not find many words you do not know in English.

Another consideration is my mouse. We know that we need to make it easier to LingQ, fewer steps, less mousing etc. There are a number of things we are looking at. I have found that since I switched to a stationary mouse with a roll ball, it is a lot easier to LingQ.

uau, 400? I’m envious…
I have two mouses, a normal one and a touchpad, but I still take too long lingqing my texts…
Maybe a should read more in paper in order to use the “import lingqs” function more often (and give my eyes a break!), but since I need to open item by item after importing, I don’t feel very encouraged to use it.
I would have a bunch of suggestions for improving the LingQing system, but I read somewhere that you don’t intend to touch it soon…

Every day in the week (without weekend) I hear 50 minutes English Podcasts when I went by car to my job.
Every day I learn from the mail “LingQ of the day”. About 100 Items are on my list and I need about 30 to 60 Minutes only for looking on the flashcards for 2 Times.
Every day I hear and read new content from the library and save LingQ’s. But most time I have 10 to 20 LingQ’s at one day. This takes 30 to 60 Minutes every day. My experience is that if there to much unknown words in a content I need to much time!

Altogehter I learn English 60 to 120 Minutes every day without consideration the time of hearing in my car.

My day is too short to save more LingQ’s. And if I save more LingQ’s the number of Items in my “LingQ of the day” increases too and the next day it took longer time to repeat the LingQ’s. I think the targets are high. I have a job and a child! I think I do my best. I’ve can’t imagine to save 400 LingQ’s in one week!

But never I’ve enriched my vocabulary better than with LingQ because of the Flashcards I work hard on it. It’s a really good method.


I find that a twenty minute podcast with about 20% new words is quite comfortable. I agree that Importing can be a chore. We also restrict importing to 6000 words which can sometimes cause problems if we want to import a long file and read away from the computer. Note that I usually do not import sound files.

We will be getting to all of these issues eventually, and your suggestions and those of other members will be important. You can send them along any time and we will put them on our list. We can also discuss them on the forum, although it is perhaps best to wait until we are in a position to make these changes.


I think I once compared LingQing to the role of a mechanical rabbit at a dog race. I do not expect to move all of my saved LingQs to known. I know that I am just as likely to learn them because they show up again in another text, highlighted in yellow.

I know that I cannot possibly review all of my saved LingQs. Yet I know that reviewing them in the Flash Card form, fairly quickly, is good for me. I see the words, and their relationship with other words. It is a more of a random exercize in word familiarization, rather than a deliberate acquisition of words. It is part of the process of increasing my vocabulary, along with reading and listening.

I also know that I will pick up more words incidentally than I pick up by LingQing. As my number of known words increases I can guess the meaning of other words better. There are more words that are connected to the words that I have. Leitner said that the words you know are hooks to attract other words.

I also know that I will forget words that I have “learned”.

The whole process is based on exposure, and stimulus to the brain. It is like trying to scoop up sand on a beach with a sieve rather than a spoon or shovel.

I was not talking about importing items, but “adding” a list of lingqs, instead of creating them from the item. sorry for the confusion of terms…

some items I review quickly when I’m shure of their meaning. When I’m not shure I read the phrase and the hint. I often save long phrases and long hints and therefore there is a lot to read and this takes a lot time. But I feel good when I did it this way. When the item apears the second time I review quicklier.
I don’t expect that I can learn all LingQ’s. And I also forgot words that I have learned. Reviewing is very helpfully for me and in combination with hearing a lot of content I think my understanding increase. I’ve done a lot of improvement but my vocabulary needs to increase. In my opinion it’s to low.

I wasn’t talking about English, but German, but maybe you’re still right, because I’ve reading texts that don’t have that much new words for me…

Anyway, I think this explanation you gave to Vera is also good for me… I usually see the flashcards as a way of trying to remember the words on purpose, and maybe this way we can just look at them faster and just keep on seeing them, until we know their meaning… Still I don’t know if that would work for me right now… I’m not even sure I really understand the way you review your words, Steve.

I am making about 1000 LingQs monthly and I can not understand how anyone can underestimate the importance of making LingQs. In my point of view making LingQs is the core of the system of LingQ, as a listening is the core of Steve’s method of learning language. These words, highlighted in yellow, which appear in my new material, whatever, I took it from the Library or I imported it from any else place, are… are superb. For me, if LingQ had only that one feature (the possibility of creating and presenting LingQs in a new context), it would still be amazing. That feature is way I consider LingQ the best system to learn languages.

Hi loby,
in your profil you have written: my native language - English. I think that is not really what you wanted to write :slight_smile: ??

In you threat I agree absolutly and in the meantime since we have the Daily lingQ I review more vocabularies the ever.

I’m sorry Irene but you are wrong. It is not my mistake, it is a limitation of the system. There is not a possibility to choose my native language - Polish.

wow loby, excuse me, I didn’t know that.
But perhaps you are learning English so well that it is similar to your native language :slight_smile:

Not yet Irene, but absolutely, will be :slight_smile:

I agree that saving LingQs is good for you.

However, I’ve come to find that I both learn and forget the words to easily.

If I save ~13 words, flashcard them/the current words from the opened item/the Priority LingQs/whatever the daily email tells me to go through, and I will probably have “learned” 10+ words in a couple of minutes (including a few of those already at status 2 or 3).

The next time I pick a new item, I encounter some of the “learned” words, maybe even words I “learned” just a day ago (and maybe even from the same kind of LingQ collection, thus very closely related to what I have just read). The word looks familiar… I double-click it, find that I “know” it (but can’t remember it even if someone pointed a gun to my head!), so I change the status to level 2 (sometimes even level 1). And the history will repeat itself.

What’s the problem here?

I think that things would be easier if:

  • the highlighted words didn’t disappear as quickly (at all?)
  • there would be other kinds of “levels” (perhaps days/months/years as in any other SRS program out there)
  • the levels changed “immediately”, and not after succeeding/failing twice in a row
  • we didn’t have to double-click so much (many texts have hundreds of new words and I want to save my fingers/wrist/arm and NOT save too many words on the same day, at least)
  • there was an tool extracting all the unknown words and adding them to the vocabulary section - but you would probably have to edit each of them again to add hints/phrases - unless:
  • there was a pop-up dictionary translating the words as you hovered the text (I know they exist, even with the possibility of click-and-save-to-personal-vocabulary-list)

Just a few thoughts…