Advice for a LingQ beginner


I recently started using LingQ to learn Chinese and I really love it so far. But I’m stuck on a question and I was hoping some of you with more experience may be able to help :slight_smile:

So far, my daily routine is something along these lines:

  • Listen to a new lesson, then read it and create LingQs
  • Listen to the lesson on repeat for a while/review words from that lesson.
  • Re-listen to old lessons on my playlist (c 30-40 mins)
  • Do a short SRS session (if I have time)

It works really well to improve my listening, but I find I am creating a lot of LingQs that have a ‘1’ status - I have about 340 LingQs due for review, which feels a bit scary! Is this normal? I know that listening/reading is more important than reviewing, so I try to not spend more than 10% of my time doing reviews. So I wonder if my SRS list will just keep growing?

I think one of the reasons I have so many ‘low status’ LingQs is because for Chinese I get to a stage where I can recognise the spoken word, but it takes me much longer to recognise a character. So it doesn’t feel right to give the word a higher status when I don’t feel like I could recognise it out of context.

I suppose I could start by always reading a lesson first, as a way to try and get a better balance between my listening and reading ability. But somehow it feels a bit counterintuitive not to listen to a lesson first.

Sorry for the long question! Is there anyone who could offer me any advice?

Thanks :slight_smile:


That’s great that you are listening, reading and creating LingQs! Use your Playlist and listen on your smartphone while doing other things, just to reinforce your reading. As for those status 1 LingQs, you don’t need to learn them all using the Review. You will see them again in future lessons or, when you re-read or listen to the current lessons. Every time you see it or hear it is another review of that word. Most of your review will happen naturally in new lessons. The main thing is to make a lot of LingQs and keep moving. The words that matter will reappear in future lessons.

If you want to do some review using the activities, go ahead. Sometimes it’s nice to mix things up. Or, if you have words that give you trouble, give these a special tag and then filter for those words on the Vocabulary page so you can review those using the activities. In any case, you don’t need to know 100% before moving on. The big thing is not to try and drill every word into your brain. Your brain will learn over time. After a month, if you return to the first lesson you did, you will be surprised at how well you now understand.

Hope this helps! :slight_smile:


Hi Essie,

I’m using Lingq for Japanese, though a bit further in my studies than you, but it’s completely normal to create a lot of Lingqs. I’ve made 338 Lingqs in the last week alone (and some people here make a lot more lingqs than that in a week :slight_smile: ).

For Japanese, more than French, I often had the feeling that things weren’t progressing as quickly as I’d like and that I am not increasing them to status ‘2’ or ‘3’ or learned as quickly as I am in French. I though this would be due to the complexity of “meaning of the character” + meaning of the word + pronounciation of the word. But in the end, when I compare my stats, I notice that the difference is not that big and for the most part is only perceived.

It takes a while to get into it, especially the beginning is slow. When I start reading a new book, the first half of the book I learn very few lingqs. As the book progresses, I start acquiring more and also quicker. As you continue to read, however, you’ll get there bit by bit. The more you read, the faster it will come. At first a word here and there, and before you know it, words you thought you would never learn seem as if you’ve known them your entire life (ok, I’m exagerating a bit :slight_smile: ).

I have 20k lingqs waiting for review. I used SRS in the past, before Lingq, but seeing the mountain that awaits me for review, I realize that - for myself - this is not viable. I haven’t used SRS since joining Lingq. I focus on the words read per day and target myself at least 4k to read per day - which takes me somewhere between 1.5 hours and 3 hours per day depending on the complexity. I set 90 day challenges for myself based on this.

Hope this helps you out a bit. There’s a lot of info on techniques and success stories on the forum, so take a look around.


Hi Azarya,

Thank you for writing such a thoughtful and detailed answer! I really appreciate it.

Knowing that it is ok to use LingQ without getting hung up on the SRS is really helpful. I think I already realised it wasn’t going to be viable to get on top of the list (for me anyway), so it is really nice to get some reassurance that others do this as well.

Thank you as well for your insight about Japanese vs French - it’s really interesting to hear about how you feel your perception compares to the stats.

I am so impressed with the targets you set yourself every day! Good luck with the rest of your learning :slight_smile:

Hi Zoran,

That is really helpful, thank you :)!

It is really nice to hear “the main thing is to make a lot of LingQs and keep moving” - it’s given me a bit of a boost to keep using LingQ in the way that I would like to (i.e. engaging with lots of new content), without getting stuck doing reviews.

Thanks :slight_smile:

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Thanks Essie, lingq is different for everyone. important part is what Zoran says below; keep moving and see what works for you :slight_smile:
Good luck in your journey :slight_smile:

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The nice thing about the lingQs is that even when you elevate a word to ‘known’ is that if you find in the future you struggle with that word, you can always demote it to an active LingQ. Therefore, there is no reason to be cautious with elevating words to known. I don’t worry about the intermediate numbers; when I think I know the word I move it to the ‘known’ category.



If you think 340 LingQ’s is scary, I have 11,000 level 1 !!! I now hide in a closet behind my clothes =)

Just kidding. As others have said here, don’t worry about it. You’re not expected to review these words and and move them to known before moving on. In fact, you don’t even have to review at all! Reading and listening IS the review. By all means, if you like to do the SRS, or simply do it for a change of pace, have at it! I would suggest though that you make it a small percentage of your time with the language and devote the vast majority to reading and listening.


Truth is you can use it however you like. I’m making no attempt whatsoever to learn the script and am just clicking on the “words” as placeholders so I can hear the spoken sounds.


Thanks! I was also starting to look for hiding places, haha!

11,000 has given me something to aim for :smiley:


I echo this suggestion. Don’t be worried about setting a known word back. I’m quite certain I have at least a thousand or two that I’ve marked “known” that probably no longer are. I set back probably a handful every day… Many of these I’ve marked known/unknown several or more times. Progression still happens.


340 LingQs due for review is not a high number at all so don’t worry. I have 48132 Lingqs to review. Safe to say, I will never actually review them. In my view you have correctly identified the problem with SRS. It gets overwhelming and oppressive after the couple of first days. I have never reviewed a single word or have a made a single flash card- All that was ever important to me, was the story or the novel I was trying to get through. I would collect the words I recognize and lingq the rest. Language learning works the best if you just enjoy the content and not think about the mechanics of language learning itself. The more content you consume, the better your understanding of the language is going to get. So just read and listen en mas. Lingqs purpose is to help you to do that and encountering thousands upon thousands of unknown words is not only unavoidable but exactly what needs to happen for you to progress. If you where to curb your reading habits in order to have fewer words to review, you wouldn’t be using this platform as intended.
In the end the numbers don’t really matter. Only your overall progress matters and your overall progress is in direct relation to the amount of content you have consumed- So who cares how many lingqs you have or if you decide to mark words as known too early or too late. Try to get up the total number of words read and hours listen. That is all.


Thank you so much for the details here. I’m just going to start linkq. Let see what happen next.

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Hi Ramonek - super helpful reply, thank you! Since I made this post and saw the advice I have been doing exactly what you described, and really enjoying it :slight_smile: