Agglutinative languages on Lingq

I have heard that because of agglutination, in some languages on LingQ it is possible to get higher word counts and there are higher requirements for each level. I have seen this in Korean. What would be the requirments and numbers of higher word counts someone could get to in a language like Finnish that is very agglutinative?

I think you can get higher word counts in German and -according to my very limited experience - in Russian. Because the endings of the words change depend on the cases, genders, subject etc. I can talk about the Turkish language which is a super agglutinative language.

I, you, we, they go - he/she/it goes
Giderim, gidersin, gider, gideriz, gidersiniz, giderler

Well, there are 9 different words in English but 6 different words for the same meaning in Turkish. It is interesting, right? Let’s see if we need more words to know in Turkish than English.

I/You/We/They go to school.
He/She/It goes to school.

Well, then we can say that there are 11 different words in this simple sentence for all forms of the subject.

In Turkish-

Okula giderim.
Okula gidersin.
Okula gider.
Okula gideriz.
Okula gidersiniz.
Okula giderler.

There are 7 different words for the same thing. Less than English and definitely less than German.

Some more examples;

I/You/He/She/It/We/They like to study new languages on Lingq.(14 different words)

Lingq’te yeni diller öğrenmeyi seviyorum/seviyorsun/seviyor/seviyoruz/seviyorsunuz/seviyorlar. (10 different words.)

The Greek language holds an important place in the history of the Western world and Christianity. (From Wikipedia) -16 words

Yunan (Greek) dili (language), batı (western) dünyası (of the world) ve (and) Hristiyanlık ( Christianity) tarihinde (in the history) önemli (important) bir (a) yer (place) tutar (holds).

Yunan dili, batı dünyası ve Hristiyanlık tarihinde önemli bir yer tutar.
(Translated by me) -11 words.

I guess, the agglutinative languages-at least Turkish- use fewer words for the same sentence than English and German.

I loved this topic. Let’s discuss.


  • a sentence from German

Die griechische Sprache und Schrift hatte auf die Entwicklung Europas immensen Einfluss. Sowohl das lateinische als auch das kyrillische Alphabet wurden auf der Basis des griechischen Alphabets entwickelt. (25 different words) (from Wikipedia)

The Greek language and writing had an immense influence on the development of Europe. Both the Latin and the Cyrillic alphabet were developed on the basis of the Greek alphabet. (21 different words) (Transtlated by me)

Yunan dili ve yazısının Avrupa’nın gelişiminde büyük bir etkisi vardı. Hem Latin hem de Kiril alfabesi Yunan alfabesi baz alınarak geliştirilmiştir. (18 different words)(Translated by me)

Wow. Very interesting. Another thing I noticed that is weird is in English when certain adjectives are paired with certain nouns. We always say “elaborate hoax” or “stark contrast”

That is a very interesting language you have there. I always presumed agglutinative meant more words but not always

Word counts on LingQ are not accurate in the case of Japanese, which does not leave a space between words in a sentence.

I am a cat.
watashi = I, neko = cat.
私(watashi) and 猫(neko) are kanji (Chinese characters).

There are 2,136 Chinese characters that are called “Chinese characters for daily use”.

There are about 50 hiragana, one of the two Japanese syllabaries.

I miss the accent
of the town where I grew up.
Now I walk through crowds
in the city train station,
listening for sounds of home.

Wow Japanese sounds cool!

Ling on Japanese is ridiculous. I have put in more time on lingq into Japanese than any other language yet It is one of my lowest word counts.

Why exactly? Is it because of the inaccurate word counts?

Everything in Japanese sounds the same. They have so few sounds and just about every word has like… multiple, non related meanings. (yoku means “good” and “often” depending on the context). And Google Translate is hopeless for Japanese. I’ll spend like a hour or 2 on it and maybe add like 10-15 words because they don’t stick and I can’t tell what the hell I’m reading.

Also, in Korean every word type, ending, and conjugation is counted as a word where as the stems are often separate so the word count is much less for Japanese overall.

For example.

Walking, Walked, Walker will all be different words in korean

but in Japanese Walk-“ing”, “ed”, “er” are different words and those same endings will be attached to other words or verbs so you end up with much less. Korean has spaces between their words. For some reason that no one can figure out, Japanese doesn’t put spaces.

However, If you learn Japanese after Chinese you will be at a big advantage as you will already distinguish the characters, especially if you learn traditional.


This is called collocation. There are different types of collocations; the two examples you used are adjective-noun collocations as you noted, but there are also noun-noun collocations (e.g. post office, not mail office, or post shop).


We use kanji, hiragana, katakana, “、”, and “。”. That is why we do not put a space between words.


The following is a translation by Google translate:
“In Japanese, kanji, hiragana, katakana, reading point, and punctuation marks are used, so there is no space between words.”

Those sentences are even shorter in Finnish. Here are the same sentences in Finnish:

"The Greek language holds an important place in the history of the Western world and Christianity. "

“Kreikan kielellä on tärkeä paikka länsimaiden ja kristinuskon historiassa.” 9 words.

Kreikan (Greek, genitive) kielellä (language, adessive) on (“is”, third person singular present) tärkeä (important) paikka (place, nominative) länsimaiden (western countries, genitive plural) ja (and) kristinuskon (Christianity, genitive) historiassa (history, inessive).

“The Greek language and writing had an immense influence on the development of Europe. Both the Latin and the Cyrillic alphabet were developed on the basis of the Greek alphabet.”

“Kreikan kielellä ja kirjoituksilla oli suuri vaikutus Euroopan kehitykseen. Sekä latinan että venäjän aakkoset luotiin kreikan aakkosten pohjalta.” 18 words.

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Agglutinative means that there are less words in a sentence but more word forms overall. Here’s an example from Finnish:

banaani = banana
banaanimme = our banana
banaanissamme = in our banana
banaanistamme = from inside our banana
banaanistammekin = from inside our banana as well
banaanistammekinko? = you mean also from inside our banana?
banaanistammekinhan = surely from inside our bananas as well
banaanistammekinkohan = I wonder if also from inside our banana

Another example: Juoksentelisinkohan, “I wonder if I should run around aimlessly.”

So the English sentences have more words total because a Finnish word can thousands of different forms. Here, for example, are all of the forms for the word ‘kauppa’ generetaed by a computer:

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It is an interesting approach, but when you add a second sentence, things start to change. You used the example of the verb to go, which used 9 words in English. When you learn a new verb, say, come, you only add two new words, come and comes, since the seven pronouns had already been added. For agglutinative languages, on the other hand, you would have to add all its forms, six more in total.

I thing the same thing applies to languages which conjugate their verbs in more forms than English does.

So when you say all the same things about our peach, you’ve only added one additional word in English but eight more in Finnish. And eight more each for every other noun. So ultimately lots and lots of words as Lingq counts them, though (hopefully) formed from a finite set of affixes in predictable ways.

Interesting, though, what’s going on inside that banana.

That’s right, obviously Wikipedia is not the most reliable source but locking at the Finnish cases in this article is correct.

Here is a good example for why they don’t use spaces. Yutaka mentions it below, but you can watch some examples of how it works in a video. Why Do Japanese Still Use Kanji? Complicated Writing System... - YouTube It is a decent video, and it explains the issues of 3 main scripts with Japanese. This is for anybody interested in why there are no spaces as well. Keep in mind though, that you can still understand your native language quite often without any spaces in the words. It feels awkward at first, but the spaces make it only more functional. It is hard to say whether all languages have spaces as well, you mentioned Chinese earlier, and until you become fairly proficient at reading the Chinese characters you will likely have trouble distinguishing words from just characters etc. I still have trouble and I have been reading and playing with Chinese for years, with distinguishing names/words/ and when one word ends and begins if I am reading quickly. I am making it sound more difficult than it is, but in the same sense Japanese I don’t think the spaces are necessary nor that complicated in Japanese. This is just from a few examples I have looked at, and not from personal experience, as I haven’t studied Japanese. So take my comment with a grain of salt.

Exactly. As I add every new verb, there’d be “run” and “runs” / “play” and “plays” for the English present tense, but six forms for every verb in Spanish. Include the word “it” to your sentence, and gain 1 additional English word once, no adding more after each verb. But now in Spanish, we correrla and correrlo, jugarlo and jugarla, comerlo and comerla. Two additional words for every verb that can use an “it” for the object. Oh, and the plural forms: jugarlas, jugarlos, correrlos, correrlas, comerlos, comerlas. Put a few hundred verbs there, and it makes a difference.