Anyone come into LingQ already well beyond the beginner level in learning a second language?

I am curious how someone who is not a complete novice finds working with LingQ to teach it what words they know.

I consider myself pretty novice, but I still probably know several hundred words with varying levels of confidence. Yet waiting until I have uploaded a lesson in which those words all appear will take forever.

How is it for someone who comes in already knowing 1000, 5000, 10000 words? Do you create csv files manually and upload all those words?

This is a response to this post and partly to your other posts.

I’ve never been too concerned if LingQ knows I know all the words I know. Maybe you just need to be okay with not having all your known words known. If you want to review a bunch of particular words, there are better websites out there. If certain words don’t show up in the content you find interesting…well how important can they really be? You can import lessons that are lists of something like, “The most common words in whatever language.” For me, going through these lists is taxing, so I do it only if I want to torture myself a bit. I like to dive in to books and if my comprehension is a little foggy, I don’t stress at all…I just trust that it will get gradually clearer. And it has, and continues to. It’s a long haul any way you look at it. The way I look at it, if you keep wondering, “Why haven’t I learned THAT yet?” you’ll being going in circles.

LingQ gains in power when you let go of some preconceived language learning notions. This makes it difficult for novice LingQers. Maybe this is avoidable, but as the system stands, it’s a considerable barrier for the majority. The general idea is that you import texts that are interesting to you. Finding content that is interesting to you is particularly difficult if you don’t know your way around the language to begin with. If something turns out to be boring, ditch it and look for something else. Some word keeps coming up and you still don’t know what it means? That’s okay, and normal in fact. Glance at the definition and keep moving forward. Some words will take longer to nail down than others. Don’t worry if you immediately forget that definition you just looked up. You learn by forgetting one too many times. Anyway, how far can you get if you don’t fail?

That’s my take on it at least. Basically, hakuna matata!


Quote from Barry Lewis from TED talk ‘Hacking A Language’: “I actually have a goal to make at least 200 mistakes a day, because then I know I am getting somewhere, I am using the language.”

Maybe I can start with a goal of 5 mistakes a day and work my way up. :slight_smile:

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That Barry Lewis is such a joker. Love that guy!


I use LingQ mostly for the ability to post exchange requests.
Primarily, I like to submit text of listening exercises that I have taken upon myself to do in order to hone my listening skills, and to see how well I have done.
Secondly, I like helping others, mostly with written English, or with translating second languages into English in areas where I either already happen to know the relationship from memory or can find the answer quickly. I have a fantastic book on Spanish grammar called “Correct your Spanish Blunders” by Jean Yates.
I really don’t get much out of the LingQ “method” because it is based on a program of identifying discrete words as if they carry only one meaning, and language just does not operate that way.

Benny Lewis is phenomenal.


Good old Bazzer Lewis!

I knew maybe 1000 German words when I joined LingQ. I started simply by reading through lessons in the library. Mostly discussions between Jolanda and Vera, or between Evgueny and Reinhard. Within a few days to a week, I was probably at several thousand known words on the system. Still, even after several months, I was still coming across forms of basic words that I knew (I think I was on 15,000 known words when I found ‘seid’ for the first time). I don’t think it’s something worth worrying about. Just keep reading and the system will learn the words you know eventually.


@brucenator, words generally only carry one meaning within the context of a particular sentence. In the entry for a link, there are multiple lines now for multiple meanings of a word. As Steve says, the meanings are just there as a hint to help you understand the content you are reading. Actually, I don’t think I quite understand your criticism.

@OP, I agree with kcb. As you go through lessons, LingQ will learn the words you know. There’s no need to worry about it.

No idea who Barry Lewis is :slight_smile:

Big Baz Lewis! I love hearing about his goals. Makes his little brother look shy and retiring.

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My bad. Benny Lewis. Sorry! Hacking language learning: Benny Lewis at TEDxWarsaw - YouTube