At 1 million words of reading in japanese

After getting to 1 million words of reading what was your main notice? what stood out? great fluency? Read anything? watch Japanese shows easy ? What have you noticed at 1 million words of reading
Maybe what shows where easy and what was harder stuff like that plz detailed

1 Like

Can’t speak for Japanese, but I have close to 1 million (975,000) words read in Norwegian on LingQ in the last year. Fluency? No. Watch Norwegian shows easy? No. But why would anyone expect that from reading?

Reading improves your ability to READ. It allows building a larger vocabulary fast…for reading. I can read an adult novel, looking up only about a word per page. I can also read entire paragraphs without translating them to English in my head–sight reading just as I do in English. That came from reading nearly 1 million words.

Reading, listening, writing and speaking are all different skills. They are obviously highly interrelated, but one does not give you much proficiency in the others. Any exposure to a language adds more understanding which is useful for all four skills.

1 Like

Well true but their must be some shows that are just really easy for you even subtitles no?
Like if you watch pokemon its prob easier then the news or philosophy no?

Yes, my reading skills make subtitles easier…because I’m reading them. But it doesn’t help me understand the spoken words. However, if my brain manages to pick out a word, I recognize it, but by then several more words have gone by.

I’m not saying better reading skills have no affect on the other skills. I’m saying reading lots of words does not substitute for practicing the other skills.

Woodworking skills involving measuring and layout will help you become a better welder, but they won’t teach you how to weld.


ejackson is right. I’ve easily read over a million words in Spanish and although it helps me recognise more words in speech, reading isn’t quite the same as listening. During listening you’re gonna have the following issues:

Words blur into each other - This is probably the toughest hurdle.

Accents - I still have trouble with some accents in my native language.

Mumbled speech - It’s surprising how some people naturally speak clearly whilst others kinda mumble. It’s only really noticeable in a language you’re not really strong in.

Street slang/colloquial expressions - Reading tends to have less of it.

Multiple people talking at once.

Background ambience or just straight up noise - Try undersanding an excitable, multiway conversation in a busy bar. Or scenes from a movie, where they haven’t quite got the sound balance right, and the music/sound effects are drowning out the dialogue.

Speed - I swear some people talk in morse code.

More than one of the above - You can understand everything a character says in a TV show/movie, but if another character has one or more of the above, then it’s quite possible to understand next to nothing of what they say.

In short, you have to be near native level to comfortably understand the majority of TV shows/movies you watch.

Reading gets you good at reading, and as I said, it helps you recognise more words in speech. Only LOTS of listening practice improves raw listening ability. It’s a whole skill in itself. This video might help you understand why, but there are other reasons unrelated to reading.


I’ve just reached 1.5m word read in Greek with about 9,600 know words (generous).
It helps enormously for reading and knowing a word quickly when I hear it. The complete fog has gone and I expect to understand some things. I notice an improvement every 100,000 words. It both seems rapid progress and very slow. Perhaps in a year, at 2.5 m words read I’ll have reached a solid and useful ability.


It really depends how you study. If you study by pre-reading, then reading while listening to content on LingQ, you will develop your listening skills at the same time. Then if you listen to those same lessons while doing your chores and walking, you also develop your listening skills. I recommend you work on both your reading and listening.

At one million words read in Italian, I had the following LingQ stats:
known words 9,532
LingQs 27,049
LingQs learnt 6,096
hours listened 274
hours of speaking 12

Around this level, I started watching Pokemon and understood enough to enjoy it (I was already familiar with the story though).

Japanese might count words differently than in script-based languages, I’m not sure.

But for me, based on how I studied, at one million words read, I wasn’t very good. I had already passed an online B1 comprehension exam, but at this level, I was still very limited in what I could do. Really, for me, my competence in Italian came much after. Based on my study practice, my language, my circumstances, by the time I reached Intermediate 2 on LingQ, I was competent to enjoy most things in Italian (podcasts, TV series, movies, conversing with people, but not books). It just takes time.


At 1 million words read it really depends on a few things. How close is your language to the other one. With Japanese you´re probably not going to get much advantage from another language, apart from perhaps Chinese due to the signs.
On the other hand if you are doing Portuguese from Spanish I would imagine you´d be pretty much able to communicate about anything. If you´re doing Portuguese to Spanish you have more of an advantage as it´s easier for Portuguese to learn Spanish due to how words are pronounced in Spanish being more uniform.
Having said that it also depends what words. In any language I am learning I often go for a three tiered strategy, basic, intermediate and advanced text at the same time. Due to the fact most intellectual words are cognates from Greek and Latin, you can learn a lot to have “advanced” conversations in a foreign language before you can explain how to thread a shoelace through eyelets, as words and expressions of motion are often harder to understand from one language to another. Prepositions are pretty much one of the most random aspect of languages.
At 1 million words in Swedish I have dramatically improved my spelling and misassociating words (I used to think tillämpa mean adjustment, not application). Having said that I was already quite good at Swedish before, just had a big break in using it.
With Slovak, it´s like walking through quicksand with people firing arrows at me. I have started to look for simple and easy to read texts like Horrid Henry and Diary of A Wimpy Kid as they are simple yet explain great holes in life many adult learners never cover (childhood and going to school).
If you read too much without speaking you will develop a large buffer time before accessing your vocabulary. Having said that there comes a point where you´re going to get far far more eloquent than someone who just speaks. You´ll be pulling phrases out your back pocket you didn´t even know you knew.

1 Like

Very interesting statistics I just posted my statistics you should check it out

That was super helpful thanks! If you want I have one more post that I believe you’d find interesting

I’ve also noticed changes at 100000 words especially every 10000 small but noticeable

That’s funny ya I’ve watched that video already anyone who learns Japanese you can prob bet they’ve watched every video on learning it but I appreciate your comment and I’ll take it in to high consideration