At how many known words do you like to start speaking?

I’m starting to learning Swedish and I want to try to do things a little differently this time around. I’m nearing 20K known words in French and barely attempting now speak.
With Swedish I want to start speaking much sooner.
How many words do you wait until you have before trying to speak? Or do you start speaking straight away.


Je crois que tu peux parler quant tu veux. Communiquer et perdre le peur est essentiel pour commencer à parler. Je connais quelques amis qui parlent sans savoir beaucoup des mots en fraçais mais ils parlent beaucoup sans stress et préoccupations. Salut Salut! bisous bisous!


Because of the way words are counted on Lingq and because of the fact that I don’t study Swedish as it is my native tongue it’s hard for me to say but my educated guess is around 20-30 k. The exact number depends on many factors. I my case In would wait until I’d be around maybe 30 k. However, I don’t have any huge need to speak, I believe that if I have a huge passive knowledge and write regularly speaking will come by it self.

I based the numbers on the fact that Swedish has simple verb conjugation and AFAIK lesser adjectival conjugation than German and Romance language.


Lingq words have no connection with speaking. You need active words in order to speak and a few thousand of them are enough to speak (somehow). Passive words may just define how well you read with comprehension or write.
I recommend to start speaking either from the beginning or after some silent period, but definitely not too long


I could have some small conversations at about 7k words but I still cannot take part in group conversations via Skype because I understand almost nothing with my 9k.

Yep, that makes sense, of course it’s hard to give absolute numbers but even if I were a beginner in Portuguese with no previous knowledge about Romance languages, I suppose I could have small conversations at 12-15 k (sort of the equivalent of 7-9 k in Swedish).

Just to clarify I based my answer on longer sustainable conversation. I had a little bit of trouble finding a way of giving a meaningful answer but I figured I have had long conversations in Spanish. I am also pretty fluent in French, the “problem” with French is that I haven’t used it as much but I’m getting there. If it weren’t for the grammar which I will get to soon, I’d already be fluent in German.

Anyway I started to reflect at what point I had enough grammar knowledge and words to speak freely without to much uuing and aahhmming.


I’m learning German for 200 days and have 28K words. I still don’t feel like speaking. I believe speaking will come by itself, and I don’t want to repeat my mistake with English - where to this day I’m fixing all that stuff that I got too early and wrong. Relearning is a pain.


I think this depends heavily on not just how many, but what type of words you know and how you learned them. What I mean is, if you’re using something like Assimil that’s front loaded with common conversation words and encourages early speaking, you may start having basic conversations at as little as 1500 words. But if you’re using a more input based method at first, your comprehension of native materials will be faster, but you may not end up speaking till later.

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For me, it was easy. When I started learning Spanish, there were not Hispanics here. I never spoke with anyone until I took a trip to Spain in high school. And there was no iTalki, LingQ, or other means to actively seek out speaking partners.

I think the way I’m going to do it for future languages (since I’m not going anywhere or plan on interacting with foreigners), I’ll just speak when I get the chance, ie. I happen to run into a Frenchman, Russian babe, etc. If I had to pick when I would actively start seeking them out to speak to, I would say around 10-12,000 words in French. No idea what it would be in Russian, but I’d GUESS it would be 30-40,000.

I think writing is highly associated with your active words, as well.