Blue words, yellow words... gray words?

I mark everything as LinqQs. Everything. I almost never remove unimportant words (X key), I have like 18 000 LingQs. A great number are words I’m not interested in learning.

The reason I do that is, if I remove words, they will appear black in my lessons. Then it’s confusing: I end up not knowing if a black word is a known word, so I should be able to recognize it (and I struggle to remember it if I don’t, so it’s a waste of energy), or instead the word is just a word I don’t care about. It is particularly an issue in eastern languages. At least, if the word is flashy yellow, I sure know I have noooo idea what this means. But then, it’s still waste time to check if I should learn this word, which I do endlessly for useless words.

Here’s an example. The first 4 kanji represent a person’s name. I’d like very much to be able to mark those 4 as gray words, or any other color.


And actually, I’d do a little more: It’d be great to have the possibility to give a level of interest to a word. 無意識 means subconscious. Sure, I do not wish to exclude that word. I ultimately want to learn them all. But I’d like very much to be able to have a visual cue to remember that this word is useless, don’t bother much with it. I’m sure this would be helpful for people who do flashcards, etc. But in the lesson itself, It would be helpful too. Maybe not another color system in itself, but I don’t know, underlying the words that are important? Doesn’t have to be a system with a gradation of 10 values. Just important/unimportant is a start.

Do you mean you would like to be able to mark some words grey or something if you had Xed then out? I mean not with a grey background, but with a white background and grey letters? This is an interesting idea, but maybe it just complicates things.

Either gray background with black letters, or white background with gray letters. Now that you mention it, I think gray background would be better.
The point is just to give us a clue that a word can just be skipped, for whatever reason. I’d even love to be able to create different types of color for different situations, like pink for word that are people’s names, etc. But just gray would be a start. Of course, it’s not the same issue with europeen languages regarding proper nouns, because they are already marked with the first letter being uppercase, witch helps a lot, you already know it’s a noun just by looking at the first letter.

I just find it inconvenient that known words look the same as totally unknown words. That always stroke me as weird since day one. To me, when I look at a paragraph, if everything is white, then I assume I can read it all.

I also believe that the different levels of yellow are a great help for the same reason : when I come across a pale yellow word, I know I almost know that word, so maybe I’ll do an effort before looking at the answer. When the word is vivid yellow, I know it’s useless, I have no clue whatsoever. So I don’t waste time, I check the answer. So the point for me of the different shades of yellow, is to help me read faster. The same should exist for unimportant words.

Maybe it is an idea to add tags to words. You can make your own lists using the tags.

It might not be visual, but it can help you by rating the words as unimportant using the current system.

In my case, I never do flashcards nor review lingqs, so the only use would be for reading, which is anyway the most important activity in my opinion. Maybe it could be a tag system, but to be efficient, I’d have to see this tag on the page, in the upper right corner of each tagged word, without having to point/select word by word. This is why the background color is easier to implement in my opinion.

Basically, the goal is to be able to scan a sentence very fast without stopping at an unimportant word. If I have to stop and check if the word is worthit, then it’s time wasted. And it’s not just time, it’s also energy. When it’s the 10th time you check a useless word, you get kinda frustrated. If it’s gray, I just jump over it and continue.

I don’t get it. Why are known and unknown words identical for you? Do you X out totally unknown words? I usually can read entire paragraphs that are white because I only X out nonsense and I mark everything that I can read as known.

I don’t use the status system in the normal way. I mark words I can read as 4, I mark important words that I can’t read, but think are really important as 2, and all other words as 1. I mark all phrases as 3. It’s a strange system, but I like it a lot.

Not a bad idea

“Do you X out totally unknown words”

Yes I do, like people’s names, like I wrote. Or places, etc.
But when/if I do that, then I end up with whole sentences being white, but then some words I can’t read because they are people’s names. And like I said earlier, the problem is that in japanese/chinese, it is hard to know just by looking at it if a word is a person’s name. So by default, I select the word, check the meaning, and then realize I have wasted my time again.

And also, the problem exists also for any language. When you get rid of the words you don’t care about, how do you know a month later, when you come across that word again, that this word is useless? You have to remember it that you discarded it?

To me that’s so obvious that something is missing there in the system.

You are studiing french, so suppose you read something like:

“qu’avez-vous fait?”
“-je suis resté coi”
“-Peu m’en chaut”.
“-je vois”

Now, what do you do with “coi” and “chaut” ? Those words you don’t want to learn, but if you X them, what do you do if you meet them again? They are quite short words, so it’s not like it is so obvious that those words are useless words that almost no french people ever used or even heard in their entire lives. You need a visual cue to know that you can skip them while reading.

I see. I have had that problem with Chinese and Russian too. More for Chinese than Russian. I don’t really know how to deal with names. Unimportant words I don’t mind since I just LingQ them and that’s it. I don’t mind checking the hints for unimportant words. Maybe your suggestion would be the solution, but I very much doubt the guys up top will make a change like that.

Yeah. Maybe I’ll consider an approach that plays with the possibilities of the 4 levels of yellow, like your did. Any new word I would mark as 3 instead of 4. And let the names as 4. So when I’d see a flashy yellow, I’d know I don’t have to bother.

the solution is so simple. All I have to do, is mark the names as 3s, and hack the CSS to change the color of the css-class “selected status-3” to gray.

(Btw, earlier when I wrote 4, I meant 1, I messed up the order.)

When you get rid of the words you don’t care about, how do you know a month later, when you come across that word again, that this word is useless? You have to remember it that you discarded it?

You don’t have to remember that you discarded it but surely it will be obvious that you discarded it. Because if the word is black but you don’t know it, then it means you x’ed it previously.

It happens sometimes I forget words I have learned. For instance, you read a novel with specific words repeating all the time. You read it 100 times. It obvious, you know it.
Then you finish the book, and don’t see that word for 3 months. Could easily forget it. It happens to me from time to time.

Beside, with chinese/japanese, the characters make it even more easy to forget since the drawing does not give you the pronounciation. So you can’t necessarely fallback on the phonetic memory when you just can’t remember a very common word.

Yeah, this has happened to me.