Changing language level

Hi. I used the free version of lingq quite a while ago, but moved on and didn’t keep it up. I’m back and I’ve subscribed. The problem is I have several languages on the go at different levels. The system still sees me as a beginner in Italian, which I wasn’t even back then, and I can’t seem to work out how to go into the languages at the right level for my learning. Can I do this?

Your level depends on the number of Known words you have in a language. You can check this list to see how many known words you need to reach different levels:

Don’t worry about the level noted. As you read and listen to lessons (which you can do at any level, the choice is up to you), LingQ will automatically add the words that you have indicated as “known” by the simple act of turning the page and NOT making them into yellow links. Keep in mind that LingQ doesn’t know what you know. It only knows – and counts as “known” – the words that initially were blue and which you did NOT make yellow and thus converted them to white (known) or words that you made known through doing the various review exercises. You can adjust the level of the material you want to access (e.g. adjust to B2 if you like or whatever you think presents the right amount of new vocabulary for you). At first, if you choose “easy” lessons, then the number of known words will accrue quickly since you will turn the page without making them into lingQs. If you choose hard lessons, then you will be making lingQs (yellow) but not necessarily turning blue words white. Thus, don’t be in a rush to pick upper level material. Depending on how many lessons you do daily, the number of “known” words that LingQ keeps track of will eventually catch up to what you actually know. BTW many people – myself included – find that there is a “sweet spot” in how many new words you can comfortably absorb in a lesson – somewhere around 15-10% which means that you will already know 85-90% of what you are reading/listening to. At this pace, you are using the context to help figure out and retain the new words/expressions. When the amount of new words is high, then it is difficult to remember them and then it’s as if you having horizontal “lists” of new words which is not helpful, at least not for me. I have found that the more I know, the more I retain and the more TIME I spend with the language precisely because it’s not hard. As long as the subject matter is something that interests me, this is optimal for language retention.

FWIW, I started doing Spanish lessons on LingQ several years ago when I already was at an intermediate level. (I started LingQ for Russian when I was at B1.) I did not want to fall into the trap that I had with Russian – namely understanding much more when visually reading than I understood when listening. Thus, I deliberately chose slightly easier material in Spanish (B2) and only listened. I then went back and quickly went through the transcript to check any new words or expressions. It was so easy to learn and retain the new material and so easy to listen for 2 hours/day which I would never have done if the material were more difficult. It has always been easier for me to accrue words in Spanish than in Russian because of the many Latin cognates. Only recently have the number of words “known” in both languages converged yet in fact I continue to know more in Spanish than I do in Russian so the numbers are, well, ballpark at best. Remember that it’s not about a “number” but what you can DO in the language that ultimately is important.

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Very helpful - thank you. I will be patient and work through it for a few days. I’ve started Russian from the beginning, though I’m not a complete beginner - but the listening helps a lot.

Thanks - I think I need to be patient for a few days and try it out.