Confused new student (Russian)

I’ve just started and I’m confused. The app sent me some information I don’t understand. It said that I will be creating so many lingq’s that it will be impossible to review them all as part of my learning process but that I would be learning in subsequent lessons? The only thing I know about the system is establishing my lingqs and reviewing them after the lesson. I can listen to the dialogue as well. Am I missing anything? Thanks,

Yes you’re supposed to LingQ practically everything, which creates an unmanageable amount of words to review (unless you devote your time to a tiny number of lessons). Instead you’re kind of supposed to read and listen to as much content as you can and get repeated exposure to words mostly in that way.


Yup. I’ve got 45,000 lingq created. I’ve only “learned” 5,000 of them.

Yet, fluency has arrived!

It depends on you!
You can make 100 lingqs and you can make only 20 every day.
As a teacher I recommend you not to be in a hurry at the beginning of your study such a difficult language as Russian.
You can go faster later, not now.
You have to get accustomed to new words and to a lot of unusual Russian constructions as well. It takes some tiome.
You can use my Russian courses for beginners in the Russian library here, for example:
Русский с нуля (95 уроков)
Начнём(42 урока)
Базовые модели(54 урока)
Первые шаги(125 уроков)
Мои первые диалоги(29)
Мои первые тексты(17)
Good luck, Libertyman!

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I think the main point here is this: Reviewing Lingqs is secondary at best. Don’t focus too much on it. I know this sounds strange because you get daily lingqs, there’s a default lingq reviewing after paging and we’ve been brainwashed at school about the importance of memorizing your vocabulary.
But here on Lingq reviewing vocabulary is not what will make you learn the language. Many people here (myself included) never review our lingqs. Those who do typically (Steve, for example) do so in a very casual way, only browsing through a few now and then, when their total number of lingqs typically range in the tens of thousands.
So, how do you learn languages on Lingq. As a matter of fact, making iingqs is way more important than reviewing and striving to memorize them.
The idea is this: everyday you go read and listen to a text. Typically you begin with lessons provided by Lingq content creators. I do recommend you to try Evgeny’s lessons for beginners and the new mini-stories. A bit later you can try the Russian version of “Who is she?”
Your mission is to try to understand as much of the lessons as you can. You typically do that by reading the lessons and clicking on the words you don’t understand. That provides you with a possible translation. If you think you have learned that particular word (you’ll be able to remember its meaning the next time you encounter it), make it “known”, otherwise, turn it into a lingq. After you kind of understand the text, go on to listen to it for a couple of times. Don’t expect to be able to understand the audio in the beginning. You just listen, keep in your mind what the meaning was and try to pick up a few isolated words. You may feel that you’re not learning anything but your brain is hard-wired to gradually associates those strange sounds to its meaning.
You keep going like that, tackling progressively more challenging material. The goal is to graduate to real (intended for native speakers) and interesting content as soon as you feel ready for it (it’ll take a while). You can review some lingqs from time to time if you enjoy it. It helps but it’s not indispensable. Motivation’s the main concern here. Don’t stick to anything that feels like an ordeal.

Lingq really encourages you to find your own personal way to learn, so many details are really up to you. Browse the forums for discussions about how other users tackle their learning process and feel free to post any doubt you may have.
However, the typical process is for you to read the same lesson a few times and listen to it a lot more in the beginning stages of your learning. However, I’d advise you not to overdo it. The goal here is not to try and learn all words in a given lesson before moving on. You only repeat lessons in order to take advantage of the familiarity of the material, which helps a lot when you’re new to the language and everything’s so confusing. As you progress, you may feel less and less need to repeat the same text.
The best way to review vocabulary is to encounter it again and again in different contexts.

As an example: I’ve learning Russian on Lingq for the last 2 1/2 years. I began just as I’ve advised you to do. Right now I mostly read novels that I have uploaded myself. I just read on without ever repeating texts or reviewing Lingqs.

The main takeaway: do your best to enjoy the process and be patient. It’s an involved process but it does pay off

Желаю успехов!

Bring back the days when Lingq doesn’t force you to review the lingqs by default after each page flip pls tyty.

Thank you all so much. It’s almost like it’s one of those, “it’s too good to be true” kind of things. Just Lingq and read and do some listening. What’s amazing to me is that this was how I was thinking about approaching my language learner some time ago. I had tried a few things and progress was slow. I thought that perhaps I should learn to read the language. Even though English is my mother tongue and of course I learned to speak it as a child, I mastered it through reading. Seeing patterns, understanding proper syntax and what just sounds right. When it’s written well, it will sound “spoken”. Thanks again, I’ll get to Lingq-ing!!

I think the bottom line is do whatever is comfortable for you. I’ve found that personally I review my lingqs a lot more and spend more time reviewing lessons in Russian (where my language skills/vocabulary are not very strong). In German, where my language skills are more advanced, I don’t really bother to review my lingqs unless it amuses me. I think both approaches are valid and the right balance probably depends on each person’s individual personality and learning style.

I study my lingqs more in Russian is because my vocabulary is so small that I get overwhelmed pretty quickly in even basic texts (with many unfamiliar words and grammatical constructions I find it becomes difficult to understand the meaning of a text), so there I add new material more slowly and spend more time reviewing in order to keep the mental workload more manageable.

I expect that as I get more comfortable in Russian I’ll review less and spend more time working through new material, but right now my focus is more on getting familiar with the fundamentals of the language and for that I find reviewing is helpful. I notice that when I go back through a lesson a second or a third time I pick up on details I hadn’t noticed the first time around (this is especially true for things like cases/endings which my English-speaking brain wants to gloss over in favor of understanding unfamiliar words, because cases/endings don’t really exist in English. But cases/endings really require some attention in Russian so I’ll go back through the lesson later when the words are more familiar and look more carefully at the endings and stuff).

I’ll also add that if you don’t want to be quizzed on your lingqs between pages or to be notified of your daily lingqs you can turn those features off in your settings, so you can set up lingq to work in a way that suits your preferences.

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One word of warning as relates to Russian lingqs. The meanings are represented as “hints”, not definitions, and the exact grammatical meanings are missing from many or most. (These are entered by users, not by Lingq, so you’re subject to the diligence, or lack thereof, of the first user(s) to have encountered a given word.)

I don’t find this a problem because I learned the grammar pretty well in school before coming here to learn the words and idioms to actually use the language. So in my current lesson, e.g., “высовывался” is given as “hang out; stick out, protrude”, but I recognize the past tense reflexive form. Memorizing grammatical tables is pooh-poohed by many here, but someone who is a rank beginner ought to find some of the beginner lessons that touch on the basics of the grammar, and maybe find a reference source outside of Lingq to consult when necessary. You might also consider using Wiktionary for look-ups since it usually includes a good grammatical summary of the words it has.

Others have apparently learned Russian from scratch here, including Steve, so it’s definitely possible. Those who have are probably better qualified than I on strategies to learn the grammar from scratch.

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You can turn it off. Just click the settings on the page when you are reading and disable it.

The goal is to find out what works best for YOU. However, Russian is more difficult than Romance languages. For example, a major hurdle for many whose native language is not a Slavic one is the “case” system in which all nouns, pronouns, adjectives as well as possessive (my,your, etc.) and demonstrative pronouns (this, those, etc.) have DIFFERENT endings depending on the relationship of that word to others in the sentence. That is, these nouns and adjectives (which must agree in number and gender with one another) will have different endings whether the word is the subject, direct object, indirect object, in a location, the means by which something is done and whether it is belongs to something. How a word functions depends on the CASE ending, NOT on word order as it is in English and Romance languages. This makes it far more challenging to translate a word or phrase correctly in Russian than in the Romance languages and it exponentially makes speaking Russian more difficult because if you don’t use the cases properly, then you cannot understand who/what did something to whom/what with what and where. In turn, making yourself understood will be even more difficult because while you may understand something when you read it and have time to figure things out, you won’t be able to use the correct case endings in a conversation.

While some people here say they have learned Russian by not studying cases, frankly to me that is far too difficult and would be like trying to speak a Romance language only using the infinitive forms of verbs. (In Russian, verbs are also conjugated as in the Romance languages but have an additional difference which is “aspect” which generally refers to whether something is a continuous or repetitive action or a one time action. This often requires learning TWO verbs for each action and all of their respective conjugations!)

Personally I did not learn Russian from scratch at LingqG but neither did I learn the case endings through memorizing tables or repeating “drills.” Instead, I gradually learned the ending of nouns and adjectives one gender at a time (there are three, masculine, feminine, and neuter, singular and plural) for each case for words that were common that I myself wanted to learn – and USE – at that moment. By keeping the vocabulary simple, I was able to concentrate on learning and USING the correct cases. At first, I used – that is, wrote and said out loud – simple sentences that were relevant to my life at that moment. These were not “drills” but instead a running journal about my life, using words and the grammatical forms that I knew and wanted to learn. I learned ALL genders in ALL cases in a context – a simple phrase that was true for me. As a result, I did learn all of the cases without any concentrated effort to “memorize” the case endings because I was USING the phrases, much as a child learns through everyday repetition of common patterns. I have regular Skype sessions in Russian and for the most part do use cases properly, unless there’s a new expression that I need to learn. (The number of Russian words I have learned at Lingq does not reflect what I know in Russian since I have used many different sources and continue to do so.)

To me, grammar IS important and needs to be learned, particularly in Russian because the word order is more fluid than in English and the Romance languages.

In fact, one of my great frustrations on Lingq is that in Russian, the translations that first pop up are often NOT accurate and I routinely change them. For example, a translation may note a word means “come” yet in Russian NO word means that. Instead, in the spelling of the word is the tense, the person (I, you (informal or formal), we, he, etc.) and gender (in the past tense) and whether the action is with a vehicle or on foot, completed or ongoing. If you don’t learn these embedded meanings, then you can’t possibly use the word correctly. Thus, HOW something is translated affects whether you are learning what something in fact means (keeping in mind that its meaning may change in different contexts) or whether you are learning inaccuracies/mistakes or approximations that won’t work in another context. Garbage in, garbage out. You can’t learn the language – that is, understand what a word or phrase means – without learning grammar. I’m not advocating a grammar-based approach since I myself have not followed one, but to me it IS necessary to make accurate “lingqs” so that you do in fact learn the grammatical patterns that will enable you to understand what you read and in order to communicate effectively. Bottom line: experiment with what works best for you but I would recommend looking at some grammar points along the way. (In addition to the lessons on Lingq, there are others on Youtube and there is a value to watching several different ones on the same topic.) You need not absorb all of what any video presents all at once and you probably won’t. Instead, break it down into tiny bits and USE the information in sentences that you yourself create. For me, reading and listening are only one part of my language learning. I also USE the language – i.e., I write and say out loud-- what I have learned.


Is that recommended? I just did my first lesson and I see the benefit, but I also see it really slows down my reading process