I’m trying to get a sense of which words to mark “known” vs. which to mark ignored when it comes to similar but slightly different Korean words. For example, do you count every conjugation of a verb as a different word, or only count the infinitive verb as a known word and assume you know how to conjugate all the instances of it when needed? Same with adverbs and adjectives. Do you count informal conjugations and formal as two different words? I can see how I could quickly end up showing that I know way more words than I really do if I were to county every possible version of a word as its own separate word. And then when you add particles into the mix it really could make a difference if you count them vs. don’t. Do you count a word as a separately-learned word if it has a subject, object, or topic marker vs. doesn’t have a marker? Anyone who has come across this who has a thought on it, please feel free to share your thoughts.
I don’t study Korean but Russian. Which also have heavy use of conjugations.
Currently I have +36000 known words, and that is because I take every single instance of the word.
The only exceptions are names, and non Russian cities - I like to take the cities so I can learn a bit about geography at the same time.
I think it would be really bad to only take the infinitive form of words and ignore everything else.
Reason being that LingQ’s progression system is built around you marking all words.
Especially in the beginning it’s not certain that you know all the conjugation of words so if you know the infinitve does not mean you know all uses of a word.
If you want to know your actual word count you can either go to an frequency list and scroll down until only one in 5 words are know. Then add about 500 and that’s about the words you can recognize. For instance when I was at 11000 known words on LingQ I checked and I knew about 2500 actual words.
My Swedish known word count is about 5-10% higher than my Korean known word count. My ability to read Swedish is like 5x better than my ability to read Korean with LingQ. In Swedish I am able to read university level novels and biographies comfortably. In Korean I grind through kids stuff. Things got a lot less frustrating for me when I gave up on comparing word count/comprehension levels between languages a while ago.
I have to agree with dklee here that the known words function isn’t the best indicator. I think you should mark all the words or count them because it’s the best way to make use of LingQ’s tracking system and its hint boxes. In Korean specifically, you may want to mark some words with the meaning of specific endings rather than the word itself, but that’s up to you. I’d also keep in mind that just because you haven’t encountered certain forms on LingQ, it doesn’t mean that you haven’t encountered them off of LingQ. I can tell you that even with my word count in Korean, I just yesterday encountered another form of “good (좋다)” that I still hadn’t seen yet on LingQ. Don’t worry about this kind of thing, as your clicking the ignore word button can be one more thing that breaks your flow. The last thing I’ll add is in the same camp as Magn0733. It seems important to be consistent with whatever measure you’re using, and so counting all of them is likely the best way to go, especially if using LingQ to help with repeated exposure to the same forms that you’ve saved in the database.
If you’re interested in known word families instead of total known words, I’d recommend checking around TOPIK, the King Sejong language platform, or the gov’t sites for a word frequency list. The statistics on LingQ are nice to show that you are making progress, but the best indicators are probably the words read and hours listened stats.
I agree with everything that has been said here but I would also add that since Korean is a highly inflected language, you really can’t assume that you know all of the forms of a word if you know the infinitive. Verb forms especially can contain a lot of subtle variation in meaning. For instance, 좋다, 좋아, 좋지, 좋잖아, 좋군, 좋거든, etc. are all used in different contexts, and that’s all present tense without any sort of plain/honorific distinction. If you “lingq” verb forms that you are unsure of, even if you know the meaning of the stem, you are more likely to notice the context these endings are used in across different verbs and you will acquire the meaning more quickly. You might have noticed that the number of known words required to “level up” on LingQ for Korean are higher than many other languages for this reason. I wouldn’t worry about your “known” word count being too high. Since the known words count measures your passive vocabulary, not your active vocabulary, it doesn’t really have a real world analogue skill-wise. Steve Kaufmann himself has noted that he has a really high known word count for Korean (80000+ I think) despite not being able to speak Korean well because his knowledge of Chinese and Japanese helps him understand a large number of words he wouldn’t be able to produce otherwise. I agree with iMeoWi that if you want to track your progress, focusing on the reading and listening stats will be much more informative, and chatting with a native speaker occasionally will give you a better idea of your active vocabulary than any of the LingQ stats can measure.