I have been away from LingQ for a while, but I want to use it to read novels in Swedish. Now, I try not to create LingQs lightly. For everything except the most obvious words I check in a good physical dictionary, and create definitions that I myself find useful. This of course takes a significant amount of time, and I don’t necessarily want to do it for every single new word I encounter. That being said, I don’t want to ignore those other words either, and I definitely don’t want to mark them as known.
I have read a few times in this forum that there is no need to keep blue words, but I disagree. I find the distinction between yellow, blue and ignored words to be very useful:
- Yellow words are those that I have taken care to define myself and am in the process of learning.
- Blue words are those that I haven’t defined yet, but I will still want to define/learn eventually.
- Ignored words are those that I will never want to learn. For me this mostly applies to proper names of people, companies, etc., i.e. those things to which translation doesn’t really apply.
This usage lends itself well to moving quickly through the text initially, while letting some blue words remain for future re-readings. This also lets the blue word counter for a lesson stay relevant after the first reading!
On the other hand, I don’t see the point in ignoring or marking as known words that I don’t know, especially since those turn out to be words that are too complex for me to care about them presently. And given that most suggested definitions are taken from Google Translate and are often patently wrong (especially for complex compound words), I’m not keen on quickly creating LingQs for them and moving on. This would prevent me from distinguishing carefully defined words from hastily defined ones.
So far I have resigned myself to painstakingly defining every unknown blue word I encountered, but reading this way became a chore and I stopped using LingQ for a few months. The fact that remaining blue words are converted into known words at the end of a lesson is single-handedly preventing me from enjoying my time with LingQ. Is there any chance that this feature could be made optional?
Maybe I am just using LingQ wrong, but this is the type of usage that I find most reasonable, and I feel that it could be easily accommodated. If that’s not the case, then I’m not sure that LingQ is for me after all… Or am I missing something?
Thanks for your suggestion. I don’t think we are going to change anything there to be honest. There really is no point leaving blue words behind. When you encounter them again, how will you know that you did encounter them earlier already if they are still blue? When you select a word, you should either make it known or save it as LingQ (or ignore of course if it’s irrelevant).
I do think there is a bit of misunderstanding about the way Lingq is used. Yellow words are those that you have already come across but don’t know. It seems you want to make a distinction between two different kinds of Lingqs (yellow words) but keeping part of them blue is not the way to go. You’ll be constantly fighting the Lingq system, if you do… There are other possibilities, depending on what you want to achieve. A couple of examples:
- You can choose different levels of “knowledge”, which correspond to different shades of yellow. If what you want is to visually differentiate your two categories of Lingq, choose one level for each.
- If what you want is to review some words in the flashcards but not others, or at leas not for now. Tag those that you want to review with a convenient description: learn, learnnow, learn2020 or something like that. You can filter that tag on the vocabulary page. Later on you can update the tags as you progress in the language.
You can also combine both ideas.
Thank you zoran and ftornay for your responses. I can accept that what I’m asking for is not within the goals or intended usage of LingQ, but I still believe your suggestions don’t quite cover my case.
Maybe I should have made clearer that the input I’m trying to read is far above my current level. Each lesson I created from my current novel has between 20 and 30% blue words (and this is after I’ve already gone through half of the book). That being said, I can generally understand the gist of what I’m reading, but having to create this many LingQs for every single page of text (which, as I mentioned, I do by consulting a physical dictionary) is slowing down my pace to a crawl and sucking all of the enjoyment out of reading. What I would like is the possibility of leaving certain blue words and having them stay there so that I can tackle them if/when I come back to the same book 6 month later and with an expanded vocabulary.
In this scenario I don’t think that zoran’s point applies. It is not important to me whether I have seen a word previously or not, since I am making a conscious choice not to track/learn that word for the time being. But “for the time being” is important to me as well! I don’t want to ignore these words or set them as known, because then when I finish a first pass of the book I will have no way of knowing how many words I left behind. If it was possible to leave blue words behind I could finish my book and see the lessons now have e.g. 10% blue words instead of 30%. That is valuable progress, and doesn’t force me to spend time creating LingQs for words that don’t interest me at the moment, and that statistically I may not encounter again in a long time, if ever.
On the other hand, I fail to see the usefulness of automatically setting words to known after turning a page or at the end of a lesson. I can imagine that if starting to study a language in LingQ for which one already has some experience then most blue words will probably be known words, so in that scenario it makes sense. But doesn’t this phase quickly pass after going through a couple of lessons, after which most blue words are not known words? There is of course very much I don’t know about the best way of using LingQ, but from both of these perspectives it seems to me that it would be better not to have turning blue words into known words as the default behavior for paging and ending lessons.
Known = level “5”…word is white/checkmarked/etc
Blue = words you’ve not come across yet
Yellow=words you’ve come across but don’t *know" or have some partial knowledge.
For the words you are wanting to leave blue…i.e. you haven’t supplemented your own definition…why not simply set these to level 1. Words that you have supplemented a definition, why not start those at level 2 and work from there.?
Maybe not ideal, but it’s a way of working this. For the words you currently are wanting to leave blue…just take the most popular translation, mark it as 1 and move on.
Many people are reading stuff way beyond their level too. You can refine the translation as you come across a word again and want to take the time to spend on it. I do this all the time. I may take the quick translation, but eventually I maybe come across the word in a different context and want to refine what I’ve chosen before and maybe spend a little more time working that out. It’s fairly easy.
Perhaps easiest workaround for you to keep any’new’ words marked BLUE, if that is what will suit your requirements, is to simply leave the lesson ‘uncompleted’, i.e. do not move to ‘Complete’ until you are happy you have worked through the lesson and sorted all your definitions? As long as the settings have been set correct so page turn does not move to known, then you should be ok. You can increment the usual Read count manually & the Listen counts would increment automatically as normal. Would that help at all?
Is it because you can’t use the built-in dictionaries? Maybe you’re not premium?
The idea of Lingq is that you read, look up the words you don’t know in the built-in dictionaries, so you can understand the text, which automatically turns them into Lingqs. If you don’t look up a word it must be because you know it, that’s why Lingq demands that you decide whether you want to look it up or you know it. As I said, if you have a particularly curated collection of Lingqs you can tag them like that. Later on, you’ll know which ones you have looked up, because they’re tagged and which ones you haven’t because they’re not.
If you are looking up some words manually and not looking up others, then why do you need Lingq? You may just as well read on paper or on Kindle, … I learned my first languages like that, reading on paper and looking up enough to keep going, but it’s very tedious and slow. On Linq I usually use the shortcuts to go from word to word, which makes Lingq as I go, or use k, if I know the word or x if I want to ignore it. It doesn’t take long and it makes sure I at least have an idea of what each word means.
I am premium, but don’t find any of the available Swedish dictionaries to be particularly good, especially around expressions and phrasal verbs. I use the large Norstedts Swedish-English dictionary, which is the main dictionary for Swedish and covers these things quite well. The most useful online dictionary I know is tyda.se, which is also not one of the available dictionaries.
Using tags to separate my curated words from words I am ignoring could work, but one problem would be that there would be no easy way to find the words I am ignoring in the text. I wouldn’t be able to benefit from the blue word counter that informs me of how many words I ignored the first time.
The main use I find for LingQ is that I only need to define each word once! The next time I encounter the word I can just check my own definition. To me this is worth the price of admission I have also tried reading books without it, but just as you I have found it very tedious.
Hi Frank. Thanks a lot for your suggestion. This may be exactly what I’m looking for! As long as I can keep my finger from slipping and accidentally finishing a lesson I think this will do the trick nicely. Thanks!
Can’t you ask the Lingq team to add tyda.se? They usually add whatever online dict is suggested. IMO, you’d be much better off having at least one decent translation for every word, even if you improve on a few chosen ones. Otherwise you’re guessing the meanings of words much more than most LIngq users do.
Hi Eric. Thanks for your suggestion. This could work for me, but one issue is that I would not be able to keep track of the words I am “ignoring” as I can with blue words. If I could leave these words as blue I could, for example, easily look over my completed lessons and decide which ones to revisit based on the amount of blue words still remaining.
Oh sure! I didn’t know I could suggest that. Thanks! Do you know if I would do that by posting on this forum, or should I email someone about it?
Post on the support forum. Better as a new thread called “Please add …”
On Quora they suggest Tyda but also Folkets (Folkets lexikon). Get both added, just in case
I just asked to add Tyda. Folkets is already available, and is also quite good
Yep, done that more than once before, hehe … I make a point of using the horizntal bar at the top of the lesson to move from page to page, or sentence to sentence instead of the left and right arrows to the side of the lesson texts …
However, I have found the advice from the other more experienced LingQ users’ comments posted here to be true, yet appreciate that we all come from different (legacy) learning styles, and it may take a while to adapt and broaden one’s horizons to encompass others’ ideas and ways of doing things, and would always encourage anybody to try different approaches as an exercise maybe for a month or two and see how effective that is, and if it positively impacts your learning and progress (or not), bearing in mind that what suits one person may not always suit another.
If it works for you, keep it, if not, then try something else!
I first came across some of Steve’s videos in early March 2019 and over about a six month period was greatly inspired and motivated, slowly learning more about the LingQ method. It has taken me a while to fully embrace the concept of comprehensible input and the value of creating LingQs. By the end of 2019 I was fully convinced and signed up for premium.
I am not an avid user of Flashcards nowadays (was in the past), but tend to conscientiously review whole lesson texts regularly, both to consolidate the feel for the language and to see what else more I can ‘notice’ with a gradually widening knowledge base. I listen a lot, and now often synch/combine that with reading more than I used to, but without worrying about having to master everything before moving on to new material.
For quite a while while I got hooked on the stats and streaks etc. They were useful at the time as a benchmark and highly motivating, but now I am pleased with my progress and satisfied as long as I continue to actually do something concrete each day in one language or another, and if I start to lose interest or get bogged down in any particular lesson/course, I move on and just come back to it another time.
Good luck with all your studies, Keep safe and stay healthy,
Best Regards, FrankG
I see what you’re saying there. You can see the “blue” count without going into the lesson itself and you could decide then when to spend more time?
Just curious…how are you deciding what words to ignore vs. which to “concentrate” on?
Yes, that’s what I had in mind. I like the idea of iterating over a book and filling the gaps progressively. I could read a couple of books and then go back to finish the LingQs for the first one, which by then will probably feel much easier.
Well, since I am reading novels and am more or less able to follow the plot I can for example skip certain descriptions that are used to set the tone, which I will surely learn to appreciate eventually, and focus on those words that prevent me from understanding the plot. I basically want to be able to move quickly through the books, at least initially, without having to worry too much about creating good LingQs for every single word I haven’t seen before.
Thanks for the advice Frank! Seeing as everyone is very satisfied with the way that LingQ works I may just have to alter my approach. It’s probably just a character thing really… I tend to spend too much time focusing on creating ideal LingQs instead of just using the default translations, to the point where I’d rather leave the creation of many LingQs for later rather than use slightly suboptimal translations. But thanks to your tip I may be able to finally let go and start moving quickly through the lessons, so thanks for that!
All the best to you and your loved ones
For novels, I’m doing a similar thing…I just simply choose the most popular translation if it makes sense in the context rather than leave it as blue. I work in sentence mode too so that I can get a “good enough” translation for the full sentence. I do spend a little more time if the popular translation does not really work, but could go a lot quicker if I wanted–essentially skipping the sentence or part of the sentence if a translation doesn’t work in that context.
On other lessons that I’m more dogmatic about proper meaning and selection I will repeat those a few times to drive down the “yellow” words and sometimes go back to old lessons that have a higher count than I like. (I usually move on initially after a few times)
Anyway…Interesting to see how everyone has slightly different ways of going about things.