[Finnish] Learned words, proportion with English words

I am looking for the moment when starting to speak should be feasible. I know full well that starting to speak is awkward, no matter when you start. At the moment I focus on guided reading (lingq) and chaotic listening (non-lingq). In about 2 years I want to move to Finland and apply what I know to real world issues.

My status is 5000 Finnish words (lingq count) and I am aiming at 20000 words (lingq count) to start speaking. Unfortunately, I have no direct influence on “creating” known words. When I see a word, I just know whether I am still learning the word or not. And some stay in state 3 for a long time.

I can directly influence the number of lingqs I create. Up until now I have created 50 lingqs a day. That is slow, I know. But still it is the one factor I can influence with certainty. I am now looking at in creating from 50 to 100 lingqs a day.

I use chaotic listening (which means podcasts above my level and without transscript), because for some reason I enjoy that a lot more than guided listening. The con is that I mostly don’t understand what they are saying, just bits and pieces. It is getting better though.

So, finally my question. Does anyone know or have a reasonable guess as to the proportion of Finnish words (lingq count) to English words (lingq count)? That would help me determine whether 5000 is really so low and also if 20000 is a reasonable starting point for speaking.

I apologize for the long text, I did not have time to make it shorter.

Hard to say. Why not try comparing the numbers of unique words in texts translated to Finnish and English? Lingq gives those numbers for each lesson. You would need to collect a set of texts (such as Harry Potter) and calculate the average ratios of the numbers of unique words to those of all words for each language.

I would also compare the average numbers of all words in similar texts, which would be higher in English due to the compound words and the lack of articles in Finnish. Assuming that doesn’t make much of a difference, then the proportion you asked would be f/e where f is the average ratio of unique and all words in Finnish texts and e is that for English… not sure though.

I’m interested in your chaotic listening method. I like to listen to radio stations in different languages, but haven’t yet systematically applied that to language learning as I’m not sure if it helps if I don’t understand much of what they say.

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lingq count tends to be over estimated by the system. You will need about 30,000 too 50,000 words to have longer conversations that are more meaningful. It really depends what level of conversation you are looking for. I speak Spanish well but my biggest focus is on getting around, driving, understanding the police when I get pulled over, finding help for people when the do stupid things in the water, helping the locals deal with drunk Americans, talking to teachers, and talking with guys about the local area.

It takes a long time to build up your words in this program. I listen to Spanish talk shows daily, read. lingq, listen to audio, watch tv shows, use my SRS cards, and a few times a week I read a book by Olly Richards and listen to an audio book. daily I spend 3-4 hours with my language during my day.

This is a long process define why you want it and find a language exchange partner.

I haven’t found any numbers concerning the number of total words in Lingq. I did find the number of words that are new, and the number of words being learnt, but never the total number of words. Could you point them out for me? I may not be looking in the right spot. I look at the word counts that a lesson shows when I am looking at the course.

About the chaotic listening: there really is no method to it. My basic principle is that I listen if I enjoy what I am listening to (the subject) and I stop listening when the subject is not interesting or I already heard it one or more times and it turns boring. So, what I do is, I rather listen to stuff that I enjoy, even if I only get a small portion of the messages. So I will listen to any subject I like and only if I don’t get enough out of it (like less than 10% of what the people are saying) then I switch to something else. I apologize, there really is no method to it. Just, I don’t want to exert the kind of discipline necessary to listen to stuff I don’t like. So I listen to podcasts, watch videos and listen to radio. Listening to the radio is like watching a movie while you are partially blind. For some reason, even if I get very little, it seems to be improving. This is what Dr Krashen is talking about when he says “your brain is analyzing and learning, even if you don’t notice it”.

Thanks for your response.

Thank you for your reply.

I have decided to start talking on 20,000 but it might have been less or more. I guess I could start talking now, except that my subjects would be exhausted pretty fast. That is why I settled on 20k.

My goal is to move to Finland in about 2 years and by then I want to be able to automatically digest sentences. In other words, once I stop having to consciously translate word by word, that is when I can start really enjoying content and really start speaking to people and understanding them. Until then, any conversation will be both boring and quickly exhausted of material.

I understand from what you say, that you already are at the stage where you understand people as they speak. That is an essential difference. Even though your count and my count (around 5k) are comparable, your language learning and listening to subjects is in the next phase. I have yet to reach that phase.

Thanks for your response.

If you hover the mouse on the three dots in the upper right corner of each lesson, you should see the numbers of all words and the unique words for that lesson. I would put a screenshot here if I knew how.

The percentage of blue words in each lesson is a useful indicator as well. When it goes below 20% in Harry Potter (unless you have already read it), I would start speaking.

thanks for explaining the chaotic listening process in more detail. It encourages me to listen to more Spanish and Portuguese radio. For some reason, I don’t like watching TV shows. It’s something to do with having to use two senses, vision and hearing, at the same time.

Apart from reading and listening, I think writing is a useful skill to practice. It’s a bit easier than speaking to start with.

Good luck with your project. We can have a chat in Finnish some time.

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Thank you. I will need it.

The hovering you cannot capture unless you are screencasting. I found it and I thank you for the info!