Has anyone learned a language from scratch with Lingq only?

I only used lingq to learn chinese. The goal is to get used to the characters->acquired words → convert to listening->speaking naturally comes. That’s what I experience. Biggest stepping stone is word count.

How did you read and listen? I saw you have many known words in Chinese, over 40 000 if Im not mistaken, so I’d be interested in your exact steps/method. Did you read/listen first? Or did you listen and read at the same time? How many times did you cover the text etc? Your path seems to have worked, so I’d appreciate it, if you shared

I read until I reached 5000 lingq known words, which could be equivalent to 250-500 characters but all combined differently. There was a study somewhere that I don’t remember is that it takes about 9-35 encounters to get used to a word, in other words, you need to encounter the same word in that many different context and not from the sentences that you have already read unless you give it time and almost forgot about it and then you can. After 5000, I told myself that I would learn 100 words a day on lingq, which in reality is 5 new characters but 95 scrambled word combinations to create different meaning. I don’t read the white known words and hunt only the yellow/blue words. Basically spaced repetition system in a sentence setting, which is more soothing and natural since we’re used to reading in a left to right format. After you reached a certain amount of characters or “known words”, you should listen to content you can tolerate since the beginning listening is really boring and dull. My condition is that I could only acquire the words from listening only if I knew every single word in that specific sentence while listening, so knowing the words are highly critical I think. My goal is to acquire the meaning of the words through listening since acquiring words through reading and acquiring “listening” words through listening is different I think. Especially in chinese. If I were to reset from 0 again, I would solely focus on reading 100% and acquire until reaching 20,000 words which every word is a multiplying affect to your studies and then go full out listening. There is a user that approaches chinese through solely reading heavily in the beginning and then started listening after fully acquiring possibly everything goes by a user of @TofuMeow , I recommend you ask this user questions for reading and word acquisition. Another user you can ask is @bamboozled. This user is highly balanced in everything. Word acquisition, reading, and listening. Very balanced. I just specialize in listening in the condition that my word count controls my progress. If you want more specific answers, ask me any specific questions you may have. If you want my opinionized number of what you should aim for daily in the beginning is:

known words: 30
lingq: 100>
reading: doesn’t matter too much
listening: 2hours to get used To sounds

if you want faster progress, increase the lingqs a lot and the known words will follow.

”Did you read/listen first?”
I “read” first even though I may not know the sound. My goal was to get the image of each non known in my head, get used to the pinyin structure and move on. I only listen to things that I have already lingqed and white known words. I LingQed all words and then listen the next day to the lesson I have ”read” the day before. While listening and reading, I hear a sentence, LingQ that entire sentence and then repeat.

“did you listen and read at the same time?”
Only when I’m actively listening. There’s the debate between active and passive listen so you should look into that debate. I passive listen to only things that I have actively listened to. Listen few times->active listen->any free time listen to it after you have actively listened.

“How many times did you cover the text etc?”
read once and “read and listen together once. A total of two per lesson. Never went back to any past lessons ever unless you want to

I think you can certainly start a language from scratch on LingQ and become fluently literate and fluent or near fluent in understanding of spoken language through it. You do have to converse and write (which you can sort of do on LingQ it’s just limited or costly) to reach complete, overall fluency though.

Thanks for the detailed description. I might give it another go in the future!
For some reason the reply button is missing from your detailed report, so I’m answering to your old post

Hello MarkE. Can you suggest me material here on LingQ in order to reach fluency in German? Im A1-A2 level, and used LingQ for just a few days. So far I’m finding the first 60 stories very boring. Thanks

Not MarkE, but I’ll answer…Unfortunately most beginning level material is pretty boring, so you might have to bear with some of it for a couple thousand words…

However, there are some pretty good choices for A2 level…

DIno Lernt Deutsch series - I was able to import into LingQ by just copying and pasting the chapters as lessons. The stories are interesting. Maybe a little slow at first. I like how each book features a different German speaking city.

Nachrichten Leicht - https://www.nachrichtenleicht.de/ – you can import the articles into LingQ and also download/upload to LingQ the audio for each article. This was my bread and butter along with Dino Lernt Deutsch for that A2-B1 range.

Nico’s Weg - Nicos Weg | DW Learn German – There is A1, A2, B1, and I think B2. (I’ve only copied the link to A1). I believe you can find all the lessons imported into LingQ already. The story is simple but interesting enough with the video. You can do the exercises on the website, if you wish, or just read/listen in LingQ or view on the website.

I have not, but I would like to point out that even the founder of this software (Steve) does not learn “a language from scratch with Lingq only.” It is only the foundation of his language learning. My guess is you can become fluent in reading and listening, but you cannot become fluent in writing and speaking for the obvious reason that you don’t practise these skills on LingQ.

As an example, I’ve had only 200 hours of listening and 600k words read and the other day I met someone who spoke Italian (non-native). For the life of me, I just couldn’t say anything. I just couldn’t produce any of the words that I ‘supposably’ know. I can recognise lots of words when I read them and (a little less) words when I hear them, but I just couldn’t say anything. Just mind blank… I imagine it will come quite fast, but with zero speaking/writing practise, you cannot speak/write. But perhaps this is obvious.

I would also like to point out that by learning a language, you also need to learn about the culture. A lot of communication is done through body language, which you just don’t get by reading and listening. You have to watch videos (which would help), but you have to interact with native speakers. For instance, someone can be ‘fluent’ in the English language (that is, have perfect grammar and use of idioms, etc.), but I could still have large amounts of miscommunication with them simply because they don’t understand hand gestures in English (Anglo countries), cultural taboos, subtle undertones (which is rampant in English, especially in British culture), etc.

TL;DR I haven’t and I would be sceptical if someone says they have.

Not yet. But I am learning other languages.

But only because with LingQ it provides immersion material and you can upload your own.
If you spend most of the time with the reader, you would just obsess over words and conscious knowledge.
It’s true effectiveness lies in that it’s allows the learner to practice intensive study of the language IN THE SERVICE OF IMMERSION.
The principle is that if you practice a small amount of consistent time involved in intensive study, immersion is immensely more effective. If you only intensively study, you’re trying to beat knowledge in your head.

Would you elaborate on what you mean, please?

I am currently only using LingQ as an aid to my German reading comprehension and so only read on here.

Am I wasting time by obsessing over words and conscious knowledge?

How may I improve?

He is saying that if you only read you will only have concious knowledge of the meaning of the words which I would say is mostly true (you still learn the words in the patterns they are used in the language), but to solve this just listen to stuff where if you were to read it you already know 90%+ of the words. Then after some time your brain can unconciously process the words for meaning. Don’t be scared of building concious knowledge of the language because it is still very useful, but don’t expect to flip on the tv, and understand everything like your native language until you have listened for many hours and have lots of concious knowledge too. Goodluck with your german adventures!

I’ve used LingQ to study Spanish from scratch, and it’s doable to reach advanced levels using LingQ as your only tool. I also found LingQ to be very good, specifically for Korean, because of the way it allows you to read and translate Hangul.

Yes, Japanese. I went from 0 to decent (still learning). I just import whatever I find interesting (and comprehensible) into my account. Read, listen, write (sometimes), talk to tutors (often) and review. I have used a couple other grammar books as well. However, the main tool has always been LingQ.

What Hagowingchun said.

I’m saying that studying through the reader and parts of LingQ unlock immersion to really work. But it’s the immersion (and later practicing speaking and refining the language) that really makes it all work.

Hello !
For me, I began Spanish with lingq and stick with it for a few months until I had a good level to understand almost everything but I’m french and it’s a very similar language.
Currently I’m studying Russian from scratch in LingQ and I must say it’s working but it’s very long… I’ve just finished the first Harry Potter in Russian, I know a bunch of words but there’s si much more to learn just to be able to communicate with a native. So at some point I’ll need to use other tools than

Yes, me, Japanese and just now starting with Spanish.

I start with the beginner 1 level classes, the ones that are only a few sentences long, lingQ all the words. I don’t bother with flashcards, I keep reading and listening and move words to known when I recognise them in context while reading.
That way I even learn kanji. You need to be prepared to not understand most of what you read / hear at first. If a lesson looks like “qwer tyu iop SHARK asdf ghjk”, well then, you’ve learned 1 word, congratulations! Re read tomorrow or move on to the next one!

I’ve been getting into Refold, which is from Matt vs Japan and some colleagues, where they basically put together many of the immersion learning ideas out there.
Matt talks about the danger of becoming “reading dominant” as worse than early output/speaking.
If you’re concerned with words and reading too much and neglect listening and watching it really gets in the way of accent and intuitive understanding of the language.
But studying using LinQ or Anki primes the subconscious recognition response while immersing.
In my first year of Spanish I had to cut reading way down to learn to listen and watch ~80% of my time. LingQ makes it all more comprehensible as pure immersion takes forever and doesn’t work for many of us of whom are not prodigies in language learning.

If the language uses an alphabet or writing system that you already know, and the grammar isn’t too insane, it should be totally possible. But something like Arabic will likely require you to utilize outside resources if only to get the alphabet and some of the more opaque grammatical complexities down.

To my mind it’s much more efficient and effective to start a language journey combining experience (for example, using very simple material in Lingq) with study using a high-quality “communicative-approach“ beginners text book!!!

I believe it is possible to learn from scratch purely via input and automatic absorbtion — but I think it would take you multiple times as long. I think it would be hugely less efficient and effective…