Has anyone started here from scratch?

About a week ago I started studying German on Lingq with very little knowledge going into it. I was sceptical that starting from absolute scratch would work on Lingq, but at least for this first week it has.

Is there anyone here who has started at the very beginning in a language using exclusively Lingq, continued for some time, and now has a good level?

I has.

I do it with Spanish and Ucranian. Why would not it work?

I don`t know what do you mean by “has a good level”, but I can read and listen. Speaking is not a point at LingQ, naturally.

LingQ is very usefull about saving new words. It speeds up my learning ability for language, I don`t know, at least atwice.

Its really great and unique system. Click - and youve got a link. It helps me. It`s just faster than others methods I ever used. And comfortable.

Czech and French are also faster. (Czech, really, is not from scratch). I paused them now, but speed of acquisition is unbelievable.

How did you manage to make 840 posts in one week? That’s 120 posts a day.

EDIT: Sorry I re-read your post and now realize it says started learning GERMAN last week… my bad.

I just started like 2 weeks ago I think. I am certainly not conversational, but I am very happy with my progress, and was skeptical about learning German at all, much less actually enjoying it. Now I love it because the progress is better than I thought possible.

I think the place where I got lucky was after one day of studying on my own, I decided to stop and research learning itself. Not learning German, but the process of getting stuff into your brain quickly and efficiently. Wow, I found loads of good stuff, and that’s when I found Steve Kaufmann’s videos on Youtube, and what he said just made a lot of sense.

Being that I am currently in the USA, but will be living long term in Switzerland in a few short months (wife is working for Swatch AG), I would like to attempt to get as conversational as possible in that very short time. According to Steve, this is possible if I maintain a schedule of study for about 4 hours a day. So that’s what I am attempting to do. While I can’t tell if I am “on schedule” to get this done, I do feel significant progress, and it feels good so far.

Maybe I will follow you so I can keep in touch to see your progress?

Anyway take a look at kristiansand’s progress! It’s impressive.

He made a post about how me has made such fast progress.


I’ve been on Lingq for a while. My French is easily fluent and I have an upper beginner level in Spanish, which I decided to put on hold. I also tutor a bunch, so that accounts for a few forum posts. I have the chance to study German at my university this semester, so I’m going to go for it.

To give you an idea of a timeframe for your German; six months of intense French study got me from low intermediate (where I was when I first started on Lingq) to comfortably conversational. By low intermediate I mean B1ish, and by conversational I mean B2ish. 6 months after this intense period I got rated as C1 by some professors in France, and now, a year later, I’m probabaly a good bit better at French than I was then. German is grammatically more intense than French, so keep that in mind too.

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I started Russian while learning it at university and my progress has been quite amazing. Can’t believe I was learning foreign languages the wrong way by taking copius amounts of language courses…


It sounds like I’ll make really fast progress pairing German studies here with classes at school, then. It is a lot easier of a language than Russian, after all!

Of course, it’s possible to start here from scratch, but it’s quite difficult.
I’m a language teacher, and I try to make some lessons for absolute beginners also here in Russian, German and English. My feedback shows that these lessons have a certain success. However, every beginning is a challenge. And the main mistake of the learners is that they hurry up to go ahead without the creation of the main base of words and understanding main grammaer structures - and after a while they feel themselves exhausted and give up.
That’s why the step-by-step method, with a lot of reading, listening and repeatition is more successful.
If you create a solid base, then you can go ahead keeping enjoyment and self-confidence in learning new languages.



You are absolutely correct IMHO about enjoyment and self-confidence. The two feed off each other in a snowball effect but neither is possible (I believe) without the base. Thankfully, due in most part to the members, there is a selection of complete beginner lessons on LingQ.

I’m no teacher and agree with a lot of what evgueny said. I tried German lingQ with “literally” and I mean literally no knowledge years ago and I was very confused, discouraged and didn’t stay long. I think it might help if you have some knowledge in the language or have previously learned another language as the second one seems to be easier from what I hear.

This was in 2010 and maybe learning on lingQ is different now, I don’t know but I doubt it. If I had to do it again I would get a little beginner book, and slowly let it sink in, get a sense of the grammar of the language, the sound etc. I think Assimil is one of the best beginner books out there and LingQ is a great place to go after going through the book. You should have a solid grasp of the language after Assimil and should have no trouble making sense of most of the sentences from upper beginner to low intermediate here on lingQ.

I agree with a lot of what Steve says on language learning but since he’s learned so many languages sometimes I don’t think he’s giving the best advice for complete novices learning their first language. Telling beginners to jump into advanced material after a month or two might be fine for an experienced confident learner like him but I don’t think it’s realistic for total beginners on there first new language.

BTW evgueny I really enjoy a lot of your lessons and find the dialogue discussions by far the most enjoyable. Right now I’m going through your “TELEFONGESPRÄCHE” series and am really enjoying it. Lately I’ve been having problems with motivation and lessons like these are the only ones I can really handle at the moment, light and lively, easy to understand and sometimes humorous.

I’ve been on Russian for almost a year and a half with varying intensity. I started from scratch and sticked almost exclusively to Lingq as my mainstay.

Caveat: L1 German and 6 years of Latin make Russian grammar a lot more comfortable. Also Russian is my 4th foreign L after English, Spanish, Portuguese.

Lingq is the only pay system I use until I’m good enough to read, watch and speak away from heavy dictionary use. I only supplement this with random free apps, youtube videos, …

Now I’d say I’m B2, understand 90% of hard core real materials (radio movies) 98% of conversation, and my speaking is slow and wrong but coming along.

I agree with Steve rather than Evgueny in that it’s good to emancipate yourself from silly artificial beginner stories to real stuff asap. I prefer plowing through real content and heaving myself up to a real life level of listening comprehension.

I don’t like structured limited courses and systems such as Assimil for example. That’s what I find boring and discouraging for one.

Get your foot up on the stirrup with the baby stories and then pull yourself on top with actual movies radio… What’s nice to do to better fell the progress is to sometimes go back to intermediate stuff and see how slow and easy it is in comparison.

Most learners it seems are overwhelmed by real content for a longer time and don’t (yet) have the confidence to leave their comfort zone. I think that’s why they sloth along in intermediate purgatory for ages.

I’ve also started playing around with Chinese on lingq and feel that with maybe 60h invested and some 200 known words I’m quite oriented and confident that I’ll follow the same strategy when I switch my full focus there.

Viel Glück David!

Of course, we have to reach ‘the real stuff’ level from TV, Radio and fictions- but without some first steps going through a number of limited by words and strucrures texts and dialogues it would be very difficult and for the most people just almost impossible.
It’s like you can’t swim, but somebody throws you into the deep water.
Some preparations must be very useful. I name these preparations as a ‘basic level’, your first ‘island’ in a new language…
However, we needn’t to be in this a bit ‘artificial area’ for ever.
And if you understand ‘90% of hard core real material’, but speak still up to now slowly, you have to activiate your speaking skills to be really confident in a new language.

I’ve only had a couple of convos yet. This summer I’ll go to Belarus and Russia to activate! Let’s have some blini :slight_smile:

I guess it’s a whole different thing for a newbie learning his first L2 and a veteran. Granted that might be it. English to B1 for me was of course an infinitely gradual crawl since primary school.

In summary from my own experience I can say that even from scratch lingq can be your one and only paid system and supplemented with free videos, apps… No need for classes or course books.

I came to Lingq, nearly two years ago now, after using both levels of Assimil for French. I have to say that I’m really happy I came across the Assimil series, despite my subsequent discovery of this site.

Even now, as a fluent French speaker, I use certain dialogues for pronunciation practice. I most likely will buy the German Assimil books when I have the money together. I feel that they do a good job of filling one’s “holes” of language knowledge.

I did:) Just started to learn Spanish, Im wonder how its going to look like after one year:)

Honestly, I have to devide my time betwin German and Spanish languages, but steal it will be at least 5 hours each day:)

Saludos Eduard:)

I did not try starting from scratch using LingQ so I can’t really tell. I have the impression LingQ’s soft spot is the intermediate language student.

You can use LingQ as an absolute beginner, but it will require a good deal of self discipline and perhaps language learning experience. Also, considering there is a variety of other products, resources, and methods (classes, etc.) available, you may want to use one of them at least in parallel with LingQ. For instance, Assimil like you mentioned.

The advanced student will also benefit from LingQ, but at that level the student can also advance its learning by simply listening and reading a lot of real world content, and finding opportunities for speaking the language.

I started learning Russian about a week ago using lingq paired with anki, and so far it’s going great. I basically started only knowning a few words and phrases here and there, along with a vague sense of how they were written, so I guess you could say I started from scratch. Thanks to evgueny40’s very simple beginners course(Russian from zero), and the fact that I have some experience with language learning I don’t feel overwhelmed, or like I am not progressing well enough. I actually think I am progressing faster than I would if I used a conventional textbook, because I am learning phrases that are relevant to me right away, and the spaced repetition algorithm allows me to learn better without feeling like I am rushing over content. So, yeah, I think it is definetely possible to learn from lingq as an absolute beginner, but it takes discipline, and you need to be able to know how you learn. I tried learning German here a few years ago from scratch, but I failed, because I didn’t understand how to use the texts as learning material, and I since ,at the time, it was my first foreign language, I needed much more guidance. With lingq it’s easy to feel overwhelmed by the vast library and think “how am I ever going to learn all of this?!” so some confidence is also needed, which usually comes with experience.

Thanks for your high appreciation of my course for the beginners ‘Russian from zero’.
BTW, I’ve written for the last year also a German course for beginners ‘Deutsch von Anfang an’ and English course for beginners ‘Let’s start’ - both courses are recorded by German and English native speakers.
Maybe they are a bit artificial, but I stongly believe that we are able to start a new language only by some quite limited in words and grammar strucriures courses.
After these beginnings we can choose more and more difficult podcasts, but every beginning is hard and it mustn’t be overloaded.


I’m beginning Polish from scratch. I have studied Russian for a few years now, and Czech for a year, so I don’t know if this counts as “from scratch” for Polish, but I hope to be able to report my success with Polish from scratch here on LingQ!