Help me make sense of the content in Lingq, please

Hello! I’ve been “using” Lingq for a while now, but I don’t see any results and I still struggle with how to use it. I don’t link jumping topics, and I can’t seem to find good, reliable, updated Courses/groups of lessons that I can follow for steady learning. All I see is chopper lessons or pieces of content; one is about food, one is about war, another about simple greetings… I also cannot “turn off” the lessons I already did, so they keep getting in the way… There are rows of available lessons, but it’s so confusing how to categorize them, and what are Courses people add lessons to…

I watched a bunch of videos on YT, but they explain more the idea, not the “go there, click this” walkthrough…

I’m really frustrated, as I keep reading texts and mindlessly clicking on words, but I can’t hold a steady content (like, in textbooks, lessons build on one another).

Is anyone willing to share their recipe for using this app?

Wondering what language you are studying? I study Russian and for that language there are many beginner courses that deal with basic vocabulary and simple grammar. If that is available for the language you study, I would start there. Later, when you have a better grasp on the language you can look for other content to download. Also, don’t forget to review your vocabulary regularly. Good Luck!

I see you are studying Spanish.

I’m refreshing/improving this language occasionally myself (I had 3-4 years in high school/college).

You have some options. First, it might be a good idea to change the filter on the library to Beginner 1 and 2 material (if you would put yourself at this level). I would focus maybe on some of the “guided” courses to start off with and get some basics.

Maybe these ones:

Absolute Beginner

Who is she (this link is for the latin american version…there is European as well)

Mini-Stories (this link is for the latin american version…there is European as well)

From there I’d probably start importing things that are of interest. Easy spanish news articles would be very good in my opinion.

Or you could explore some other things in the LingQ library. I’d search for things on the internet that seem interesting to you, in Spanish. You could try importing some books. Read in sentence mode. That way, even if it is way above your level, you can view the full sentence translation and understand the story and be engaged.

You WILL begin to learn these words. It might seem insurmountable at times. It may feel like you’re not making progress, but your known word count should be incrementing and you will start to understand things better. Maybe your expectations are too high…i.e. you feel like you should be learning a lot quicker and easier. Depending on the amount of time you’re doing a day it will take months and possibly years. That’s why finding content that is enjoyable to you should be the main priority.

Hopefully there are some suggestions from other Spanish learners. My main focus right now is German. For Spanish, I’ve mostly been in the mini-stories and also I’ve imported Assimil Spanish (for myself, sorry, not shared due to copyright). So I’m a little out of touch with the Spanish content already on LingQ or elsewhere. I’d also check out Easy Spanish youtube channel. Maybe someone has imported some of these…otherwise you can import them from youtube. The only issue is that I think it will probably be autogenerated subtitles, but you could become a patreon member and get the true transcripts and import those for yourself.

Good luck.


LingQ can feel overwhelming at first because it’s a highly sophisticated “choose your journey” tool. You do not have to use all functions at first, or even at all! Focus on reading and listening to lessons, clicking blue words, and creating LingQs.

I recommend going through the New Learner Guide - as it explains the LingQ methodology and essential functions of the platform.

The general idea is that you want to eliminate the blue words on the lesson page and create LingQs (yellow words) for the words you don’t understand or like to learn better. When you click on a blue word, you see different meanings for that word in the dashboard. Choose one of the meanings or check the dictionary to create your definition. You can also tell us if you know the word already, or you may sometimes want to ignore the word and not include it in your stats.

It seems simple, but it is mighty. You are learning from the language itself. Listen, read and create LingQs. Then, as you read that lesson again or in future lessons, you will review these yellow LingQs in new contexts. This process of seeing the exact words in multiple contexts leads to accelerated vocabulary growth. And vocabulary level is the best indicator of ability in a language, especially if you have “earned” it from your reading and listening. Try meeting your Daily Goal. You won’t be disappointed. Your brain learns on its own just as you learned your first language.

Don’t be afraid to try different lessons. If you don’t like them or find them too easy or difficult, move out of them and find something else. There is no order, and lessons are free! Experiment with your heart’s content. Move onto a new lesson when you understand 70% or so. Keep forging ahead and make lots of LingQs. After a month, you will be amazed at how much more you know. After three months, even more so!

LingQ offers a vast library for most languages, but if you want something different, you can experiment with importing your materials to LingQ. Using our software allows you to study whatever content you want, like e-books, magazines, blog posts, or videos from platforms like YouTube or Netflix.

Experiment and find your groove.

I highly recommend checking out the Help Center to find the answers you need.


Thank you all for your suggestions! I re-reviewed some of the links you added (I know the way link works, I understand using the words and creating links), to see if I didn’t miss anything.

As I see your comments and suggestions, I think what might be overwhelming for me is the lack of “my” logic in the materials given. I have no idea what are courses that are still going on, I cannot “delete” lessons from showing, I don’t know how to find good courses that build on one another…

I was wondering if there is a UX designer on board to help alleviate this.

I’m studying Spanish, a bit of Swedish, Russian and Ukrainian, and I must say I cannot find anything that speaks to me that doesn’t also feel distracting. I will try the suggested links; thank you!

@zoran, with importing, I have another thread open that needs you attention, :wink: Here it is: Courses That I Have To Import? - Language Forum @ LingQ (I see some good courses that I can focus on, but I cannot listen to the files).

I also have a bug when I import lessons and the text is all jumbled up, but when I want to edit it and a transcript, it says “lesson is not fully imported” and yet it has been two days…

I think this thread might be good for other newbies too!

Just to add my two złotys. Looking at your stats, it seems you have been learning Spanish with 549 known words and 1338 unknown words saved and 14,000 words of reading, and Swedish with 116 known words and 592 unknown words saved and 2700 words of reading. I think the reason you have not been seeing results is that this is simply not enough. For some context, I have saved 43,000 unknown words and have 570,000 words of reading in Russian and I am still very much a beginner.

Most likely, you simply need to read a lot more if you are to make significant progress using this system. It might seem that you are mindlessly clicking on words, but as you read you will be learning these words. Soon you will find you know many more words than you did previously, even if all you did was read texts and look up the words you don’t know.


Thanks for this analysis. I haven’t really mentioned progress, and this is not what I was asking about, I’m looking for ways to study meaningful content, and ways to find meaningful content :slight_smile: Any tips on that?

I don’t like learning from lessons that are chosen at random.

I think I see what you mean. It might be that LingQ doesn’t really have what you are looking for at the moment. There is no course or set of courses that make up a predetermined path for you to follow where each lesson builds upon the last. Most people here would tell you that you don’t actually need that and can just learn by reading any content you find interesting. Still, if that is not what you to do then it might be that you would prefer to learn using something else for now and then come back when you are more advanced.

Maybe you can do one the following:-

  1. Follow the LingQ official courses. These include “Getting Started”, “Eating Out”, “Who Is She?”, and the mini-stories. Work your way through them and then see how you feel.

  2. Get a book online with simple dialogues and/or stories and corresponding audio and import the texts into LingQ and work your way through them.

  3. Get a longer kids book and import it into LingQ and read it.


I’ve just arrived and, I feel like I’ve made a big mistake in subscribing to this language learning portal. I can’t see myself being on here for more than a year, but if I am it’ll mean I’ll have more than a clue as to what’s going on around here. LOL

Hope it all turns out good for you. :wink:

You’re wanting something more structured in feeling, which I totally understand. I still suggest some of the ones that I linked to below and ones Colin mentioned. These are fairly structured, but still of the LingQ way of reading and listening.

However, maybe your are looking for something more “textbook” like? With a little more explanation. A little more grammar? In that case, if you are comfortable with English, I would suggest grabbing Assimil Spanish (superpack with audio on thumbdrive) and/or Teach Yourself Spanish. This will get you through the basics. You can even import Assimil Spanish into LingQ. (Grabbing the subtitles with something like mp3tag). It’s a bit of work, but I’ve done it before. Even if you use these books outside of LingQ it may provide that additional structure you’re looking for. While doing these, I would continue to do the “lingq-way” of reading and listening to the courses provided on LingQ mentioned below, and/or import some things you might enjoy.

You could also start with something like Memrise or DuoLingo to get some of the basic words and phrases locked in. Admittedly, for German, I had gone through their A1 course (back when there was such a thing) so I had a pretty firm grasp of the basics before encountering LingQ and was ready for some “unstructured” material. Of course I started then with Assimil German imported into LingQ and some of the other structured courses. However, I also started importing things like easy German news to get some more vocabulary and topics under my belt…then on to books.

Also…not sure how you are personally using LingQ, but one thing I always point out is not to get stuck on words. You don’t need to know these word and feel like you could use them in a sentence before moving on. If you are repeating the same lesson over and over before moving on…don’t! Read a lesson, maybe repeat it a few times if you tolerate it, but then move on. Even if you don’t know the words. And certainly move on if you can read a word and understand it in context, but are not able to actively use it in speech. It will come in time, and your passive vocabulary will always be bigger than your active vocabulary. There will also be words that you have a lot of difficulty remembering. I have words I’ve come across from the intermediate level and maybe even beginning levels that still trip me up. Don’t worry about it. Move on. These words shouldn’t stop you from moving on.

How are you currently going about using LingQ? Do you read and listen mostly? Are you doing the SRS stuff? What’s your typical routine?

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Thanks for the links Zoran, I guess, I should’ve checked this stuff out before I committed myself to this, but I was sold on the idea that LingQ has a way of preparing peeps for extensive reading later on. Thanks again. :wink:

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I´m sorry, I can´t listening the lessons, I dont know what can I do? How can I have access to the lessons?

My routine is to open something, play the audio and mark the words… However, I do get stuck on the words too much and end up pausing the audio every three words, because the audio is faster than me doing the linking… What is your advice for that?

Also, it’s not so much textbook, or Assimil that someone suggested, that I need, no (and definitely not Duolingo, I’m not sure what Duolingo does but it doesn’t teach me the language, lol). I just need something that I can repeat, so for example if I’m studying food, I want to have some dialogues, articles, and then maybe another dialogue about food. Not read about food today, and about clothes tomorrow, because this way, all the words just vanish… Or maybe I’m doing it wrong here as well?

If I can chip in, because this is a quite interesting discussion, I think there are two common mistakes when it comes to learning a language: first, that there is a “best method” to learn, second, that a tool, whatever it is, is self-sufficient.

Although I love LingQ, I have the feeling it tends to sell itself as being both the best method (immersion) and the best tool. I’m sure some people really managed to learn a language with this app (at least at an intermediate level), but personally I know I will never be able to do it. I’m just not this kind of learner.

Steve Kaufmann has a YouTube video entitled “Do NOT Study Grammar”. As far as I’m concerned, that’s absolutely wrong. First, because I like grammar. Second, because as a learner I sometimes need to take a break and rationalise. I’m not satisfied with just inferring the rules from the experience. At some point I always need to put things in order, even if it’s a bit normative. It helps me to gain confidence.

I think the most important thing is to know what kind of learner you are. Then you’ll be able to understand how you can use LingQ in a way that fits your needs. For me it was clear from the beginning: I mostly struggle to learn new vocabulary. So having the possibility to add my own content, select the words I do not know and review them in their original context is the most effective way to learn vocabulary I ever came across. In Czech, it incredibly boosted my level. But I had already a B1 level. I don’t think I’d ever start learning a language with this app. I’d always wait to have at least a low-intermediate level.

In other languages I know better, like Spanish or Italian, I tried some grammar-related LingQ contents. For me they’re pointless, because they’re not linked together in some sort of progression, and also because when you want to review the content the app doesn’t distinguish between this and any other content you could add for your personal interest.

So, I’m not sure I can really give some advice, but at least I’d say: find out what are your needs and how you like to learn, and don’t expect too much from this app. :wink:


To be clear, when I say don’t get stuck on words, I mean in the reading sense (without audio). In other words, some folks (including myself in the beginning) would repeat the same lesson over and over again until I KNEW every word in that lesson. I would not move on to another lesson, or I might move on to a new lesson, but would keep coming back to the old lesson to try and get every last word to known. You will not progress if you do this, because there will some words that will just simply give you trouble for a LONG time and there are many more words that won’t give you trouble. Ultimately you will get those pesky words to known, but it may take many iterations, but you will see those words in other lessons and different contexts which may help get the word to stick.

As for the specific problem you mentioned…Getting stuck on words and needing to pause the audio. My personal approach would be to read (only) the lesson in sentence mode. Try to guess the meaning of the words in the sentence and overall meaning of the sentence. Look up the individual words as needed. If I recognize any from this context I mark them known (I don’t worry if I can use it actively in speech). I also am not worried if I see I word I marked known and now I don’t know it. If that’s the case I set it back to “2” (personal preference). After going through this sentence, in this manner, if it’s still a little foggy what the sentence means, I’ll click the “show translation” for the entire sentence. In many cases, words will have a different meaning within a particular phrase or sentence. I then will read the original sentence again, trying to read the sentence now with the new information. Then I move on to the next sentence and do the same. When I’m in a beginner stages (and sometimes in intermediate and advanced) I’ll click the audio for the individual word, and/or I’ll play the audio for the sentence.

After I’ve gone through the lesson in this way, then I may play the lesson audio and just read along. Not necessarily trying to grasp the meaning or look up the words, but rather to associate the words and letters to the audio sounds. By the way, you can change the audio speed as well, if that’s helpful. I’ll also make time to just listen to these or other audio files when I can. I might repeat the lesson a few more times (later in the day or the next day) in the beginning stages as I think some repetition can be helpful. On the other hand, the most common words you will see again, in other lessons and contexts so repeating lessons is certainly not required. Plenty of people using LingQ do not repeat any lesson.

On your second point, I agree with what you’re saying to some degree. Like I mentioned, I think in the beginning stages, when the lessons are short and you’re still learning words, repeating the lesson, or staying within a certain topic may be beneficial. I’ve found after a few repeats of lessons though that I’ve “memorized” the lesson and it really isn’t helping me with the words. Again, the most common words will be seen in other lessons, articles, and contexts.

You’ll also find in the mini-stories there is repetition within the lesson of certain words…or at least certain words may be featured but in various forms (present, past, first person, third person, etc.).

So, just my two cents worth. Others may have different approaches, and to some degree you may want to tweak what you do to fit your senses. There’s a lot of different ways to use LingQ, even within just the “reading, listening, lingqing” general framework.

@Lopezantonio What problem exactly do you have? Are you unable to open a lesson?

Are you marking the words without actually reading the text? That might by why it seems you are just mindlessly looking at words.

A good routine would be to open a lesson, read the text through looking up and saving unknown words, and then listen to it while reading, and then listen to it a few more time whenever you have time. Do this for as many texts as you can and don’t worry about forgetting about words. If you go through a lot of material, you will learn the most important words quickly. Forgetting words is fine.

Thanks for that, and I absolutely agree, we all should mix and match the system we like and works for us (sadly, we are not taught there are various methods…).

And I also try to keep in mind that over here, we don’t know how we learn, and we don’t know what other sources we use. That’s why I didn’t ask for tips on how to learn in general, but for how people use Lingq in their study sessions.

But I absolutely agree, I keep trying different materials to find what works.

How do you use Lingq?

Are you actually reading the texts or just looking at the unknown words? If so, that might be why it seems you are just mindlessly looking at words.

It seems the problem is in the newest version of LingQ. I’m still using the courses I’ve found previously before the update. I don’t know how to find anything now. Everything looks like a mess out of learned lessons, lessons for beginners, etc. I don’t know if there any search possibility exists. Everything seems to be so “oversimlified” that it is not sutable for old users.

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