How best to use LingQ

I’ve been using LingQ for a while now and I’ve always wondered how do people that use the platform well use it. What’s your approach to the reading and what other tools do you use to make sure the learning sticks?

People helped me better understand the idea behind LingQ when I first came here and asked this question:


Your process will change, as you become better at the language. It’ll probably turn to only reading/listening to material once. So it depends what level you are at with your particular language.

I’m currently at the very start of my Italian journey (two months), so my current way to approach lessons involves a lot of reptition. When I get better, I’ll change the approach.

  1. choose a lesson that is not more than 30% unique new words (as a beginner, the number of unique words for lessons is high, cause you don’t know anything), ideally part of a course, so the same words are used multiple times throughout the course (because the topic and author are the same, they are more likely to use the same words)

  2. (usually done on my computer) read once, lingQing all new words. If I encounter lingQs, which I can guess the meaning, I manually move them up one level. Eg. from 1 to 2. If I have to look up a lingQ, then I manually move it down a level. Eg. 3 to 2. I’m a little more conversative moving lingQs to 4 and known, where it’s more a feeling that I know the word reasonably well. If I encounter a new word, which comes from English or is the same as in English, then I just mark it a 3, 4 or known.

  3. listen & read the lesson at the same time

  4. listen & read the lesson at the same time again

  5. I download all audios to the playlist on my phone. On long drives, washing the dishes, etc., I listen to the playlist. I can get out a fair amount of listening, cause I have to do some long drives. I’ve listened to most of the Mini Stories many times (10+ recorded, but I think there was a bug, cause it feels like more) and I think it is almost becoming time to delete them from my playlist, cause I’m getting sick of them. If I can, I also try to do my listening practice on increased audio speed. This means I can get in more listening practice than I would otherwise. It is also good practice to prepare for fast-speaking native content. Plus, listening to the same content over and over again can be a little boring, so the increased speed really makes it more interesting, cause you have to concentrate harder.

Personally I do not use the flashcards on LingQ at all. I do not particularly like the layout, etc. I am using a beginner flashcard deck on Anki, as supplementary learning. This is a minor activity though. 98% of my learning is with LingQ.

I watched one of Steve’s most recent YouTube videos on vocabulary:

He explains how he does it.

Going to the Vocabulary section from time to time (like once every month or few?), filtering for all 2-4 level words, and essentially using the list as a vocabulary test is a good idea. All words you get correct, move up a level, and all words you get wrong, move down a level. And mark those you already know as known. This practice is half vocabulary practice and half to update your statistics. It can also be seen as a practice to stoke your motivation, as you will likely see a jump in your known words.

There are plenty of posts on the forums about how others use LingQ, including ones from many years ago. You’ll notice that each person uses LingQ slightly differently, partly because they are at different stages of their language journey and also because they have different preferences. So just use it however it works well for you. The main goal is to just read and listen (ideally at the same time) a lot.