How do you count your listening time? Strict vs Casual

I’m curious, how much of what you are listening to do you have to understand in order for you to count it as listening time?
For example if you are listening to a podcast for an hour and you only understood 20%. Would you count the entire hour towards your listening time? Would you only count 30 minutes?

If you understand 70% of that hour would you maybe knock of 10 minutes and count that hour as 50 minutes?

I go by effort. If I was actively listening then I’d count it all but if I felt like I was doing dishes and only keyed in half the time I’d go with that.

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I don’t bother counting listening time at all.


It’s not a big deal but I would count everything because your mind is engaged even if it wanders.

What you do is that you go back and back and back to focus in order to catch things here and there but your mind is there. It depends also on how much you’re able to train your mind to keep going back to pay attention.


In that case I would count it all. The time listening should be how much you hear while “sufficiently” engaged. If I’m half-listening to a podcast while working on something then I’ll only count about half of it. I’m also really conservative with my listening time recorded in general.


As a learner, I can not understand 100% until I reach a very high level therefore I would count the entire hour regardless of my understanding. just for being engaged in the language.


I personally take any time actively engaged with the language and count it. Regardless of comprehension.

When I am only half (or even less) listening, like when I am working, I tend to be pretty conservative and take some multiplier to reduce it, say ,5. I am also conservative with content that does not have much speaking, e.g. a movie, some Twitch steams, etc.

I do not count music at all, even if I understand it 100%. I do not have a strong reason for this, but my sense is that it is not a great learning activity given I can barely understand lyrics in English without reading them first.


Listening to something that you only understand 20% of is not a great use of time if you ask me. Better to listen to something easier and count the whole time.


I used to think this, but 20% for listening is actually not bad. What matters more is what the comprehension would be if he was reading. Because if there’s 80% comprehension for reading that same material, then repeated listening would bring him gradually up towards that level of understanding.

For reference the youtuber MattvsJapan talks about listening practice in detail in this video: Why You Still Can't Understand Your Target Language - YouTube


If I’m truly paying attention then I count it all. Even stuff I only understand about 20% of…if my mind is WANDERING during that time, then I will reduce it to what I actually think I was paying attention to, or possibly not count it if I wasn’t paying attention well enough.

I count podcasts, ebooks, youtube vides (usually easy german, tagaschau, mrwisssen2go, or similar programs).

I’ll sometimes count tv shows, documentaries or news programs if I’m really engaged the whole time.

I don’t count movies generally. I really has to have nearly non stop dialogue for me to count it and movies don’t qualify in this regard imo.


Agreed. There are degrees of understanding IMO.
At first you understand nothing including not understanding where gaps in words are.
Then you understand where gaps in words are.
Then you start to hear the rhythm and cadence of the language. The melody.
Then you start to hear the words.
Then you start to notice a word here and there as being repeated.
Then you look the word up and know what it means.
Then you “understand” that word when you hear it in a stream of words.
And so on.

To me, all of it is useful even if all you’re doing is listening for the melody or tone or rhythm and candence or gaps.

My 2c. For what it’s worth.


If it’s played through LingQ, it is automatically counted, so I just leave it at that. Especially if you have lots of short audios, like the Mini Stories. When you do the washing up or go for a walk and you might zone out a little bit, it’s too inconvenient to change many of the multipliers. If you are adding in the hours yourself from external sources, that could be different. Will cross that bridge when I come to it.