How do you measure your progress at LingQ?

Hello Guys,
I beg your pardon if you have already talked about this previously. In any case, I would like to get fresh answers for it. My question is, how do you measure your progress that you are progressing in your target language? What statistics/benchmarks do you look at?


I would like to preface this by saying that I have no sources to support any of my ideas. :stuck_out_tongue: I base this mostly on my own experience learning English almost entirely by listening and reading in massive amounts.

Here goes… I think that for the longest part of the learning process the two most important things are number of words read and hours listened. As a beginner it might be known words as you really can’t understand anything at all without at least a decent chunk of the most common words. After a while I think the number of known words and LingQs are closer to measures of the breadth of your knowledge or scope of the content you have consumed and not necessarily the best indicators of ability or skill, especially in terms of output. Acquiring words is super important but I think that the most important thing is to make sure you are consuming as much of the language as possible. Known words can be seen as more of a consequence of your input. Finally… I believe I am a bit of an outlier here but in my opinion, speaking and writing should gradually be added later on as your brain has started to develop a sense about what is natural (syntax) and a sort of statistical model of what words/phrases/etc fits in any given situation.

So to summarize… IMO this is how I rank the importance of the statistics that LingQ offers:

  1. Words read / hours listened
  2. Known words / LingQs
  3. Speaking / Writing

I agree with your explanation that was my initial reaction after looking at my known words. I can not use them actively at the moment moreover not all words I have fully grasped the meaning of. Therefore, using it as a sole indicator can be misleading. I guess the more I spend my time on reading and listening, I will be progressing gradually.

Your English is already awesome. Our German professors always tell us to visit Sweden because they told us that even bus drivers in Sweden speak very good English. Is that true?

I have been meaning to visit Stockholm for quite sometime. Maybe during semester break I will travel there if things get better after post covid-19.


I assume you are talking about your German because your English looks good! Either way, if you find content that you connect to and take them in you will continue to improve. Try to find something that doesn’t make “studying” a chore but rather something you always want to do. I think that is the key.

I think most people here in Sweden can get their point across, but very good English is a stretch. Young people here are often “fluentish” and my sense is that their vocabulary is somewhat limited. I doubt many would pass C1 and C2 exams. And my English certainly is not perfect either, I might do some speaking and writing lessons in the future because I’m certain I make mistakes I’m not aware of.

Let’s hope it does improve soon. Right now it doesn’t look to good…

After using Lingq for just over 3 years, I think my ranking of importance goes as follows:

  1. Number hours listened
  2. Number of words read
  3. Lingqs/Lingqs learned (I’ll touch on this after)
  4. Known words
  5. Speaking
  6. Writing

I used to think known words was the most important stat, and for a beginner, it may be; however, I think that as you improve, number of words read and number of hours listened are the most important indicators of one’s progress. These stats will give you the best feel of how well you can navigate in your target language. I have listening as number one because I currently believe that there is definitely a disconnect between comprehending text and comprehending spoken language. Knowledge and comprehension of written language doesn’t guarantee that your brain will fully comprehend it when someone is speaking. You may even understand it, given more time, this makes you lose parts of conversations. This phenomenon is quite interesting to me. Anyone else feel this? The funny part is that I think I read at a faster rate than most people speak my target language, but I don’t have the same familiarity with the audio as I do with seeing the text. I also find that this is more noticeable when I am faced with a new person, or a voice that I have never heard before.

I’m curious what people think about the Lingqs learned stat. I had previously noticed that it didn’t increase that much for a long time. Recently, I’ve been reading so often on Lingq that I’ve come across a lot of words that I had marked, and they’re now known words. I think that I am more likely to never mark words that I “don’t know” according to Lingq because I do read off of Lingq quite often as well. Do people have similar experiences with this? To give you an idea on scale, I have 60,000 known words to date and only a mere 8,000 learned lingqs. In all of this, I also have made 49,000 total lingqs.

What people’s thoughts on this idea: if your Lingqs learned stat is proportionately high to your known word count, you’re likely doing a better job picking content that is around your appropriate level. Is this thought simply too narrow based on the number of factors that can go into each word form in a given language? I mainly ask because I believe that I was attempting too much content that was too difficult for me for a significant period of my time on Lingq. I’d be very curious what experience people have with this learned lingq stat, especially those of you with a lot more time spent on language learning than myself! :smiley: I’m only slowly working towards my first second language!


At this point (48k words and 24k links) I mostly measure my progress by the amount of reading I do; by finishing books and articles.

LingQ is great and I do like keeping my 122 day LingQ “insane” streak, but if push came to shove I could just read the books by using the dictionaries on my phone, or almost without a dictionary.

LingQ just makes this more comfortable and quicker.

Also, at this point it is highly impractical for me to add “words known” as I’ve exhausted almost all of the inflected forms for common words and much of the common vocabulary found in modern fiction, science, history, literature, and news.

It’s been something like a month since I passed 48,000 words and I’m still in the 48K range. This is mostly due to reading from a wide variety off sources in the early weeks.

Mostly I am just enjoying the reading…


I don’t really know what to make of the learned lingqs stat. I’m even lower on this stat at just above 2K. And considering how many word forms there are in Korean it might not be that many word stems.

At the same time, I visited my memrise profile (inactive for about a year) yesterday and there are a lot of previously unknown words that I now know. Way more than the 2K suggests. But perhaps I should try something easier as you mentioned. How many unknown words do you generally have in a lesson when you start it?

Primarily known words and # words read right now, but I dont really worry too much about them anymore since my French (atleast my reading) is at a quite high level. I do want to get in the top 10 on the site eventually tho (missing about 10k known words).

I do not really have the same problem as herbm with finding more known words, but I read a lot of diverse books (poetry, history, memoirs, fiction) from pre-20th century as well as some modern work which helps a lot - usually books in the 200-400pg range has about 1-2k unknown words for me. Outside of LingQ I also keep track of the number of books I have read in the language (currently at 31).

If it’s roughly a 2000 word lesson, I normally have around 10-30% at the start. I’ve done others with as low as 7% here on Lingq too. I think mine are generally around 22-24% for most lessons. Since I’ve been doing more folk stories and history these days, I find that I am ignoring quite a few words per lesson because they are names. Also, more obscure animal names and food names occur with some frequency and varied forms. I think that on average, I have around 150-200 known words, 50-150 Lingqs (I mark a lot more phrases than in the past because I’m trying to recognize more collocations and word patterns), and around 20-50 learned Lingqs after each of these 2000 word lessons. I’ve been thinking of known words more as a tool to see extra forms of already known words because I rarely see blue words that I don’t know.

On LingQ, I’ve been going through the 외국을 위한 한국어 읽기 from audio clip for the last 2-3 months or so. I’ve just finished reading about geographical regions of Korea. I’ll probably move onto 송원평 - 아몬드 afterwords. I already uploading the ebook to Lingq and the chunks range between 22%-29% right now. I expect it to be more difficult, but I have both read the book and listened to the audiobook off of LingQ previously. I’m quite looking forward to it though :smiley:

What are you generally reading these days?

Thanks for your reply. The number of new words in lessons are almost the same, perhaps a little bit higher for me. Number of lingqs also the same. Learned lingqs - no where close. My guess is 5-15 per lesson. I’ll try to aim for 20% for a while and see what happens.

I added a couple of texts from audioclip. Will go through them starting today! I also have 아몬드, but read Ashlee Vance’s book about Elon Musk instead (pretty good I think). On 아몬드 I have 19-24% new words fwiw. Will read after I finish one of my current books.

Right now I’m reading HP4 and a modern history book. Mostly in the past I have read articles. and are two sites with interesting articles. Offline I mostly read manga/manhwa, for example Berserk and 미생.

I’ve not been using LingQ for long, so I’m talking about general progress. Maybe I’m old fashioned, but I measure it by how much more I ‘feel’ I can use the target language after each month of study. It’s one thing compiling statistics of time spent on activities, but unless it can be converted into results - e.g. actual conversational ability, written material, the ability to listen to and understand more of the language - then it’s merely a lot of statistics. This is the problem with something like Duolingo where the acts of streak maintenance and amassing points/repairing ‘cracked’ modules/making all modules gold, starts to take precedence over actual learning.
So I think if, in the last month, you’ve learned some more sophisticated ways of expressing your meaning and you aren’t looking in the dictionary quite as much when you read, and you don’t have rewind the video you’re watching… well then you’re making progress.

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@wnint When watching an Korean TV-show with Korean subtitles are you able to understand it? Like how many % do you follow of the story? Since you have 80 000+ known words?

I don’t even bother “learning” my LingQ very often; I knew many/most of them when making them, but either wanted to make sure, was working on various nuances, or wanted to be able to use the LingQ in other contexts.

Well over half of my LingQs are phrases, partly because I had already memorized at least 5000 (near head words) before starting French on LingQ.

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I learn languages mostly to read stuff that’s unavailable in English and to get a better understanding of different cultures. I don’t aim for A1, B1, C2 or anything like that. I try to learn enough to be able to read for pleasure with a dictionary. This year my goal is to finish 5 books in Modern Greek. I am getting near the end of book number 2 and it’s already middle of June, so I see that my progress is a bit slower than I had hoped, but I am approaching 10k known words and moving forward is no longer as difficult and tiring as it was in the beginning.


Have you also seen the 미생 drama? It’s pretty good! I believe it was available on Netflix here in the US, but I don’t know about Sweden! I am reading 치즈 인 더 트랩 (for the second time), and I have 미생 next on my list. If you’re looking for a horror/thriller 타인은 지옥이다 by 김용키 was a really fast and exciting read. On Naver it had the slides where you swipe from scene to scene and I think I physically jumped a couple times. :stuck_out_tongue: It’s also available as a drama on US Netflix right now. Some of the actors are 임시원, 이동욱, and 이정은. 강추!! Maybe you already know all of this though… haha

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80K is not as impressive as it sounds due to tenses in combination with a lot of sentence endings, conjunctions etc that all attaches to the words. So the number is very inflated…

I would say it depend a lot on the show for me. Romance shows with easier plots I can mostly watch without subtitles and a gain a couple of % by using Korean subtitles, still not 100% but closing in I think. However for more difficult shows I sometimes gain nothing by having it on because when people speak really fast or are shouting, sometimes using high level vocal, I can’t read the subtitle and process it in real time anyway. So not there yet…

The 미생 drama is one my all time favorites! And that 장그래 (hehe) apparently is in 타인은 지옥이다 sparked my interest! I will have a look tonight. The webtoon looks cool as well. I will probably start reading that one too today… 치즈 인 더 트랩 will have to wait a bit hehe. Thanks for the recommendations!

Would be great with a recommendations thread in the Korean forum btw, I might start a thread soon if no one beats me to it.

Do you mean you keep your lingqs as reminders or maybe as a way to notice them more? That makes sense I think, especially for phrases. But I just felt like the learned lingqs could be a sort of a quantifiable measure of your progress from using LingQ. Or that maybe even a low number here could mean that you are spreading yourself too thin and don’t get enough (spaced) repetition.

I like to measure progress by looking at words read and hours listened. I’ve found those are the best indicators of how much time you are spending with the language. And when those numbers increase, you can be confident you’re improving in the language.


Are you sure about that? Many people spend a lot of time on e…g. Duolingo and learn next-to-nothing. I’m not sure that simply measuring time spent is an accurate indicator of the quality of learning.