I had posted this question on an existing related thread w/out a response. So I am creating a New Thread. I am curious what criteria the majority of users utilize when determining if a name or phrase in the lessons is a “Known” word or phrase. In other words, do you mark a word as “Known” when you can identify the meaning in it’s written context?..or do you mark a word /phrase as “Known” only when you can identify the same word/phrase (and it’s definition ) as it is spoken in a lesson. Obviously (for me at least ) it is much easier to know the meaning when seeing the written word, and thus this leads to many more Known words for me. I am curious if I should set the bar higher , so to speak, in marking words as known only when I can identify them and their meaning in an oral context…Thanks

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I think everyone’s criteria here on Lingq for known words is different. Personally, I consider a word “known” on Lingq if I can understand it in context, i.e, having it Lingqed with a hint wouldn’t be necessary.

It may not be “known” in the true sense of the word, but I don’t think counting how many words you know in a language is that useful in the long run.

Eventually you reach a point where using Lingq to continue improving a language becomes slower than doing other things like reading physical books, watching television & talking to people, and at that point you don’t care at all about how many “words” you know.

Esp. since Lingq includes inflections of a word as different words. I just see the increasing word count as " I am improving ", and that’s all that matters.

When it comes to the difference between spoken and written. I don’t think that really matters. For example since I see you’re learning Spanish, someone might hear an argentine say “ya está lloviendo” and not understand because they’re not used to the way in rioplatense spanish “y” and “ll” become a ‘sh’ sound, that doesn’t mean they don’t know what those words mean, they just had trouble understanding the pronunciation.

@Ac1994. Thanks for your comment.! For me is is far easier to understand the written word in Spanish as opposed to understanding the spoken language. Although this is improving almost every week… for sure. I can read books /stories with little problem. They are (speaking and comprehending the spoken language ) completely different animals so to speak. I’ve taken courses via school in different languages and although scoring high marks …could never understand the spoken language at “normal” speed. I would really like to know what criteria others users are using to indicate or mark known words as such using LingQ. I agree with you however , that simply tallying the amount of known words is ultimately not very useful.

Personally, I mark a word as “known” when I have no problem to understand the meaning of that word written in context. I do not use flashcards, because I want to practice the unknown words in context. In fact, I never try to translate single words (except the first time I look up for their meaning).
Spoken language is another thing. You can find the same word pronounced in many different ways. The problem here is not if you know or you don’t know the word, but if you can recognize it in a certain spoken form. But the first step is obviously to know what that word means. Hence the importance of knowing a lot of words. If you have a good listening comprehension, but your words baggage is little, there are many things you are not going to understand.
If you don’t understand a movie for example it is due to two things: the words you still don’t know and the words you can’t recognize. Therefore, you have to listen a lot to train your ears and make your brain used to the sounds of the language (in different contexts). That can’t be done in a typical school course. Hence the typical gap between high school marks and listening comprehension.
For me the LingQ list of known words is only a relative reference of your baggage of the language. Although it is very variable depending on many aspects (type of language, personal criteria, inflections, etc.), I think it is a good initial reference to measure our progress with the language. After that, you have to activate it speaking and listening.

@Josemaria…Gracias por su commentario sobre este tema. Yo se que la lista de "Known words’ no este la mejor moda de saber/juzgar mi propio nivel. Sola me preguntaba como los otros estudiantes in este sitio usan la herramienta de marcar palabras conocidas. Thanks!

I don’t think about this issue much. I move a word to known when I want to and I don’t have any strict rules. Usually this means I will move the word to known when I come across it in a text and recognise it in the specific context. However, if I don’t think I will understand it in other contexts, then I might not move it to known. Sometimes I move words to known when I come across them and don’t understand them in the specific context. I do this when I feel like I would understand them in most other contexts and maybe didn’t this particular time because the context confused me or because I wasn’t paying enough attention. I often move LingQs back to unknown too when I come across them in a text and don’t understand them, but that depends really on how I feel about the word.

By the way, I cound a word as not known if it is as Status 1 or Status 2. I count a words as known if it is at Status 4, and Status 3 is completely reserved for phrases. All my phrases and only my phrases are at Status 3.


Thanks for your input. I appreciate it. I also will move back words to and from “know” designation some times based on knowing them when I listen to dialogues containing them. HOwever if sometime has passed and I do not know them “on sight” when seeing them again I’ll change to unknown. That is interesting, the way you reserve status 3 for phrases. Good idea. I did not start blocking and lingQing phrases until this past year…Thanks again.!

By the way, I only ever consider my ability to understand words when they are written when deciding what status to make them. I never consider whether or not I will understand the word when I hear it.

The reason I make all my phrases status 3 is because I like the light highlighting of phrases. I never move them to status 4. Unfortunately the highlighting of phrases is all messed up on the app, which is where I do most of my reading.

Ha, I wouldn’t have written my “When do we really know a word?” post if I already knew this was up. There are two types of knowing a word passively and actively. Obviously reading a word is the easiest but I don’t count words I can read but not recognize when spoken at a normal speed as known. I think the most important issue is, what can you do with the words you know,

“I don’t count words I can read but not recognize when spoken at a normal speed as known”

I try not to think about what exactly it means for a word to be ‘known’ since in fact this question just comes down to how you want to define the term, but I would also not call a word known if I can’t understand it when I hear it spoken clearly. However, if I can understand it when it is writen, I don’t want it highlighted in a text, so I set it to level 4.

@nate81…thank you. I was thinking about not defining a word as known unless I can decipher the meaning when spoken… This will be a way for me of really being honest w/ judging myself…when I in fact reach advanced level per the criteria on this site. I imagine that the dictation tool would be best for me in judging if those same words are actually known…instead of simply trying to accumulate known words. I mean the real objective of this site is to learn the language and not “fudge” or embellish one’s actual literacy/fluency level…lol

I just leave LingQs yellow; I can’t be bothered changing them (unless they really get on my nerves).

Ce qualcuno che Mi puo aiuta con svedese?

LingQ is a dynamic system.

I mark a word known (blue to clear) if I already know what it means or if I am able to learn it instantaneously. Some words immediately stick in the brain because they are similar as those in one’s mother tongue.

Obviously, if I come across a known word (clear) that I don’t know,
I make it a LingQ (yellow).

Obviously, if I come across an unknown word (blue) that I don’t know,
I make it a lingQ (yellow)

Many if not most of my lingQ’s are groups of words (phrases).

If I come across a lingQ (yellow) and I know what it is, I change the status from 1 to 4 (yellow to underlined).

If I come across a known lingQ (underlined) that I don’t know, I change it from 4 to 1 (underlined to yellow).

If there is a lingQ that I can’t seem to remember (usually words with different meanings in varied instances) I change it’s status to 3. If I come across it and know what it is I change the status to 4 (light yellow to underlined)

If I create a LingQ (usually a phrase) that I am unsure what it means (very rare) I give it a status of 3.

I never use the check mark status.

Thanks for the input. I’ll probably start marking words as Known when I can know their meaning when spoken (if not in normal speech…at least as single phrase or word via dictation feature). This is only to raise the bar so to speak. I had been marking as known, previously, per written word.