How is everyone's language learning going this new year?

After discovering LingQ over a year and a half ago I have somewhat used the site on and off with streaks lasting a few months and then I would have a break before starting again. My goal this year is really to stay consistent everyday because i truly realise the power of reading and listening to texts. The combination of the two is truly powerful in that one doesn’t have to force themselves to learn but rather when you just consistently lingQ everyday and listen to those same texts in your free time you really can improve tremendously fast. As long as I put in an hour or so a day of reading (minimum) to gain more vocabulary and then listen a lot during my free time (which is easily done) i really feel improvement will be made fast.

I think the hardest part of learning a language is that you have to be relaxed and have a stress-free lifestyle (which directly influences motivation) which has been quite hard as a student. But as I come to the end of my studies at university in England (this summer) I feel I want to start picking up steam right now so that I can truly master French to a very high level. To achieve this I want to Lingq first thing after breakfast (1 hour or so) and then I have the rest of the day in my dead time to listen to it and make sure that I definitely read something new each day. Rinse and repeat.

Feel free guys to comment below on what you are changing or implementing this year to steam ahead in your endeavours this year! Thanks for reading.


I’m thinking of rebooting my language learning this year after a longish hiatus.

I will continue to use German through reading books, watching TV, etc. And I may get around to building on my (basic-to-intermediate level) Italian - but that is all about building solid existing knowledge.

As regards languages where I’d be a total beginner or at quite basic level, I’m pretty clear about the target list of languages I would be interested or motivated to learn. We are talking: Russian, Mandarin, Modern Hebrew, Ancient Greek and (for obscure personal reasons) Farsi/Persian. You could add French, Spanish, Norwegian and Arabic as “maybes”.

At age 41 I’m old enough to know that I probably wont get around to more than three of these - at least not any time soon. Thus: Russian Mandarin, and one other.

As for method, I like to start with materials like Glossika, Assimil, Linguaphone. At a more advanced level I would likely use LingQ too. I have tried it in the past, for me it just doesn’t work at beginner level.

(We each have our own individual style, but I personally am a big fan of Glossika’s method - especially using German rather than English as the base language. I’m looking forward to their release in Persian.)

At present I am learning several languages here on lingq but now I want to concentrate on reading and listening to as much English material as possible because it is related to my search of a new job where I wish to use English again.

Good for you for setting goals.

One way to stay consistent is to make a schedule. This video

helped me make a schedule for language learning. Obviously this guy is extreme but a simplified version for one language still probably works.

Who has time for language learning while trying to keep up with all the politics on the forums?? ;->

Plugging along and enjoying the journey. I’m enjoying another Russian book that I’ve imported. The vocabulary is not too hard, or I’m getting better, or both. It makes for relatively speedy reads and an enjoyable experience. I’m not using audiobooks along with the text, but I feel like I’m making progress on listening comprehension by listening to Ekho Moskvi, music stations, and watching movies & video clips. I don’t catch it all, but neither is it all incomprehensible babbling.

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“…Who has time for language learning while trying to keep up with all the politics on the forums?? ;->…”

One can combine the two things. I quite enjoy reading German articles about British and US politics. It would be fair to say that most of the writers have, ahem, a rather different take on affairs to me! :smiley:

(Some of the stuff about Brexit in “Der Spiegel” is so biased that it can’t really be considered honest journalism, in my opinion.)


I just got Glossika’s main course in German-to-Beijing-Mandarin. (I’ve got Linguaphone and Assimil Mandarin on my bookshelves too.)

I must be mad. I’ve tried twice before to crack this fascinating and wonderful language - only to get mercilessly gunned down by the tones. Sigh.

Pretty well! I’ve been a Lingq member since Feb 2016, and despite leaving it twice for periods of time (thinking I have found a better way to learn French) I always come crawling back because there’s nothing as efficient as it (for me at least).

I’m making steady progress each day and hope to be at around 50-60k words by the end of the year. That may sound crazy but one of my majors in college is French so that helps a lot :). I also mark words that I recognize while reading as known, similar to Steve’s way of doing it. It really is an addicting site and reading novels is so much more enjoyable with it.

@Khardy, if you think reading the political comments on the forums is time consuming (and I agree), just think how hard it is to comb the internet for material fitting in with your political agenda so you can rush to the forum and re-post it.
Afterwards, you still must take a few minutes to lean back, put your hands over your head and anticipate how shocked those terribly mistaken people from the other side will be by that clever article.

I myself am far too lazy for that. I go the easy way and just stick to learning

I am mostly reading novels in Russian on Lingq at this moment. Modern, interesting but well-written novels are my main path to increasing vocabulary and it’s mostly what I use Lingq for. I strive to read a bit most days. I just finished my third complete cover-to-cover novel reading in Russian (Левиафан by Boris Akunin) and have begun a new one: Красные цепи, which seems to be dark and suspenseful but well written at the same time.
I don’t usually listen to audio on Lingq: I prefer watching videos without transcript for practice (mostly youtube tutorials so far, but now I’m adding scenes from movies and TV series) and of course conversation with natives, both orally and in writing (which adds “output” practice).
I’ve recently reached the 40.000 word mark in Russian, which is supposed to provide a breakthrough in understanding. After I reached more than 20.000 (23.000 maybe) I did find that I could understand face to face conversations without much difficulty.
Now I can make myself be understood and, as I said, understand fairly easily. I trust that my new “over 40.000 word” level will allow me to understand media, movies, etc. of course, after some time of intensive practice in that domain. Right now my understanding of that kind of material is rather inconsistent.
I set up new plans at the beginning of my “Lingq anniversaries”, rather than on Jan. 1st. My second year will end in March. I hope to have reach about 45.000 known words by that time and my plan is to double that amount in my third year, going to over 90.000.
In my (highly debatable) reckoning, over 20.000 known lingq words in Russian correspond to about 5.000 passively known word families, which makes it possible to understand most everyday conversations.
Over 40.000 know words corresponds to 10.000 word families, which permits to understand a more “elevated” language style and, as I said, grasp media content confidently.
Over 90.000 words would be roughly equivalent to 20.000 family words. I trust that such a level will allow me to read challenging literature without assistance from dictionaries or apps.
In all cases, of course, it’s not enough to know the words. extra listening and “output” practice in realistic settings is indispensable to reach a new level: word knowledge is just one metric and I think it becomes less and less predictive of overall language level as I progress but it’s still essential and my main focus when working on Lingq.

If I’m able to get to a really good level of Russian in about three years on Lingq, I’ll be immensely happy. For the time being, it seems to be working out.

I am doing okay. The only offical language goal I gave myself last year was to complete 1000 hours of Chinese between April 2016 and April 2017 which I am about 30 hours ahead of at the moment. My known words count has really been skyrocketing the last few months which is great and I can definitely feel it when it comes to my reading already. The listening skills that I have developed are not so great, however, so that I will have to put a lot more emphasis on that in the near future.

I think a reasonable goal on LingQ for my Chinese this year is to reach about 30k known words if I keep this pace up.

I also hope to be pushing my French and German back up again as I haven’t been doing much of it lately which is unfortunate since I am at that level where I can follow real-length books without going at a snail’s pace. I would be happy if I got through 5-10 books from each of those two languages by end of 2017.

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It’s going okay. Depending on my homework load, I spend 1-3 hours on Spanish, Russian, and Ukrainian every single day. I basically live with my portable speaker.

I really don’t have concrete goals in terms of known words but I hope to understand pretty much everything in Russian by the end of this semester (april). I’ve been booking classes on italki to practice my speaking skills and it’s going better than I thought.

Because of that heavy input, Spanish stays surprisingly fresh in my mind even though I almost never speak it.

Ukrainian is very new but I’m just playing with it for now since I’m too lazy to learn grammar by myself. We’ll see how that goes.

I mean, steve learned like 8 languages after he turned 60 or something.

The trump forums with the occasional language thread.


Did you watch this video I recommended for tones? Learn Mandarin Chinese Tones the Fun Way! - Beginner Conversational - Yoyo Chinese - YouTube

Tarris: politics aside I was wondering, how far along does 15,000 words in chinese feel to fluency, or fluent understanding? How long did it take you to get there and how much can you understand if you listen to political news or radio or other authentic content?

Thanks - yeah I did see that. But you know, I’m wondering whether it isn’t more of a cultural block that I have to overcome here? For us as Westerners, intonation is wired into language with a kind of modal force (if that’s the right word.) In other words, the intonation in Indo-European languages conveys things like surprise, exasperation, anger, etc. In Chinese you kind of get similar signals - but it’s decoupled from any emotional information, and instead changes fundamental meanings of words.

It does feel strange…but I guess one gets used to anything in time!

For three years, I have slowly been learning Mandarin by watching Chinese dramas with English subs mostly on YouTube. I probably average an hour a day. When a hear a word over and over again, I go to an online dictionary and try to find it and memorize it. I have probably learned a couple of hundred words this way.

This has been a very slow but enjoyable method for me.

I also tried listening to the Pimsleur CDs. But made very little progress with that.

I signed up for LingQ about three weeks ago. My learning has been on fire since. Many of the words I learned/heard watching dramas are in my beginner lessons.

I was afraid to learn Chinese characters. I thought there were too many of them. And that life was too short.

But now I am also enjoying looking at the characters.

The combination of looking at the pinyin, character and hearing the word pronounced is producing good results for me.

Reading wise id say perhaps low B2. I can understand the general jist of an average chinese article. My listening is still very weak so I wont be able to follow along much without having text to go along with it, but if I do have text with it I will be able to understand most of it. It has taken me about 6 months to get the words known on LingQ but I started learning Chinese 9.5 months ago

True. But Steve is the Donald of languages - he’s super high energy even at age 70!

(I’m more relaxed - kind of like Dr Ben Carson :-D)