How long did it take to reach 30k known words on LingQ?

And 10k? And 20k? How long did it take?


How long it takes depends a lot on how much you already know in a language, how much like your mother tongue it is or how much like other languages you know it is, how many languages you already have learned and just how talented you are. You can easily get to 30K within a month in a language that is a lot like other languages you already know, or a language you already have pretty good knowledge of. If you have zero knowledge of a language, it can take you a very long time to get to 30K, depending on how intensely you study of course.


It also depends on what you consider “known” words. The count is the number of words you have marked “known”. So 30k known words is at least 30,000 mouse clicks by you. That sounds exhausting!

I usually mark words yellow the first time I see them in LinqQ. I only mark them as “known” when I’ve seen them several times and will recognize them in any sentence. Some words (like “me”) get the click the first time. Other words might be yellow the first time. But that is me personally.


As already stated here, it strongly depends on various factors. But just to give you an orientation:

I started learning Polish basically on LingQ, with a lower effort in March 2021 and then on a daily basis with an average one hour investment per day since July 2021. The decisive factors are:

  • Polish is very distant to my other languages (just Romance and Germanic)
  • I spend most of the time with listening intensive input (podcasts, videos etc.)
  • I only mark words as known that I undoubtedly recognize without relying too much on the context

10.000 words in January 2022
20.000 words in August 2022
30.000 words in February 2023
50.000 words probably in April 2024

This is just to show that it can be a long road! However, if you already know your target language to a certain degree or you learn a related language you may reach the same figures a lot faster.


I started LingQ 05/2017. I can’t remember if I got on with it full bore right from the start. I had also already completed (or was in the process of) completing the Memrise A1 German course (no longer offered). So I already did have some exposure.

I reached 30,000 in 01/2024. Blazing speed huh?! Actually, I’m sure if you compare the number of hours spent with others who achieve that result in half the time I’m sure they are all comparable, so I don’t think you’re going to gleam much from the question. The reason it’s taken me this long is that I probably have averaged something like 15 minutes a day of time spent (at least up to the 20,000 mark). I’ve spent a LOT more time listening since about the 20,000 word mark (about a half hour to an hour a day). Although that has dwindled a lot in recent weeks due to our cable provider dropping the German package the past few months so I’ve been watching a lot less (will get back to it via youtube watching in the near future). I still probably average 15 min or less or reading a day.

I’m actually proud of these results. It shows you can spend a small amount of time, nearly every day and advance. You’re not going to advance quickly in terms of days, but if you want to learn, you don’t need a lot of time per day. You DO need patience. You also have to have a joy for the process.

0K - 05/2017
10K - 04/2020
20K - 01/2022
30K - 01/2024


So I came to LingQ with some background knowledge in Russian, but certainly without a 10k word vocabulary. I’m also not the most consistent, especially after 20K known words. But anyway:

0k: 2019 FEB
10K: 2019 DEC
20K: 2020 MAY
30K: 2022 JAN

Since then I’ve largely stopped studying Russian and am studying Ukrainian, Greek, and Italian simultaneously.

In Ukrainian I hit 10k words in about 15 months, but now I’m averaging probably 3-5K new known words per year per language. If I focused on one, I’m sure I’d be much faster, but I’m happy where I’m at.


As it happens I just hit 30K known words in French. I’ve been working LingQ for about 13 months. The spacing has been regular – 10K about every four months.

I started knowing very little French. I stay in Sentence View, reading/listening intensively and taking notes about five hours per day.


Five hours a day! Bravo! I wish I had that kind of time!


I started French 9 months ago on LingQ and I am on 27K words, studying one hour a day. I don’t create LingQs. However, I was already intermediate, and I watch films. I also do an hour a day outside LingQ. With German I am A2, it looks like I get 10 words a day, with 30 minutes work, so 4 years to B1. German is very slow, very very very slow.

I think the word count is a very rough measure of progress. And I am wary of these metrics. Streaks in particular appear to be a way to hook you into LingQ. It’s possible to focus on streaks and word counts at the detriment of learning. You can’t blame them, they run a business, and maybe they also believe they help learning.


@Caldazar – I’m retired. And motivated.

The mystery to me is how I am so motivated. I take up lots of things. I bought a nice piano and synthesizer several years ago, but didn’t get past the initial burst of enthusiasm.

Something just clicked with French and French music. It felt close to a religious conversion.


I have a guitar, I worked through a course, I learnt to read music, but it never clicked, and when I came to scales, I ran away. French is nice, I really like the language, I like hearing it. I have yet to decide about German.

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In German which was a completely new language that I zero knowledge of before hand. This is how long it took me. During a lot of these months I was also learning French and messed around with other languages as well. I think someone could do it quicker if they focused on just 1 language. I think around 40K its been easy for me to not really want to do much more, because I have reached a level that i’m really happy with. And now i feel like i can focus on others things that i like to do. Its cool to see everyone else’s journey!
22 months to reach 10K.
9 months to reach 20K
10 months to reach 30K
17 months to reach 40K


I got to 10,000 Spanish words in 2 months, but that was preceded by:

  • 2 years of high school education in the 1980s
  • Several trips to Spanish-speaking countries with a little learning surge before each visit
  • 8 months of daily DuoLingo to get from mid-A1 to B1. (By DL’s admittedly dubious CEFR language mapping)

So you can see how a ton of words were learned before coming to LingQ, and LingQ just caught up in tracking previously learned vocab.

The standard I use for marking a word known is just if I correctly guess the meaning without hints beyond sentence context. So what happens is that there are a ton of blue words that are very close to English words that are easy to guess. Also, knowing one Spanish verb gives you like 30-50 unique conjugations, especially when you include the object suffixes.

I also dutifully change words to LingQs when I’m unsuccessful at guessing a “known” word. No SRS–just marking known/unknown as I read or listen. I trashcan junk words, non-Spanish, and proper names to avoid adding them to the tally.


I dont know, to reach 30K in a month even if its a language thats similar to one you already know would take a huge huge effort to accomplish in a month. 30K takes a ton of reading and time no matter what.


Well, I didn’t define what easy means too well here and it really depends on what is meant by easy. You can easily do it if you have plenty of time during that month to do it. You can not easily do it in a month if you work long hours, have a family and so on. It is going to take time, so if it’s not easy to put in that much time in a month, then no, it’s not gonna be easy.

I got to 21K in Dutch in 21 days, by spending a lot of time on it and it did strain my eyes at some points cause LingQ still didn’t have the dark option. I also got to about 44K in Norwegian in about 30 days, by spending a lot of time on it.

In general, when anyone asks how long it takes to get to any level or stat in LingQ, it depends greatly on how much spare time the person has, but also on their talent, previous knowledge of languages, ability to concentrate, discipline and so on.


When I read the stats of others here, I often feel like the Slow Kid in Class. I doubt I am. I think it’s complicated.

It’s possible I’ve been less efficient. I mostly read intensively – stopping for all the words, grammar and expressions I don’t understand. If I want to go down a rabbit hole, I do. If I want to listen/repeat/shadow a lot, I do.

OTOH, maybe my longer way around becomes a shortcut later. In any event I enjoy what I’m dong and as long as I keep working, I believe I’ll get where I want to go eventually.

French is my first second language. Maybe I’ll do better next time.


I doubt stopping too much, beyond the very start, is very effective. I do read a few times if need be, but if I still don’t completely understand what it means or why, I’ll just move on. I think of it as piecing together a puzzle; it doesn’t matter which order you make it as long as you make progress. Sometimes you need to figure out something else before you can make sense of what puzzles you at the moment.

If you are only learning your second language, then a more meticulous approach might be necessary. At least to a degree. Your brain will lack the plasticity to make the necessary connections between words and meanings. Eventually your brain will learn to look for connections however weak they might be to make sense of it. Especially if you choose to learn next a language that is also related.

One sort of shortcut is to try and see if new words have some piece that would make sense with its meaning. Lots of words are formed with prefixes and they aren’t always clear at first glance, but once you learn possible prefixes you can more efficiently look for them. Like in Spanish “red” is net, grid and “enredar” is tangle. En- in Spanish is a common prefix. Even if you can’t make sense by dividing the word into several pieces, it might be easier to remember if you can spell it out rather than just say the whole word. If I find a word with a prefix and ending that I know/makes sense because of English knowledge, I tend to overly stress pronouncing separately the prefix and the rest of the word just to remind myself to look for the second part that I know.


How would you know? How would you measure?

I’m happy with my progress. it wouldn’t surprise me at all if I read fiction in French better than most LingQers with 30K words.

Exactly. This is why IMO it’s difficult to compare progress between different learners.

I’ve got French subtitles turned on (when available) for movies and YouTubes. I notice I have little trouble with them other than French expressions which don’t make sense in English.

Yesterday I learned that “to sell the wick” in French matches “to spill the beans” in English. I wouldn’t know that if I had just moved on.

The British have a fun saying: “Swings and roundabouts.” As Merriam-Webster explains, “…is used to say that two choices or situations are basically the same because they have an equal number of advantages and disadvantages.”

If you can’t figure/find it out in 10s, it’s probably not important at that point. Unless it’s something that keeps repeating. In lingq you can find out fairly fast if it’s within your language level. For me it’s mostly the grammar part, eg why something means something, that sometimes remains mystery for the time being. I had many questions at the start that I didn’t try to solve that solved themselves over time.

First this is one of those things that should be easy to find out and secondly probably common enough that you will get a feeling about it over time. If it’s not common, then you don’t need it at this point.

Yesterday, while doing language exhange, I watched a youtube video in my native Finnish and there was a made up saying (or very loosely modified version of an other) that really didn’t make any sense. Just a play with words that would require native level to understand that there isn’t much to understand. Language is alive and some things are just better left until time is ripe to understand them. There is so much easier language to be learned that will eventually help to understand intricacies of a language.

Maybe your “slowness” is just compination of hours you put in it compared to others and difficulty of the language to learn compared to what you know. French has about 70% lexical similarity whereas within germanic languages it’s probobly mostly between 80-90%. Although that might not sound a big difference, having 30% completely unrelated words compared to 10% is a huge difference. Ofcourse you can’t immediately pick words with lexical similarity, but highest difficulty is in words that are completely unrelated to anything you know. If someone spends 8h a day to learn a related language compared spending less hours to learn language that is moore loosely related, it’s quite hard to compete.


44k in 30 days! Dude I think you have a super power! :grinning: That is so impressive!