I primarily use Lingq for German which is going really great so far, however, in addition to my German studies, I aim to start learning Greek from absolutely no knowledge to fluency. With German I started off learning the 5000+ most common words first which gave me a solid foundation, enough to use Lingq effectively without having to look up every single word. I’m wondering, how many Greek words should I first learn with flashcards before starting reading on Lingq, in order for the reading experience to be somewhat enjoyable and effective? Or should I just go for it and try to learn from the ground up with Lingq alone? I was hoping to learn Greek through German, however there is limited resources for this online. If i use Lingq as my primary Greek learning resource then this could maybe be achieved…
I’m studying to become a translator in future and love the idea of working with multiple languages. Maybe I should just learn Greek through English if that’s the language I might be translating Greek into?
Let me know what you think!
I don’t think you need to know any word to start. Just start with the short stories. At first, yes you need to look at every word, but at least you see them in the context of a sentence every time and so their use is clearer than if you study them on a flashcard. Also not only you build your vocabulary, but you see the common structures of the language and the grammar, without consciously having to memorize lists of words. You won’t be able to start listening to complex audio at first, because you start from scratch, but it will come, just be patient.
thanks for the reply! i just had my first Greek session and enjoyed it way more than i thought i would, obviously starting with the mini stories. i thought it would be a bit painful not knowing any words but it was just a good challenge. really glad to know i can learn Greek without anki or memrise first
if you listen to Greek while following along in English, you will pick more words during the listening session. Then switch back to the Greek text and then listen to it again. Just give it a try and see if this is the case.
As an aside, how did you learn to pronounce those 5000 common German words? I am just curious. With LingQ you have an audio option but I am not sure if you have such an option with a flashcard app?
Thanks! I’ll be sure to try that out. To be fair I also did 4 years of German at school when i was younger! So I got some basic grammar and vocabulary from that. My teacher said I had a good accent but i think I sound really Scottish still. I don’t put much effort into ‘sounding like a native’. It wasn’t until i started relearning German last year that i used all those flashcards. Some flashcards have audio attached but I couldn’t find much audio flashcards for Greek.
According to the universe of memory guy (who sounds at least plausible to me), he reckons that the magic number where you are able to guess from context is 3,000 words.
Me personally, I aim for 2,000.
I’m fairly comfortable with not completely understanding because I enjoy the process of observing week by week how much more I gradually pick up.
Your mileage may vary.
I think the choice of starting a language from step 0 really just depends on how easy of content you can find. Even the mini stories are too advanced for level 0 to get any real benefit from reading them. It will feel like you’re just doing flashcards anyway. If you can find very very simple content on LingQ then that’s an option. If not, then doing 500-750 flashcards (if you’re a flashcard kind of person) can be a good idea, but I wouldn’t do more than that. The last option is Duolingo to get you off the ground. Keep us posted with how it goes.
I was in that same position with Arabic. I learned some words on LingQ but couldn’t really find much A0-A1 basic content without scouring the internet. So for this reason I’m just doing some Duolingo lessons when I find time, and then I’ll come back to LingQ when I know more.
Well it depends, because I started Turkish from zero with mini-stories and I don’t think it’s too advanced… I mean I know nothing and have to check every word, but personally I still prefer this to memorizing flashcards or to learn to say I drink milk and eat apples on Duolingo.
I’m not saying there is one method better than the other, but it really depends of each person and learning from zero word is possible and can be more enjoyable than other methods for people like me.
Yeah I think it’s different strokes for different folks.
My own preference is definitely to learn at least 1,000-2,000 words before I start doing anything else but I’ve also this time done the same as you clicking on each word.
I’m also not a huge fan of duolingo but I won’t say it doesn’t work because I definitely have learned a handful of vocab and phrases from it. But yeah as you say you can definitely click on each word.
Right now I’ve “learned” about 1,300 words of russian in anki (although only 400 of them are “mature”). What I try to do in LingQ is what you said, I click on each word. Then I listen to the full mp3 with my eyes closed. With having already gone through clicking on each word it definitely helps with listening comprehension in the mp3 (I get about a half) but if I didn’t go through clicking on each word first I would probably get maybe 1 in 10 words only.
I expect I will have much better listening comprehension when I have at least 1,500 words memorized in anki (mature).
The number you begin with will always be 0, and the way you begin will always include reading, so the question is not how many words you should know, but what it is that you should be reading, and how you should be reading it.
The answer to most people is: read beginner content that comes with a full translation. So, Assimil, LingQ mini stories, etc. You can start any of those with 0 known words.
I think it really just depends on the person and which methods they like to learn with. For me, I don’t mind flashcards, but I can understand why some people don’t like them. The whole point of reading though is to learn things in context, but you really don’t have context when you know 1 word per sentence haha. Knocking out 500 flashcards in a new language can be easily done in 3-4 weeks. That’s a pretty good return on time and effort.