How Many Words on LingQ for a Well-Educated Native-Level in German?

The question is in the title; how many words - as LingQ counts them - would equal well- educated native-level in German?

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I’m just going to go out on a limb here and throw out a number. Maybe somewhere around 200,000 known words?


Which means that with the poor pace I’m going it’ll take me 15 years. :open_mouth:

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Fortunately, to be fluent and get along very well, it’s a lot less words required.


I guess it depends on the language. 20K “lingq version” in German looks like nothing compared to English. Yes, maybe for talking you can always use the same words but for talking and understanding in random average conversations is a bit different. With my 20K I can start understanding A1, sometimes A2 videos (without training in listening). So I suppose that for having at least B2/C1 it would require at least 100K.
But I’m just speculating about it.

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I have no idea what the number may be as I’m not there. I know 19,000 (my count) is certainly not there. I’m pretty sure you don’t need 100K to be at B2/C1 level too, but I’m not comfortable making that judgement yet…but, I think many of the German learners here have been satisfied in that 35,000-50,000 range. Of course this may be mostly from an input standpoint and speech may be lagging. For myself, if I look at the “self-assessment”, I’d say for reading I’m solidly in the B1-B2 range. Listening, A2-B1. Speaking probably A2-ish.

I mostly wanted to express that one shouldn’t need to reach a native level to get along very good. As I understand it from another thread, the OP is going to be living in Germany. I’m not sure if he thinks there is a need to reach native level college educated vocabulary, but maybe I’m reading too much into the question!

It was a question born from curiosity. I’m not worried about reaching that level of German unless I end up staying there for a very long time.

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@eric: Yeah, but that was just quite speculating. Just to understand if it’s worth pursuing or not. With the other languages I’m very quite fluent and comfortable but I have no idea about the words count as I only use them randomly here in LingQ.

With English I have sort of 18k now and the last sci-fi book I read most of the words were white. There is no comparison with German due to all variations with the same word. That’s why I guessed the relationship might be 5 times more. But it’s random.

I was surprise though that even in doing zero effort to listening anything few days ago I could understand on Youtube some basic conversations without enough problem.

I believe that with a little more exposure directly in the country the situation would be totally different.

Although, to me the numbers could be an important reference to understand what I’m doing. Because if my pace is only 1000 words per month is not much. And it might be a number to understand the next step.

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I figured it probably was, but good to clarify. Good luck on your German studying.

I save certain posts I find interesting and I did find one I had saved where t_harangi did an experiment, taking the C2 Goethe reading comprehension exam. I don’t know his specific known word count at this time, but he said he was well into the Advanced 2 level on LingQ. I think he decided to “graduate” German at around 50,000 words, if memory serves me right so we’ll assume he was at that level.

He passed with a 76 (60 required). Of course that only answers the reading comprehension aspect.

I think he’s said that he felt comfortably “fluent” at this stage regarding listening and speaking, but he would have to comment on that further.

I have saved off a couple of other posts of others who have done German and reached the 50,000 mark. I think all felt fairly comfortable reading and varying degrees of comfort listening and speaking. On the latter, I suspect most could say quite a lot, but perhaps with mistakes.

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@eric: Yes, I went back on my notes and I’ve saved some reference with 50k known words on an average of 3.5M read words. Probably from an old conversation like yours.

Interesting the C2 exam. Yes, comprehension could be good in reading and in listening (in German shouldn’t be too complicated). But with writing and talking a much deeper grammar knowledge would be mandatory. (I still don’t know if we can acquire grammar knowledge only by reading. It doesn’t seem to work for me as I can’t probably focus too much in this period).

Right now I was looking at another statistic because many of the known words come from connections we already have with the words and our own language. But to go further we have to learn new words (which is harder and slower).
I was looking at my learned lingq statistics and they are quite low. Only 2k learn lingqs so far. Which means that most of my known German words come from other languages connections and all variants.

So, if the goal is 50k I would have to increase a lot of those.

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