How to look up phrases

This may be a basic question, but could anyone tell me how to look up phrases(more than one word) in the system?

Thank you.

@yukiko - Sure, just highlight a group of words in order to save them as a phrase.

How do you highlight phrases?

Click with the left mouse button on the first word of the phrase you want to select and hold the left mouse button and drag the mouse to the end of the phrase. This will highlight the phrases.

I could highlight the phrase as you explained. Then how do you look up / check the meaning of the phrases?

For translation into English, “google translate” is one way to look up the meaning of phrases. It is not always accurate, however, although I find it very good for translation into English from most European languages. I am not aware of any other phrase dictionary. Phrases can vary tremendously and only the most common short phrases could possibly be found in a standard dictionary. Otherwise you have to ask your tutor or ask on the forum.

Do you mean after you’ve created them? If so, select Vocabulary from the Learn drop-down menu at the top of your LingQ screen. Then use the Show Phrases Only button to see all of the phrases you’ve created. You can also search for them with the search field if you have an idea of what you’re looking for.

Steve and Solanderdog,

Thank you for the tip :slight_smile:

What I tried to ask was, If I want to look up a phrase , for example, “put up with”, I can highlight these three words, but can’t figure out how to check the meaning of this phrase in the system. Is the dictionary in the system only applicable to words, not phrases?

I hope my English is clear enough…


We use a variety of dictionaries. These are not our dictionaries. We connect learners to the dictionaries of their choice. Most standard dictionaries will not translate phrases because the potential combination of words in phrases is almost unlimited.

Google translate uses an algorithm which enables them to translate phrases although not always accurately. My only suggestion is to use Google translate. Google translate is automatically available for all paying members. Just highlight the phrase and click on Google translate. I usually translate the words that I don’t know and then highlight a phrase to see what the Google translate translation is. Sometimes the translation makes sense and sometimes it doesn’t.

@yukiko - Highlight the phrase and then click on the blue highlighted phrase just like you would any other blue word. This will show you the same blue popup information as you see when you click on a blue word and you will be able to click “check dictionary” as well to get a definition of the phrase. For most phrases, only google translate will give you a definition.


I hope I understand your problem. I think that when you highlight a phrase and you see the same phrase repeated to the right on the ‘Google translate’ button, you find it just makes a LingQ, even if the translation is wrong. It is better to click on the ‘Search Dictionary’ button underneath. I tried the Search Dictionary using a phrase from an English lesson in the library – this displayed ‘Babylon’ and ‘+ Add Resources’ buttons. (So you see, I hadn’t yet added Google Translate to my English resources). When you click on that Add Resources button, a list of resources is displayed. I selected ‘Google Translate’ with ‘Translate to Japanese’ from the drop-down box. The word ‘save’ appears in blue; click on that blue word and it is added above to your dictionary resources. I also did the same with ‘Jisho’ from the list (or whatever you choose). However, it’s possible you have already done this.

I mostly use Google Translate, but I find it more convenient to have it open in a separate window ( so I can see the whole window, and experiment with word order and so on. It’s not a perfect system for Japanese translations, but when I entered ‘put up with’ in Google, 我慢するwas displayed. In addition, underneath was displayed:
Put up with – verb

You can then copy and paste, or type, back into the ‘Enter a hint…’ field in the lesson window; hit Enter on your keyboard to save that phrase as a LingQ. I often do this even with available user hints if they are not helpful or I want to improve the hint.

Interestingly, when I next put 堪える into Google, I saw a list of English words (bear, stand, endure, support, suffer, withstand and so on), with the Japanese next to them. (All of these come to mind, except for ‘support’ when I think of putting up with my husband. Joking!)

In addition, I personally sometimes check accuracy by copying words from the translated Google suggestions back and forth (Jap-Eng and Eng-Jap) to see if they give further clues. It also reduces chances of mistakes or incorrect word usage.
Hope this helps.


Thank you for all the tips. I could finally figure that out. LingQing is fun !

To add a couple more thoughts -

As others have mentioned, Google translate can be used to quickly look up phrases but isn’t always accurate. I recommend keeping your phrases short with Google translate as it works much better with short phrases that are also commonly used.

For phrases that you can’t find translations for:
This is one of the few times that I find it very useful to have a grammar book. This probably wont help with idioms but can help you understand other types of phrases. I try to look up the grammar rule that a certain phrase is using and that helps me know how to translate the phrase. If I still don’t understand, I typically just move on and don’t bother linking it. When I do understand it, I link it with a translation that I create on my own.

Thank you for another tips, Chris!

I’ll try to check with a grammar book as well when I don’t understand some sentences.

By the way, Good luck with your Japanese studies :slight_smile: