I cannot understand the logic!

I have been using this site since April/Mayish of last year for Romanian. I look at the stat rankings when you go to the community page. I cannot understand how people have more words “known” than lingqs created during a given time period.

Isn’t the point of Lingq to first get exposure to the unfamiliar vocabulary? And then once you are comfortable enough reading the word without clicking on it you can move it to “known?”

But when I look at the stats, I seems people know more words than they are lingqing. Am I just not at that stage yet? Because it seems like no one is talking about it, not even Steve on his YouTube channel has mentioned this phenomena.

I could be totally wrong about this or missing some information and experience. What do y’all think?

Two users of LingQ reported that they’ve been using LingQ only as a words counter. For example one of them does ANKI flashcards, then he makes a list of learned terms and imports the list into LingQ as a lesson in which he marks all the words as known. This way you can have no linQs at all :slight_smile:

If you do a lot of reading outside LingQ then you’ll pick up a lot of words that you won’t bother turning into LingQs when you encounter them here.

1 Like

I move every word to known at first read. If I can’t recognise a word or phrase, I’ll copy/paste it into an excel document along with the translation. At the end of the day, I import it into Anki and learn it that way. So I don’t have lingqs. (only a few by misclick)

1 Like

Hello David,

First, it’s probably best to look at the “all time” numbers. Because one doesn’t always study in the same way, with the same intensity. Also sometimes one might want go over old material and, at other times, focus on new content.

I have couple of ideas how the discrepancy between words known and LingQs might arise:

  1. Word families vs. LingQ words
    See this random word “lăsa” and its inflections:
    Romanian verb 'lăsa' conjugated (link doesn’t work here, need to copy and paste)
    So, if you know one of these forms, there is a good chance you won’t have to create a lingQ when you encounter another form of the same word.
  2. Transfer vocabulary from related languages you already know, e.g. in the Romance language family

The situation changes when looking at a different language.
Let’s compare some numbers (from my statistics):
Words known:
Romanian: 18.792
Chinese: 22.478 (roughly the same level)
LingQs :
Romanian: 12.720
Chinese: 47.355 (!)

The reasons probably comprise:

  • no inflections in Chinese
  • I don’t know any other language that shares vocabulary with Chinese (Japanese or Korean might help), while I studied various Romance languages in the past; you can see this even more pronounced when you look at Steve’s stats
  • everything looks foreign, so I’d rather err on the side of caution when encountering a new word, while in Romanian I just trust myself to learn some words from context

Hope this helps.

1 Like

OOOO! (surprised Pikachu face). This makes so much sense. Words having inflections and multiple forms are basically the same. No matter what form they take, so they basically are “known.” Then having transfer of vocab from other languages and using reading material from outside of lingq would cause you to know many words by default.

I totally assumed everyone was just using lingq and not other recourses. Thank you every one for your help!

1 Like

If you look at my stats, you’ll see a great example of that. I spent almost a year studying Italian before coming to lingq, so I have over 11k known words with only 5k lingqs created, and only 1800 lingqs learned. A ton of those known words have just come from the fact that knowing the infinitive form of a verb means I can “know” the other 30+ individual conjugations (at least the ones that I see often) as long as it’s a regular verb with no irregularities.

1 Like

I use lingQ but I also use anki. Over a couple months they get somewhat out of synch. At that point I pull in my “known words” list from anki and then just click each word. That increases my known word count without doing any lingQs. I still haven’t caught up with French in my word count because I only found lingQ right at the end of doing French. When I’m done clicking the words, I will probably have 7,000 some and it will show a jump without doing any lingQs.

I literally mark every word known so it won’t show up highlighted again. I like the dictionary function a lot but I don’t like highlighting words different colors according to how well I know them. I’m focusing on Korean though.

1 Like

Some people already be at a moderate or even high level in the language before they start at LingQ and will therefore already know most words they come across. Some people are only using LingQ as one of many learning activities and so learn a lot of vocabulary elsewhere. Some prefer to only have some of their unknown words highlighted yellow and will default to marking the rest as known so they are not highlighted.

1 Like

For me things were a snowball. It was about a year before my “known words” exceeded my LingQ counts. The main reasons I can think of for this is words that you would have learned outside LingQ and therefore never need to LingQ, one “word” has many forms of which some are less common, and finally compound words.

I think it is important to understand that your “known words” should not actually be an exhausted list of every form of a word you know. It should be understood as a list of “known words that you have seen in a text within LingQ” and this will be a subset of your total vocabulary (ignoring the known words that you forgot).

Another thing I can think of while writing this is LingQ is ultimately a subjective tool so people can mark whatever they want as a known word. What do you do if you encounter a name or a word in a different language than the TL that appears in a text? I personally ignore them, but people can ultimately do whatever they like with the tool.

Oh yes, I forgot about names and stuff like. People handle them differently. I actually have done it in two ways. In Russian I ignore all names. In German I mark them as known. The reason for the difference is just my level. In Russian I am very low level and have to slowly work my way through texts so ignoring each name is reasonable. In German I read very well and I don’t want to lose time ignoring names and instead will only interact with new words if I don’t know them and want to save them.