Is my word count sufficient for how long I've been using LingQ?

I’ve been studying Turkish on LingQ since February 2019, I have 16,000 known words, and roughly 400,000 read words in total. Is this too little? Going by the basis of known words needed to get to a good level of fluency in Korean (Turkish and Korean are very similar grammatically), I think I’d need at least 35-40k known words understood to get to a decent level of fluency.

I either leave words or mark them as “known” (I don’t use any of the other metrics between these two), and I create roughly 150-200 LingQs a day.

I’m currently at B2, but have trouble speaking + have difficulty listening to people who speak fast.

I think this is not little you know 16,000 words which are good but you can improve more.

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16k for 400k words read doesn’t seem odd. I think you need to read a lot more if you want to start seeing results quicker. It seems better to me to aim for an amount of words read than a “known words” goal. Why not aim to read 2 million words or so? The known words will follow :slight_smile:


Thanks Azarya, how long do you spend reading on lingq per day?

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I think everyone has to make out for him/herself how much time you have, but I read for about an hour in French and 1 to 3 hours in Japanese at the moment - but I switch it up from time to time. I feel good about my progress when I’m hitting at least 5k words read consistently per language.

There was a forum post by “Herbm” a while ago about his progress in French in one year. It’s what really inspired me to use Lingq consistently. Unfortunately, I can’t find back the thread, but I think he as well mentioned something like 5k reading he was doing a day.

Back then, around one year ago, I decided to copy that and read at least 5k words a day during 90 days to see if I would be satisfied with my progress (although I didn’t do the vocab and netflix herbm was also doing). I just started reading books doing this way, though regularly reading far more than 5k a day, and haven’t looked back since.

Recently, looking at the forum, I’m very impressed with what GreenGuy33 seems to be doing. He’s read 900k words in the past three months going from practically no knowledge in French, as I understand it, to 28k known words. Not sure what his story is or if he’s doing anything specific, but there you have it: the more you read the quicker it will go.


short version:
I think you’re doing fine. Words read seems pretty low for your “known” word count. It might suggest you should probably be doing more reading. I think you’ll find that you’ll progress a lot quicker with more reading as azarya suggests. At your level, you’ll still have trouble speaking and difficulty listening to natives. p.s. Nice avatar. Love Coltrane.

tldr version:
Seems pretty good to me for known words. Only you know if it’s “too little”. For reference, I’ve been using LingQ since 2017 and I’m “only” at 19000 known words or thereabouts. Is this too little? =). So I think it’s kind of the wrong question. You can only go at the pace you can go at depending on how much time you can put in a day. If you are progressing and enjoying things then your word count is sufficient for the length of time you’ve been using LingQ. In my opinion, although I’m probably taking a lot longer than most, I am making great progress. Especially considering how little time per day I’ve averaged over the course of those 4 years. (I really don’t have a lot of time for language learning).

Anyway, what struck me is, I personally think your read words is pretty low for the number of known words. Not sure if you do outside reading that you don’t record in LingQ or if you use quite a bit of SRS compared to reading? I agree with azarya…I think you should read a lot more. I think you’ll find that it really amps up your vocab.

As for your level and trouble speaking and listening…it’s simply difficult. 16,000 is really not enough to understand native speakers. Your total vocabulary just isn’t there yet for detailed conversations. As you said…you probably need to get to about 35-40k. I’m about the same level as you, and in the same boat…and you have a fair amount more listening than me. I can tell I’ve progressed though…I catch a LOT more than I used to, as I’m sure you do as well. It’s just not as much as we hoped. It’s funny, because all through my learning, I’ve felt in listening, I’m just around the corner from comprehending it all. Nope…quite long ways to go, although I still always feel that way. Maybe it is that slight amount of progress that always makes one feel they are just around the corner.

Speaking is going to take practice. Are you doing much? I know I’m way behind on this, but I feel I’m learning despite nearly no practice. Every so often I’ll try to speak to myself, or recently try to describe to myself something I just read about in whatever words I can use to produce it. I’m sure the grammar and words are not so great, but surprisingly I can usually come up with something that I think someone would understand. So if speaking is something you want to enhance, you’ve got to do it…or do something that allows you to produce output. Speak to someone, speak to yourself. Describe your day, describe what you’re doing. Read something in your native or target language and see if you can talk about it…to someone or yourself. If you don’t know the words, think of a way to describe. i.e. a plane = a flying thing. Then look up the words that you couldn’t figure out. Write.

But again. I think you’re doing fine. Just keep progressing little by little you’ll get there eventually!


Hey Eric, thanks for your thoughtful, in depth response. I’ll definitely take what you’ve said on board. I read about 30-40 minutes a day, but I think I could gear it up to an hour (and try to be more consistant with it).

Also, I think the reason my words read seems low compared to known words is due to the agguilative nature of Turkish. One you learn one word - “ev” for example, for house, there are many words which are simply latched on to the end of the word to change the context of it’s meaning - ev-ler (houses), ev-da (in the house), ev-le(with the house). I think this is why my word count comes up a bit higher, but I will definitely take what you’re saying on board.

I can feel my understanding of Turkish really improve over the course of the 3 years I’ve been using LingQ, just need a bit more patience I think :slight_smile:

Glad you appreciate Coltrane, he’s the king.



Your work effort is really impressive. I manage to read about 30-40 minutes a day of Turkish but think I’m going to try and get another 20/30 minutes in ontop of that. Do you read around 2 hours a day to hit that 5 k match?

And I’ve got the goal of definitely reaching 2-3 million words. I’ve read the first Harry Potter book, want to finish the series, then read another 10/12 books in Turkish to really get my known words up.

Your french and japanese seems to be going really well. Do you hope to hit a specific words read/known words mark at some point?


It depends on the level I’m at. It used to take me one hour to read 2k words in French. Now it takes me +/- 10 - 15 minutes. However, as my reading speed increases, for French I feel I need to go far beyond that 5k a day to really get to the next level at this point in time. In the coming months I aim to read around 16k a day for French to get me to the next level.

For Japanese it takes me around 2 hours to get to 5k a day. If I see your figures 30 - 40 minutes of reading, that would give me almost 2k words read. The math is simple, that’s less than half of what I’m reading, so the speed of improvement will be less than half (at least for me). If you double the amounts read, your speed of learning should also double. At least that’s my experience.

Regarding words read, my initial goal was 1 million words read. Which I’ve achieved. I’m aiming for 5 million now and hope to get 1 to 2 million read this year for each language. The word count is secondary for me. I’ve experienced that the amount read is more important - known words will follow as I continue to read.

maybe as a tip, I really found my stride when reading books in a series. In French I’ve read the l’agent des ombres series (5 of the 9 volumes), for Japanese I’m currently reading Grimgar (book 8 of 16 volumes). It allows me to get really familiar with the author’s writing style and vocab. Every book gets easier and when I move on to other stuff, I find the switch easier. I started reading these books which were far above my level around the 12k known words mark.

I would not worry too much about these stats. They are different for different languages and for how each person marks words. I also wouldn´t try to conclude too much about how much you can understand of spoken language or how much you can write or speak from you known words count. You really need to listen to improve listening, talk to improve your ability to speak etc.

Having read 400K words also doesn´t seem like a lot to me. I started LingQ in November of 2019 and I´ve read somewhere around 2.7 million words in French for example and I think over a million words in my other two main languages each.

By saying that, I´m not trying to critique you for not reading more. I have no idea what else you need to do with your time. Most people don´t have the time they´d like to have to study here. It´s just going to take longer if you don´t have much time, but just keep at it. You´ll need to read a lot more, listen a lot more and so on to get to where you want to be. It´ll take time. That´s just how it is.


Thanks for the insight into Turkish. I think you’re probably on track with things. Just going to take longer. More practice of everything…reading, listening, output. Things do seem to get easier in terms of fitting in more “work” as you become more proficient in the language. So even a 30 min session now will be a lot more productive than it was a year ago…and likewise a year from now you’ll be able to fit a lot more in in a half hour too.

Great advice - I’m actually reading the Harry Potter series in Turkish. One more question, when you’re using lingQ, do you set your page size so it’s sentence by sentence, or page by page? if that makes sense?

I’ve never set it to sentence by sentence personally. It may be helpful to people, but I just find it such a drag to go through in that way.

Sometimes I put it on sentence by sentence for one single sentence if it’s a long sentence I really need to zoom in on to understand. Otherwise I just put normal page by page.


I think I realised what my issue was. For the last year I’ve been reading books one sentence at a time rather than page by page xD I can’t believe I made this mistake. I’ve switched to doing it page by page and are literally getting 600-700 LingQs a day/5000 words read a day, which is like 5 times more than usual…


I’m glad you solved your problem. Sentence mode is extremely useful for beginners, but page mode is way more convenient for advanced learners, just as you have realized.