Is this a joke or an error?

Advanced 2
English - 30,250
Chinese - 30,250
Russian - 35,550

I’m curious how LingQ comes up with the metrics in what is ‘advanced 1’, ‘intermediate 2’ etc.

I’m curious too. I think they have it down for English and probably the Romance languages, but would good to have a better handle on the number of known words that represent “language potential” to use Steve’s phrase.

I’m pretty sure that someone said he agreed that Russian at 40,000 was accurate. He said once he got to that point he could pretty much understand everything.

40,000 is low for Russian. As soon as you get like 15,000-20,000 and start listening to those Echo Moskvy radio shows it goes from 15,000 to 55,000 really fast.

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It’s feeling awfully slow to me at the moment :slight_smile:

I think these numbers are way too low as an overall level, but for reading it might not be that far off. I don’t think I will be at advanced 2 or C1 or C2 in reading once I have doubled my known words, but I might not be that far off

So, now that you’re at 54K, do you pretty much understand everything? Or at least everything on Echo? How is it relative to your Spanish level at 23K?

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My point was that English and Russian can’t be that close… Three weeks ago, when I last checked, to reach advanced 2 for English you needed only 17,000 and Russian 37,000 because of the cases. Steve talked about this also, that having 50,000 words of Russian is the same as having 20,000-25,000 words ih English, maybe less. So why was this changed?

I don’t use Lingq enough for Spanish. I don’t find a lot of interesting content with texts. But I’d say that I understand close to 100% in Spanish except when it’s from Puerto Rico, Argentina or Chile. I’m not used to those accents and the slang is also harder to understand IMO.

To give you an idea I have 1300 lingqs in Spanish and 24200 lingqs in Russian. That puts my “high” level of known Russian words in perspective.

To answer your first question, I just listened to a 30 minute program without the transcript for the first time and got about 90%. The interviewee was the spokeswoman of the Russian Ministry of Foreign affairs and she speaks super clearly so it wasn’t that hard. With friends though I understand everything.

How’s your experience with Spanish?? Do you understand Chileans perfectly?

Thanks for the reply. My LingQ experience with Spanish has been fantastic. I needed something to take me to fluency so I could “finish” and then move on to something else. I believe LingQ has done that. I would consider myself “B2” overall if I had to pick a CEFR. I was shooting for between 20-30K words based on something Steve said in one of his videos years ago. My “true” known word count is probably a few thousand words higher because, when I started, I didn’t move a word to “Known” until I was reasonable sure I could at least in theory use it. Now I have a better understanding of passive vs. active vocabulary and agree that “Known” should mean “recognizing that word in context” or better. When I move to a new language, I will use this lower threshold, but for now, I have kept counting under my old, stricter standard. I’m just over 30K known words with over 40K lingqs.

I think I have done this with a disproportionately low amount of listening, and as a result I think my “naked” listening comprehension could be better when it comes to certain TV shows, audio books, etc. This is mostly because I: 1) wanted to know more words before I tried more advanced listening (silly, I know now); 2) find much of the interesting content on LingQ to have dreadful audio; and 3) like you, all the interesting listening stuff on the web never seems to have a text with it. Also, the LingQ app no longer works on the original iPad so I can’t really access that stuff unless I read on the computer. The 90 day challenge I’m doing now is mostly to boost my listening and I’m doing that by watching telenovelas on NetFlix with the Spanish subtitles for text. When I get a new iPad, I’ll go back to listening with the materials saved in LingQ.

All this being said, conversationally, I can converse with natives and understand them with no problem, though I try to avoid most Argentines for the reasons you described. I don’t like the slang that Carribean types use and that they swallow their “s” but we’re okay. I’ve only spoken to two Chileans and was largely okay. Ecuadorians, Mexicans, and Colombians are those I speak with most frequently. Overall, I deal with Spanish speakers regularly for work with no trouble at all, but have few native speaking friends and I don’t travel much. Ideally, I would like to go back to Spain or visit Latin America for two weeks and seek to further activate the pile of passive vocabulary that I don’t use when conversing with housewives, pool boys, and gardeners.

Since I will be switching to another language after this year, most likely French or Russia, I would like to know what the Russian equivalent of 30,000 words in Spanish. My guess is that it’s somewhere around 60-70,000, not 35,000.

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Right. Steve said probably 10-15,000 words in English is what you’d need for more or less the potential of basic fluency since that is the active vocabulary of the typical English speaker.

But let’s look at Russian compared to a language like Korean. Both require 35,550 known words to complete Advanced Level 2. Based on his recent 90 Day Challenge, Steve has improved greatly since the challenge two years ago. He is now at 47,000 (35% more) known words in Korean, but he is not feeling “advanced” in any sense. Nor did he feel this way when he hit 35,550 known words in Russian. He needed more.

I think 40,000 is too low for Russian advanced 2, if advanced 2 is supposed to be the same as C2 on the CEFR scale. I can understand a lot, but novels are difficult. For example I am reading Почему одни страны богатые и другие бедные a Russian translation of Why Nations Fail: The Origins of Power, Prosperity, and Poverty which is not difficult, and most of the blue words are related to something I already know, but my main interests are history, economics and politics, so I come across a lot of these words when reading newspapers. I am also reading Lolita in Russian, but mainly because a friend told me it would be too difficult, not because I thought it was my level. It has a lot more words (and Nabokov was quite inventive with his writing of course) that I don’t know. I get the gist, and even the humour, but it takes me a lot longer than the other book. Still enjoy it though.

In terms of audio, again if they are talking about about economics or history etc I am ok, I can understand Mr Putin when he talks, and the foreign affairs lady. Newsreaders are often really fast, like a race it seems. The two books above I also listen to, and they are ok, in terms of speed, it’s just the new words in Lolita that slow me down. is a good source for Russian ebooks and audiobooks.

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Nice. another fan of the great Maria Zakharova!

Yes 65,000 seems fair but if you do choose Russian just don’t give up when your level is way lower because when you figure out some roots and the grammar the level will literally explode and you’ll go up by 2500 words a week if you spend a lot of time on it.

I have no idea if you like politics but Fernando Diaz Villanueva has a very interesting 30 minute podcast that he puts out daily. Also, Dame La Voz is another good one (1h per week on saturdays). Both speak rather fast so in you get a lot out of it in a short amount of time.

Thanks, much appreciated. Yes, I do follow politics. Are those podcasts you mentioned audio and transcript or just audio?

Can Steve or somebody from Lingq team reply to my question? This really doesn’t make any sense, I am really interested how did they get this numbers:

Advanced 2
English - 30,250
Russian - 35,550

Hi Zks,
As Mark said on similar thread “For the most part we were just standardizing our targets across languages into a few different groups. We are trying to have targets that are achievable in 3 months of dedicated activity on LingQ. We also recognize that there are additional levels after Advanced 2 where you will continue to grow your vocabulary. We felt the previous targets might have been a little overwhelming for people, even though they will achieve them if they follow the process on LingQ.”

Hi Zorane,

But 2 months ago when I last checked, to reach Advanced 2 was:

English - 17,000
Russian - 37,000

How is this making things easier?

As you know I deleted my account by accident one month ago. I had 56,000 Russian words and I know the difference between English and Russian. There is no way that they are this close. Am I the only one getting upset by this? I would like to hear what Steve thinks about this, I have listened to a lot of his videos on this subject and nothing makes sense now…

Thank you for the reply Zorane, can you please give me the link of that topic from where you copied Mark’s post?

Naravno, izvoli: