I've been LingQ'ed! or the "dangers" of method focus vs goal

I posted recently about my experiences studying Russian and using LingQ. In short, I have learned a tremendous amount from LingQ. I will not go into further detail about that now.

I just passed eight thousand known words and I have about ten thousand lingqed words. Reading new texts now, I find that the unknown vocabulary often consists of “international” words or quite topic specific words (e.g. when reading about the import/customs dispute between Ukraina and Russia). This is of course of no surprise to anyone.

I have read as many texts as I can. My focus has been on increasing my word count (the number on the counter). I know think I shall change strategy. I now will focus on learning my LingQs. I feel that in order to learn the LingQs I need a more “active” approach. More repetition, reviewing cards, re-reading texts, forming my own summaries, etc.

If I am able to learn my ten thousand LingQs, I will have quite a big vocabulary (closing on twenty thousand words). Also, I will try to get more speaking practice. Hopefully that will help me activating my vocabulary.

I see many members at LingQ having vast numbers of LingQs. Are you able to learn these words? How are you going about reviewing and learning them?

OK, thanks for letting me share my thoughts and experiences.

I can’t use the LingQ-ing feature at all, because I generally can’t afford a paying membership, but I of course have a vast experience with many years of vocabulary learning. One key point of succesful vocabulary learning is that there has to be a factor of repetition involved. You can’t memorize new words by only one encounter! It’s a matter of taste and preference whether you use for example LingQ - flash cards and cloze tests to repeat the new words or use more traditional methods for words repetition like I do.

My method is to handwrite words at least two times and to use colours: a red pen for writing new words in handwritten texts and yellow, orange and pink textmarkers to mark important new words in my handwritten vocabulary books. Another advice I would give is that you should not only learn seperate words but also combinations of words. For example I memorize a whole expression like “Det gâr greit.” = “Dit gaat in orde.” In this case because the word “greit” is a bit too abstract for me.



I think spaced repetition apps are powerful tools, but it’s a boring method if you have a lot of words to learn. I only use it with Greek, in which I have over 166,000 known words (in my computer, since, like Fasulye, I can’t afford full membership), and it takes me about a minute or two a day to review the new words.

It’s interesting that you are about to change your strategy having learned 8000 Russian words. I have 7500 known words in Russian and it seems to me that there’s still a great number of common words that I can learn easily just by reading. Even in Italian, with 21,000 known words, I don’t feel the need to do anything else than read and listen.

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Once you have acquired a fair familiarity with the language you certainly need to speak more. I think it is also useful to experiment with a variety of tools and activities. I also do this, but my interest in the subjects I am listening to and reading, and the ease of those activities keeps me coming back to them as my main activity.


I need to add that of course I get a lot of repetition of the LingQs when I read texts! But until now, I have not had any plan for learning lingqed words per se.

But from all the advice I get, I agree that a more active use of the language will bring me benefits. Thank you.

Personally, I don’t think you will benefit from putting in a lot of effort to learn the LingQs instead of just continuing to read. I suspect you would learn more words if you didn’t try to ‘learn’ the 10,000 unlearned LingQs.

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