Let's compile advice to Lingq Newbies

I thought it would be fun for us all to contribute tidbits of advice for newbies to Lingq. I’ll start with two points:

  1. This is a very complex site offering many ways to improve your language skills. My mistake at the beginning was to ignore Lingqs many assets and thoughtful design and just use it as a glorified flashcard set. Then I happened to read some advice from Steve Kaufman, the founder, about how the site was designed to be used and immediately began to get much, much more out of it.

  2. You can’t entirely trust the Lingq pronunciation in Italian. In a small percentage of cases, the “voice” makes a mistake and says the word incorrectly. Because pronouncing Italian is straightforward–except for placement of stress–it’s easy for me to notice it doesn’t sound right and check the pronunciation elsewhere. I don’t know if this is a problem with other languages as the only one I’m using Lingq for at present is Italian.

What can other users contribute to help our newbies?

  1. LingQ is not a “method,” but an language learning tool that can be used in various ways.

  2. As a beginner, you can decide to use the beginner material available on the site and make studying those your “method” of learning, or you can import other beginner material and use LingQ as a tool to facilitate learning with other methods.

  3. You should aim to dedicate a min of 30 a day at least 5 days a week to start with. 60 min / 7 days is better, but admittedly harder to achieve for most of us.

  4. Get to a B2 intermediate level by whatever method you chose to, but after B2, reading books on the LingQ interface, while listening to the audio accompaniment, is the best way to build up your vocabulary, listening comprehension, and overall language proficiency. Every other activity you will do will be inferior to the results provided by long form reading and listening – other than regular speaking practice, which I’ll get into below. (If you don’t like reading, there are other things you can do, and you’ll still learn the language, but it will be slower, and all your forum questions will be answered by a barrage of “just read and listen” advice – rightfully so.)

  5. Speaking practice is necessary at some point – and conventional wisdom is that you should try to do it as much as possible, BUT you will be surprised by how much ground long form reading and listening can make up. You’ll notice vast improvements between occasional speaking opportunities if you do a lot of listening.

  6. Flashcards and memorization are not the best use of your time. If a word is common enough, you will encounter it a lot, if it’s a rare word, memorizing it will be short lived. Words learned through context stick a hell of a lot stronger than any words learned through flashcards.

  7. Technically, you can ignore everything I said, except for # 3. The truth is, it doesn’t matter what method you follow if you deliberately expose yourself to a language 30 / day with the intent of learning it and without any expectations of results, you will eventually learn it. Which leads me to:

  8. Expectations are your enemy. Fluency and comprehension are byproducts of your activities. It’s pointless to wonder “when will by able to…?” because it depends on many factors, some of them beyond your control. The only thing you can do is continue to deliberately expose yourself to a language and enjoy the inevitable day to day progress you will make.


This great advice. Anyone else?