LingQ and Getting Used to Reading without Knowing the Defintions

I’ve heard from Steve and other language learning channels that a large step in progressing in a language is getting used to reading/listening without knowing the exact definition of each word. Instead, one should focus more on understanding the big themes/general ideas of what’s being said.

I definitely agree with this sentiment, but I feel as if the way LingQ is set up gets in the way of this. Let’s say I’m reading a passage with say 5 blue words I don’t know. I may choose to not click on them since I can already get a pretty good idea of the text without knowing them. However, every blue word that isn’t given a definition after completing this lesson is assigned as “known” despite me not knowing them. I have to click on words that I don’t want to/don’t feel necessary to learn.

Now conversely, if, after finishing, the blue words did NOT
disappear, then there would be a whole more clicking since I would have select that I already know each word, no matter how simple.

Is the solution then to read/listen in my target language off of LingQ from time to time?


I would be happy to have such a tool for the extensive reading kinda thing, where instead of hiding defenitions behind the blue words, to have an option to look up the words of a preset range of frequency before each page, just to put initially some “seeds” into the memory. Automaticaly or just by pressing a button once in awhile.
An intermediate level tool.

There are a couple of strategies that you can adopt.

  1. Before reading the text, create LingQs all the way to the end of the lesson. Go back to reading. This way you can decide which words you should click on or which ones not without interrupting the flow of your reading. I never create lingQs while reading; I always do in advance before actually reading the text.
  2. Second approach is, read the text in “full text” mode. There is a button for it.
  3. Third approach is, paste the text on DeepL translator ; if you have a problem with the meanings of certain words or sentences you can have a quick look at the corresponding translation.

You can turn off the “Auto move blue words to known” feature in settings. I think this should be technically off by default, but whatever.

But if you don’t mark all the words somehow, and leave blue words in, LingQ will not count the text as “read” — there pros and cons to this feature.

1 Like

You could read outside of LingQ first time and then import it and read it more closely after. I do that to some extent a lot of with news articles…I can read the article more quickly in the browser and use google translate popup to quickly read the article. Then I can import the article and go through the blue words and LingQ them…and maybe review the yellow words as I do so. You could then read again a little more diligently if you wish.

Or, you could just try to read outside of LingQ without any aid whatsoever and just try to get the idea, and then come back to it in LingQ later.

I do think it’s good practice to not 100% rely on the crutch of being able to so quickly look up words, or to “double check” if I’m correct in what I’m translating it to in my head. I do this very infrequently though at the stage I’m at. It’s more of a “let’s see where I’m at” kind of thing from time to time.

1 Like