LingQ and those blue words: Update

Back in late August when I first discovered LingQ, I posted here about my concerns with “having my blue words stolen from me” while studying my beginner’s Korean.

Since I’ve now gotten a couple of months of using LingQ under my belt, I thought it might be useful to update things. By rambling I hope to help both beginners (new to a language, and/or new to LingQ) see why things are set up this way, and also the admins to understand what beginners are bumping up against, and possibly to tweak things in some way so they’re more comfortable for those beginners.

The biggest contrast was when I additionally began “studying” Japanese in LingQ, in which I’m more or less fluent (having lived here for a couple of decades, and began studying the language a number of years before that). With a language as familiar as Japanese is to me, I suddenly found that I was naturally using LingQ in a completely different matter.

With my low-level skills in Korean, I’m wandering throughout the text carefully…parsing…every…word…so that I can gradually begin to understand what each sentence is about. Jumping back and forth throughout the document to gain context, etc.

But with Japanese the sentences are pretty transparent to me, aside from the occasional word or phrase that I don’t solidly know. I’m mostly just reading. After LingQing the unclear parts I found myself naturally using the “Paging moves to known” option for everything else, and had that satisfying feeling of watching the counter jump with each page I turned. I’m guessing that this is probably why that option is set as the default. Once you’re up to a high level, it’s great. At a low level, not so much.

But at least now I see what it’s for. As a beginner I just totally couldn’t see that. There was no “satisfying feeling” when that happened, just irritation.

Currently I’m continually going back and forth between switching “Paging moves to known” on for Japanese and off for Korean. And occasionally forgetting, face-palming, and going back to fix that last page I just messed up. But I’ve got enough experience under my belt at this point that it’s no longer an extremely arduous process to fix it when I mess up. Maybe it’s not a big deal when your language is written in an easy-to-read script like the roman alphabet, but man was that a pain with my glacial Hangul-reading skills.

I just signed up for the current Korean 90-day challenge, so hopefully I’ll be getting a bunch more experience with LingQing and Korean both. Maybe even get my Korean up to the point where I can turn that option on and leave it there. But I sure ain’t there yet!

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