In German, I started LingQ after going through the “A1” course on Memrise (this specific course is no longer available for new users). In Spanish, I took 3 courses in Spanish in High School. In college I took level 3 Spanish (requirement for my degree to show this level).
I’ve been working on German here at LingQ since 2017, so about 5-ish years. Probably the first year I was still doing a few other things and wasn’t solely focused on LingQ. I’d say for at least 4 years I’ve primarily and almost solely been using LingQ, and/or the principles behind it.
Noticeably I’m probably a bit slow to get to the level I’m at compared to others. I’ve probably averaged about 10-15 minutes of reading a day and about 10 min a day of listening (although currently I do a lot more listening…probably 30-45 min a day). If I were to have spent a half hour or an hour a day I’d be much further along, but it does show you that with very little time spent per day, you can make a lot of progress. You just have to change your expectations if your time is limited.
I’m currently at about 5000 words away from having achieved “Advanced 2” on LingQ. I’m at 24,334 known words on LingQ.
LingQ has been tremendously helpful. I’m able to read at a pretty decent level. For most native level books and news I do need some handholding (what LingQ is for), but I can understand so much more of these items than I could before starting at LingQ. I can read a Harry Potter level book and understand most of it (nearly all). Plenty of words I still don’t understand or remember, but the bulk of it I’d understand.
Listening, I do have more difficulty than reading for sure, but it too is so much better. I can fair pretty well watching documentaries to where I understand the gist of things, but most certainly missing some nuances. Native level shows are still a struggle. If I REALLY concentrate I can follow, but there’s still a fair amount I’m missing. Still, better than when I was a beginner. The Easy German Podcast, which they put at a “C1” level I can understand a fair amount overall, but also miss a fair amount. I believe I just simply need a lot more listening practice than I’ve done and that’s why nearly all my listening time is spent in German (while driving, washing dishes, etc + watching German TV nearly every day).
Writing and speaking. Admittedly I have not practiced these much and are definitely a struggle. I feel like I can speak about a lot of things, but my language is simple and probably full of grammar mistakes. These simply need more practice. However, despite this lack of practice, it’s amazing to me how much I’ve picked up through reading and listening and could say if I wanted to…despite the faults and lengthy pauses.
In summary, I don’t think I’d be anywhere close to where I’m at without LingQ. I just simply would’ve given up at some point. Using LingQ makes language learning fun. I can read and listen to things I enjoy, and where I don’t understand things, LingQ helps clear things up…and incredibly you learn as you go through this process, WITHOUT doing SRS or Anki drilling. (You can do these things if you enjoy them, but are not necessary).
For inspiration I suggest watching Steve’s videos on youtube. To me they were a great motivator and convinced me that you can learn a language in this manner.