Lingq Success Stories?

For those of us who are new here, can anybody share their Lingq success stories to help motivate those of us working on the beginner lessons?

What language did you study here at Lingq? What level were you are when you started and where are you now? How long did it take?

I’d love to hear some success stories to use as motivation for the long path in front of me!


I’ve been using lingq for 60 days. I’m studying French. I can now struggle through science fiction, I can read a few news articles without using lingq. I’m currently at 12k words. I have no aptitude for language learning and have no previous experience in French. But you get out what you put in. It’s more like a gym membership than anything else.


This is good to read. I’m learning Spanish, and I can’t wait to be able to struggle through a novel one day.


I can’t wait to struggle through a novel! What was your level when you started 60 days ago?

1 Like

I started using LingQ about two months after initially deciding to learn Mandarin. I used mostly Anki to learn initial vocab & basic grammar, which for I think you have to do to learn chinese characters efficiently.

I did read a lot of graded readers outside of LingQ & continued to use a lot of Anki for +1 sentences, but beyond that (and watching lots of chinese dramas) the vast majority of my time has been spent reading & listening in LingQ.

In the beginning, I imported in a lot of children’s stories & typical language lessons. I was able to start reading (very slowly) native books about six months after I started learning Mandarin / four months after starting LingQ.

I can now read a lot of novels (my primary goal) at anywhere between 93%-97% known words and my day streak is 541 at about 3.8m words read (~12k pages?) I did pick content above my level (historical fantasy with flowery prose), which I think slowed down my learning, but whatever…I enjoyed myself. :slight_smile:

I’m very very happy (though I still have a long way to go to native like reading proficiency) . Without this site, I guarantee I would have not made the progress I did and I might have gotten frustrated and quit.

The consensus of language learning seems to be “consume a lot of interesting comprehensible content” and LingQ basically makes it possible to do so - nobody starts out able to read books at 98%.


I started reading French on LIngq at around a word level of 12k. I started making progress when I struggled through my first fantasy novel. I picked a fantasy book with, I think, about 8 books in the series. After reading 5 books in about 5 to 6 months, I had a word count of 25k+ I think, and was comfortable reading the series rather fluently - being accustomed to the author’s style and vocab.

I’ve been studying French with Lingq now for about 1.5 years I think, but with some breaks in between months as I get stuck reading boring stuff and lose my drive. I’m not yet where I want to be, but can manage reading French books without using Lingq.


Chinese learner here from semi-beginner that took lingq seriously on August 2021. I was basically close to beginner A1 at around “5000 known words” which could be about 500 genuine words due to the way they count words. At the moment, I am able to watch and listen to most youtube chinese content after a lot of continuous hard work of 100 “known words” and 4-8 hours of listening everyday. Keep pushing and be patient. I was impatient at first but it worked out as time goes by.


I did a few weeks of Duolingo before that. But honestly probably not even A1. By struggle I mean I read the sentence, some sentences I understand immediately others I have to translate one or two words. Then I reread the sentence. Sometimes I still don’t understand it, so I then translate the entire sentence, then reread it again.

It helps if what your reading is interesting. It’s quite tiring to do it this way but I can’t be bothered reading graded readers.


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.


I’ve been using LingQ mostly for Russian from a barely-passing B2 that most likely fell to B1 since testing due to prolonged lack of use. I’m on a grind to 100k (Current: ~85k) before I take my ТРКИ III test, which is the equivalent of C1. I feel more and more confident with reading but I still lack some oral and speaking skills that need to be worked on outside of LingQ.

Aside that, LingQ has largely empowered me to no longer really need it (ironically enough) as there are virtually no average newspaper articles or “general audience” television that I don’t understand. If we talk about niche specialties, slang, or perhaps some regional dialect then I don’t know nearly as much. For example I really struggle with classical literature and reading on plant biology, but I have no problems listening without subtitles to the anime I’ve been seeing lately. Pokémon? Easy. My Hero Academia? Pretty easy. Кухня, Слуга Народа, To The Lake, etc.? Without subtitles about 60%; with subtitles about 90% and basically comprehensible without but minor annoyances.

I’ve been rather quiet for being ranked 21 (22?) on the Russian all-time leaderboard because I don’t want to be a bother, but this question really inspired me to answer in the hopes of providing perspective to lower levels.

So in conclusion, am I C1 yet (from a WEAK (low passing) B2 before using LingQ)? No, but I’m very, very close. While weak B2 or even B1 me might’ve said that in arrogance, I say this with confidence now.

Also to clarify, I won’t be seeking my ТРКИ III immediately after I hit 100k. But that’s the vocabulary marker for me where I think I’m ready to stop. I’ve done the practice tests but seem to have missing audio so I can’t tell you how I’d do on that portion. The vocab’s about half to three quarters there for me but can register as incomprehensible without additional context at times, and I’ve had some friends and family review it as having only minor mistakes in phrasing, register, tone, etc. that will be hammered out better by speaking to Russian speakers more.


I don’t if you can call my stories “LingQ” success stories completely although LingQ is definitely a large component. I have gone from non-functional French (can’t read it, can’t speak it, can’t understand it) to able to understand this guy, can speak it slowly and can read reasonably well young teenage novels with no problem (harry potter and narnia type stuff):

I have also gone from zero russian to I can slowly and painfully read harry potter and narnia type stuff and can understand this guy pretty well though I can’t barely speak it. So yeah:


This is very motivating. Good for you. My own method is lingQ plus anki plus youtube.
I also find netflix pretty difficult: my two shows are “better than us” and “the method” which I think are likely close to “to the lake” in comprehensibility.
At the beginning I couldn’t understand either “better than us” or “the method” at all.
Now I can understand bits and pieces but I’m nowhere near your level of 60% with no subtitles. I’m more like 20-30% at best without subtitles.
One experiment I did that helped though was read the transcript in lingQ and then watch. Kirill Karo is hard to understand for some reason. I don’t know if he has an accent or he mumbles but I struggle with him.


I decided to learn German starting with zero experience and no knowledge of any other languages. Absolute beginner. Didn’t even learn it at school.
To motivate me I watched an episode of a TV series in German right at the beginning - naturally I could not understand a single word and had to rely on subtitles. Fast forward to a year and a half later and I came back to that same series - I could understand it and enjoy it without any subtitles and it was a huge milestone for me. I can now read physical books in German for pleasure - occasionally I’ll still come across something or a turn of phrase that I need to reach for my phone and google translate for but those occasions are getting fewer. I feel I’m now at the stage where I’m sort of polishing up my German. I’ve even done speaking exchanges to get conversation practice and can discuss a variety of subjects. It’s boosted my confidence immensely.
Now that I know that I can learn a language I’ve starting tinkering with other languages too. The confidence helps a lot. If I’d had more confidence to start with I think my German would have improved quicker too. Stay confident and good luck on your journey! :slight_smile:


Very short version. I started LingQ at the end of 2019, being fluent in IS,EN,DK,SE,DE and being able to read children’s books in FR. I used it like there was no tomorrow and got to over 60K known words in FR,NE,NO and spent somewhere around 300 hrs listening.

This year I ended up guiding my first two full day tours in Norwegian, which went pretty well. I also, because of a serious lack of French speaking guides ended up guiding two short tours in French. I did get told by one tourist who my French was “painible” even after telling them at the beginning how my French would be quite limited and it was my first day guiding in it, but I was able to get my ideas across. Now I am often able to hold conversations with French, Dutch and Norwegian speaking people I meet here in Iceland.

LingQ was definitely a huge part in getting there. I just want to warn learners about a few things

  1. Don’t get too stuck on the known words count. I know that can become like a game where you obsess about the score or even beating the high score, but you must not ignore the other aspects. Make sure you listen a lot too, try to write or even find people to converse with online. 2) Make LingQ your springboard to real life language use. Move on from LingQ eventually to reading books and just conversing with people. You can always come back for a bit here and there, but LingQ is not your end station in language learning.

I started learning Mandarin on LingQ around September 2019 at first using it just a few minutes each day. At that point I had been learning Mandarin on and off in my spare time for around two years and knew a few hundred characters but could barely string a sentence together.

A few months later when Covid hit and we went into lockdown in the UK I began using it intensively for several hours a day. For the first time in 2.5 years of learning I noticed my comprehension skills were noticably progressing.

This had a big impact on my speaking confidence too. By the summer of 2020 I could hold conversations. I was by no means fluent and I later discovered that my tones and sentence structure were truly awful (often bordering on incomprehensible) but I was having conversations in Chinese and that in itself was thrilling.

I then spent the following year continuing to use LingQ almost every day. During this period I read several novels and listened to tonnes of conversational podcasts with transcripts. Overall I read about 700,000 words on LingQ. If you add in the stuff I was reading off the app it would come to more than a million. The difference between my comprehension skills before I started using it and when I stopped (around Spring 2021) was, as you’d expect, huge.

Something I can’t stress enough is that spending all this time on LingQ reading and listening to content did not in itself make me fluent in Chinese. After reading a million words and listening to hundreds of hours of content I could just about get my message across in most situations using a strange form of foreigner dialect Chinese. However, LingQ did give me the comprehension skills which laid the foundations from which I could become fluent.

That is what I have been focused on this past year. I have stopped using LingQ but continued to immerse in content outside the website. Meanwhile my main focus has been on improving my tones, pronunciation, sentence structure and overall conversational abilities, clocking up hundreds of hours of conversations with native speakers.

I am now conversationally pretty fluent and LingQ did play a significant role in enabling that to happen.


I’m not sure what you would consider a success, but this is my story:

When I started using LingQ I wanted to read books in foreign languages. I only had intermediate German and French, and in my country that is as high as anyone expects to get who doesn’t live in a bilingual family.

Since using LingQ I have read Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone (and others, but that’s always my starting point) in German, French, Russian and Japanese. Mandarin or Spanish will be next, as soon as I get fed up / bored / overambitious.

Conversationally I’m hesitant in all languages including my native one. But I can read books now, albeit ones I’m already familiar with. If I had picked one language and stuck with it, rather than running around in LingQ like a kid in a sweet shop, I might be on “War and Peace” by now :wink:


When I had a beginner level of Spanish and working toward having a conversational / intermediate level of Spanish I stumbled across the videos of Steve. His approach to language learning just made a lot of sense to me. I started to use LingQ and at first I started off with basic content such as “Who is she?” or short beginner stories with audio. It was kind of challenging because you start to see a lot of new vocabulary and if you are unfamiliar with all the verb conjugations, you kind of start to enter a new world of PAIN haha. However, I found it fun to save new words or get that satisfaction of clicking on a word that I previously did not know at all and mark it as known.

I eventually started to import all kinds of content from news websistes, journals, YouTube videos with subtitles, etc. Stuff that interested me. I am now on year 6 of learning Spanish and I actually live in Spain. Spanish is now a part of my daily life and people always comment on my high level of Spanish. Many times they don’t even know that I am from the United States. All I can say is that without LingQ, I would have never reached such a high level of Spanish in such a relativly short amount of time. I have since then studied other languages here on LingQ and I will gladly continue to do so.

LingQ is not 100% perfect and should not be your only resource of language learning but it is truly a gem that can take you very far.


Just wanted to thank to all who posted their success stories. LingQ works! They give a lot of motivation to all of us who want to achieve our goals in language learning. :slight_smile:


I spent many years messing with Duolingo, Mondly, the odd class, many books. Not much went in. Perhaps I knew 1000 to 2000 words.
I’m roughly 220 days on two streaks of LingQ and am up to 4500 words which are probably more solidaly known, although I am generously loose on what I consider known. It built up roughly in a straightline but with fast and slow periods.
I’m reading Harry Potter by bilingual text and audio. I know the story and am in a sense skimming it. I aim to read a few thousand words a day, ideally 5,000. I use mouse or keyboard macros and sentence mode. Roughly 1 in 100 words read stick. That’s not rapid but it seems consistent and I’m pretty happy that it approximates the comprehensible input approach. Slowly, I hope to build to 8000 words and then work on my listening and then conversation. I find Greek horrendously slow to go into my brain so at least this is progress and other methods had serious flaws (too much discomfort).


Thanks. How many LingQ words do you think is needed to read Harry Potter comfortably? I have 4400 words and have accepted that I don’t know several words in most sentences.