LingQ101 or LingQ-ing for Dummies

Would some kind soul consider putting up a youtube video showing us exactly what are the best ways of LingQ-ing, please? One video of working in the compact and one in the full view would be ideal: all in a nice, steady pace, one step after the other. In other words, LingQ-ing for Dummies.

The reason for my request? I have muddled through LingQ for years, have enjoyed the little I did and never worked a lot with flashcards. Recently I have thought I ought to be a bit more disciplined, but now find it extremely frustrating to get into the swing of things.

When I do my LingQ-ing in the compact view, the system gets in a muddle after a while and slows down, sometimes to a complete standstill. I am F5-ing like a trooper in that case.

In the full view - which is better if one prefers correct translations - there still seems to be no automatic jumping to the next blue word. I have to close each LingQ by hand. I seem to remember that it was easier once upon a time.

What with all the recent upsets and updates, I don’t know whether the site is slow, or whether I am doing something wrong, but it is so time-consuming to get correct LingQs established.

P.S. I am quite good at following written instructions, so if someone were willing to write a guide in bullet form, wonderful!

P.P.S. Clearly, I’d send you points for your efforts!


I’d like to see something like this for another reason: I’d like something to help demonstrate to my friends how useful lingq is. I try to introduce it to other language learners on a regular basis, and they just sort of look at the site and say that they don’t get the utility of it. I never know how to express the benefit…

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Here is a first stab. Let me know what I should do differently.

We have videos in the Academy page as well.

Some of the problems we face are:

  1. People don’t understand that listening and reading and vocabulary accumulation are so important, and that they just need to expose themselves to a lot of the language, and patiently wait for things to become clearer.

  2. People expect to nail things down, rather then just remaining in a fuzzy state for quite a while.

  3. People need their hands held, and need to be encouraged and praised all the time.

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It is really quite simple.


Your “First Draft” video where you demonstrate French is great!! (The video ended just as you were about to show us how you use it for Ukranian.)

For me this kind of pace and level of information would be wonderful if I were new to LingQ. What about one of that in each official language - or is that asking too much?

In any case, a huge THANK YOU!

P.S. How many points do I owe you? :))

I plan to write a “crash course” for LingQ for my blog. I have really struggled figuring out how to use LingQ. Steve, I think perhaps you can’t see the software from a purely novice’s perspective. I came full of enthusiasm to use LingQ as my primary platform for language learning, but I haven’t master it with weeks of using it. By comparison, I had picked up Mindpasta, Mango, Duolingo, Anki, Talk To Me In Korean, and other software in only a few hours.

Maybe it is ok, only the serious language learners stick around long enough to learn how to use LingQ effectively.

I can say that even after watching all the Academy videos, some more than once, I was still a bit of a loss on how to put it together.

There is much good here at LingQ. However, it isn’t a software that is easy to learn and intuitive. That even long term users still feel they are only using some of the features tells you something. I was almost driven away by Lingq’s spamming emails at first, when I only usually get 10 emails a week prior to Lingq. In the early days before I hunted down ways to eliminate emails sent to me, I was getting 20, 30, 40 emails a day.

Duolingo sends me one polite email a day, that is far more my speed.

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Like many others here, no doubt, I occasionally look at other sites. While DuoLingo is good up to a point (apart from the way it forces one to use the most appalling English!), it is still too prescriptive for my taste. As I am not exactly competitive, their approach of ‘cheating by buying heart refills’ in order to complete a stage earlier, leaves me cold (DL cognoscenti will know what I’m talking about). Memrise caters nicely to my geeky side, I could do repetive exercises until the cows come home. I love their structure and ‘feel’; the quality of courses varies, but then both these sites are free and so complaining about them seems petty. Both sites are extremely easy to use and the sites seem to have some very smart members, just like LingQ :slight_smile:

None of them offer what LingQ does : complete freedom in what I want to do. Apart from the nice community - and I apologise if I have ever inadvertently bitten anyone’s head off by being blunt - it offers learning in context, it offers the whole picture, not just flashcards.

Edited for typo in cognoscenti and structure (see how geeky I am?!)

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Why not be more “geeky”?

@SanneT - thanks for the description of Duolingo, Memrise, and LingQ. I agree, nothing else has the kind of flexibility of LingQ. It does, however, come at a cost. Building your own lessons takes time. It is time you are not learning. It is overhead.

My favorite part of LingQ is the discussions about language learning with you intelligent folks.

This video is exactly what I was hoping for. The Academy videos are much more technical; explaining how to use Lingq, but without any expression of rational. This new upload does a great job of describing the Lingq philosophy in addition to demonstrating the mechanics of the site.

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It’s the system not you.

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Here is another video showing how I use LingQ, this time for Ukrainian. This is on Chrome.

So useful! Thank you.

Hi Steve, I watched the video twice. It is a good concept. I want to see a completed video.

What I would recommend is at first have a power point bullet list of what you want to accomplish and how LingQ meets that need. Then get into the details of presenting how. Then back to review what was just said and why you do these activities.

For example, goals

  1. To build vocabulary
  2. To work with lessons that interest you
  3. To read words in context so you are seeing entire sentences
  4. Stay motivated by being part of a learning community

How to use LingQ to accomplish

  1. Review Vocabulary
  • get daily emails with vocabulary list (Lingqs)
  • practice with flash cards
  • take cloze test
  • take multiple choice test
  • read lesson text while listening to audio
  • download audio and listen on smartphone or MP3 player
  1. Add new vocabulary words
  • work through a new lesson selecting words you do not know as Lingq’s to be studied
  • teach Lingq the words you already know by setting blue words to to known
  1. Continue to update LingQ as you learn vocabulary
  • mark the word as known (in flashcards or lesson)
  • upload csv file of words you already know
  1. Practice listening & learning vocabulary every day
  • rotate the lessons and keep at it until you know all the words in a lesson
  • let the emails/flashcards work to bring up words in spaced repetition so you will not forget
  • if you have forgotten a word, highlight the word in the lesson and make it a lingq again
  • know a word confidently? set green check for known lingq. unsure? you can set the lingq number back to 1 for more review
  • archive the old lessons
  1. Notice how words are used in sentences
  • cloze test
  • reading lessons with comprehension. Read along with the audio to reinforce and focus your attention.
  1. Don’t rush thru the lessons. Be ok with being in a complete fog of uncomprehension. Expect it will take months of immersing yourself in reviewing a few lessons before anything starts to make sense. (Is this true?)

  2. Be sure to do it consistently. Mark the times you have read or listened to the lesson. Track how much your are studying. Quantify your studying. Check the leaderboard to see how you are doing compared to other Lingq members.

  3. Make friends at Lingq through reading the discussion forums, making corrections or submitting text for correction, sending roses to encourage members and thank them for their contributions, asking questions of your tutor, getting one-on-one feedback on your pronunciation and practice speaking.

Here is a sample learning schedule you could do for yourself:

  • every day, review the email with the Lingqs
  • three times a week, do flashcards
  • once a week, work through a lesson to set lingqs.
  • twice a week, take a multiple choice test or cloze test
  • daily, listen to the audio from the lesson you are working on
  • every other day, read the lesson with audio that you have already set linqs & known words
  • once a week, create a new lesson with material you are interested in and import (text, audio, notes)
  • daily check the forums
  • several times a week, submit text you have written for correction
  • once a week, submit an audio sample for correction
  • daily, correct texts of other lingq members
  • sign up for group or one-on-one tutoring once a week

(I don’t have any idea if this is a good schedule of stuff to do for learning. Obviously, every person will have their own style. I am still wandering around trying to figure out how to make this work and not get discouraged and frustrated.)

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I get the impression that Steve doesn’t use Lingq that formulaically. It seems to me that he just reads what he wants to read and gets better when he gets better. That method has been working pretty well for me.


I am sure Steve has discussed all of this in videos he has made, but for the new user here, it is hard to know which videos to watch other than those in the Academy.

Talking about what Lingq does and how it is different from other language learning systems might be helpful. Also including examples of Lingq members and how they use the system. There might be one person who only listens and reads lesson, 5 days a week, never communicates with other members, goal is just casual learning for a trip coming up next year. Another member might be a driven polyglot who wants to master a new language in 6 months and devotes 4 hours a day concentrated learning. A third member might be just interested in helping others with tutoring and creating lessons and correcting writing.

There must be some sort of way to describe the different ways people use Lingq depending on their goals and time they wish to devote to it. Has someone done this already? Is there a place where you get to see how people study, putting the tools at Lingq together to create their own plan for learning?

I’m probably in the minority, having never learned a language successfully before and sort of flopping around trying to figure out how. It must be different for folks who already have their own preferred system for learning a language and can power thru on their own using just what tools they need at LingQ.

I would be interested in reading personal profiles on people at LingQ. Here’s Vera, this is what she does, this is how long she has been using Lingq, this is what motivates her to use Lingq, these are things other Lingq members say about how great a person Vera is and how she has helped them. Articles like that. Do they exist? I think people could get ideas on how they can use LinqQ if they could see how others have used it for themselves.

Avoiding the “my method is best” arguments, of course. I don’t want to create a dust up. I am sure people must be passionate about how they use the system and why it works.

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My request was simply for a status quo video which Steve delivered via his first “French LingQ-ing” video, the Ukrainian was a bonus.

Wow, but @jreidy’s suggestions for a series of videos (?) “A day in the life of LingQ” takes this to a whole new level!

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When I was trying to grasp what to DO with LingQ, I spoke with one LingQ member who described his method, and it helped me get an idea the bigger picture beyond just the technicalities. You can read what Alexander Giddings wrote me here: 4 Basic Steps to Studying with LingQ | Hanguk Babble

My apologies if I seem peevish. I am not well, and it is making me grumbly. I am sincerely trying to learn LingQ.

Grumbly? Who? (Is it no longer called constructive criticism?) Gute Besserung!