My 10 tips for effective Lingqing!

I’ve been using Lingq for a number of years now so would like to share some tips I’ve picked up along the way, nothing ground breaking but hopefully useful nonetheless.

  1. Say numbers out loud - It’s so easy when reading to just blur past numbers because we know what they are or even read them in our native language. I now make a conscious effort to sound out numbers in Russian because it was a huge weakness for me. It would be great if Lingq could include ‘numerals to speech’ in an update.
  2. Occupy your hands - When I’m at home doing concentrated listening I find it really easy to be distracted unless my hands are occupied with something else. This could be playing a simple video game, fiddling with a rubiks cube or even just a pen. Personally I have a ‘painting by numbers’ app on my phone, each painting takes around half an hour to shade in and is surprisingly fulfilling.
  3. Drown out distractions with white noise - Similarly when I’m reading I am usually distracted by other noises in the house so to combat this I play classical music in my headphones. It can be any music really but if it doesn’t have any lyrics I find you can read a lot easier.
  4. Leave phrases highlighted - It’s rewarding to turn yellow words into known words because it increases our known word count and gives a sense of accomplishment. I strive to keep phrases highlighted however because turning a phrase to known doesn’t increase your word count provided you already know the component words. Even if I now know the meaning I like to leave it highlighted in an effort to notice it more and use it actively one day.
  5. Leave your pride at the door - Usually a gym saying but I find it applies with Lingq. When I encounter a known word which I’ve since forgotten I dislike highlighting it again as I know my word count will go down! However I resist the urge to leave it as I know highlighting it again will help me learn it.
  6. Apple colour is more important than your streak - I used to obsess over my streak and the higher it got the harder it was to see broken. However it’s easy to get caught up with the streak for it’s own sake, the colour of your apple is more important as it shows how much actual work you’ve been doing recently, besides there’s nothing wrong with having a day off now and then.
  7. Get comfortable - I used to go to my desktop computer to do my reading on Lingq as that’s where I go to do work related ‘serious’ things. However the whole ideology around Lingq is to enjoy what you’re doing, as such I do most of my reading in the same places where I would read a good book i.e the sofa or in bed! (When I’m at home that is)
  8. Pay attention to the unknown word count in lessons - I seriously strive to stick to the green percentages now, even if it means reading course lessons out of order! Of course you can muscle through a harder text but I find I can read so much more in total when the flow of reading isn’t broken up by constantly looking up words.
  9. Sentence mode - Really good for getting a sense of the sentence as a whole, I really find in Russian that sometimes I can understand every word in a sentence yet still not grasp the overall meaning. I often reread texts in the normal layout after having gone through sentence by sentence.
  10. Dubbed TV shows are easier than ones filmed in your target language - As such these can be used as a stepping stone to watching actual shows in your target language. I’m at a point with my Russian now that I can enjoy American TV shows dubbed into Russian whereas actual Russian shows I am lost without subtitles. There’s a variety of factors as to why but I’ve found this to be true with all 3 of the foreign languages I study.

Finally don’t forget that we use Lingq as a means to an end, we are trying to learn a foreign language not just build huge known word counts and streaks! Feel free to ask for any clarification on these tips, I hope they help!


Some of these tips are really useful.

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Great tips, thanks!

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Thanks for taking the time to write this. There is definitely some useful tip here.

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Good suggestions. I appreciate the point about the unknown word count. I almost always select the lessons with MORE unknown words in a foolish desire to encounter more unknowns faster. But reading lessons with fewer unknown words should allow better retention of new words and greater reinforcement of learned but still weak words. Thanks for sharing these observations.


I didn’t even know about the green percentages, because they aren’t on the iPhone app. All of the percentages on the iPhone app are red-colored., and iPhone is what I almost exclusively use for reading with LingQ. But I looked on my Mac and all of the lessons 5-14% were green, above 14% orange or red, and 4% and below black. I guess black font means too easy? Not earth-shattering that the percentages are all red in the app, but now that I know 5-14% unknown is the LingQ recommended lesson I’ll keep that in mind as a suggestion.

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Thanks! +1 for sentence mode, especially for beginners.