My French / German Stats at 30,000

I’ve finally reached the 30K known words mark in French, which was a milestone I’ve been aiming at for a while. When doing so, I’ve looked back at some stats I’ve been keeping along the way. Though it’s impossible to track all my podcast listening and TV watching time, I did keep some records on my book reading and listening, which I think is really the most impactful, active study period for me, and has been my primary method since completing Assimil for both French and German.

In these stats, I’m including Assimil for both languages, in each case I consider “With Ease” and “Using” together as one single book w/ audio. *


Books read with audio accompaniment: 12
Books read sans audio: 3
Audiobooks listened to without reading: 16
Total words read: 1,563,196
Total Audiobook listening hours (reading + non reading): 369hrs 12min


Books read with audio accompaniment: 9
Books read sans audio: 2
Audiobooks listened to without reading: 13
Total words read: 1,347,148
Total Audiobook listening hours: 284hrs 55min

  • For those wondering, I imported the Assimil German lesson texts from the mp3 files into Calibre. Checking the reports, Assimil 1 & 2 equals reading a combined 43,364 words with 7,234 unique words and 7hr 17mins of audio – basically about 1/3 or 1/2 of reading an average novel.

Yes, I’m partially sharing this just to pat myself on the back :slight_smile: but also because people often ask me “How much time does it take to reach X or Y language goal.” I’ve come to think it’s not really the amount of time, but the amount of effort and the amount of material you expose yourself to in that time.

So, if someone asks “How long till you reach 30K words.” I can tell them, “About 15 books worth.”

(Also, I don’t have similar stats on Korean, yet. That one is a lot trickier to keep track of because of the materials available, but I plan to do a similar accounting of it once I reach Advanced 2 – it’s a little while off :slight_smile:


Congratulations, great work ethic! May I ask over how many years you spent putting in that kind of studying?

" I’ve come to think it’s not really the amount of time, but the amount of effort and the amount of material you expose yourself to in that time.´

Although I´m not yet experienced enough to give an opinion, in that I haven´t yet arrived at a level in a language where i feel comfortable, I have thought about it a lot, and I´ve caught myself going through the motions all too often without really being present in the moment, letting my mind wander when I´m listening for example, or having to reread paragraphs because I´ve realised that i just read it without taking any of it in lol. It´s starting to make me think that intelligence is actually nothing but raw concentration. It´s THAT important imo.

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Friend Harang, I guess with all that learning grammar is still essential? I am not sure if you remember me but I asked you several months ago about French, I started from scratch and I can now read easily at B2 and I cna understand most of it, just the grammar confuses me as I have not studied it intentionally.

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Bravo! I’m feeling super motivated now, thank you very much!

Thanks! I started Assimil French a few years back, then Assimil German. I didn’t start getting into reading with audiobooks until the summer of 2015, so most of the reading I’ve listed was done I the last two years.

It’s inevitable that your mind will wonder when you read, mine certainly does. I just re-read passages, or hit the repeat button on Audible when that happens. It’s no big deal.

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I don’t deliberately study grammar, other than going through the Assimil grammar sections which give plenty enough of a base to not have to worry about everyday use. The rest is fairly easy to pick up through regular input, I think. Especially here on LingQ since translations will often include the grammatical meaning of words, so the patterns are easy to see after a while.

Hallo, @t_harangi

Welche Bücher hast du gelesen? Sind sie einfach zu lesen? Ich lese Die Welle. Es wurde in Einfacher Sprache geschrieben. Vielleicht finde ich es einfach weil ich schon den Film gesehen habe und mit der Geschichte vertraut bin. Liest du die modernen Bücher oder die Klassiker?

1.500.000 Wörter sind verrückt! Ich glaube, dass Steve Kaufmann 1.500.000 Wörter gelesen hat wenn er Tschechisch gelernt hat. Bis Ende dieses Jahres will ich 1.5 M Wörter auf English lesen. English und Deutsch sind unterschiedliche Sprachen aber vermutlich werde ich 30K erreichen wenn ich 1.5M Wörter lese.

(German, my rusty German)

Sehr beeindruckend! Très impressionnant!
Félicitations! Gratuliere!

Um die Wahrheit zu sagen finde ich die Klassiker ein bisschen langweilig für Sprachenlernen. Eher lese ich Moderne Krimiromanen und Abenteuergeschichten. Manchmal sind sie Deutsche Originale wie etwas von Andreas Eschbach oder Sebastian Fitzek. Meistens sind sie übersetzte Bücher wie die Jack Reacher Serie oder was von Stephen King usw. Das geht dasselbe für Französisch mit Jean-Cristophe Grangé oder Franck Thiliez.

Am Anfang waren sie weit von einfach, und ich habe nur ein paar Seiten pro Tag gelesen können, aber heutzutage kann ich sie ziemlich bequemt lesen, mit 20 bis 30 Seiten pro Tag, wenn ich die Zeit habe.

Ich habe Die Welle als Kinofilm gesehen aber das Buch ist in die USA leider nicht verfügbar.

Viel Glück mit deinen englischen Lesungen!

Merci, M. ftornay!

Hey can I ask how you improved your listening comprehension for both languages?

the more detailed the better!


Reading while listening at the same time is the best way to build both your listening and reading comprehension. But to really drive it home, you gotta do a LOT of passive listening. I’ve been listening to podcasts in both languages since I was about at a B1 level. I did it while I was jogging, commuting, or went for my weekly shopping – even when I could only understand parts of it at first. Nowadays, most of my listening is with audiobooks, except for jogging and shopping – podcasts are better suited for those activities.

There is really nothing else to it. You just have to read and listen and then listen a lot once you reach a B1-B2 level.

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But to get to know the words in French are in the past, present, future is realizable by just reading?!

Harangi so it is about 15 books worth to reach an ability to read most of the books on the market :)?

I can do that reading in a year!

So when I am on Lingq if I was to read a lesson that is lets say three pages or three slides long go through moving all words to known that I know and changing any blue words into yellow words then with the audio that is included within the lessons, perhaps listen to the audio while following along in my head with the words and then listen to it again then move on?

and when I am doing things where I cannot be in front of my phone or computer just listen to podcasts? but just in Spanish? sorry to ask so many questions I have kinda cracked how to accumulate more words now I need to crack how to improve my listening comprehension!!

any routine that you do would be great or how exactly you do things! just trying to get the best understanding I can!

Your method sounds about right, except that if you’re in the beginning phase, I’d advise reading each lesson at least 2 or 3 times and listen to the lessons on repeat a bunch of times.

When I started I studied through Assimil, which had a specific structure to it that facilitated this rhythm fairly effortlessly.

Yeah I have the assmil book for Spanish but I got bored of it, thanks just trying to look for the best method for me to utilize this!

Thank you very much for this post. When I have time, I’m going to stick it in Google Translate so I know what all the German peeps are saying.

For French, my own Romance experience mirrors that.

I have 31,000 Spanish words known and about 1.6 million words read. I was figuring about 100K per novel/book so that would be about 16 books, which would match up to what you recorded. Lately, because of the deficiences of the LingQ crew in keeping up with the service on older iPads, I’ve been doing more listening than reading. Mostly telenovelas on Netflix with the subtitles and audio in Spanish. That’s cranked my listening up to 445 hrs. I’m headed to 500 hours.

Thanks again.

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Huh, I am impressed by all of you doing so much of listening. For me only English is a language I listen to a lot, both in French and German it’s much less time, probably about 60 and 110 hours respectively, although I am trying to change that since recently.

Bonjour! Pourriez-vous nous expliquer un peu votre méthode pour écouter et lire avec Audible ? Par exemple, vous achetez des livres sur, ou au lieu de faire ça est-ce que vous les achetez sur kindle avec la narration a l’oral ? J’ai des difficultés à trouver les meilleures ressources.

Bien sûr. J’achète mes livres audio sûr, et je pense que les mêmes livres Français sont disponibles sur les deux portails, .fr et .com. Mais sur le site web américain, il faut chercher sous la catégorie “langues étrangères” pour les trouver.

Quand je trouve un livre audio qui m’intéresse, je cherche sur Amazon pour vérifier s’il y a une version Kindle disponible aux États Unis. Là bas il y a quelques différences entre les titres disponibles dans les pays différents, alors il faut faire un peu de recherche.

Si je trouve le livre électronique, je mis ce titre sur ma petite liste “à lire en écoutant” et s’il n’y a pas de version Kindle, je le mis sur ma liste “à écouter.”

(Même pour les livres allemands, mais là bas, c’est un peu plus facile parce qu’il y a un bon nombre de livres qui sont disponibles avec “whisper sync.”)

Et voilà. Après ça, je lis en écoutant, soit avec mon Kindle, soit en téléchargeant le texte sur LingQ. Ou j’écoute en promenant mon chien, en conduisant, etc. Il y a beaucoup des embouteillages ici en Californie, alors j’ai tout le temps que je veux pour mes livres audio :slight_smile: