My new LingQ learning strategy idea

So what I usually have done when learning a lesson is go through it once a day, as many days as it takes for me to know every single word in the lesson. But I think that this method is slowing me down because sometimes the last few amount of words will take me several days or so to learn (usually tricky words). I had an idea that might speed things up, so I came to ask you guys if you think it will speed things up.

Instead of going through it every day until I know every single word, I thought "what if I just do it until I know something like 3/4 of the words, because you always learn most of the words the first 5 times or so you go through the lesson, and the most words per time you go through the lesson. And as for those abandoned words, I’ll just end up learning those in other lessons.

What do you guys think?

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The ‘new’ way you’re thinking of is how LingQ should be used in the first place, i feel.

I think that sounds like a good idea. The fact is you’re going to forget those difficult words anyway because they’re… well… difficult, so might as well not waste your time on them. I also went through things very thoroughly in the beginning of my Russian studies to consolidate the pronounciation of the words but I found that as I progressed and got very used to Russian words and how they’re constructed, this repetition was only slowing me down. Now I only read a text once and then move on to the next one. But I consider myself to be at an advanced level. I will use the method of daily repetition for Ukrainian though. I feel it’s important for learning the basics.

Edit: I usually work on a lesson once a day for three days when beginning a language. It works. Unless there’s some heavy grammar to memorize.


Thank you ijoh. That sounds like it might work. If I had a lot more Chinese content, I would probably try only reading the text once.

By the way, how long have you been studying Russian?

i think in general he does that because he’s in an advanced stage with russian. imagine reading a beginner text where 80% of words (in your case characters) are new to you the first time round. of course you’re not going to remember it. but in your native language, if you see an odd word sticking out in an article or such, it’s much more likely that you will retain it. that’s the principle between extensive reading contrasted with intensive reading. intensive reading is for beginners mostly, where you read as much as you can but you make sure to review those things that you read so as to not lose them. i’m sure you and me both, as well as everyone else here, has read an article or such in a foreign language before, looked at it a few days afterwards and there were some words you never remembered looking at. that’s exactly what you want to avoid as a beginner, so constant review of material is essential in order to get words to stick, but you don’t want to be too fussy about it, as you’ve stated in your post.

extensive reading is once you’ve got a sizable vocabulary, and you simply read a lot, and acquire vocabulary by filling in those gaps in your vocabulary.

how do you not have chinese content my friend? the chinese internet world is huge, i thought? honestly, if i were you, i’d focus on just trying to spend more time learning and figuring things out. go and read a lot and try different things out, see how you learn, see what works for you, do some research and experimentation first and then check up with the form.

Of course Demolitionator move on. If you see my statistics on italian here on lingq you will see that I have learned more than 5000 words last month. First of all, because it’s really close to my native language and because I found interest content to me.

You have more than 2800 words in chinese so you have a lot of characters, I recomend you “move on”.

Steve recently make a video about this: Vocabulary Acquisition: The Rich Get Richer - YouTube.

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I think that if you feel as though it is slowing you down, then move on. The worst thing I think is to start getting bored with something or to feel as though it is work because the motivation will start to disappear.

When I first started, I would go through a lesson each day for a couple of days, then go a few days without reading it and come back a few days later whenever I felt like it. During this time, I’m always reading new content because that’s what is fun for me… not reviewing old texts. Lately, I don’t read the same text multiple days in a row unless I find it really interesting.

The cool thing is that if the words are really important, you will see them in many different texts. On the other hand, if it is an obscure word that you don’t see often, it won’t be so bad if you forget it (since it is rarely seen!) For example, if you see a word in 10 different contexts, you will have a better sense of the word then if you read the same word 10 times in the same text. Because of this, I don’t ever worry about learning all the words for each lesson. It just seems to happen automatically if you keep reading lots of new material.

Sometimes, it might not feel as though you are really learning this way. But many times I’ve gone back to a lesson I haven’t looked at in a while and I understand it easily even without studying it a ton and solidly learning every word…it’s a great feeling!

Edit: I just noticed you’re studying Chinese…not sure if this would help you or not…

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I guess it can depend on what level your at in a language. With my German I import a lot of news articles from sites like Duetschland Funk and Zeit. I often never go back to re read these articles although at the time there are quite often a lot of words I don’t know. I tend to find them coming up again in further new articles I read and happily learn that way. With my French which is still in a bit of a baby phase and I feel definitely needs a bit more repetition, I tend to repeat the text and audio lessons I had for a few days on Linq. I also try to read some BBC Afrique stuff which I don’t tend to repeat.

My worry is if I did go back and read articles then I might think I know something because I am familiar with it in that context. I feel if I can recognise a word in a less familiar context then I truly know it.

Five years next month. I’m just glad I found LingQ and didn’t end up like one of those people who studied it for ten/twenty years and still gets a headache from trying to read anything.

When reading Chinese you can’t determine the pronounciation from the characters like you can when reading western languages. Having audio to go with the text is crucial. I don’t know Chinese but I think the problem is practically equivalent to the problem with learning Hebrew. How are you supposed to pronounce without vowels?

'l mlkh n’mn! (el melekh ne’eman if I recall correctly. God is a great king or something.)

This drastically limits the amount of useful material available for a learner.

Edit: Of course in Chinese you don’t even get the consonants so I can only imagine trying to read it, trying to remember the word (and tone) for each character, which by the way all look incredibly complicated to me. If I was learning Chinese I’d definitely do some repetition to be on the safe side. But then again I don’t really care if it takes five years. Or ten years.

For me, I don’t like to do only reading with Chinese because, well, it’s Chinese. I know a lot of characters, but it is still kind of slow, even with the aid of hints.

So your progress was probably kind of like mine, it was slow but sped up drastically when you found LingQ.

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Thanks Zebulon. And yes, this does help for Chinese. Surprisingly, it works pretty well on LingQ.

Exactly. It’s possible the whole project would have stagnated otherwise.

it depends on the language since heis studying a whole diferent language that is not even european he is not gonna find much similar vocabulary that he knows readilly idoubt he could open a book in a romance language or germanic language and not recognise 80% or guess some of what they mean

I agree with most of the replies. In general, insisting on learning every single word in a text is a bad idea. Some words just don’t “stick”, as Steve puts it, until later on.
Besides, I think that the aim is to get to a point in which you read/listen in your target language the same way you do it in a language you’re fluent in. That is, usually just once.
The way I see it, the best language practice is when you’re interested in the content per se. You just want to understand and enjoy the material because it’s interesting and pleasurable. All language learning is incidental to that goal.
These days, I mostly use Lingq for reading novels in Russian. Of course I just read on, never going back as soon as I understand a particular part of the story.

Of course, it’s not possible to do that right from the start. In the beginning, just understanding the meaning of simple sentences is hard so you have to re-visit the content and treat it more as “learning material”. Anyway, beginning lessons are not so interesting to start with, so the word-learning part takes central stage.
However, as you progress, I may want to review less and less and concentrate just on understanding the content

I discovered this early on and wish I had discovered it sooner! I found micromanaging and focusing on every little word and trying to remember things was a waste of time. More hard words, I’ll take time to look up on wiktionary though.

It’s like focusing on the sights of a rifle. Sometimes zooming in and getting really close is a bad idea, when we should step back a bit and focus more on the big picture.

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Same here!

I knew the keys were listening and reading interesting material because I knew about the science of language acquisition. But the first 6 months of studying Spanish, I had no way of knowing what I knew and didn’t know. I was also having difficulty finding high basic / low intermediate material. There’s always plenty of advanced/native material on the Web.

When I found LingQ, I knew it was the right tool. LingQ provides me with an easy system to track individual words and monitor my overall progress.