Persuade me to stay a premium member


I’ve been a premium member for around 7 or 8 years now but over the last year have used LingQ less than ever. The whole site now seems slow, unresponsive, not very user friendly and it has caused my motivation to drop massively.

I;m not too bothered about losing my data, ultimately its meaningless other than being a motivator of how many words you ‘know’ but I would like the saving by signing up with the black friday deal - keeping my data would still be nice.

Can anyone offer anything to persuade me that LingQ has improved over the last few months since I last used it?


I don’t think you lose your data if you don’t have a paid membership. If you don’t use it, don’t subscribe. You can always come back . Or buy a lifetime membership to the language you want, I think its about the same price as 1 year.

Hi Dave,

Maybe the most interesting developments in the last 6 months were

  1. The @roosterburton LingQ Extensions that make it a kind of “LingQ on steroids” (just check out his forum posts).
  2. The option to create simplified text versions using AI.

Apart from that, I think AudioReader software and the corresponding “reading and / or listening” approach are still must-haves for any serious language learner.

But, of course, LingQ has still its “usual” issues, esp.:

  • The problematic onboarding of new users.
  • The coming and going of bugs (some of them beyond LingQ’s control → Netflix, YT).
  • The clunky UI.
  • Some difficulties with non-Indo-European languages.

I’d say if you want to dive deeper into other second languages (Portuguese, Italian and Spanish in your case), it’s good to use LingQ until you reach the B2-C1 threshold (with ca. 2.5-3 million words read and ca. 500 - 1000 h hours of listening).
After that, it’s up to you if you want to reach a “solid” C1 level or higher.

It all depends on what you want to achieve in your L2s, but I think

  • AudioReader software
  • generative AIs for writing / talking / the creation of personalized content, etc.
  • SRS (Anki)
  • online tutoring
    is the winning SLA quartet at the moment.

Nevertheless, I don’t try to persuade you. It’s just food for (SLA) thought :slight_smile:

Have a nice Sunday


Obviously we have different time schedules and goals, but from looking at your stats it doesn´t seem like you actually use it that much?
I personally read wikipedia, novels, news articles, instructionals, youtube videos, podcasts etc through it (on dark mode to save my eyes) and I have found it quite useful for many reasons.
It always keeps you aware of what is possible and in my perspective helps me understand where I am cheating myself. For example -
If I think I´m good at a language, reflected in Lingq it would mean something like 200,000+ known words. Until I get to that point and beyond, I realistically know that I will have trouble understanding some texts/speech.
I use Lingq for old texts, dialects and accents and I think this is a very useful aspect. I don´t know how it works for you, but my understanding is Chinese has a huge amount of dialects but they use the same script. If it were me I would focus on using lingq to support learning those.
The “review sentence” mode is a new thing as well, and with deliberately planned texts (created yourself, from a book or another source) you and also really train grammar points etc.

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I’m not gonna add things that others have already said, but your motivation shouldn’t depend on the site itself.

I have found that LingQ have improved a LOT in this year, with TTS, Whisper and other things here and there. Yes, there are problems but there are also positive things.

Reduce the languages you have in your platform to make it a bit faster (the ones you have at 0 words or that you don’t learn anymore), and focus on what you really want to learn.

Honestly, you need to believe into this method, if you don’t believe in it, or if you don’t have enough motivation to learn or study your languages, that’s on you.

You don’t really have to force yourself to do something you don’t like to do, but LingQ offers a big variety of things you can do. I don’t know how you use it, but maybe you should/could improve that?

In 3 years I have changed a lot in the way I use LingQ, and I don’t even use it in the same way for each language.

1 bad year might not be enough to decide, maybe you can give yourself a little bit more time. You can keep your data, I believe it’s something like 2€/month, I don’t remember, and decide later.

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I really like your attitude, @EABurgess!
But 200k known words, that’s a “looooooooooooooot” of words read :slight_smile:

Probably more than the 20 million words Asad wants to read to reach a near-native language
level in German.

Personally, I prefer to focus more on the “lowest effective dose” to reach a certain level, because the higher we go, the more there are diminishing returns…


It appears ambitious? I am not saying that you should do it, I am saying to reflect a native speakers level, the way Lingq counts words (for English 4-5 verb forms, noun forms etc) you´re probably looking at at least 200,000 in order to reflect what a native speaker would know. Having said that, it is not so easy as you can´t accurately represent pattern grammar, colligations and idioms etc, which are shadow vocabs.
I really don´t know how it works in Chinese, but I heard of how some phrases (one to do with “sticky money”) can be very confusing. I don´t know if these kind of phrases can be easily represented in lingq.
Looking at “mimicking” a native speakers time under load, you´d probably need to write a few hundred thousands words too. This is a skill I am severely lacking in but I think it sharpens all round ability to have a lot of (correct) writing done.

@EABurgess I understand your point, I just wanted to give you a better reference from a long discussion done time ago.
LingQ has its own statistics for advanced 2 that are a little bit easier, even the new ones that they have right now.

However, look at these data below for languages like German that require a lot more words (lingq words) that most languages. The worst would be Korean and you can probably add 10K/15K more.
These data were calculated from previous users experience and backed by others.

The difference between 95% comprehension that was my initial goal and 98% is pointless. If we are able to be more strategic with those 95%, you can save a lot of time. Going for 200k is ok if you want to keep refining your language over and over, but it is not a necessary goal for the most.

If you want to be conservative, and put yourself a higher reasonable goal, you could aim for 80K/100k.

81,5% - 1k - 200k - 5,0k
88,2% - 2k - 400k - 10,0k
91,6% - 3k - 700k - 17,5k
94,2% - 4k - 1200k - 30,0k
95,5% - 5k - 2200k - 55,0k
96,4% - 6k - 3700k - 92,5k
97,1% - 7k - 5700k - 142,5k
97,5% - 8k - 8200k - 205,0k
97,9% - 9k - 11200k - 280,0k

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In my opinion you shouldn’t stay a paid member.

If you’ve been learning languages for around 7 to 8 years, I think you would get more out of looking directly for media and literature outside of LingQ and use a dictionary for words you don’t know. Doing a language exchange or something would be a million times more beneficial if you want to improve your speaking and listening skills.

But I’m also biased because I have been having a really poor user experience with LingQ. I paid for a 12 month membership, I didn’t use it much, and I wasn’t aware that I still had the subscription because the it 1) did not show in the app 2) was not processed as a subscription at my bank 3) they never sent me a notice that it would renew. They may not be obliged to but every other subscription service with half decent communications would inform you because it’s good user experience and customer service. This is all considering that they don’t hesitate to bombard you with promotional emails. (And I didn’t even get the black Friday discount!)

If you do want to “downgrade” to a free membership, you will see just how bad the experience is to unsubscribe because they really do not make it easy for you. First, I had to Google how to do it (which says a lot), then I had to go to my laptop, when I found out where I needed to go it was not clear where I could downgrade as the button was sneakily place in the UI and it took me awhile to find it, then finally at the last stage, you are bombarded with promotions and you have to click through “yes I do want to downgrade” at least three times before you could finally do it. The whole thing feels really scammy, especially in addition to the previous paragraph.

I really didn’t want to pay for another year because I’m not in the financial position to do so, and I was actually thinking about getting the lifetime membership when I can in the future, but after my recent experiences, I will never pay for LingQ ever again. I won’t even recommend it.


I’m really sorry to hear that your LingQ experience has been so bad!

“They may not be obliged to but every other subscription service with half decent communications would inform you because it’s good user experience and customer service.”
I don’t know what happened in your case, but I’ve renewed my subscription four years in a row, and I have always been notified by both Paypal and LingQ.

That is, you should get an invoice receipt containing all the subscription details from the LingQ support - and I always did!

“was not processed as a subscription at my bank”
Normally your bank statement displays payments for online subscriptions.

The downgrading process
Yes, this seems to be a problem for some users (even though the info is easy to find:
How do I downgrade my account to free?).
I’ve no idea why this wasn’t changed in the recent LingQ upgrade (from v4 to v5)

I"f you’ve been learning languages for around 7 to 8 years, I think you would get more out of looking directly for media and literature outside of LingQ"
Well, according to Dave’s LingQ stats (at least if they are correct), he has never reached an advanced level in any of his L2s. Therefore, there’s still a lot (!) of room for improvement in all his L2s.

That said, does he want to reach an adv. language level in any of his L2s? It’s not for us to decide because that’s completely up to him.
However, if he does want to reach such a level then Reader SW like LingQ, ReadLang, LWT, Lute, etc. is still quite useful… and common dictionaries on- or offline are no match for this type of software!

"If you want to be conservative, and put yourself a higher reasonable goal, you could aim for 80K/100k.

81,5% - 1k - 200k - 5,0k
88,2% - 2k - 400k - 10,0k
91,6% - 3k - 700k - 17,5k
94,2% - 4k - 1200k - 30,0k
95,5% - 5k - 2200k - 55,0k
96,4% - 6k - 3700k - 92,5k
97,1% - 7k - 5700k - 142,5k
97,5% - 8k - 8200k - 205,0k
97,9% - 9k - 11200k - 280,0k"
Just curious, what does 11200k mean? 1,1 million? Is this based upon the amount of words in a language compiled in a database? This is also an area which is interesting as from what I understand just root words in English exceed over 1million. David Crystal (famous linguist) mentioned in all of English (olde to modern) there are at least 3 million words. Considering the fact English used to have cases and genders, that probably would put “all English” ran through Lingq at at least 10million “bits” of info or words. I personally also count abbreviations as known words… and names. I think its fair, in many languages you have transliterated names and you need to appreciate that is a thing. That means in Swedish Russian names are completely different to English. For me that is a bit of information and equals a word.

Yes, definitely you don’t have to do it, but if you are using it as a reflection I think about 200,000 is getting close. I have nearly 100,000 in Swedish and I know it is not representative as there are lots of issues I have (so many accents, old words, slang). I have improved for sure though. I would say I haven´t come near catalouging words I already know but I have learned a huge amount of new words too.
I think the skill level actually gets greater after a certain vocab for just a few more words known.
For example - if you knew 120,000 words (*i mean actually know them rather than have them selected) you are probably a considerably better than someone with 90,000. Whilst if you have 50,000 you’re probably not that far behind the person who has 90,000 because it doesn’t take that much mental energy. Past a certain amount I think it is much harder to find new material so the effort you put in is actually much greater.

From a financial point to answer the OP consider this -
Private lessons for 1 hour a week with a decent teacher €30 or so. Contact time - 1 hour. Over a year (with holidays) probably 45 lessons costing €1350. Lingq you have unlimited time under load, you pay monthly or lifetime and you can have a large time under load whilst interacting with native speakers.

It is a pretty good financial deal. If you pay for a course it is also going to be more than Lingq. Lingq keeps far better stats than teachers would keep on you. Also better stats than you can keep on yourself.

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Personally, I don’t find “known words” a useful metric, esp. not “single words”.

And how many collocations, i.e. conventionalized word groups, do native speakers know?
It’s hard to say. Probably ca. 20-40 k according to the SLA literature (Norbert Schmitt, etc.) I read - in addition to the most frequent words!

How many words do we have to digest then to reach a native-like level?
From my experience with L2s such as English and French, my guess is ca. 20-50 million words.

"you´d probably need to write a few hundred thousands words too. "
Definitely. But again, it depends on the native speaker and the type of texts (emails, academic texts, novels, etc.).

Unfortunately, the SLA numbers game is pretty wishy-washy…

Persuade me to stay a premium member

It’s said that we come to the truth trough sufferring, so in that sense LingQ has only sped things up.


I would agree with you were it not for experience. It isn´t words you know that cause a conversation to grind to a halt most of the time, but words you don´t know. I live in Slovakia and they have no time for any misunderstandings and are often incredibly rude if you don´t say something they immediately understand. Therefore I´d argue, knowing as many words in Slovak is the only real strategy. Same applies to Swedish and German. Whilst it may be a situation which doesn´t occur for you, if you are an English native as soon as people realise they then start ignoring anything you said correctly, jump on a tiny mistake and attempt to continue all future relations in English.
I have looked at other successful speakers of Slavic languages for inspiration, and Bald and Bankrupt gave the best breakdown. Just learn words. Absolutely spot on advice, especially when even if you do your best you´ll never learn the grammar. Hilariously Slavic native speakers don´t even speak the languages grammatically correctly yet if they notice another makes a mistake, they look like they´ve won the lottery.


Well, show me the native speaker who has mastered all accents, old / new vocabulary, specialized vocabulary in all knowledge domains, slang, and dialects in his mother tongue.
That’s a “creature” that doesn’t exist :slight_smile:

I think being “good enough” for a particular task is usually sufficient - unless folks want to be among the (elite of the) elite, which means they have to spend a considerable amount of their precious lifetime honing their skills. However, the question is always: Is it worth it?

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Yes, I believed I was quite good at Swedish, came to some texts, realised I knew nothing and it disgusted me. Sometimes it can be a good motivator! However, these days after the new year I will try to focus on local languages as it is no doubt much easier to get to a higher level in them, whilst trying to maintain my Swedish. I teach English and I have students who sometimes get into the same situation as me, so it is good to keep actively learning languages so I understand what it is like for them. I´d like to be as good at Swedish (and other languages) as some of the people I teach who´ve never set a foot in a native English speaking country. Some are really good and it makes me realise what is possible.

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“jump on a tiny mistake”.
Well, I do this in my company all the time - with fellow Germans.
But, of course, it’s often my job to correct their texts and the texts of ChatGPT :slight_smile:

However, I’d say in an international business environment, non-native speakers of English, for example, constantly make mistakes which are usually ignored. It’s much more important that people know what they’re talking about.
I’ve made the same experience at universities where the profs were non-native speakers of English, French, German or Spanish…

In short, being “advanced” (or even native-like) in a language is not the same as being “perfect” - none of us is, not even native speakers.


@EABurgess Sorry, I have just focused on the last number that was the reference for your 200k.
There is a lot of misunderstanding on what name to use when we are talking about “root” words, or “family” words and so on.

The second number is referring to the “family” words. From the statistics online that say that if you have 5.000 family words, you have 95% comprehension. Yes, you might have 1 million words in English, but they are not 1 million family words, and definitely not root words. Imho. But that’s another story/debate, we were focusing on LingQ word system (and we don’t encounter all variations of the same family word either in those numbers).

So, generally, when a user read 2.2 million words, will get 55k LingQ-words.
This is flexible, but was based more or less from previous hardcore users, some still present.

It is easy to know because LingQ calculates immediately the percentage of words you don’t know when you upload anything. If you have 100K in Swedish, and you upload a popular article, or a popular book, you can immediately see your percentage.
These numbers were confirmed by different users that were more or less finding themselves at the same point with their target language.

In that previous case, 9k family words, more or less were corresponding to 280k Lingq-words, that you could achieve by reading 11.2 million words.
Now, if we consider that we are not too good in rotating all the time our material, maybe you need that 20 million that @PeterBormann was talking about @asad100101 before, but more or less those are the numbers.

When you reach a certain point, as you said, you will have lots of acronyms, names, brands, and so on.

I would prefer to have a reasonable goal of 60k Lingq-words, and at this point to focus more on collocations, most frequent words that I might have missed, grammar and details on those words, rather than focusing only on increasing vocabulary.
Better 95% well done than 98% but just for vocabulary.
Going from 60K to 280K means YEARS for only 3% improvement! Better spending that time in solidifying those 60k by improving writing, speaking, listening, and afterwards keep increasing if still necessary.



That’s not rude, that’s extremely hilarious (as you noted).

Sounds like Slavic directness is even more “direct” than German or Dutch directness.
I didn’t know that…

People being pedantic is great. What I find interesting is that native speaker mistakes are often difficult to explain to second language learners. In Britain it´s quite normal for people to go through their lives believing they can be “pacific” about something.
(1) The IT Crowd S04E06 “Reynholm vs. Reynholm” - Misquotes - YouTube

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