Progress report: LingQ's Created versus LingQ's Learned

When I look at the progress report and choose “All time” I can see from the beginning of work with LingQ, what I’ve done.
How can it be that there are members who have more LingQ’s learned than created? The number of LingQ’s Created is higher than the number of LingQ’s learned.

Hi Vera,

That shouldn’t really be possible.Can you give me an example of somebody like this so we can look into it?

It’s possible if you at one time or another go through your words again, find that you don’t know some of them anymore, degrade them, and eventually re-learn them. In that case a word has been “learned” twice, but created only once.

Hi Mark,
take a look at Darbanville in those languages:
In Portuguese 928 LingQ’s Created, 1565 LingQ’s Learned.
In French 3072 LingQ’s Created, 1686 LingQ’s Learned
In Italian 1095 LingQ’s Created, 1772 LingQ’s Learned
In Swedish 893 LingQ’s Created, 594 LingQ’s Learned
In German 1421 LingQ’s Created, 1003 LingQ’s Learned

Sorry, last two lines should be:
In Swedish 594 LingQ’s Created, 893 LingQ’s Learned
In German 1003 LingQ’s Created, 1421 LingQ’s Learned

Sorry, and:
In French 1686 LingQ’s Created, 3072 LingQ’s Learned

Hi Vera, what happens is you create a couple of links, and after a while you have seen them often enough to know them, right? Now you go to more advanced texts. You see words you do not understand in the new context. When you link them, they turn out to be ‘known words’, but with a meaning that you previously have not saved from the dictionary, simply because there is only so much room to paste the explanation in. So sometimes you had saved a word as a verb. But later on there is the same word shape, the same combination of letters, but it is not a verb. It is a noun. And the meaning cannot be derived from the meaning of the verb. It looks like the same word, but it not. The same way that in the dictionary you can find the same word shape listed twice, sometimes marked (1), (2).
Now what do you do? Do you decide not to learn this new noun? No, you change the phrase in the old link, you change the meaning and last but not least, you change the status of the link to 1. The more ‘known words’ you have in your vocabulary section, the more often it happens. It happens to me about once for every eleven words I try to link.

Oh, and let us not forget: Steve mentioned that he sometimes goes to the vocabulary section and checks if he still remembers the words that are status 4. If it turns out that he does not know them any more, he ‘batch moves’ them to status 3 or lower. I have tried this too, although I move my words to unknown. I find that if you then use your flashcards, the words get to be learned for the second time and cause a discrepancy between the learned and the created links.

I hope this is helpful?

Now it makes sense!

now I would like know the following point:
If you reduce the words from known (4) to unknown or another status does this reduce your activity points too Or its there no result?

No, Irene, it doesn’t reduce your activity score.

Thank you for your explanations.
I want to understand how LingQ works and now I understand it better.
When I create LingQ’s I do it in another way. I save the LingQ with ALL explanation. I save the explanation for verb, noun, adverb etc. And the verb I save in addition with the basic form.
For the Word “adjusting” for example I save “adjust v. einstellen, anpassen; anbringen; ordnen; regeln, regulieren / n. Anpassung; Einstellung; Änderung”
Now I understand the high number of learned LingQ’s.

Ok, Vera, you try it: at first it looks like you got it all, but when you make a flashcard and look at it, it breaks off at uncon- of unconnected…
Sorry, you touched a nerve there. I am sure you will agree that when explanations are as long as the following you just have to choose a part that makes sense.


n. summary, synopsis; essence; something that is not concrete, something that is abstract

v. remove, take away; steal; theorize, conceptualize; summarize, simplify

adj. intangible, unconnected to concrete reality; theoretical, not practical; unconnected to a specific instance or example; difficult to understand

Or this one: the entire adjective meaning just falls off the flashcard. So, not having saved part may not have been a concious choice. It just happens.


n. adult female; female human being; female spouse (Informal); collective womankind; female person who plays an important part in the life of a specific notorious man; girlfriend, female lover (Informal)

v. staff with women; make womanish, make effeminate

adj. female (e.g.: a woman bus driver; a woman dentist); like a woman, womanly; of woman

I often have very long explanations for example “back”:
I saved “back v. unterstützen (eine Sache, jemanden); rückwärts bewegen; zurücktreten / adv. zurück, weiter hinten, rückwärts / adj. hinter, rückständig / n. Rücken; Rückseite; Verteidiger (im Sport); Hintergrund; Ende”
and this is not the longest one. But to save only one of the meanings is not a good solution for me.

As I was trying to explain. I do not save just one. I copy and paste the entire section. Things get cut off… it is not my choice and it is not elegant, but there appears to be a maximum number of words on the flashcard.

So, I just saved ‘beat’ and copied all of the explanation and pressed ‘save’. What I got was:

beat (1) *
v. hit, strike; hammer metal; defeat, finish before, do better than (in a contest, or race); stir rapidly (eggs, etc.) n. strike; rhythm; tapping; pulse; usual territory, regular jurisdiction; “scoop”, news story that is published earlier than in t

and this is what was missing:

he rival newspapers (Journalism)

adj. tired, exhausted (Slang); of a beatnik; sloppily dressed

Now, suppose I needed the adjective?

Let me say, as one of the creators of LingQ, I do not recommend saving length dictionary definitions or “Hints”. This is for a variety of reasons.

  1. The meaning of any word will become clear only after seeing it many contexts. When I first go to the dictionary I grab one or two meanings that help me out in the context, even if I am not really sure what the meaning is. I know it will get clearer in time. If I do not meet the words a few more times, I will probably forget it anyway.

  2. The dictionary is always there and can be searched at any time. I can add more definitions later.

  3. If more learners just save one or two words from the dictionary, the most obvious ones, it is going to build up our “User Hints” dictionary faster. That way our learners will be building up a dictionary resource that we can all use much faster than going to Babylon.

Again, I believe I have been a successful language learner and that my experience should at least be considered. One important piece of advice is DO NOT TRY TO LEARN EVERYTHING. Do not try to nail things down. Keep going in the content, living with some uncertainty, and when you least expect it, words and phrases will become natural to you. Meanwhile learn to enjoy content even if you only understand it imperfectly at times.

Taking the example of “beat”, I only use it in the first four contexts you mention. I have never used the phrase “he is beat”, that’s American slang. I’ve never heard of “beat” used in the context of a newspaper story!

What I do is, save the dictionary meaning that corresponds best to the meaning in the context of the piece you are reading/listening to. If you come across the word in a new context, you can amend the definition then. Why take up valuable space in your brain learning usages that you are unlikely to come across in 40 years of exposure to the language?

Thanks Steve and Helen for this good tips.
Yes, I did this often on the beginning, to write more expressions but I was they are not long in my brain.
In the meantime I do what you recommend and add the next expression when I come across. It’s really better.