I love the statistics part of my profile page. I like to set it to “all time” and see the little blue bars gradually filling in from left to right. Recently however I noticed that I have already passed the highest level “all time” targets for Russian in LingQ’s Created, LingQ’s Learned ,Hours of Listening and Words of Reading. Surely that’s not right? My Russian’s really not very good yet!
Steve is two or three times over most of the Russian “all time” targets and presumably doesn’t care about targets much, or he would be grumbling too.
Please could you raise the “all time” targets? Or create another top level with really high targets?
I’d always assumed that the all time levels increased with how long and how much you’d been studying. I don’t know though…
Helen, good thoughts as usual. Leave it with me.
That’s a good suggestion Helen. We’ll look into it.
By the way Helen, “leave it with me” means I’ll ask Mark. Part of the problem is that the numbers will vary from language to language. Russian has more words, the way we count, than English.
We are also finding that the amount of LingQing needed is really large once you include words and phrases. Once you break that down into weekly targets that becomes a large number which might discourage most people. The monster lingqers like you and me are the exception. Maybe we need to have three speeds, the tortoise, the hare and the cheetah. (or cheater as the case may be).
I’m happy with the daily/weekly/ monthly etc rates, because we are going to learn at different rates depending on the hours a week we put in. But the final goals, the “black belt” level, could be higher. If you are reading nineteenth-century novels, and working through them in LingQ, then you soon will have accosted your eyeballs with 30 000 or more words, even if you didn’t really understand many of them. (I just lingQed the Russian for “wine-skin” today, don’t know when I’ll get to use that one!)
Maybe we could do with a couple more advanced levels? If the Freemasons can cope with 33 different levels, maybe we could too? Steve could be our Supreme Grand Master at level 33.
How many levels does scientology have? Steve would be from an alien race… and I’d be happy with being a ‘shade above clear’ like Buddha and Christ.
Nowadays, I care much less about statistics. When I was studying English, though, I thought that the higher level would mean “almost native”, and got somewhat frustrated when I achieved that level without feeling that I was near-native, as I dreamed… I have even put some discussions about this in the forum, during which Steve insisted that the problem was that I was too demanding… well, maybe… rsss…
Anyway, my situation now is like this: I have almost 20000 known words, and around 8000 lingqs in English. I can deal reasonably well with most situations that matter. I write technical papers better than most of my colleagues at work and can speak decently in work situations. I can read novels without too much trouble, but I miss some parts in interviews and movies, although I rarely get completely lost while listening to them.
Since two or three months I gave me a break from English. I’m still writing for work, reading novels and listening to my preferred podcasts, but I’m not studying or making LingQs these days.
I do intend to come back to English to face movies and interviews seriously, although I’m not sure anymore about how far it is really possible to go in a foreign language…
We will increase the ultimate target numbers. We also need to be realistic. By learning all those words and doing all of our listening and reading we are increasing our language potential. We will, however, not understand everything, there is always more to learn, and to speak without hesitation we do need to be in a situation where we are using the language all the time. You do not become fluent in a classroom and you do not become perfect at LingQ.
I hear native English speakers daily saying things I don’t understand. I only have to switch on the snooker or the cricket and I am utterly baffled. There isn’t an English speaker on the planet who understands all the words in common, everyday use by all the other native English speakers.
I don’t know how you define or assess advanced proficiency in a language, but as a rough guide, if I can’t easily tell from a forum post if the poster is native or not, then they are at native levels of proficiency. Like in your post above, Ana.
Remember natives have to spend years learning how to write technical papers too.
Ps thanks Mark for raising the Russian levels! I’m now back to intermediate 1, which sounds about right to me.
I guess my writing has achieved a really good level these last months, since I needed to write almost all the time since January. My speaking, well, it’s been enough for most of my needs, but… well, maybe I’m an incorrigible super-self-demanding person… rsss… or maybe I should spend some months from now only talking, instead of writing…anyway, I suspect my advisor is not going to like the idea…