Ramblings on language learning and Lingq

Hi all,

Apologies in advance for the ramblings. I wanted to engage with the community, but unfortunately I have no wisdom to provide. I just thought I’d talk a bit about how I’ve engaged in foreign languages in the past and how I’ve been finding Lingq altogether.

On the whole I haven’t been a particularly good language learner. One of those who just accepted that foreign languages was not something I was capable of. Dabbled in a bit of German at University and pick up the standard tourist phrases on various different trips here and there.

I did the trans Siberian a couple of years ago, truly loved Russia but felt I showed myself up with my inability to express myself. With lockdown I thought why not take this as an opportunity to right this wrong. Thats how I took up Lingq.

At the time of writing this I have a 47 day streak and a record of 882* known words. Not bad for someone who struggled to pronounce “пожалуйста” in a hostel in Иркутск or even more shocking struggled to order a beer. Naturally as many of you will say this number isn’t quite accurate with variations of said words adding to that number as well as names. From my understanding looking at other people’s language journey I’m not the most efficient learner, but that’s ok. I’m loving the process and it feels like I’m comprehending more and more each day.

Like many there are elements that I dont particularly enjoy in the process, such as listening to the audio of the beginner content, and I do confess there are times when I just read. I also suspect it’s not a particularly good idea jumping ahead and attempting to go through the news, but equally its some of the content I enjoy the most. I also have noticed I rarely go over old lessons. Currently I’m on a bit of a Russian “high” from last Sunday I’ve found that my eagerness to study has been insatiable. As a monolingual Englishman this is quite unheard of!

I look forward to getting to more complicated material, building that vocabulary and really being able to communicate coherently.

Also I’d really like to thank those of you who’ve talked about your own language journeys on here, really motivating stuff for those of us who’ve just got on the road.

All the best,


Thanks for sharing. In regards to “jumping ahead”. I say go for it with things that you find interesting. Whatever keeps you motivated and it’s certainly more interesting to delve into interesting content.

BTW…I agree more with evgueny40’s answer. Doing both the “boring” stuff (may or may not be boring, but level appropriate as evgueny states) and the exciting stuff is a good idea and something I do.

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Of course, as a language teacher I’m a supporter of learning language ‘step by step’ and forming a certain good base before ‘jumping ahead’.
Besides, my own experience as a language learner convinces me of an incorrectness of such a jumping. For example, I can read the thick French novels that were interesting for me but I can’t speak fluently French and understand not much enough by listening.
But I can agree with you that it’s a bit boring to go through the elementary stage. That’s why I recommend my students to go ahead by two different speeds. It means to choose some difficult but interesting for you stuff and at the same time to choose also something according to your real level for listening and formation your coherent language base.
You can use here in Lingq a lot of my Russian lessons and articles from A1 (Русский с нуля) to C1 ( О времени и о себе, 5 минут о политике, Страницы истории России).


I’m big fan of your beginner material. Coming close to finishing Русский с Нуля series. I struggle to go over completed lessons, but I’m very much planning to do some of the later lessons again as there is still so much yellow.

I also have many of your other beginner level lesson series in my library ready to start. I’ve found your thread on the courses when I first started very helpful. Will go back to it to make sure I’m going through in some sensible order.

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russian is a language I’d like to learn one day. That is after spanish and German. It’s good to have big goals. For Me it’s just get into a daily routine be consistent and enjoy what I’m doing. Good luck. You’ll get there.

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HermansSermons, welcome to the language learning journey and to the Russian learning journey as well. Evgueny and ericb100 have provided you with enough good advice (as simple as it may sound) for developing good reading comprehension, and probably the only advice that you’ll really need. It’s going to be a long journey and to get to advanced levels you’ll have to enjoy the process or you’re never going to make it / be very unhappy. My only advice to add is that creating a monthly “words read” goal is a good way to keep yourself on track. You can increase the number by say 10% every month. Focusing on the total words read will tend to keep you reading material at your level instead of taking on readings with a high percentage of unknown words (which you’ll read much slower), because honestly, I don’t think these readings help as much. Sure, the “known words” count will increase faster but the overall language understanding will be slower. Using LingQ is as much about getting good with the words you already “know” in addition to learning new words along the way. At the end of the day, you’ll probably want to reach 2-3M words read. By this point you’ll have learned 50k-70k words anyway.