Reaching the last (advanced) level in language (English)

Hi, from the posts around and the communication with support, the advanced level in English (10 000words) is equal around 25 000 words in LingQ.

To reach 13 000 LingQ words - I needed 516 000 words in the lessons
To reach 15 500 LingQ words - I needed 809 000 words in the lessons

= I have gone through 300 000 words in the lessons in 2,5 months (around 2 lessons / day = 2x 2000 words)

If I count correctly, to get to the 25k known LingQ will take for me around 1 year and maybe more (cause the ration of new words get smaller and smaller).

What is, please, your experience, guys?
Do you have any recommendation for me how to make the process faster or do you disagree with any of the statements above?

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That’s fastest way to increase your word count is just reading a ton of content. And Varying the content and frequently changing the topic of what you are reading. So you are always coming across tons of Blue Words.


Your numbers seem about right, and your method seems consistent, so I would just advise against wanting to make your progress “faster.” New words are not the only measure of progress. If you can stick to a routine of reading 4000 words a day you’ll keep advancing and adding new words just fine, BUT you’ll also get more and more comfortable with grammar, expressions etc, that contribute to increased comprehension.

This is the thing that the “gotta get to Advanced 2 in three months” crowd just doesn’t understand. You can blow through text and mark every word known all you want, but true comprehension comes not just from “knowing” words, but from seeing and hearing them repeatedly in different comprehensible patterns.

So really, to be really Advanced you need close to 2 million words read in my experience. You CAN go faster by increasing the amount of words you read a day but I find that there is a direct link between your level of true knowledge and the amount of words you can truly digest in a day. I personally would rather just stick to a daily routine that feels manageable, gradually increasing the amount of words read, as opposed to going “faster” to get to more known words quicker.


Hi, Willy411!
Just two points in this context:

  • Do you do any output activities, i.e. writing and speaking, regularly? You don’t need to master 10000 or more words first before you can start outputting in English or any other L2.
  • If you want to “accelerate” this process, you could ditch AudioReaders completely and just listen to “fast-paced authentic material” several hours a day , for ex., the Joe Rogan podcast, etc., without reading anything. It’s still “massive immersion”, but without the AudioReader crutch.
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I like what both PeterBormann and t_harangi have said here. You should be less worried about reaching the word goal, and more concerned with consistency + varied learning. You’ll pass the word goal as a result of consistent practice. If you want to keep getting new known words, just keep reading content that is a challenge for you, not too hard and not too easy. I think it might be better to set a daily time goal rather than a number of words read. As you read more, you’ll probably start reading faster, and the number of new words will be lower. Depending on the content, the number of new lingqs and words read can definitely vary widely. Also, I do think that outputting in an interactive way is a great way to retain newer words. I wouldn’t worry about using specific words, but bring up topics that you’ve been reading about. Your language partner will likely use the words that you want to learn, and then you can start using them in the conversation. You’ll also get some reactions from your conversation partner, showing whether you said something awkwardly or just not fitting for that language. For example, I wanted to talk about “following the story/following the plot” in Korean, but you just don’t say it that way. My partner understood me, but that’s a very English way of expressing the thought. I wouldn’t know that without the interaction though.


It’s a mistake to think that you’ve reached ‘the last level’.
It’s impossible even in the native language.
We can and should improve our language skills up to our death.
But this statement is not so pessimistic if you maybe think.
If you like leaning languages this constant and endless improving can be even enjoyable!


100 per cent.
But, this perspective of excellence and constant improvement is still a minority position
(see, for example, David Goggins)!

Many people just strive for fun, ease and comfort.
And they will give up when they have reached a goal XY or,
often, as soon as things get tough!


Does it correspond with your attitude in learning languages also? Which areas or topics do you used to cover by reading?

I feel from your statement the necessity in constant going further.
I am with you. You are right… To be honest with you, I was thinking about the positive impact on my comprehension and bigger comfort with grammar, expressions via new reading. However, these days I am feeling I am stagnating. Consequently, I had an intense to focus purely on the words counting. Is it something what you have an experience with? If so, how did you handle?

May I ask, does the 2mil words come from your personal / sb others experience?

Thank you, PeterBormann, for the comment. I am with you, the listening is really important and thank you for the tip even I use a different platform for audiobooks or podcast.
I did not mean my comment for necessity to be able to start using the language but how to get higher and higher.

PS: the only reason why I haven’t started learn Deutsch is cause a lot of you guys can speak English, so it almost doesn’t worth it to learn :-/ :slight_smile:

I think stagnation is not necessarily a bad thing. It’s a chance to solidify what you already know and pick up new words/expressions/grammar along the way.


Thank you for the comment, iMeoWi.
I understand you. However, how do you look at the accessibility of the particular goal? I would like to have the learning “specific” and “time-bounded” :-). Which is joint with counting numbers, isn’t it? (if it will take me 5 years to get to the level, I would use a different method for reaching it, for example) What is your opinion?

I like what you are saying evgueny40, I agree. But if you focus on only 1 foreign language at one time, you have to set when you “stop” learn.

I will check it, thanks :slight_smile:

I do the reading method, so I don’t experience stagnation. I read books that I’m interested in so there is nothing to stagnate about. The “2 million words read” comes from personal experience – it’s the amount of words I read in both French and German before before I felt really comfortable enough to switch to unassisted reading.


You seem to be focused on reaching the “last” or “ultimate” level in English from what I’ve read from you. It may be a bit too ambitious a goal for you at the moment in my opinion. Reaching the ultimate level isn’t only about reaching a certain number of known words here on LingQ. It is about the ability to use the language naturally/accurately as well. I don’t want to discourage you from that goal, but you also need to work on your grammar as I encountered a few basic errors from you that probably need time and patience to work on. I am by no means saying read some grammar books. If you want to rely purely on the input method, I am pretty sure it is workable by something called “noticing” as Steve Kaufmann puts it in his videos and other sources (if you are an input purist, like I am sure there are many on this site), but don’t fall into the false sense of security by thinking “oh, now LingQ says I know this or that number of words and I am surely one step closer to mastering the language (C2 according to European framework)” - so what I want to say is that even if you reach the 25 000 word count, you won’t have reached the ultimate level just based on that number. It just means that you have reached that particular aspect of language mastery, the range of vocabulary. Then it is still a long journey to learn to use all these words accurately. Plus knowing a word in LingQ only means you know the word itself, not that you know all the possible contexts in which the word can be used. For example, there are many German words that I have already marked as known here in Lingq because I simply always recognize them. However, in more complex texts, the very same words might appear in a completely new sense or context, such as in phrases or idioms etc. or just a higher style. So, in some cases you only think you really know that word, it is tricky.

So in summary, set the goal, by all means, but don’t think you have mastered the language, that you reached “the last advanced level” as you put it.
Anyway, good luck with your progress, but as they say, set smaller goals and don’t aim for the ultimate level just yet.

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Hi Willy441!

Learning a language is a pretty long road, if you ask me. At the moment I’ve got 30971 words known in total and that does not feel like a lot. There is still oh so much to learn and improve upon, the process never ends. I still make mistakes, I still stumble upon lots of uknown words, I still have bad accent… That does not matter: there’s always fun to be had. It’s a life long commitment for me.

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These are just some thoughts, but here is why I think the time goal is best. You have a better sense of how much time you want to spend on something. You might reach the words to read for the day very quickly, or it could take you a while. I think maybe it would be better to say you’ll have 1 hour a day of reading until you reach 25,000 words. It’s kind of like you say in your original post, the number of unknown words will become fewer, but your reading speed will also be faster. This makes it better to have a time goal for every day, and maybe you use that to reach your greater number goal. Maybe some days, you’ll pick something more challenging and you can’t get through 2 lessons in your allotted time period. This can stress you out. If you want to put more time into it, then you’ll just have to prioritize more time for languages. I guess you can be upset with how much time you put in vs what the numbers results say, but the important thing here is to know that the method works. With input, you do need to keep upping the difficulty so that you do encounter new things, otherwise you’re not really doing the method. It’s tough because there are definitely diminishing returns here in language learning. The more you know, the quicker you can read, but the word frequency drops off quickly and your reading speed has a limit, so you’re forced to read more in order to encounter the less familiar words. If you’re really trying to get to a high level, I’d say that the gap between advanced and expert is probably the biggest gap to close. In terms of time at least. For example, an hour a day might get you from beginner to intermediate in 6 months, but you’ll probably need to do much more than that to get from intermediate to advanced due to the extreme drop off of word frequency. It takes a lot of time and exposure. Just be realistic. I promise you, nobody you see truly comfortable in all aspects of a language has done anything but spent thousands of hours hearing, speaking, reading, and writing in that language.