Realistically, how many known words could i get per month?

I have a concern and it involves the amount of known words on my badge compared to others. I only have 1760 words and i have been learning for over a year now. I see people like Steve and others with over 15,000. How do people achieve that so quickly?

I open a lesson, read and listen several times and lingq the words. Then i go and flashcard the session until i can do it without making a mistake. After this i download the audio and play it while i walk to work each day (30 minutes).

So should i just zoom through lessons and aim to lingq as much as possible, even if i don’t fully understand each lesson before moving on to the next one?

Is it better to say, lingq 1000 words and maybe only remember 200 or only lingq 300 words and remember 200?

12000 words a year works out to about 32 words per day. How is this possible?

I would be grateful if someone could answer this for me as it is the one area of lingq that i do not fully understand.

Many thanks.

(btw I’m leaning German)

Massive LingQing is the key. Don’t worry about learning the words through flashcards, as you’ll forget them anyway afterwards. I have never bothered with flashcards; I sometimes do a review of vocab via the daily emails, but I don’t worry about it, pretty much all my LingQs are still at status 1. When you create lots of LingQs you see the yellow words again in different content and contexts and that’s how they eventually get into your brain.

If you understand the content you’re listening to/reading, move on. Try to get through as much content as possible. You’ll soon see your stats reach five figures.

I think there’s a balance. 1760 words that you know to a “deep level”, like you always recognise and understand,and can maybe use actively, may be better than knowing twice as many at a more superficial level.

I wouldn’t worry too much about 100% understanding and recall of a lesson before moving on to the next one. Words will come up all the time in different contexts, which I find (like Steve says) helps me to understand and remember them. I think you can afford to be a bit more casual and move through to new texts quicker, the more of the language you hear and read, the more will sink in.

It’s only my view, and as yet I couldn’t say I’ve reached success in my learning, but I have found it better to linkq lots, with a view to maybe only recalling a small percentage. I’ll have further encounters with the words that didn’t stick when I move on to new texts. So yea, don’t be too hesitant to speed through more content : )

oops, Jamie got there first : )

“12000 words a year works out to about 32 words per day. How is this possible?”

Don’t forget: the total word count is artificially increased by inflections and conjugations. For example: gehen, gehe, geht, gehst, ging, gegangen (etc, etc) are all individually counted. But they are stored in your brain as “gehen+[pattern]”


Yeh i realise this, but still, increasing your word count by 32 a day seems a lot of work. Also, to get my word count to 12000, wouldn’t i need my overall LingQ count to be double that? Since it is only known words that get put on the badge? If so then that 32 words per day would need to be far higher.

Or am i incorrect with this assumption?

I basically agree with Jamie and Maths

When I start a lesson, my objectives are:

  • Lingq all words I don’t know or am not sure about the meaning.
  • set the words I know as known words.
  • and, understand the text as a whole.

I normally follow this order…
Open a lesson. Lingq all words I don’t know. Listen to the audio N times(in the PC or mp3 player when doing other stuffs). Then I listen and read at the same time.
If I understand the text as a whole, I go to the next lesson.
If I’m getting bored of reading or listening, I go to the next lesson.
If I don’t understand the whole text, I look the meaning of the yellow words and/or listen to the audio some more times.

I don’t bother too much about mastering all the words of the text. To me, being able to read all the text, understand and enjoy the content is my focus. As Steve repeatedly says: when learning a language, you have to enjoy the process.

As for flashcards, I don’t review them very often. And I like to take a glance at the daily emails, without really paying too much attention.

If you raise a yellow word to status 4, it counts as a known word(+1 in the badge), isn’t it?

Re-reading my last post, I had the feeling that the “isn’t it?” part sounded wrong…
Should I write “doesn’t?” instead?
Well, anyway. I meant:

If you raise a yellow word to status 4, it counts as a known word(+1 in the badge).
But I’m not sure. Could anyone confirm that?


Just to give you some idea of how this works for someone who has over 20,000 “known” words (in French), I imported a text of about 400 words from a French news site via the Import Bookmarklet.
Here is the breakdown.

15 yellow words (i.e. LingQs):
déficit (2 times)
se tient
rapport (2 times)

Most of these are already quite familiar to me. I don’t care; I keep them as yellow.

33 blue words (i.e. “unknown” words):
excédent (4 times)
importations (3 times)
rééquilibrage (2 times)

Obviously, some of these are people’s names, company names, mnemonics etc. Some words, e.g. “excédent” (“surplus” in this context), are getting some serious punishment, which is good. You can probably guess it’s a financial article. I created a couple of new LingQs. The other blue words were obvious to me, so I then clicked the “LingQ’d” button and 26 words were added to my “known” words count. The whole process took only a few minutes.

If I did this kind of activity for a couple of hours I would probably add 200 or so “new” words to my total words count without breaking into a sweat. It’s easy.

LingQ like a maniac and import as much stuff as you can is the best advice I can give.

When I say “import as much stuff as you can”, I am of course including lessons in the LingQ library, which aren’t technically imported.

I started on Sept. 22, 2010 learning French @ LingQ. I was not an absolute beginner.

The first 50 days: 2722 LingQs, 2634 learned words
The next 90 days: 2854 LingQs, 1942 learned words
The next 90 days: 2464 LingQs, 1920 learned words.

Now I lingQ about 27 words per day, and I “learn” around 21 per day, but those are very often conjugations, plural/masc/fem. forms of words I know.

There are now 1500 words I should learn, but most of these are not very important (for me).

One thing I’d like to add: remember that you can now use the red ‘Ignore this word’ button for company names etc (actually, for any word that you don’t want to be counted).

“How is this possible?”

Well, you need some time to do this - 1 h per day, plus some time to listen.

My own view is that company/person names etc. should be counted. After all, they still have to be pronounced and understood in the target language, even if you won’t find them in the dictionary.


Good name :slight_smile:

So do i assume then that what i have been doing isn’t right with regards to how this site works? For example, a couple of weeks ago this was my daily plan.

30 mins on LingQ (reading, listening on loop and LingQing’.
30 mins listening to the same lesson on loop walking to work.
30 mins flashcarding that lesson on my lunch break whilst listening.
30 mins listening again on my walk home.

The following day i would do a new lesson and repeat.

Doing this i became good at understanding the audio and using the new words when writing with my German speaking friend, but my new words total at the end of the week only went up by about 60.

Was what i was doing overkill and inefficient?

"So should i just zoom through lessons and aim to lingq as much as possible, even if i don’t fully understand each lesson before moving on to the next one? "

Yes, absolutely. Do not expect to nail down lessons or vocabulary. The further you progress, the less often you need to listen to the same text, the less you tarry at each lesson. Good luck.


How long is your typical lesson? 2 hours per lesson seems a bit excessive to me, even for a beginner in the language, although you’re clearly doing the right things (lots of listening, reading the transcript and LingQing). Maybe I would cut down on the repetitions and ramp up the number of lessons instead. I would also forget about trying to “learn” the LingQs via flashcards etc., although this is a personal view based on my own experience.

Yeh around that time give or take. I find listening hard but reading, and to a certain extent writing, comes easy to me. Hence why i am spending so much time listening to the audio. Maybe to the detriment of my vocabulary. Catch 22 maybe?

From this evening i have zoomed through about 6 lessons in an hour. Read through 3 or 4 times and listened to the same number. LingQed the blue words and added the ones i think i know and moved on immediately. I downloaded the audio to listen to on the way to work tomorrow but from now on i will only spend 10 mins per lesson (unless there are a lot of unknown words).

I will keep this up for a month and see what happens.

How can listening be bad for your vocabulary?

I listen to an hour a day and THAT’S where I learn new words. Flashcarding and going through my vocabulary list is just bookkeeping - moving the words my ears have learned for me to “known”