Really struggling with comprehension

So first a little background, I started Russian learning about 2 and a half years ago, I was at university and didnt have much time but got pimsluer on youtube, and would do 30 minutes a day without fail. it took me about a year and I half to get through the course, but I was really happy when I did, I then moved on to the Michel Thomas Russian courses, again I cruised through doing about 30 minutes a day, I finished university and the courses, and came to lingQ. I quickly went through much of the beginner one content and added about 900 words, much of which has come from the previous two courses I had done.

Im really struggling to learn new words through lingQ, this way of learning through hearing words over and over again, for me personally isn’t working as well as speaking when prompted like Pimsluer. I am also struggling to understand new content when I hear it for the first time, or when someone speaks to me in Russian, the words are just noise. I recognise each individual word but cant bring them together to make a sentence. Its really frustrating.

I’d like to add that I have a girlfriend of Russian/Ukrainian origins, who speaks Russian, Ukrainian, and some polish. She is why I am learning, she tries to help, but has to talk painstakingly slow in order for me to understand it, however speaking seems to not be a problem.

I’m just wondering if perhaps I’m not learning the right way through Lingq, as in, is there a better way of using the system that I am not aware of. At the moment, I go through a lesson, look up the words, turn them yellow and then listen to it over and over. I have been listening to random lessons I have gone through for about an hour a day when I have time, with differing authors of lessons. Conversation in real life just hasn’t improved, and neither has my vocabulary really expended beyond what I learn in the last two courses before I got here.

I was terrible at French at school, but I though that was just because I hated my teacher. Has anyone had that breakthrough where they started understanding things they heard in their target language? I feel like I should be so much further ahead than I am for learning a language for almost three years now. :-/

Has anyone else had this problem?


I’m in the same boat fella.

I started learning Czech 2 years ago, even attended 5 months intensive course. Only bits sank in. Also because we spoke every day my spoken czech was ok, i could pretty much say whatever i wanted in a round about sort of way. However I understood nish. It was so frustrating. That’s when i started on lingq. I’ve grafted on here nearly every day for about 6 months. I enjoy it much more than classes and text books. I’m now at intermediate 2 level (6k words). My reading has improved immensely, and i can read the local metro. My comprehension is still lagging behind but has improved more in 6 months than the previous 18.

I too was crap at French. I’m 47, this is my first 2nd language and czech ain’t a walk in the park. I will get there but I have no idea when.


Ps, my wife is czech and so are my kids :-/


I assume everyone has this problem to some extent, you seem to be putting the effort in but not getting much out. I think it just takes a lot of time. It’s like going through a long tunnel and can be quite demotivating and probably why a lot of people give up. Keep at it for another 6 months, or even 1 year and I think you’ll eventually notice a real improvement. Things start to suddently fit together without you really noticing it.

I’ve had the same problems particularly with Russian, as it is a very ‘foreign’ language to English speakers.

If you can stick with it, is starts to get easier, you can feel yourself progressing…and that gives you more motivation to keep going.

@AHerringGull - Do your statistics on your profile page accurately reflect your listening and reading? If so, you need to listen and read more to have success the LingQ way.

When I am serious about making progress in a language, I try to hit my listening target. And many of us pass up the reading target by so many words that it is laughable.

While I do some listening without reading, I do that mostly to test myself or on material that is at least 85% comprehensible. When I am in my serious learning mode, I read along as I listen to the lesson probably 3 times out of 5.

I hear your frustration. Think about why you want to learn the language. What excites you about it? Connect to your passion.

Do you create your own lessons, or only use the lessons provided by other people? I am much more interested if I create the lesson myself.

Since you seem to do better when you speak, why not try to speak along with the text?

Can you add speaking to someone on Skype to your practice? I’ve heard that spouses/girlfriends don’t make the best “language parent/partner”.

I applaud you for your dedication and consistency. How do you measure improvement in the language? There are many aspects to learning a language, not just the total number of words you know.

I am just a newbie. I don’t have this language learning thing down pat. I am sort of trying every wrong way to learn a language. Figure when I eliminate all the things that don’t work, by process of elimination, whatever remains, however unlikely, is the best choice of language learning for me. Haha.

There is no one right way to learn languages. Find what works for you, and if something isn’t working, maybe you need to do something different.