Selecting part of a word [Korean words]

For example, there is this phrase in one of the lessons I created: 두번째. This is not one word, but is actually three words. Korean spacing works in such a way so that it would be incorrect to write it like 두 번 째. The problem is that I know what 두 and 번 are, but 째 is the word I want to create a new link for.

This also creates a problem with my stats. For example, 사람이 is 사람 (people) + 이 (subject particle). I know both of these words, but because there is no space between them, it will be counted as a single word. And if it appears as 사람은 (which is 사람 again + 은 (topic particle)) that gets counted as one word.

Is there any way to fix this?

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It’s not a matter of “fixing” it – in Korean those are considered separate individual words and they mean different things. 사람이 vs. 사람은 have slightly different connotations. This is a particular characteristic of the Korean language and the LingQ word count stats account for this. You have to mark a lot more words as “known” to move up levels in Korean as opposed to French for example.

In my case, when I feel I know the root word, AND I know the connotation behind a particular ending, that’s when I mark those individual words as known.

Other languages have similar idiosyncrasies when it comes to individual words, such as different gendered versions of the same word, or genders changing meanings etc. All those are considered individual words in each language, Korean just has a lot more.


Thank you for the reply. Like you said, they are separate individual words. But to my knowledge, and according to my Korean teacher, 사람이 (for example) is still two separate words - 사람 + 이, not 사람이 (as one word).

Yes, when they are used together it changes the overall meaning of the phrase or set of words - I can see how looking at it in this way might help a learner understand the importance of the particles in Korean more. I am new to Lingq, so perhaps this is a method that works on this medium, but…

It would still be preferable if you could have more control over defining words (or parts of words).

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The way I understand it, there are root words, and unique words. 사람 is your root, 이 however is not really a word in and of itself, it’s a particle, and the use of it creates a unique word from the root word.

LingQ is designed to look up individual words in an online database and keep track of them – this is technically a very basic functionality. But what you’d be asking the system to do is not only to look up 사람이 but to mark 사람 as a word that you know AND mark 이 as a grammatical particle that you’re able to understand (by having a separate database of particles) and disregard any marked root word with an 이 ending after that – multiply that by all particles in Korean. The system would need to have a complete understanding of Korean grammar by being able to separate each particle from the root – including colloquial-ish endings – along with taking apart compound works like “I would have gone home, you know?” which may be one individual word in Korean. And then multiply that by all the languages offered here.

That would be a vastly different function than running a dictionary search.

I personally think it’s best to leave it up to the individual to decide when they “know” a word or not. That’s why I completely agree that having the ability to divide them up any way I want would be the best. Lingq doesn’t let you do this, and it’s a shame, but I like to think the programmers want to have this capability in the future.