Should I count names as known words?

Should I count names as known words?

Flip a coin.

In my opinion, you should treat names as you would any other word.
Names of persons, places, organizations etc. are representative of each countries unique language (pronunciation, spelling, syntax). If proper nouns are ignored, then a central part of the countries language will not be learned.
I would however suggest that you tag the word (proper noun, name, other), then a word count can be determined with or without them.


I wouldn’t call names a central part of a language. The central part is the part you expect a six year old to know, which is what you should be learning instead of getting hung up on details which you will only forget because you have no use for them. Learn to decline nouns, adjectives and pronouns, conjugate verbs, construct participles (through lots of reading) instead along with modal verbs, verbs of motion, etc. I bet I can’t decline Russian names correctly to save my life but I still understand the language.

In modern Greek, I include most names because I have to learn how they are written. In people’s names, most of the time I ignore the surnames but I create lingqs for the first names. I need this especially for proper names taken from other languages (how do you write Patrick in the Greek alphabet?), and for the names of cities which are often not only transcribed or the names of foreign countries.
In Swedish, I don’t include typical Swedish first names because the writing is straightforward.

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You can do whatever you want. Every learner has their own pet criterion to include or exclude words from the known list.
I’d say that the most usual system (at least, the one I personally use, which also happens to be the same as Steve’s) would be to ignore proper nouns (personal names, names of places, …). Notice that sometimes Lingq users will talk about how many words it took them to reach a given level in different languages. More often than not, those figures exclude proper nouns

I think it depends on the language you’re learning. In japanese, for example, as there’s kanji, I mark proper nouns as know; in the end, they count as less than 1% of my know words. Whereas, in english, spanish, italian I don’t, pretty much because the writing is straightforward and easy, therefore I considere desnesessary.

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I too use the system that Steve, Francisco, and most others I would guess here. However, if the word/name has a translation that is different from English, or it has some specific historical significance, I’ll LingQ it or mark it as known.

For example, in Spanish, London is Londres, so I lingqed that and marked it as known. However, I wouldn’t mark Juan, John, Hector, Steve. However, I might mark Pancho as short for Francisco, or Pita, or Lupita as short for Guadalupe.



In general, no. However, as several have noted both the language AND the name itself will determine whether you want to count it. For example, I almost never count a name in Spanish, but some names like “Santiago” which are not straightforward but which corresponds to “James”, I might lingq.

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I never understood this. Why would you need to translate someone’s name into your own language ?

Why would you for instance mark Jacques as John ? Someone called Jacques is just Jacques.

Translators do it but for most people the skill would be completely useless. I don’t care either if the Russian name Polina translates to Pauline or Evgeniy translates to Eugene.

Where I live translation for those who can’t communicate is greatly needed (farm workers, immigrant students, etc.) Anyway, the one translating will need to know it and can let the one who doesn’t know the language know when they are being addressed.

The names are about 1% of all words or even less. It doesn’t really matter, do as you want.

If someone’s name was Xhingaquoia (made up) you would call him ‘Jim’ or something just so it’s easier to address him ?

Names are but it’s different when it comes to acronyms, proper nouns, abbreviations etc.

I have 38000 terms, of which 21000 are known words, 9000 are words yet to learn and I have 7400 ignored names, acronyms, cities, countries, proper nouns and abbreviations. Not a small number.

How can you see these numbers? Especially the ignored names.

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Mostly I don’t want to LingQ names because when I run through English articles (my native language) 50%+ of the blue words are just names. So that suggests to me that if you get good with a language you’ll eventually reach a point where names are the bulk of what’s getting added to your known word count. And adding them doesn’t represent anything you learned. That doesn’t sound too good to me.

In other languages, I lingq names if I want to write some comment about them (pronunciation, grammatical form) but then usually will never count them as known words.

I also lingq names (esp. places) that I know in English but did not immediately recognize in the other language. I don’t mind eventually counting that as a known word, since there is some learning involved there.

I assume you are learning Chinese?

For Names it is good to make them a LingQ.
The reason being is that you need to learn the Pin-Yin for the characters.

It will be a help for you in the future.

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I don’t want to make any accusations without proof but it’s almost as if this guy is a troll. Notice how he doesn’t respond to his own thread, showing absolutely zero interest in the answers and how he keeps asking questions with fairly obvious answers. Look up his other threads. The pattern is the same, except perhaps in the Vietnamese thread (no obvious answer) in which he also showed no interest in the answers even though the question seems to indicate that he would.

Is it just me or…?