Starting over. Your experience with LingQ?

So, recently I’ve decided to start my language-learning-journey over. I got off on a pretty bad foot & I had 437 overdue reviews on Anki. Which is why I’m turning to LingQ. From what I’ve seen, its a way of learning languages by immersion. To sum it all up, I just want to know how LingQ has worked for y’all. How far have you gotten while using it?


Hi, lani_0509!

Pretty good if it´s used in the “right” way :slight_smile:
See our current discussion here:

If you adopt many aspects of “ultrareading-while-listening” discussed in this thread, LingQ or other content-flexible audio reader software can be a blessing!

However, if you´re still a beginner in your second language, you might need some warmup approaches (without LingQ) first. But this depends on how distant your second language is from your native language.
To be more precise:

  • Your native language = English - you want to learn French? Start with LingQ from day 1 (not necessarily "ultra"reading, but with "reading-while-listening - in both cases with timeboxing, e.g. Pomodoro, see the thread mentioned above).
  • Your native language = Englisch - you want to learn Japanese? Start with Assimil, Michel Thomas, etc. first. After a few months switch to LingQ completely.

Hope that helps

PS -
How far can you go with “ultra-reading while listening” plus content-flexible audio readers à la LingQ? All the way in listening and reading comprehension, that is: you can reach a native-like level (the question is: Do you really need this level?)

If you want to see what “native-like Japanese” looks like, check Matt Bonder´s Youtube channel: Matt vs Japan - YouTube

However, Matt didn´t use “ultrareading-while-listening” based on LingQ, but his “mass immersion principles” are similar.
For some background info, see:


Hi Peter, would you recommend this “Assimil before LingQ” approach with Russian as well? I’ve been recently thinking about learning Russian from scratch through LingQ. My native language is Spanish and when it comes to languages with complex grammar I have only experience with German. I know Russian is far more difficult because it has more declensions and a completely different script but I thought I could start with the basic material that LingQ offers or the courses that for example Evgueny40 has created for absolute beginners. I would be glad to hear your thoughts, thank you.

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Hi, Ludirou!

My rule of thumb for Indo-European native speakers is:

  1. You want to learn an Indo-European language that isn´t too distant from your native language?
  • Use LingQ from day 1.
  • Simply start with the “Mini Stories” (reading while listening).
  1. You want to learn an Indo-European language that is quite distant from your native language (for example, someone knows Romance or Germanic languages and wants to learn Russian, Polish, Finnish, Hungarian, etc.)?
  • Then it´s better to use Assimil first.
  1. You want to learn non-Indo-European languages (Asian languages, semitic languages, etc.)?
  • Assimil-first is also the way to go.

If experienced polyglots are able to mimic Assimil’s approach with LingQ, they can discard Assimil altogether.

In short:
If I wanted to learn Russian now, I ´d probably use “Michel Thomas courses” and Assimil before LingQ.

Hope this helps


I have not started a language from scratch on LingQ. However, I had similar experience with SRS (using Memrise). There is a point where you have so many words to review that it becomes tedious and you spend all your time just reviewing.

So I was starting from essential a completed “A1” or beginner level. i.e. I could read, say and understand basic essential things.

I found LingQ and it seemed to hold the answer to my dilemma. No need to endlessly review on SRS and I could read and listen to things that interest me.

LingQ has worked great for me. Particularly for reading and learning vocabulary. I have improved immensely in this area imo and I feel myself continually getting better. It’s fun noticing I can read and understand things that I never could before.

I do more listening outside of LingQ currently, but I record those stats here on LingQ manually. Although I may start to do more in LingQ with this now that it can create the audio for the imported text (usually I’m importing from online newspapers or articles that don’t have corresponding audio).


LingQ is great
it’s like reading a lot of books
on a computer


I’m a few weeks in. Initially, it was overwhelming with so much content and not well filtered. It seems great for reading very large amounts and goes a long way to helping source good things to read at the right level.

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I appreciate all your comments! I will definitely give LingQ a go. Again, thanks for your tips & experiences!

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Thank you so much for your advice Peter!

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LingQ prevents you from slitting your wrists while you get burned out on overdosing on too many reps from anki.
Anki is effective but it’s boring AF. And if you can’t tolerate the boredom you’ll fail.
lingQ has assisted me in keeping going because it’s not boring.


i use anki while walking and i suggest giving up on having them zeroed everyday, the settings i have right now are super nice and i feel like im getting to a lot of new stuff, also i have a retirement add on the puts them out after a year cause at the point when i come across a word or phrase i used to know it should pop back into your memory quickly i.e. like studying an anki card. or it wasn’t that important to begin with

Also if your feeling kind of bummed with language learning, i would suggest immediately going to fun stuff like youtube videos or netflix. alot stuff on here can be super dry and not inspiring but will improve your overall knowledge


Interesting. What is the name of the add-on that unloads the ones longer than a year?

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It’s not the grammar that is difficult. Although it has more declensions it has way less verb tenses than Spanish or German. It’s the vocabulary. The vocabulary is almost entirely unrelated to west european languages until you get to the lower frequency words.
That said, after you get used to the sounds and the sub-parts of the words it becomes easier to remember.


“until you get to lower frequency words”?

I disagree. The lower frequency words are the biggest problem. What you’re saying would only be true if you’re talking about reading material that uses “international” language which is basically English. An example would be political articles. If you open an adult fiction book which has tons of low frequency words then be prepared for your head to explode.



I think we’re talking apples and oranges here.
You are correct. The lower frequency words that are not cognates with a language you know will kill you if you try to read non-general material in a subject area that is not internationalized. I agree with that.
In particular your example of an adult fiction book is 100% spot on. My head did in fact explode when I tried to read adult fiction. Conversely I randomly read an astronomy article and found I could understand it easily.

What I was saying (which is objectively true and different from the point you’re making) is that there is a severe lack of cognates in e.g. the first 2-3,000 words of russian, especially as compared with French or Spanish.

As a direct result of the severe lack of cognates the first 2-3,000 words of Russian are a serious slog to learn. I was able to learn 50-100 words a day of French for a solid month because of all the cognates whereas the best I could manage in Russian was 15-20 a day.

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I always start using Anki, stop using it, and then use it again. I stop because I accumulate a lot of words to review. I come back because I find that without Anki I remember nothing, and it is better to know fewer words and even review every day for three hours than Not knowing anything.I think the reasons I don’t remember anything without Anki are:

  1. I don’t have much time to spend reading every day.
  2. My level is low (50-60 percent of the words in the texts are new words), so it is difficult for me to remember the words I am reading, and it is also difficult for me to read such difficult texts for a long time. I have finished all the Mini Stories, and all the texts that interest me are very difficult.
    I think reading texts with sites, such as, a lingQ is a good idea, but then, reviewing plays a critical role in learning. You can use a notebook and pen or use software like Anki. It is better to review fewer words and sentences (I also review many sentences) than not to review at all.
    Finally, I apologize for my broken English. This is not my native language.

The problem with anki is psychology. You feel the pressure of having to catch up. If I get behind I don’t care. I will only do the expected number of reviews that today says and whatever else I feel like doing. That way the psychological pressure of OMG I have 4,000 reviews I need to catch up on is gone. Also: you don’t technically need to do it the way anki says. Just if you do it will be more efficient. The only thing is doing some every single day or as close to that as possible.

Also: although anki is my prime tool I am well aware that anki on it’s own isn’t good enough. It is critical to either watch something like comprehensible (for your level) youtube videos or else do some reading (e.g. in lingQ).

I do anki and youtube primarily, with lingQ for fun.

In the end, it doesn’t actually matter what you do: pick something and do it every day even a little bit. It’s when it’s seriously on-and-off-sporadic that you will get nowhere.

Anyhow, that’s my own experience.
PS: your English is barely broken if at all.

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It’s interesting that you suggest doing something else before lingQ. I also have that belief myself even if the specific toolset I would use is different than your suggestion.

IMO Michal Thomas and Pimsleur are highly effective. But it’s difficult to stay with them because they’re seriously time consuming.

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#1 - You don’t need a lot of time a day for reading. I don’t know for sure, but I’m fairly certain I’ve averaged well under a half hour a day of reading and probably typically 10-15 min a day, if that. You will make progress, and I’m pretty certain it will be quicker than using SRS. Caveat…it may take you many years if you only have 10-15 min to read (I’m working on almost 5 years now and I only just reached “Advanced 1” today). However, I’m 100% positive I’m much further along than if I was sticking to SRS or spending significant amounts of my limited time doing SRS. I just really don’t think it’s particularly efficient in the end. If you have more than 10-30 min a day you will fly along quite well in LingQ in much shorter time than I.

#2 - In the starting stages I think it has more applicability for some of the reasons you mention regarding difficulty reading when nearly every word is unknown in the beginning. But looking at your Russian word count I’d say you are beyond this stage. You just may need to be looking for more material at your level. Is there some “easy” news for Russian? Have you checked out evgueny40’s content? Perhaps with the harder content that interests you, just focus on 5-10 minutes worth of that piece of content. Don’t try to slog through the whole thing at once. Do that one bit and then give your brain a rest and try again in another hour or so. Either re-read this portion or move on to the next portion. You don’t need Anki or SRS to review. Read the thing again. That’s your review. Or skip around to the yellow words, but read them in context and try to understand them. Don’t try to learn the words in isolation.

Those are a couple of my suggestions. Perhaps someone with better knowledge of the Russian content out there can point you in a good direction.

Unfortunately, to some degree, the fact is…the beginning material can be fairly boring, but I would think there’s got to be some decent material out there for Russian.

By the way, your English is just fine. No need to apologize there.