I do not understand how to get started. The very first lesson says “introduction” to learning. But I have NO IDEA what they are saying because it’s in Spanish, and I haven’t learned any Spanish yet. All the videos I try to watch start out with a totally different page… what and where do I go to start??
LingQ can feel overwhelming at first because it’s a highly sophisticated “choose your journey” tool. You do not have to use all functions at first, or even at all! Focus on reading and listening to lessons, clicking blue words, and creating LingQs.
I recommend going through the New Learner Guide - as it explains the LingQ methodology and essential functions of the platform.
The general idea is that you want to eliminate the blue words on the lesson page and create LingQs (yellow words) for the words you don’t understand or like to learn better. When you click on a blue word, you see different meanings for that word in the dashboard. Choose one of the meanings or check the dictionary to create your definition. You can also tell us if you know the word already, or you may sometimes want to ignore the word and not include it in your stats.
It seems simple, but it is mighty. You are learning from the language itself. Listen, read and create LingQs. Then, as you read that lesson again or in future lessons, you will review these yellow LingQs in new contexts. This process of seeing the exact words in multiple contexts leads to accelerated vocabulary growth. And vocabulary level is the best indicator of ability in a language, especially if you have “earned” it from your reading and listening. Try meeting your Daily Goal. You won’t be disappointed. Your brain learns on its own just as you learned your first language.
Don’t hesitate to try different lessons. If you don’t like them or find them too easy or difficult, move out of them and find something else. There is no order, and lessons are free! Experiment with your heart’s content. Move onto a new lesson when you understand 70% or so. Keep forging ahead and make lots of LingQs. After a month, you will be amazed at how much more you know. After three months, even more so!
LingQ offers a vast library for most languages, but if you want something different, you can experiment with importing your materials to LingQ. Using our software allows you to study whatever content you want, like e-books, magazines, blog posts, or videos from platforms like YouTube or Netflix.
Experiment and find your groove.
I highly recommend checking out the Help Center to find the answers you need.
After checking our guides, let me know if you have any questions, and I’ll be happy to assist.
LingQ can feel like a bear if you are starting from zero, but fortunately Spanish has a lot of cognates with English and most Amerians have at least a passing familarity with some Spanish phrases and words. And it uses the same alphabet, which is huge. It’ll feel weird at first because most language learning apps and programs focus on stuff like rote memorization and flashcards to learn a language. The LingQ approach is that the more time you spend with the language, especially at a level that’s not too advanced for you, you’ll naturally pick up the language as you go. It’s a pretty powerful approach and, unlike apps like Duolingo or Rosetta Stone, can actually bring you to fluency.
The point isn’t understanding everything; it’s more like understanding a little more as you keep going. Re-read and re-listen to the earlier lessons especially. The LingQ language guide (The LingQ Spanish Grammar Guide) can be helpful in understanding how Spanish works, conjugates verbs, builds linguistic concepts (possession, adjective usage, etc), etc. Once again, the point isn’t to memorize the guide, it’s to understand things like adjectives coming after nouns rather than before (i.e. the red book in English becomes the book red in Spanish) so that when you encounter it, you have some idea what you’re looking at.
As you get further along and finish the “mini-stories,” you can branch out into all kinds of stuff. The sky is the limit.
Caldazar and Zoran have given some good tips regarding use in LingQ. Basically you are using LingQ to help you read in the beginning. Click on words, or go into “sentence mode” and have it show the translation. In the beginning you will have to click on the words and/or show sentence translations all the time until you start to learn some of the words, at which point you won’t need to look those up anymore, but of course there will be new words that you encounter as you go through various lessons/content.
One book I will recommend highly for anyone coming from English language studying Spanish is Madrigal’s Key to Spanish. As Caldazar points out, Spanish and English share many words, or many of the Spanish equivalents have only small variations. Many of these have certain patterns and that’s the main them of Madrigal’s book. So it is very helpful. I’d use that in conjunction with LingQ.
An interesting approach that Madrigal’s also takes is that it teaches the past form of the verb from the beginning rather than present. The idea being that you are typically telling people about things that happened in the past, not as often in the present. Don’t worry, there are chapters on doing the present…and LingQ lessons are likely going to start with that as well.
Using sentence view is a great point! It really turns a wall of blue into much more manageable chunks.