Stop adding words to known upon lesson completion

The issue isn’t that we necessarily want to mark the lesson complete and leave blue words behind.

The issue is that it’s way too easy to unintentionally mark the lesson complete, which is then very, very painful to undo!


At a minimum, a question “Are you sure?” should be asked before setting everything to “known”.

I think there already is such a question on Android but not on Windows/Firefox.

It’s not that unusual to be paging through quickly when trying to find the place where you left off last time. It’s maddeningly easy to click “finish lesson” accidentally.

So I’m grateful for @roosterburton 's extensions. Auto-LingQ can turn all the blue words to yellow (status 1), which I like to do before starting a lesson. Then at least nothing will be automatically added to “known words.” But for those times when I forgot to do this and accidentally clicked the “finish lesson” button, there’s Rooster Observer to the rescue; there the status and definitions (etc.) for words can be viewed and adjusted as needed (and you can also see all the “known words.”)

jm2cw / ymmv / hth


This has been requested many times over the years, but @mark and the team are absolutely adamant that LingQ works this way. You need to use LingQ according to the LingQ method and the LingQ method is, to quote @zoran’s reply every time:

or let’s quote @zoran from the year before in August 2022:

or to quote @zoran from July 2020:

This is the LingQ method.


I can’t speak for others, but I’m not questioning the method. I’m expressing frustration at an awful UI/UX choice that really needs to be fixed. It should be moved or a confirmation added.

This UI/UX choice interferes with the method. That’s the whole complaint!

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I agree, but I also agree with Walkingpingu’s idea that maybe there should be an “Are You Sure” popup when we complete a lesson. I’m not usually a big fan of “Are you sure” popups (my attitude is that if I wasn’t sure, I wouldn’t have clicked the button), but in this case, I’m really getting kinda tired of having the same conversation on the forums every week with people who want to use LingQ as an e-reader.

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I was being sarcastic as a way to justify why LingQ has adamantly refused to change it for years.

I have been advocating for having an option to turn off ‘Complete lesson turns to Known’ for quite a while. Eg. this is from August 2022:

I almost rage quit LingQ last month because of this ‘feature’ LingQ refuses to change, when I accidentally clicked ‘Complete lesson’ and turned 200+ French and English words I didn’t click ‘ignore’ on to Known (while studying Italian).


It is worth mentioning that one of the benefits of using the “Paging moves to known” option is that it tracks your progress in the lesson and you don’t have to try to find the place you left off. It will take you to your last cleared page and won’t go any further if you use the handle in the progress bar.

With regard to moving words to known accidentally at the end if you have paging to known off, it’s easy enough to then just click on the words that you don’t know as you come across them and make LingQs for them instead. There is no real downside to adding words to known and then removing them from known again.

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Lingq can be a gorgeous e-reader. I’m unsure why creators are so strongly against using it as an e-reader. I use it kinda this way because it is much more effective to learn from your custom content in which you are interested (and this is what Linqg is about). I cannot find an alternative so far. Is there a better e-reader that tracks which words you marked as known and has an easy way to create an SRS learning dictionary? I like Lingq and hate it at the same time for these issues, but so far I like it more than hate :).

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This reminded me of a presentation I saw years ago.

With your product you “may see people who are not your intended customer use your product in unintended ways. This causes some people to panic. ‘My god the wrong people are buying our products in large quantities!’” - Guy Kawasaki, former Apple Chief SW Evangelist.

One reaction to this is to reject those customers, another is to embrace them. Given that LingQ could address this particular issue to satisfy both its “intended” users and these “unintended” users with what would effectively be an internal policy change, I don’t understand why they don’t just do it.


This is obviously an important issue and source of frustration for many of you in this thread, which is something we would like to do something about if possible. I will start by listing some observations after reading this thread:

  • We implemented this feature because it enables us to track users’ words properly. Our assumption is that users will click on any words they don’t know and this ability to page to known means you don’t have to individually move words to known which saves a lot of clicking over time.
  • Disabling this capability means a lot of unnecessary clicking making words known individually. This is directly opposed to one of our main goals which is to make reading on LingQ as efficient as possible. You need to learn tens of thousands of words. Forcing users to click on every one is not efficient.
  • Then, for those who wanted to be able to read the lesson first without dealing with words, we added the ability to turn off paging to known and do it at the end.
  • Paging to known allows users to track their progress through the lesson and effectively bookmark their last location.
  • Completing pages/lessons allows us to provide New Words and LingQs numbers for lessons as well as tracking an accurate Known Words number.
  • There is no harm in making LingQs that you feel you never need to learn. They won’t reoccur if they don’t matter and can be ignored in future.
  • Ignore words in other languages. This can be done as they appear or you can view the All Words tab in the Vocabulary list or in Sentence View if you View Vocabulary under the sentence.
  • If you come across words you don’t want to learn, Ignore them too.
  • On the iOS app the All Words view allows you to easily adjust the status of all including Known words up or down. We should enable this possibility on web too which would help when trying to move words back from known if you have completed the lesson by accident.
  • Our goal is to have users see their progress in their reading and stats. We track words as one of our main features. Disabling this for those users who want to use LingQ differently is perhaps possible but we don’t want users to do this before they realize the benefits of doing it the way we have designed the app. Making this an option, means that more people will do it and lose out on the benefits.

Other than the annoyance of accidentally clicking on Complete Lesson, what are some of the other reasons why you want to keep your lessons incomplete or uncleared? Fixing cleared words the odd time when I accidentally clear a page or sentence is mildly annoying but I read the page anyway and click on words I don’t know anyway. Sometimes these are words I have marked as known and other times they are words accidentally moved to known. It’s really not a big deal to me.
It is annoying when there are a lot of words to ignore in a text but if there are that many the All Words view helps a lot or sentence view. Better for me to click on all the words to ignore, than it is to have to click to add every known word forever.

Fundamentally, for the vast majority of our users who do read every word, why would you not deal with them all? You are reading them anyway so you are just trying to use a different classification system from ours.
Our system allows you to tell the system:

  • I want to learn this word 1-3.
  • I know this word
  • Foreign word/word I don’t want to learn - Ignore

Are you using blue for “I am not yet ready to learn this word”? We don’t believe this is a useful classification. We believe all words should be LingQed and the words that matter will reoccur and be learned over time.

This is a rambling post but I’m trying to lay out our point of view. Let me know your thoughts.


For users that have 25000+ known words, there are usually not so many words to add to known, so no unnecessary clicking. Please consider the experience for such users.

This is questionable. There are situations when I do want to learn a word as part of a phrase, but I don’t want to learn it in isolation, so leaving it as blue seems perfectly fine. I constantly use this.

Please consider a category of your users who already have a pretty high level of English and a ton of known words but still want to enjoy using LingQ to improve further.

In my example, I like LinhQ because of the following features. I read stuff (e.g., books) using an E-Ink reader or listen to videos on YouTube, and I import them into LingQ to quickly scan the content to find words I’ve never encountered. There are usually not a lot of such words, thus little clicking. I add known blue words to known and many other blue words as LingQs (dictionary) to learn them using the pretty good SRS dictionary. For me, having full control over which words I add to known is very important - allowing the system to accidentally add them as known can mess up my vocabulary because they will not be blue anymore, and thus, I will not be able to easily spot them next time without careful reading in the LingQ app itself.
I understand this might not be the main use case for the target audience, but it is a valid use case, and it almost works in LingQ; it is just a bit painful due to issues like auto-adding words. Making this use-case user-friendly might increase LingQ value for many users (for me, definitely). If this can be done be introducing a setting and it does not cost a lot - why not? Thanks for understanding.


Thanks for taking the time to write such a well-thought-out response.

Yes, please!

Also, if the “Finish Lesson” checkmark could be somewhere else, rather than in the exact same location as the “next page” right arrow. If that were moved, that would be a huge cause of joy for me personally. Right now, all it takes is trying to click the last “next page” arrow once, but fumbling and clicking it twice by accident, and voila! I’ve just marked all the words in the lesson as “known,” including the ones on the final page which I haven’t even read yet. Imagine ALL the vocabulary words you were intending to study in a lesson suddenly disappearing. Not cool.

It’s true we don’t all use LingQ the same way. I can’t be the only person who goes through a lesson more than once, and who doesn’t want, in the first pass, to click on any of the blue words. Quite often I like to read aloud or listen to a lesson first, focusing on pronunciation and basic comprehension, but not worrying about any unfamiliar words, just getting the gist through context and getting exposed to the sound and flow of the language. Then I can go back through the lesson a second time and study all the blue and yellow words. I’ll know I have finished a lesson because it will contain no more blue words. BUT if I accidentally click “Finish Lesson,” then not only can I not find in the lesson the words I intended to go back and look at, but also the lesson itself will be marked as having zero blue words, hence finished. It’s not a small thing at all, because if all those blue words turn white (not yellow, mind you, but white), then I have to go back and carefully read through the entire lesson all over again to try to find the words I was intending to study, in context. (The context of the new words is extremely important for Chinese, at least, because sometimes what might be marked as a new “word” might actually be an odd juxtaposition of the second half of the preceding familiar word plus the first half of the following familiar word, or only the final two syllables of a familiar three-syllable word, etc., and the given definition of the LingQ in such cases might make no sense in the context (for that same reason). Looking at such words in context, it’s obvious that they need a little space/grouping adjustment, whereas just seeing such words in a list without context they can be rather baffling.)

One idea would be to have the option: “paging turns blue words to yellow (status 1)” and “finishing lesson turns blue words to yellow (status 1).”

Another idea would be that “known words” would show up in the vocabulary list (under the “vocabulary” tab) rather than just completely disappearing. Even if they were marked white with a check mark and no definition, as long as they would actually show up in the vocabulary list, that would still be preferable to what currently happens.

Hope that helps.


For me, really, the only things I’d ask are:

  • Move the “Mark all words known” button out from under “Next page” so that it isn’t so easy to misclick.

  • Give a third option in settings “don’t mark anything at the end of each lesson” in addition to “mark all words known at the end of each page” and “mark all words known at the end of each lesson”

  • Make it easier to undo “Mark all words known.”

Any of those would pretty much solve it for me.

The current model discourages users from exploring new/future content without fully committing to learning it right then and there, and in fact seems to assume a user should never be doing that. I’m not sure that’s the best.

Here’s a (true) user story that might help…

I am interested in learning to cook in my target language, but I’m an early Beginner 1. For some motivation, I wanted to look ahead to see what content might be waiting for me at more advanced levels. I found a ~5 min Intermediate 2 video on making soup dumplings. I watched the video and followed along what little I could, and got really excited for the day I can watch and understand the video in its native language. Perfect! Exactly what I was hoping for!

At the end of the video, however, I didn’t notice I was on the last page and accidentally marked the lesson complete. My known word count more than doubled and a bunch of sentences that I couldn’t understand at all started showing up in my Reviews. It took quite a while to put things back the way they were, and enthusiasm turned to frustration.

Thank you for listening!


@mark Thanks for the detailed response.

I would say there are two main cases, where the ‘Complete lesson moves to Known’ becomes an inconvenience for me. In both cases, as you mentioned, they are the result of a habit built from clicking ‘Complete lesson’ on thousands of lessons. Everyone has mentioned that clicking ‘Complete lesson’ is an accidental thing, because we know what it does, but it’s a costly, time-consuming accidental thing as it needs to be rectified.

  1. I import Netflix transcripts after I’ve watched the TV series/movie. I sometimes skim through these lessons, adding some words as Known and lingQing some others. I am not studying the lesson in detail, so I don’t care about lingQing all words, but rather just the words, which pique my interest. This skimming / scanning is what @WillowMeDown and @romanturovskyy were also discussing.

  2. There are some lessons with huge amounts of garbage words or words in foreign languages, which make it very time consuming to manually ‘bin’ them all. Here’s an example of me reading the Italian book A che ora si mangia? It has large amounts of French and English words, and lots of proper nouns as names of people and titles in the references. I don’t see why I need to manually click on 200+ words to ignore them, either in the All Words list or while reading.

This is the main annoyance. Fixing these ‘cleared’ words is more than mildly annoying. When you incorrectly mark 200+ words as Known upon clicking ‘Complete lesson’, this means you have to skim / quickly read the entire lesson again or go through a long list of 1,000 unique words and manually change their status. At a bare minimum, it requires 400 clicks (one to open the word and one to ignore the word). It defeats the entire point of reducing clicks (not to mention the waste of time).

Honestly, I get where you’re coming from. You never click on a blue word to mark it as Known, because it’s going to automatically go to Known upon lesson competion or page turn. And that works great for how you study. It doesn’t allow room for other forms of studying, such as skimming, etc. The whole issue is ‘Complete lesson’ is accidentally clicked, due to the habit built over thousands of lessons.


It may not be a bug, but what it most definitely is, is a mistake.


What about “Are you sure? Yes/No” and/or a simple “undo” button?

Those would fix the problem.


@nfera I tell how I fix this problem. Which is not at all ideal. I just tell you how I do. I basically don’t fix it and focus on something else.

  • I choose NOT to import and read inside LingQ bilingual books/texts or languages that are too mixed-up.
  • I don’t care in the long-run about a percentage of useless words inside my statistics. If I go for 100k known words, who cares if a 5% are wrong. What matters is that I learn and know the language.

I was worrying about these things when I began to use LingQ. After a few years - and tons of reading - I have just changed my mindset to avoid getting upset, and improved my experience.

Not saying that what you wrote is wrong or it might not be important for some. I’m just sharing that with my mindset workaround I’m ok, and I can happily use LingQ on a daily basis.

Same thing when people want to use LingQ as an e-reader, and use it differently for what was primarily intended to be used.
I’m not saying that their wish shouldn’t be listened to, but that is a different use for what LingQ was and is intended to be. (Imho)

However, adding an option (are you sure?) as @WillowMeDown just wrote, for people that forget that when they finish a lesson, could be useful. But just for them. I want less clicking and not more.

I prefer the developers team spend time in fixing some nasty bug, or improve other things. Who knows? Maybe one day they will improve the “notes” experience (@mark that nobody uses! :stuck_out_tongue:). That would be a sort of miracle.
Or maybe they will give me more than 250 characters for writing definitions. :rofl:


Totally agree with the notes requiring improvement. I mentioned it many times. @mark hope to see this revamped one day.


However, adding an option (are you sure?) as @WillowMeDown just wrote, for people that forget that when they finish a lesson, could be useful. But just for them. I want less clicking and not more.

Good point. An “undo” button would do the trick for just those who need it without bothering those who don’t. :slight_smile:


I’ve also had trouble with this feature. For instance, I often import academic texts that may have references with a hundred names or other words that don’t exist in my target language.

To avoid automatically adding these words or names as “known words,” I stopped marking my readings as “finished.”

Unfortunately, this doesn’t accurately record how many words I’ve read in the last few years, which is a critical metric for language acquisition. It would be nice if there was another option for this…

I do find that it helps a bit to use hotkeys/keyboard shortcuts.