Streak maintenance disrupts my language learning

I have been learning German for years and have maintained a long streak in this language. Now that I am learning Danish I am finding that maintaining the German streak takes me away from concentrating on Danish. So from today, I have stopped maintaining my German streak. This decision has not been easy. Can trying to maintain a streak become a distracting addiction? I find this so! What do other LingQers think?


For sure it can! I maintained a ~3 year Anki streak with Mandarin and the last few months were just terrible. Did it purely for the streak, which I vowed never to do again. I don’t have great advice to solve it other than if you 1. Don’t enjoy the thing you’re doing every day and 2. That thing doesn’t serve your goals anymore, just drop it. Streaks are after all quite superficial, and language learning ought to be about oneself, not a means of showing off.

Maybe LingQ could have like an “End streak” feature where you do a little ceremony and do kind of a burial ceremony of a streak you intentionally want to end?


It is an meaningless distracting addiction. It is motivating for some, but I don’t believe one should go out of their way to maintain it. Sure, try to keep it going, but sometimes life has a lot of distractions. Having said that, if you haven’t, stick it on the easiest setting. Unless you’re at a very advanced level, it is pretty easy to maintain the streak on the lowest setting. Just import a news article and even at lower advanced you’ll probably hit the streak counter in less than 5 minutes of reading and Lingqing.


While I have always found systematic regular study to be the single most important element in language learning is (much more important than methodology or material for that matter). The streak can become a burden. At the end of last year I noticed that I was only logging in to Chinese traditional to fulfill my “streak duty” and didn’t do much besides listlessly turning a couple of pages - waiting for a congratulatory message to clear my nagging conscience. This was a sign I needed to end my 800 day streak. Somewhat unfortunate, as I would’ve liked to get to 1000, but I’d rather cut my losses than letting LingQ become a chore.


It’s practically human nature to turn the means to an end into the end of the means. It happens all the time, everywhere.

It’s good to periodically remind ourselves what our actual purpose in this site is: we’re learning to communicate in a new language, not to rack up points or increase an arbitrary number somebody imposed on you.


It’s a good point but I don’t think there is an easy answer to it.

The point of the streak, at least the minimum level, is to create a tiny habit. On the concept of tiny habit I let you search online to understand what it is.

If you brush your teeth every day, you do it without effort because you get used to it, and of course, at the end, it is beneficial to your life if you deem so.

You need to investigate if the action you are performing is still beneficial to your purpose, and if the tool you are using is giving you results.

For example, amongst the examples above, I didn’t find ANKI beneficial at all, probably because I was using it in the wrong way, or because it wasn’t the right tool for my way of learning, and my mindset. So the streak I was doing wasn’t useful at all, to the point to become detrimental. But the streak wasn’t the problem, the tool and the method used were.

With LingQ, I find it different, because you can “relegate” one language to maintenance mode without putting much effort in it. And you can also tune the level of maintenance you want to dedicate to it by refining the approach you use.

For example, you can have different courses, with books, audiobooks, articles, and so on, already ready to use. It will take you months to finish one book only, if you want to keep the minimum streak. You can dedicate 5’ or 10’ per day only. When you don’t want to read, you just listen to 5’ by repeating a lesson or a piece of lesson you have already done. When you want to read more, you can focus on pieces with more white words, and when you want to find more new words, you can read pieces with more density blue words. You can use your computer, your phone, your tablet, and you can relegate some actions when you drive, walk, be in your sofa, bed, etc.
It is very malleable.

Is it beneficial? I guess so, because it keeps you engage with a language without effort, and you won’t lose your language in the meantime you are learning another one. Plus, both will integrate each other very quickly.

Now! If you are not solid in your language, and you learn another one (something I wouldn’t advice), the effort might be too much for your brain, and this is a different problem. But you can reduce the difficulty of what you read on any language, especially the one you want to maintain.

From a distraction point of view, it depends. If you don’t care anymore about a language that you are learning, that becomes a problem and a distraction.
This is difficult to consider because it is part of our cognitive dissonances, and it should be understood and rationalised further before taking a decision.

An old Chinese proverb would say: “when in doubt, you don’t abandon the path your are on”

I’ve been pondering this question myself, because I’ve been maintaining more languages at the same time, and this becomes time consuming. But I’m tweaking my maintenance better and better to make it, at the same time, enjoyable and easy. So I can dedicate more time and effort in the language I want to focus more at the moment.

The beauty of it is that with LingQ you can change any time the equations of your effort. You just need a bit of planning and organisation to better learn the tool, and the material you are using.

I hope it gives a little bit more food to your mind to consider the next steps.


I had a long streak on another platform during the pandemic. Then I found LingQ after that platform changed in an irritating way. I intentionally ended my streak on the other platform and vowed not to ever worry about streaks again. I turned off all reminders about streaks in LingQ and am happily free. The mystery/suspense/thriller/sci-fi books I read on the platform are enough to keep me coming back … to find out what happens next!

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If I were in your place I would continue it in low level.


I had a very similar experience. I had over a year-long streak on Duolingo. I really liked that I was able to choose from numerous lesson choices, but that all changed when they removed the skill tree altogether and made it all linear, so it was no longer as flexible. I haven’t been back to Duolingo since. I used to love the platform. Now I can’t even face logging in there because the change was so disappointing…