Thank you LingQ!

I just wanted to drop by to say a great big thank you to LingQ.

I remember a school parents’ evening when I was about 14 or 15. We were sitting opposite my French teacher and he was saying he didn’t understand why, when I had such good grades in my other subjects, why were my French grades so mediocre. My parents and my response: Simon’s just not interested in learning languages.

On reflection I can see why I hated languages at school. A mixture of grammar exercises and conversation practice was always going to turn me off. But at school I was a big reader. It wasn’t for nothing that my favourite subjects were English and History, which involved a lot of reading. I am sure that if I had been encouraged to just learn to read French and Spanish I would have been hooked.

Flash forward 15 years and LingQ has transformed me from someone who hated language learning into someone who loves it. Mastering Spanish over the last 3 years or so is probably my biggest life achievement, and I couldn’t have done it without this site and learning community. Or I could, but it might have taken me another 10 years. I realised the other day that I think I have read one, possibly two, books in English in the last two years. But dozens of books in Spanish. For me this feels like nothing less than a miracle.

And now I am thinking… how about French? I mean I was a bored French student for 5 years, there must be some vocabulary knocking around in my head? And everyone says I have a French accent when I speak Spanish (for some reason). Why not? So I am now seriously considering taking on French in 2016 on LingQ. Again, the younger me is kind of speechless. My two least favourite subjects at school - French and Spanish - have become two of my favourite hobbies. And I think that LingQ did that.

So hurrah for LingQ!


You have made my day! I warn you, learning languages is addictive. It simply brings us so much. Some people have yachts, expensive cars or watches, or travel first class in airplanes. Then there are those of us who have a few languages. Given our limited time on this planet to get to know some of the people who share this time and space with us, learning a few languages is a wonderful journey of discovery, even of self-discovery. Bonne continuation!


That’s such a great story! Congratulations.

Without a doubt, if not for LingQ, I doubt I would have been studying Japanese like I do.

I come from a 100% monolingual background (I actually remember simply writing my name on my French test and proceeded to daydream until the bell rang), but LingQ, and indeed Steve, made language learning seem possible.

Congrats again, and keep going!

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Enhorabuena por tu éxito con el español. Te deseo que lo repitas en francés.

That is seriously good news! (Have to give you a rose from within your wall, the forum still won’t let me do it.)

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Oui ça fait plaisir a lire! A l’identique de vous , je m’ intéresse maintenant et tardivement a l’anglais alors que cela ne m’interessait guère au lycée…
On change avec le temps mais surtout on est plus motivé lorsque la decision vient de nous et n’est pas imposée et aussi par le fait que maintenant seul, on peut choisir son rythme d’apprentissage et ses outils préférés, Lingq en est un par ex…


Congratulations mate! I take a lot of heart from this story. As a fellow Brit your story of school language learning resonates with me. As I’m still at the beginning of this journey using lingq as one of my main study methods, it’s good to know that someone who struggled with traditional methods at school has had success with other methods.

I’m not sure how far I’ll get with Spanish but I think the important thing is I’m enjoying it to some extent and I’m definitely better now than I was before I started listening and reading as much as I’m doing now. That said, it’s still slow for me as I can’t devote as much time to the task as I want to, but it’s good to know that someone else who was in a similar position to myslef only a few years ago has done it!

Enhorabuena! Y buena suerte con francés!

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I think one of the best pieces of advice (again from Steve among others) is get out of the beginner level as quickly as you can. I think I spent years at this level and it gets boring and you can get very discouraged. Perfectionism didn’t help me either because I wanted to get everything right before moving on to harder stuff. Just get the gist and move on, heading into the more interesting pastures of real content.

Curiously this has made me reappraise duolingo. I’ve been quite critical of it in the past but I now think it is quite a good place to start to get the basics and then move onto content in LingQ. Going to try out this with French, the Duolingo + LingQ method :wink: with the aim to get my reading skills into the intermediate level as quickly as I can (I know that if I can read the language I can have a good time, whilst the other skill sets catch up). So I’m back on duolingo for the first time in 3 years: Duolingo

Good luck with Spanish! We monolingual Brits taught to hate languages by our school system can become multilingual!

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Thanks, yes reading is a godsend tbh. I’m trying my best to move onto harder stuff, and in fact, I did just that, but waaaay to early! I fought my way through some intermediate texts far too early, I had about 10% comprehension but knowing that 10% made me want to understand the bits surrounding those bits, which in turn made me want to understand all of it. It took me ages but I learned a lot from it, even if it was too tough for me at the time. So yeah, I’m really trying hard not to get trapped in the beginners loop. It’s just really tough sometimes as everyone on here will understand.

Keep us posted regarding Duolingo, like your earlier reservations, I’m not so sure about it, but it’s another form of exposure so it can’t be bad for you.

Yes I’ve done that quite a bit (picking material that is far too hard). I guess you have to find the right balance. My first “full” book in Spanish was Steve’s linguist book. There’s a great sense of achievement in finishing your first book in a new language.

My argument for Duo is that it covertly teaches you grammar through guided exposure to example sentences. It feels like a “baby steps” version of LingQ. Then you get stuck into LingQ which is the real deal, and you can start stacking up your known words.