The way lingq counts words

Are there any plans to maybe change this? I study Korean and there’s a lot of conjugations of words and they attach the particles to the ends of words basically creating a -lot- of duplicates in my vocabulary list and also the app will color words that I have seen many times as brand new because I found a new way to use it grammatically. This is really frustrating for making flash card decks as well as reading having to click and update the meaning for the same word repeatedly.

I believe it is pretty much something we deal with.

It’s not really a large problem (though perhaps annoying) since we just estimate either our progress based on the increase, or our current “word count” through dividing by some factor.

French has significant conjugations and some inflections so I estimate about 3 to 1. Maybe it’s only 2 to 1 or perhaps as muc as 5 to 1. At 35,000 words know I figure that my real count (as known by LingQ) is about 10-12k.

Also note that you probably know many words that LingQ doesn’t know about (unless you only study through LingQ or take specific steps to upload your additional vocabular.

You can get a feel for that by noting what percentage of the words you know immediately when first seeing the in blue.

And on the other hand, there is “knowing” and “knowing”: If you mark words as known when you are sure of the meaning (as I do) then perhaps we can’t readily use them in writing or especially not in real time speaking.

I can’t really “hear and understand” all of those words in fast spoken French easily either. This is true for even many of the easy ones when spoken in fully connected speech or with any interference (background noise or music, mumbling, etc.)

By the way: What kind of idiots build expensive “audio courses” and play background music constantly even in the beginner lessons?

The only real issue is that my ‘word count’ sounds more impressive than it really is so my wife thinks it is very impressed
:slight_smile: :slight_smile: :wink:

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In the long term, the way LingQ counts words is the better way to do it, in my opinion. Especially in a language like Korean :slight_smile:

Think of it this way, you may know the word for “to go” in Korean, but you may not know the word for “I may have gone” which is another individual word based on “to go” – and has at least 3 variants based on level of politeness. Yes, that’s a lot of words to mark, but this way LingQ helps you keep track of not just vocab words, but their grammar as well.

To speed this up, I’d recommend using the keyboard shortcuts while reading – using the arrow keys etc. allows you mark words very fast.

Thirdly, from experience, I’d just recommend moving away from flashcard decks and relying more on just reading and listening. I know this is unsolicited advice here but it will probably save you time and frustration. I myself have never really used flashcards as I feel they’re actually a hinderance, and I can imagine that all these individual words are probably a pain to manage in flashcard form, but this becomes much less of an issue if you’re just reading using keyboard shortcuts.


As for flash cards, tag the word forms you want to learn, so you can filter out those you are not interested in.
Notice that filtering is something that you’ll want to do eventually, no matter how Lingq treats word forms, because you end up with way too many lingqs for you keep track of all of them. And this happens much sooner than we usually expect.
I don’t find it inconvenient to click on new forms of words that I already know: it makes me pause and think whether I really understand why they are used in that particular case. If I do, I don’t do anything and the word will be considered “known” when I go on to the next page. If I don’t, it makes sense to create a new lingq.

Not that much of a problem, really.

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I once figured that there are about 80 forms possible to be derived from a single regular Russian verb, including all declensions of participle forms. So I know what you’re talking about, as does @ftornay who has also done Russian here and whose advice seems sound. Like @t_harangi I also don’t use flash cards, but I don’t want to discourage those who might find them useful. I did use them sometimes early on, and they might be more helpful then when you’re learning the basics. When I did use flashcards, it was mainly immediately after finishing a story to review the vocabulary I’d just read, not using more generalized decks.

Later on, when you’re able to understand the context better, you might find them less necessary to learn and retain vocabulary. If I told you that “loglept” is an English noun that means someone fascinated by words, would you need a flashcard to remember it? No, especially if you encounter it a few times in context, because you already know English pretty well.

As for requests to change this, which come up from time to time, it would have to be language-specific in a smart way for each language that Lingq supports. And that sounds like a massive development effort.

Anyway, good luck with Korean!


I hadn’t thought about tagging words. I’ll definitely take a look at that and I think that could be very useful.

They would need an in app dictionary for each language instead of the current system of just having users check free online dictionaries and updating the database. I guess I don’t mind the crowd sourcing dictionary idea but since each word has maybe up to 80 entries, I need to go Naver 80 times to look up the same word and update it again in LingQ if I want a proper entry. Korean is probably less studied than say Spanish. I could see the entries that are already updated in LingQ being better for other languages as opposed to Korean. I’m reading some e-books I bought in Korean so I’m not just doing the lessons built by LingQ. A lot of words I look up have zero entries - apparently nobody ever looked them up on LingQ before. Many other entries people just took the Google Translate which is fastest and went with it and figured they didn’t care to take a minute to find a proper translation in a real dictionary. I was trying to look up entries in a proper dictionary to get real definitions that make more sense - mind you these dictionary definitions do not include the grammar unique the word just the base unconjugated word so the possible benefits of having separate entries for all the grammar possibilities gets wasted.

Anyway, I know changing a system that they already have in place is probably time consuming. Since I see a lot of potential in his app and I agree that reading is a fantastic way to learn and use a foreign language I wanted to give my feedback. I have an annual subscription as there’s no better way to read Korean for beginners (or at all really that I can find… Korean isn’t supported on Kindle etc.) I’m very thankful that they developed this app.

I’ve been through the same thing when studying Korean and quickly realized that doing word by word translation of Korean with any online tool is just one other added challenge of learning this language. Dictionary and app support is limited, AND hindered by the fact that Korean is linguistically very different from English. As you pointed out, LingQ is still the best way of doing this, but it is of course nowhere near as smooth as with more common languages. (The closest thing, Redlang, for example was been in beta for Korean for the past six years.) And of course you don’t have the same materials available – no audiobooks, etc… So, some methods that may work well with other languages will not work the same way with Korean. Again, this is just something one has to accept when deciding to tackle the language.

My solution this issue was to stick with comparative reading for longer than I would have with other languages. I’d get Korean ebooks that were translated American books and just read along in English as I was working through the Korean version on LingQ. Doing it this way will allow you to add better translations when desired.

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