[Tips] How I use Level 4 Words on LingQ

I just share how I’ve been using Level 4 words on LingQ and maybe it could be useful to someone.

I usually jump from Level 3 to Known Words so I skip Level 4 for this concept. So, I don’t use it for Known Words but for something else.

I use Level 4, for now, as an independent strategy in a couple of occasions:

  • when I know a word but this one has 2 or more meaning that I want to learn for some reason (for example a verb conjugation is identical to a substantive but they have completely different meaning and I want to pay attention to them…)

  • combination of 2 words that I want to remember, for example verb+preposition, or preposition+case, and so on.

I don’t do it systematically, I don’t do it all the time, I don’t exaggerate with these Level 4, just a few of them when I feel like.

But I have noticed that each time I come across them my mind pays attention to it and will remember it easier. When I feel comfortable I eliminate it!

Hope it helps.

Do you use Level 4 with other strategies as well?


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I used to use level 4 early on. Now I can’t even remember what I was using it for…Dropped it pretty early. In fact, the longer I’ve used LingQ I’ve even pretty much dropped level 3 and pretty much use only 1, 2 and “known” just to simplify things.

1 = initial encounter (if I sort of have an idea I might bump it to 2 right away)
2 = I kind of have an idea, but not quite correct; also words that I used to “know” but now don’t
3 = using it less and less. I used to use this if I knew the word but it took me longer than a second or two to come up with the meaning. I find this really doesn’t matter to me anymore
4= no longer use

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Yes, exactly, I don’t use it for words in a normal way anymore since the beginning. That’s why I posted this, it could be useful to use it for another strategy, not for “known words”.

For example, für dich. It reminds me that “für” wants the accusative case. I just click it as Level 4 and I don’t think about it anymore.

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I like using all five levels.
1– I don’t recall seeing this word before and/or I am pulling a complete blank on its meaning.
2- I recognize this word but am unsure I recall the correct meaning.
3- I recognize this word and am fairly sure I understand its meaning in this context.
4- I understand this word after a moment’s hesitation.
5 - I no longer have to think about what this word means.

Because I encounter words in places other than LingQ, and in the case of easily deduced German compound words, levels are often skipped. When I come across a different meaning for a word, I add that definition and rate the word according to the lesser known meaning. I often downgrade words which prove to be less-known than I had thought.
All-in-all it is not an exact science, but rather a tool I use as best fits me.

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Hi Davide! I’m not sure what you mean exactly here. As number 4 words are not distinguishable when you’re reading the text (they’re not in yellow), I can’t quite figure out how you’re using this strategy.

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Yes, exactly. The fact that they are not in yellow it’s a perfect visual strategy.

So you can easily distinguish the normal flow 1, 2, 3 in yellow and the number 4 which is different because it has a dotted line.

It is distinguishable actually because you can clearly see the dotted line under the text. And it’s good that it’s not so visible like the other yellow words.

For example, in the screenshot above, the word “muss” is a verb conjugation and “Muss” is a substantive. But LingQ doesn’t make this difference between capital letters or not.
I know “muss” very well but never remember “Muss”. So, I mark it as Level 4 and I also delete the translation from the LingQ pop-up leaving only the translation for “Muss”. Because I only need to remember the other meaning.

Generally I only use levels 1 and known. Sometimes if I don’t recognize a known word, I will downgrade it to 2 (instead of 1) but I’m not sure why I do this. I pretty much never use 3. My reasoning is: I don’t use LingQ’s SRS, so have no need for the spaced repetition afforded by the different levels. Might as well keep things simple in that case.

However, I also have found an alternate use for level 4. I have started using Anki as a supplement to LingQ. When I add a word to Anki, I mark the word as level 4. This helps me remember not to add it to Anki again in case I encounter it later and can’t remember whether I already added it. Of course, when I eventually know the word well enough, I mark it as known.

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Yes, that’s definitely another alternative use of Level 4 that could be use by someone else. Thanks for sharing.

You definitely gradually go from 1 to known using each step. I was doing like that at the beginning but afterwards I took courage and started to go from 3 to Known and often even from 1 to known.

I think that often we actually know many words but rationally we are afraid to acknowledge it and so we start to mark them 2, 3 or 4 even if we already know them.

I’ve noticed that doing like that actually slowed down my learning process because somehow I was withholding it. When I started to think that in any case I could always put back to 1 or 2 a white word, I started to learn more.

By reading, I’ve noticed that encountering those “doubt words” as white words allowed my mind to be more sure about the meaning and nailed it most of the time. So I kept this method.

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I only use Level1 for encountering words the first time around and Level 4 for making words known. Why did I use level 4 instead of making it all known is because of that dotted line underneath this way I know that I knew these words completely at one point in the past.

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You can use the browse feature of anki to check if you already have the word in your list.
I also import vocabulary from my already “memorized” list in anki at least once a month and click through them and add them to “known” in lingQ so I have more or less synchronization between the two.

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