Using LingQ while reading books

I am now reading in Portuguese and Russian where there are not so many words I do not know. I also enjoy reading books away from the computer. Thanks to advice from Mark, now here is what I do.

  1. While reading the book I highlight or underline words and phrases that I want to learn.
  2. I use google documents ( or the Write area of LingQ) to enter all of my words and phrases, not in a column, but just in a paragraph with spaces.
  3. I use the spell check to ensure that no words are misspelled, and to add accents, cedillas and the rest.
  4. I create a Collection in Import called Words
  5. I import the paragraph of words and phrases into LingQ and save.
  6. I go through the paragraph of words and phrases, LingQing as I need to. Some of the words are already highlighted in yellow since I already had tried to learn them.
  7. I find it is best to LingQ only every third word each time I go through the paragraph, and then study them with Flash Cards. This way, when I go back to LingQ the next batch later, I am also reminded of the words I previously looked up, and can check on them.

THANK YOU for making life easier. I suppose one could simply note down things on paper or record them, but I’m beginning to like the immediacy of highlighting, underlining. Now I just have to overcome the psychological barrier of “you shall not deface books”…

I think this is an excellent tip, which I’m going to try out.
I read a weekly French newspaper review called Le Courrier International, and have been underlining words/phrases I don’t understand, writing the English next to the word when I get access to a dictionary. However, this approach gets a bit tedious after a while. And I can’t throw the things away, even when my wife needs the paper to make a fire, as I lose the work I’ve put in and can’t review the articles any more. So I’ve got a stack of these Courriers lying around the house, all gathering dust. The news is old now; I don’t have any motivation to re-read the articles. So from now on I’m going to import them into LingQ instead. And at a stroke I’ve also solved the problem of how we get our fires going this winter…

Is it faster than adding each word in “add a word”?


Try it. I find that I easily accumulate over 100 words in each chapter. I then go back and enter them in the paragraph with a space between them. I then import it and treat it as content. I find it faster, more convenient and a better learning experience that “adding a term” or “adding a list of terms” which I used to do.

I enjoy Lingqing these groups of words, I enjoy seeing some of the words highlighted, I enjoy going back again to these items. I is a much better learning experience for me than adding a term.

Give it a try and let me know how it goes.

Having gathered my scraps of French vocab I set to work. There was one slight drawback which I hope to be able avoid once I’m using enough spaces between words: I found I had to delete a lot because of one of LingQ’s strengths, ie the words to the left and right were shown as well. This doesn’t make much sense in a list of vocab. I shall try 20 spaces either side for my next go. Spanish vocab, here I come!

I can’t get it to work through MS Word. I’ll try the LingQ writing function tomorrow, now I’m going to drown my sorrow.


I do not worry about the funny “phrases” that are captured. First of all they are a reminder of the other words that I am trying to learn. And second of all, in most cases I will not really learn these new words until I see them a few more times. The next time I see them in my reading at LingQ I just grab a phrase from the text I am reading. If I am anxious to see how the new word works, I can also click on “examples” and see if other examples are available from which I can grab a new “phrase”.


When I read a book in my target language, I always highlight the unknown words. But I don’t see the benefit of importing them into Lingq. Why? Because I don’t read books online.
Ok. Let’s say I would import them. Then I have a lot of ‘new words’. I might even get overwhelmed by unknown words. What should I do now?

The words you have saved (whether from books or online texts, possibly from the LingQ library) play a big part in your “known words” statistics. That’s quite a good feature, since it enables you to choose texts according your “level” (very few of us will choose a text with 99% new words, while a text with 25% new words is probably more accessible).

However, I don’t save words from other, “analogue”, sources. It just takes too much time.

People learn in different ways and use LingQ in different ways.

I do the following online.

I read online (as well as off line). When I read online, one of the biggest benefits of LingQ (to me) is the ability to see the words i have been trying to learn highlighted in yellow. The more words in my database, the more of these highlighted words I see. I also review my flash cards and vocabulary online. So for both of these reasons I want to get the words I am trying to learn into my LingQ database.

When I am reading off line, I do not like to interrupt my reading by using a dictionary. I do not like to add a term one at a time to LingQ. I save my unknown words and look them up in batches of 100 or so. I am in no hurry to find out the meaning since I only use this method for content where my new words count is under 5% (otherwise I read online in LingQ) and the odd unknown word does not deprive me of the pleasure of reading. Some things are just left a little vague. When reading a book, the same new words keep on reappearing, so I often highlight and enter the same word or word family twice or more, perhaps in slightly different forms. Not a problem, I notice them when I go through them LingQing. Seeing them more than once just helps me nail them down.

In any case, this whole thing has inspired me to gather up all my odd scraps of paper and look at my vocab. I’m now using a very soft pencil to mark my current Spanish book, so as not to disfigure it. I’ll continue importing paragraph- lists for a while and shall see how I react to a string of unrelated words. Who knows, they all may make sense one of these days.

I confess that I mark up books and also bend down corners ( dog-ear) on pages to mark where I am. I am bad, but I have been doing it all my life and am not about to change.

I’m happy to report that your method seems to be working well now. I’m putting commas before and after phrases that I want to learn, ie ,commas before and after phrases that I want to learn, - it’s visually easier for me. Another good thing that seems to be developing is that by reading with a highlighter, or pencil in my case, I focus more on the sense of each passage. So, please keep up the flow of your and Mark’s good ideas, as long as you don’t suggest I should start dog-earing books!

My husband thinks that the death penalty should be reintroduced for people who write in books. I on the other hand think Steve’s method sounds very sensible and will try it, whatever the cost.

I wonder if there have been any divorces yet where LingQ has been named as the co-respondent?

Don’t know of any, but my children think I spend too much time on the computer since I’ve discovered LingQ.

My wife thinks it’s crazy to ‘mistreat’ books too. I have to confess I’m a huge mistreater, I wander about the city with a book in my pocket, I dog ear. When I’m done with a book it looks like it’s been read and enjoyed, my wife on the other hand could probably return the book in most cases when she’s finished with it…