What do you do with words that you feel have no value in learning for you personally?

I completed a lesson that contains a lot of tennis-specific vocabulary. I have LINGQed these words, but now I don’t find any point in learning these words.

Shall I …

  • just ignore them
  • delete them, or
  • set them to known?

Any advice will be greatly appreciated.

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You can put them in the trashcan if you are not all interested in them. That way they appear as normal text: black on white background. Or you can set them to level 1 which indicates word is new. Leaving them to blue is risky if you click terminate lesson. Then, they will become known word.


I’ve just looked at the statistics of one language I have, and there are more than 7000 lessons, and 3M words read, with still 64k lings created.

I would say, don’t focus on things that don’t matter, keep crunching lessons and words. Think in term of big numbers and lots of months/years to come.

You don’t have to learn those words if you won’t ever see them again. Don’t care about SRS.




At first I was very conscientious about marking words and phrases properly, or as best I could. But then I noticed that LingQ was so sloppy about, well, everything, especially the business of adding all blue words to Known if one clicks the check mark at the end of the lesson, that I stopped caring.

For me, my time is the most valuable. Worrying about whether I should mark a word Trash, 1-4 or Known is a waste of my time. Unless a word is gibberish or an unfamous last name or place, I write down the word and definition in my notebook, mark it as Known and move on. If I encounter it again and don’t recall it, I write it down again in my current notebook entry.

In any event LingQ statistics are only rough indicators and fairly subjective. As far as I’m concerned, the LingQ app, beyond Comprehensible Input and Listening/Reading/Translating, is useless and time-wasting.

Don’t worry, be happy, and get your real work done.


I agree, but this is something we learn by spending time with the app. The more we use the app the more we change and taylor the way we use it in a very different way. At the beginning we care about lots of irrelevant details, the more we use it, the more we understand how much work we have ahead of us and start focusing on that. I guess it’s a common learning process that we need to figure out ourselves to make it ours.


Learn them? I guess you mean SRS? I wouldn’t bother (“learning” or using SRS). If it’s an important and common word you’ll see it over and over again in other contexts. If you really like tennis then you’ll probably read lots of content that involves words related to tennis. If you don’t care about tennis, then you will see these words very rarely.

Stick to content that is of interest to you and you will be spending more time on words that are important in your life, or that you might use later. You’ll see these words again and again. You’ll learn the words gradually through reading.

Obviously up to you how you would like to deal with them. There’s not really any perfect answers and in many cases it really depends on what you find to be the most successful/helpful.

If it were me I’d LingQ the words, set them to 1. If I see them again in another context and recognize the meaning, then I set it to known. Otherwise you can leave it at 1. You could bump it up to 2. (I’ve been bumping up to 2 then 3 lately…meaning I’ve seen this word in at least 3 different contexts, or sittings). Then I just leave it at 3 until I find a point where I understand it in context. Then I move it to known. I don’t typically do any SRS as I don’t find it to be a good use of my limited time.

If you are using SRS, and you really don’t want to have to slog through some of these rare words, then you might have a bit of a dilemma, or a choice to make. However, I think you will have a dilemma regardless because there will come a point where you have so many words to review in SRS, that unless you have a strategy to deal with that, then you will find that all you do is review SRS and you will ultimately halt your progress. So, for example, you might limit your SRS time to 10 minutes. Maybe you only SRS the level 3 words. Or only SRS words from particular lesson(s) you’ve read in the last couple of days.

Like David and I’m sure most anyone who has been using LingQ for some time, we have tens of thousands of “lingqed” words that are still not “known” to us. Doesn’t matter, we may never learn many of these. We may never see many of these words again. No worries.


True to a point. But I consider LingQ an app so terribly flawed beyond its initial, brilliant Comprehensible Input motivations, that I have no slack to give it. Users have to put up with absurd treatment I’ve never seen anywhere else.

Right now “Show Translation” is broken over 50% of the time. This is absolutely core functionality. Does LingQ care? How did this version go live?

A few days after a bug report here Zoran thanks us for our patience.

I no longer have any patience. And I don’t expect anything better.


Don’t link them. And don’t use the LingQ SRS, it’s awful.

You might come across those words again, in which case they might get into your long term memory, but I wouldn’t sweat it.

I agree with others here, LingQ is an excellent reader, but beyond that it’s decidedly substandard. I’m guessing they don’t make a fortune from LingQ, or they don’t want to invest in the development and maintenance.

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@jt23 - if you hadn’t seen, apparently LingQ added a functionality to change what source sentence translations come from which is something people have definitely been asking for for a couple of months. The default now is set to ChatGPT. Try setting it to DeepL or Google Translate and I think you’ll get much better result performance wise. ChatGPT, as great as it can be, isn’t alway the quickest response wise even for the pro version.

From the lesson, go to the 3 dot menu in the upper right of the lesson, go to “settings”. In the Reader setting section scroll to almost all the way to the bottom for “Sentence Translactions” and switch the Default Translation Resource to DeepL or Google Translate. I think you’ll get performance.


Thanks everyone for the advice.

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Nope. Unfortunately this is what I tried to do as explained in the other thread related to this bug and it doesn’t work. The problem stays the same. You can read it here: [bug] "Show Translation" effectively broken - #4 by julsoft

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The sentence translation bug can be worked around by generating a full translation at the start of lesson. This is buggy too though (up to 35% error rate) and you will need to push and wait for the show sentence button for a few sentences.

For the MasterLingQ users. I’ve added the original translate method and a basic retry on fail method to the new options


Interesting. Hadn’t seen that aspect (but I also usually am in sentence mode). Something interesting to play with. Thanks Rooster.

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I had already reset to Google Translate. Still gets stuck more than half the time.

How did this version go live? Does LingQ do any QA?


Yep. I see now that you are correct that regardless of which you use it still gets stuck. It does seem a little better with the non Chat GPT choices, but still not at the speed it was before.


If it’s a word it has value to me. I may never read about the bioluminescence of deep pacific fish ever again, but even if I don’t, I’m better off having read their names once than not at all. I see it this way: I use the languages on LingQ to learn about the world, not learn to learn languages. So everything is relevant. The only words I don’t lingQ are either bugged (via splitting with hyphens or what-have-you) or, in the case of something like Cyrillic or Japanese, they are just latin words. I consider those annoying, actually, as I’m not gaining knowledge from seeing a paragraph of proper Russian laced with proper latinised words. If they were written in Cyrillic, even with foreign (largely English) pronunciation, I wouldn’t delete them.


I know tons of words in English that I don’t care about. And if I know that many in english, I am going to count them in my second language too.

Funny enough I’ve ended up having some very niche conversations, so in some instances, the useless became useful. You never know who you’ll run into


Yeah, I feel like the process of acquiring new vocab is more unconscious, and you just inadvertently end up with a lot of words that you’ll understand, and maybe they’ll even be on the tip of the tongue in some conversations, but you just won’t use them.

While reading Yu Hua, a chinese writer, I picked up a lot of Chinese words (some transliterated), that I’ll just probably never use. For example, dazibao, a phenomen closely tied to cultural revolution, lives rent-free in my head. How does that help in my french learning journey, well…

I hope someday some of these words will have an occasion to be uttered by me in some interesting conversation. So far, it’s just like a hobby that you don’t share with anyone.

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I mark those words as “New”. If I come across the word again and recognize it, it will be moved up one level; if I don’t recognize it, then not. That means I definitely won’t actively learn such words, but if they do get stuck in my brain at some point, it certainly won’t hurt.

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