What to do after 200k lingQs?

Hello there, I’ve been lingQing for a bit more than a year, and in this amount of time I’ve read about 6 mil words and listened to 800-ish hours of content, mainly content for natives. My experience with all this literature and YouTube videos can be characterised by one word - delightsome. One way or another I enjoy the process of reading itself, despite sometimes stumbling here and there. It’s kind of strange looking back on the list of books that I’ve read so far, thinking that while reading the previous book my level of understanding was lower. It’s as though a thought arises: ‘If I hadn’t had the knowledge I have now, how could I have read and understood that?’ Right now I have a feeling that books and videos I come across are comprehensive. It feels like there is no N+1 anymore.

I understand that I have to continue my immersion, and the answer to the comprehensible input is more comprehensible input, I get it. What ails me is that I understand almost everything that I read, same goes for the audio content, and at this point it just feels like I just consume content just as comfortably as I would do in English, yet I can’t output French.

I am at the point where I am interested in learning grammar and feel that it is necessary for writing and speaking.

So yeah, I need your opinion on how to proceed from this point on. Does anyone know how to transform these 200k lingqs into anki cards? How to approach grammar at this point? How would you learn more day-to-day phrases, conversational skills as opposed to pretty academic or fictional writing that I’ve been reading up to this point?


With 200k you should feel comfortable to do what you want at this point. It depends on what you need from the language you are studying.

Maybe you need to spend some time in understanding and writing why you are learning this language and what you want to obtain from it. It will help you to figure out your next step.

Generally speaking, if you want to overall level up your language (which I would), and you are not planning to go to the target country for a period of time right now, I would start tackling writing. With writing you learn grammar as well. Last stage would be speaking directly in your target country.

This is just a random advice without knowing more. :slight_smile:

PS: great job!


Your stats are very impressive for one year learning French. From personal experience (around half your stats in same time frame) its the same phenomenon. Consuming and understanding comes more or less easily, writing and consistently speaking is more challenging.

I think the answer is in the content. I’ve found improvements in the latter 2 by swapping from documentaries to content where people speak to each other. TV shows, podcasts… I also like to write comments on the videos that I watch in the target language. Small steps, but less painful than writing detailed breakdowns about everything.


With zero practice of these skill areas, you just can’t expect to be good at them. Start practising writing and speaking. The best way would be to have friends who speak these languages. Second best is to hire a conversational partner or tutor. Either for money or as a language exchange.

For writing, write comments on YouTube videos, Google reviews, or talk to ChatGPT.

With grammar, find a grammar book and go through it, doing the exercises.

Listen to chit-chat podcasts with multiple speakers. Interview podcasts are alright too, but chit-chat style podcasts with two or three people are better.


You just need to start spending a lot more time on writing and speaking if you are wanting to bring these areas up.

You can use a tutor to do conversations or find a partner willing to do some speaking exchange. If you don’t feel ready for that, or don’t want to spend the money then you can certainly work on these things on your own (I mostly do).

Start by writing or speaking ( or both) a daily journal. Describe everything you did that day. Then, if you wrote it down, try to say it all. Start simple. Try to get simple sentences down. Try to write or say everything in some way. If you don’t know the words, try to describe it in a way with words that you know. (i.e. airplane might be “flying thing”). If you can’t even do that, then go to DeepL or Chat GPT and find out how you can say or write what you want to say.

If you’ve written something down, go to writing exchange on LingQ, or use ChatGPT…ask it to fix any grammar issues and make suggestions on how to better say some things…paste the entire script you wrote. It will correct it and offer better ways to say things. Then review that as a lesson in LingQ. And practice saying it.

These are going to be everyday things that you say and do. It’s your specific vocab or phrasebook. Write or speak about things that happen to you. Try to write or speak about everything you typically say and do in a day. If you don’t know it, look it up. Then practice saying/writing them that day, the next day, etc. Think about how you would answer/respond to people over the course of the day if you had to speak or respond to them in your native language whenever you get a moment. Go over conversations you had and again do this. Type it all out again and ask ChatGPT for corrections.

Translate your native language Mini-Stories to your target language.

Frankly, I still wouldn’t worry too much about grammar. Sure, get into the basics, but doing the exercises above you will be getting into the grammar as you look up things in DeepL or get responses from natives.

Also as nfera points out, start listening to more speaking content…podcasts, conversations (Easy French youtube channel if you haven’t been). A lot of the words you may know, but when it’s conversational, sometimes it can be hard to understand. Much harder than an audiobook or a polished speaker.

If you want n+1 content you have to find different topics you don’t maybe look into. Read the news, read non fiction on various topics.


I’ve read all the suggestions above, and it all makes sense! Guess, simple truths needed to be said out loud by another person in order to be understood. I’ll focus on output from now on. Writing down your day should probably cover all the mundane things that I lacked so far, it’s kind of crazy to think that one can speak about some philosophical topic, without knowing some day-to-day stuff.
I started my phrase-book some time ago, and mainly filled it with phrases from dialogue that I thought might come in handy in real life.
Regarding podcasts, I love podcasts, but usually they are ABOUT something, not just chit-chatting. It feels like I can talk about some topic, but cannot into small talk (dunno if that makes sense).
N+1 content becomes too specialized, like reading some technical stuff, history, etc. I just don’t think that I can come across new words that are actually useful, instead of the names of medieval infantry units in Europe.
Have anyone tried extracting lingqued phrases and put them into anki?


Speaking—I really like italki for affordable, excellent tutors/conversation partners. Each has a little blurb and a short video. I like short 30 minute lessons and had fun trying different tutors to see who I clicked with.

Writing— Sometimes I will pick a week and force myself to write a short vignette, like a story I would tell a friend, Without Looking Anything Up! It might just be 5 or 8 sentences.

Then I might check it with Google Translate and adjust it a little

Then I might post it to LingQ Writing Exchange where a native speaker will correct it!


While not having such impressive numbers in reading or listening, I felt similar, with French.

What I did was to dive into Lingoda and focus on grammar with more traditional, but online, learning. I did all the Lingoda B1 grammar lessons. I decided to proceed ahead with Lingoda for all of the B2 lessons and am mostly through that. I should wrap up Lingoda B2.3 (which is as high as they go by late summer). I’ve like the Lingoda lessons as I can talk about climate change, urbanism, fairy tales, different aspects of quality of life, interior design, how to give a presentation, and all sorts of other aspects of well-roundedness that self-motivation-driven free form exploration of input won’t necessarily create exposure to.

One specific challenge I have is pronunciation. For this, I’m doing iTalki lessons just focused on pronunciation.

I’m a fan of comprehensible input as the core of the approach, but not necessarily the totality. I find the traditional approaches offer a certain well-roundedness that “formation” provides. Naturally, it all depends what one’s goals are. Personally, I’d like to pass DELF at the B2 level this year, and kinda call my French studies “done.”


Now that we know French, we could start rewriting French in Rust.


You could always take the non conversational style podcast transcript (or parts of it) and go to Chat GPT…ask it to create a dialogue between two people about the subject in the transcript…then paste the transcript in. I’ve done this a lot of times using a news article. I might ask it to summarize the news article and then create a dialogue from it (or the original text). Then import it into LingQ.


Salut !

Le meilleur moyen pour apprendre le français de tous les jours est de s’immerger avec le bon contenu, et de communiquer avec les gens. Nous ne parlons pas comme nous écrivons.

Va donc sur Twitter, suis des gens qui t’intéressent et écrivent en français.
Va donc sur Tandem, ou Hello Talk pour parler avec des français, ou sur des groupes de passionné, si tu aimes la voiture, les timbres, ou que sais je.

Commence par apprendre à t’exprimer à l’écrit et l’oral suivra.

Bravo, et bon courage dans ton aventure.


How did you read 6 million in one year? That’s like 100 full sized books - in a foreign language no less


Not really in year, about 70% of “words read” were in last 6 months. Not sure about “full sized” books, here’s the list of books, that I’ve read in this span of time -

Plus I didn’t finish a lot of books, and there were a lot of pocasts transcripts.

I’d say that, reading instead of scrolling social media was a game changer. I filled all that ‘dead time’ with reading.
I spent 1.5-2 months in a hospital with no entertainment, so books were the only dopamine fix that I could get, so I guess that was a blessing in disguise.


There are a lot of books shared on LingQ, here are the ones that I’ve shared:
La tulipe noire - https://www.lingq.com/en/learn/fr/web/library/course/1573861
À se tordre - Login - LingQ

La Chasse-Galerie - Login - LingQ

La Garçonne - Login - LingQ

L’Homme invisible - Login - LingQ

La guerre des mondes - Login - LingQ

Les buveurs d’ocean - Login - LingQ

Le portrait de Dorian Gray - Login - LingQ

La Pitié Dangereuse - Login - LingQ

Martin Eden - https://www.lingq.com/en/learn/fr/web/library/course/1627809
Enfant de Commune - Login - LingQ

Pauvre Marcel - Login - LingQ


I’m an American who lives in France, and I can tell you it is hard to get enough practice speaking, even if you live in your target country. Most of my French friends speak English and it’s easy for them to slide into English when they get tired of hearing me struggle. The conversations I have in stores, etc., tend to be pretty repetitious and I don’t learn much at this point. So, I have two iTalki tutors who I pay to speak French with me! Seems crazy, but those two hours a week account for about 90% of my conversation practice every week. Well worth the money and I would add a third hour if I had the time. Good luck!


@58rsh8nq2w I disagree a lot. You need to change your strategy and tactics. It depends on how much focused you are on your language journey instead of your lifestyle. I lived in France for a few years and never struggled to find French people that didn’t have a clue about what English was.
Plus, you are an English native speaker, which makes it easier to create in person tandem conversations. Go to universities, your embassy, and other places where French students learn English and offer free 1h/1h conversations (French/English). Depending on how much time you have, you can meet a different person every day.
Talk to farmers when you buy your food on open markets.
Engage in bar conversations starting with the bartenders, step by step.
Go to meetups where French people do activities and listen to them talking to each other, possibly with activities where there is not so much noise around.
Go to places where there are social workers that usually deal with foreign people, they will be more patient.
Change environment and friends you have right now and focus on your language learning. It is up to you to get uncomfortable and push yourself to learn and speak. I met more than one person that wasn’t speaking their own language to only focus on what they were learning when they were outside. Me included! (it might not be popular but it is what it is). :slight_smile:


@davideroccato, I sort of had a different unterpretation of the experience that 58rsh8nq2w shared. His main message for me was - you have to seek speaking practice, people are ok with where your language is at the moment, they are ok with speaking in lingua franca of the given group if it means that the communication goes smoothly. If anything, for me it is reassuring, knowing that people just want to communicate no matter the medium they’re using. I wouldn’t change the friends over it.

This person’s experience seems to allign with my understanding of how you get better. And it doesn’t seem crazy to me, to pay for the deliberate practice. I visualized it for myself like this:

(There is a podcast episode in french on the same topic Login - LingQ )


@baguettenjoyer oh, I get your interpretation now, thanks for sharing your point of view.
In this case, you can just upgrade or change scenario. You can go to the theatre, you go to different meetups, you change people. I mean, if you are in the country, you just have the entire country for you. There is not a lack of places where to go, nor a lack of people.

Btw, when I first answered to you, I didn’t really get that you had only 28k known words. I mixed lingqs with known words. With that number you have, you are not comfortable yet according to previous people experience as well. (Imho)

Probably most of the known words come from associations with words that you already know, or words that your brain pick up easily.
You can work to convert those lingqs into known words right now. You will start to get comfortable probably around 70k known words. The process of converting is longer, and push your brain to a bit more of an effort.
You can go deeper in the meaning of some word as well.
In this case, repeating some book or material more times could be useful. I find more useful repeating a book when you are more intermediate than doing it at the beginning with the mini stories (those are not for me at all).


I hear you!

I’m not sure I could maintain my fluency in English if I depended on speaking opportunities in America.

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If you go the Anki route, you’re not going to keep up with a 200K card deck. A deck this large might work, if you delete the words you don’t need as you go along. If you keep all the cards in the deck, the number of reviews will eventually become unmanageable-- reviewing 200K cards one by one once a year is just too much.

The way to use Anki would be to find some phrases you want in active mastery-- quick comebacks in conversation. Then practice these phrases so you can produce the phrase in French from the English prompts. The idea is having something in French at the tip of your tongue.

I have about 2K cards in a Native American language, about 500 being phrases. Eventually the phrases started to sink in, and now I can automatically substitute other nouns in the phrases in live conversation.

Systematically selecting some phrases with useful verbs for Anki would be another approach. If you know one or two commonly used forms of the top 500 verbs in the context of a phrase, that would give you something to work with.

You could also check out the pre-made decks in Anki, and try whichever one seems fun for you. It may not matter so much which phrases you learn, just that you get to the point where you can produce many phrases instantly when given an English prompt.

For French, I like to shadow YouTube videos with French - English phrases, repeat the French phrases out loud, and focus on getting the accent. This brings a few common phrases to active mastery. When you find the right level for you, repeating the phrases out loud is fun, like learning to sing a song.