What's a LingQ? And why do I need it?

Believe it or not, I’ve searched all over this site, and I haven’t found an answer to this question.

I see references to how to use LinQ’s and how to pay for them, and debates about limiting them. And they are mentioned a lot as being integral to the learning method of this site.

But I don’t actually see a description of what they are anywhere.

Are they flashcards? Are they some sort of complicated lexical tree that will get sent to my email never to be opened?

I have to admit. I’m lost.

Why are they better than the old fashioned technique of note taking, particularly for those who are tactile learners?

“As you read the text at your Lesson page, save the words and phrases that give you trouble. We call this LingQing.”
“LingQing, (saving words and phrases to your database) will help you understand the new language.”


You create a LingQ by clicking on the meaning of a word you see when you hover your mouse over it, or by clicking new hint. A lot of people like this because it’s easy, and because you can easily see the words you studied earlier, in any lesson. You don’t need to do that of course, you said in another thread you learn better by taking notes by hand… and well me too, and nothing stops you from doing that right?

I have created 40 000 lingQs now and learned maybe 20 000 of them. There is no way I could keep that quantity of paper notes organised. On LingQ, however, it’s easy to find a word I’m learning, and find examples of the word from the lessons I have studied.

In 2 years of learning Russian on LingQ I have gained a wider passive vocabulary than I have managed with 32 years of learning German :wink: I therefore recommend creating LingQs.

I have to agree with SBTP, I am making much better progress and having more fun doing the lingQing than I did before I took the plunge and only used lists, anki, cards, or nothing. I don’t do a lot of reviewing off the lingQs but I think I might start that too. Meanwhile, I am enjoying reading foreign language texts a lot more after I have gone through and lingQed in all the words I couldn’t understand.

Every time you save a word or phrase to your database, you create a LingQ. If you start doing so, everything will become clearer.

When you create a LingQ you start a number of processes. You start keep a statistical record of your learning activity and progress. You enable the differential highlighting of new words, words that you are learning, words that you have learned at LingQ and words that you already knew. You create Flash Cards that are emailed to you. You make it possible to study on our iLingQ app for the iPhone/iPad. Yo can edit LingQs. You can Tag LingQs. You can ask questions on our Forums about your LingQs. You can see examples of your captured LingQs in different phrases in our library or in content that you have already studied, appealing to your episodic memory.

As you continue reading and listening, and working with your LingQs, you start to accumulate more and more words, which is the main task of language learning.

BTW, I do not believe that there are tactile learners, or other kinds of learners. I believe that our brains essentially learn the same way. We have preferred ways of learning based on what we are used to doing. But the learning process in the brain is largely the same. We need lots of input, lots of examples, and with a little help, the brain will start to put labels on things and form its own patterns to absorb a new language.

As for lexical trees, I personally have an aversion “linguistic terms” that seek to categorize the obvious and usually end up adding confusion, so you can rest assured that you would not get such emails form our system.

For example the only definition of a lexical tree I found in a quick search on the web was the following gobblety gook.

A lexical relation with a tree structure is a pattern of association that is characterized by a set of lexical units which both have an inclusion relationship with and are dominated by one lexical unit. These sets may form a taxonomy or a meronymy.

Steve, I’m sorry if I offended you with something I said.

LingQ is so impressive the system scared him away :open_mouth:
I do believe there are tactile learners, I know I learn something better in some ways. I don’t care if that is because of personal preference or if I’m born with it, I’ve tried a lot of ways to learn things, and I just know I’m more likely to remember things when I learn them in a certain way. And I take advantage of that.

I’m sorry to disagree with you, but there are tactile learners. Please think about braille and people with visual difficulties. People with visual difficulties may learn by sound and touch.

I think there are different ways to learn a language, but essentially all learner need to get enough exposure to the language. Some people can drink in a language quickly and other people seem to sip the language more slowly.

The only people who don’t learn a language are the ones who give up (and possibly those who foolishly think that their level is “good enough”.)

I’m sorry moriador decided to leave.

all learners…

I do not think moriador was interested in learning languages on LingQ.

As to learning types, I tend to agree with cognitive scientist Daniel Willingham

He says, and I agree,

"The Big Idea behind learning styles is that kids vary in how they learn: Some learn best by looking (visual learners), some by listening (auditory learners), and some by manipulating things (kinesthetic learners).

According to the theory, if we know what sort of a learner a child is, we can optimize his or her learning by presenting material the way that they like.

The prediction is straightforward: Kids learn better when they are taught in a way that matches their learning style than when they are taught in a way that doesn’t.

That’s a straightforward prediction.

The data are straightforward too: It doesn’t work.

It doesn’t work–not only for the visual-auditory-kinesthetic theory, but for many other learning styles theories that have been proposed and tested since the 1940s."

I’m not sure whether tactile (in this case) means typing or writing by hand, but I learned A LOT from typing/copying an entire textbook in Russian, with the real Russian keyboard setup (not any “phonetic” alternative). I’m currently turning my Chinese characters active by using ProfArguelles’ scriptorium method. Just seeing the characters/words (even hundreds of times) isn’t enough for me (unless we’re talking about really simple one or two-stroke characters which anybody who’s not even interested in any Asian language would be able to learn immediately).

This being said (and, knowing that moriador has left the building), I think that electronic flashcards has it’s value. Easy to store/share/import/change/whatever…

I’m also now finding myself lingQing words that I had marked as “known”, because I could work out what they meant with a moment’s thought. Now I want to have these words pinned down on a flashcard, in an example context, so I can learn to use them with speed and ease, correct spelling and all.