Totally new user to LinQ here, have some experience learning Japanese on other sites.
I wanted to come here to learn spanish. Im totally new to Spanish. I dont want to get bogged down in the ‘learning how to learn’ part which I did in Japanese. I just want to immerse myself. In this vein, I just want to know when should I move on to the next lesson?
Also, on the grading of words… is this something that happens automatically or do I need to improve the grading?
It’s frankly up to you. There are some folks that don’t repeat any lesson. Others like to repeat. Or, what I found in the beginning stages, say when doing the mini-stories, or similar (like Assimil) I would repeat the lesson several times over the course of a day or two (not all at once). With each reading I would hope to understand all the words. After those handful of readings, I would move on, even if I hadn’t gotten all the words “memorized”. I did this because I’ve found that some words stick easy and some don’t and it’s better to just move on and not get bogged down on the words that don’t stick. You’ll add many more to your vocabulary if you move on. You’ll improve extremely slowly if you let the “un-sticky” words become your barrier. Also, I found that after reading a lesson a few times, I felt like I had memorized the story and therefore it wasn’t really useful anymore.
Keep in mind that you’ll see the most common words over and over in different lessons, so moving on to the next lesson is not the last chance you’ll ever see those words again.
I also think moving on is dependent on the length of a lesson. Ones that are a few minutes or less (of audio) lend themselves to repeating. They are short and sweet. Longer lessons that are 10 minutes are more, to me, are less repeatable. At least for reading. I’ve read it, (or slogged through it) and I’m ready to move on to something else. If I do want some repeat exposure to words in the longer lessons, I’ll just go back and hop through, yellow word to yellow word. Reading the word in context and trying to guess at it again. So, kind of like “flash cards” except I have the word(s) in context.
Hi, this is a great response thank you for taking the time to make it. I do wonder about this approach. Before I would not move on until I could repeat the dialogue from memory. Then I changed to , if I can read and understand. I found that both approaches made me lose interest and losing interest is the death of language learning. I want to try and make it fun this time, but im not sure how to do that in the beginning stage. I will try just moving onto another lessons once ive read a few times and maybe repped the words in the unbuilt tools.
I agree with you…You need to be able to keep interest, otherwise it will be difficult to maintain.
I certainly wouldn’t stick with a lesson until I could repeat the dialogue from memory. Perhaps on the easiest of lessons that are using particularly useful everyday phrases that might be a worthwhile endeavor. However, at some point, you will be into lessons that are a couple of thousand words long. You will never be able to memorize that, so as a long term strategy that will hit a brick wall fairly quickly. Also, your “spoken” language (active) will always trail AND be less than your reading/listening language (passive).
If you trust the system of reading/listening then you can simply move on to the next lesson. Perhaps go back and repeat it at some point, but it’s absolutely not necessary. Use sentence mode…try to understand and see how the words fit. Then click translate and see how the meaning is of the sentence as a whole. LingQ any new words, pick one of the meanings that fits best and then move on. You’ll understand the and be able to follow along with the lesson because you are ultimately always checking the translation of the sentence. To me this keeps it interesting and I don’t get lost. Plus I gain insight into the word in context which may illustrate a meaning and usage of the word than I might get if just translating the word in isolation.
I’m dabbling a little in Dutch recently and this is how I’ve been going about it (very much how I go about German/Spanish at much higher levels now). But I’ve gained the trust that I’ll eventually start understanding these words and phrases, it may take a while, I will see these words again in other lessons and contexts.
I think ideally some repetition of the lesson might be best, but it’s not necessary.
Thanks a lot for this, I agree on all points. I will proceed like this and see how it goes on the account that my memory is absolutely terrible! If you dont mind, how would I go about using the grading system for words… do they increase in grade automatically or do i need to do them manually… how does it work? Thanks.
ALso, what about gender and plural and things like that… will i just pick this up as I go…
I can only speak to how I use the levels…a lot of people use them in different and interesting ways that suit them. I’ve changed the way I use them many times. Over time, I’ve come to the conclusion, for myself, that I don’t need, or want to use all the levels. If I understand the words meaning, in context, I set it to 5 (known). If I don’t, I just leave it (at level 1 yellow). Maybe, if I kind of know it I might bump it, but most often not. If I marked a word as 5 before, and come across it again later, and don’t understand the word in context, I will drop it back to #2. Doing it in this way, I spend less time dithering about trying to figure out how well I know it. Essentially, either I know it in context, or not. I do not base the level on whether I can USE the word in my own spoken speech. I stopped doing that very early on. The main problem is that you spend too much time trying to decide whether you know it in this manner, and frankly, you’d probably end up with just walls of yellow text. Bleh. Also, there’s a motivation aspect of marking the words known when you understand them.
Lately, I’ve been experimenting with bumping the level each time I see the word, up to 3 (then I’ll leave it at 3 until I ultimately know it in context, then I would mark as 5). This way, I have an idea of how many times I’ve encountered this word. I’m stopping at 3 because the highlighting of 4 is not so obvious and I won’t set it to 5 until I know it.
So this is another quick way of doing things and not wasting time thinking about what to set it to.
It will not bump automatically, except I think if you use SRS and get it correct a certain number of times. Reading alone, the bumping is all manual. I don’t use the SRS functionality.
Thanks that makes sense. I might use the SRS because I have used that for Japanese and see how I get on, especially for times where I cannot give the text my full attention.
I just want to highlight something you said because it’s important. Don’t waste a lot of time thinking about what to set a word to. It’s OK to change it to anything you want at any time.
I have words I think I know well in one context, then discover it just doesn’t click with me in another context. If I’ve marked it Known, then see it later and don’t immediately recognize it, I might put it back to 1. That flags it next time it comes up and I might think about it a little harder (or not). I have words I first saw a year and a half ago in Duolingo and STILL can’t seem to remember. They tend to stay at 1 forever That’s not a problem and I don’t dwell on it.
BTW, I only use 1 and Known (and ignore). The other numbers are too nuanced for me to make any use of them.
THanks! What about gender… so far im seeing a lot of alterations of the word they based on what word comes after it… do i just accept it for now and move one wthout reading about grammar…
There’s not a “gender” to words In Japanese that I know of…not like that of Spanish, German, etc. The endings may change due to a politeness level or other reasons (hopefully someone who knows Japanese can speak to it more). Maybe provide some examples in another thread and ask the same question?
Otherwise, it’s mostly a matter of noticing these things and recognizing the patterns. Perhaps looking up a bit about grammar online related to what you are seeing to see why it’s happening. You might also use chatGPT as someone has suggested in a different thread (different subject)…you could give the example sentence you are seeing and ask it why is the ending like this. eg. "can you explain why the ending of the word “x” is the way it is in this Japanese sentence. xxxxx xxxx xxxx xxxxx xxxxxx (some Japanese sentence)
There’s nothing wrong with researching why something is the way it is. If you’re curious or you think it’s impeding your learning, by all means, look it up. Just don’t get bogged down on learning “rules” before you’ve seen something in context. Try to figure it out first. Then when you look it up it will likely be more meaningful and stick.
My (limited) experience is that there is no wrong way to go about this. Every exposure to the language is useful to some extent. Some ways are more efficient and productive, but you can’t really do it “wrong”.
I would add two things to the discussion:
I happened to import a story to my Bulgarian language course. The story is interesting, it covers a location I visited earlier this year, but it is long (24’ audio), written in a natural (ie. not simplified) language, with tons of compound phrases, specialized vocabulary, perhaps slang words, etc. Actually, I haven’t finished it yet. I analyse a phrase or two at a time, extract the words and phrases, make exercises - and then I’m too exhausted to continue, so I switch over to a ministory (which is simple). And then return to the lesson a few days later to make another phrase. If I wanted to complete it before moving on, I’d stuck a few weeks ago. So it all depends on many factors.
If English is your native language (or if you simply prefer to use English as your source language), it’s not that relevant, but I prefer to make all the translations to Polish (which is my mother tongue) rather than to English. Considering that both Google Translate and DeepL seem to translate everything to English and only then they translate to the target languages, tons of information is lost in the process, or the translations are plain wrong! Hence, I prefer to use dedicated online dictionaries to translate to Polish directly - as the results are far more reliable.
Also, I discovered that on the Wiktionary (https://en.wiktionary.org to be precise) you may find inflection tables of the words in many languages, including the languages I learn. So I take the meaning of the word from my dictionary of choice, I take the grammar info of the particular word form used in a lesson (such as a person, number, grammatical case, mood, and whatnot) from Wiktionary, combine them together, and only then I create a LingQ flashcard. The final result includes a Polish word already inflected to convey the grammar info as close to the original as possible. So if the original word is a feminine gender adjective in a Genitive case, I use a Polish feminine adjective in a Genitive case as well. This way it’s more easier to understand and more convenient for me than making grammar annotations to the basic form of the said word. And I avoid guessing if “good” should be translated to “bueno”, “buena” or “buenos” on the particular flash card later on.
For me, the key thing is if it feels gruelling then make your method easier. If it is not fun and relaxing then your brain won’t learn as well and you won’t want to spend as much time on content.
I only use videos which are less than 10 minutes long. Once imported, I read a lesson in page view, then sentence view to get familiar with all the unknown words. I then listen to it about 5 times.
I pat myself on the back for the parts I understand rather than kicking myself in the shins for the parts I don’t. Once I can understand most of it quite easily, I move on.
After this I go back to two videos I have already studied from my playlist to review and listen to them a few times and then move onto a brand new lesson.
I keep tweaking so this method may change in a couple of weeks!
I also really like wiktionary because of the inflection tables.
So far I have only once run into a case where the English inflection table (en.wiktionary.org) had an error (for a Russian word) and someone showed me that the Russian wiktionary version (ru.wiktionary.org) had it correct.
So I think it is reliable enough for me.
Thanks to all the commentators in this thread; it was very interesting to read different experiences of what has worked well for other people.
Hi. I suggest moving on when you’ve read through it once. I’ve never gone back over previous lessons because the best way to use LingQ is to import your own content. Whatever interests you is what you should be reading, so the chances of seeing the words again are very high. Also, none of the words in the basic courses are so rare you won’t find them again. Each one is likely to be encountered again even in the beginner courses themselves! So there’s really nothing to worry about.
Generally, I treat reading on LingQ as reading first, and learning the language second. This isn’t because I can’t understand what I read (LingQ gave me a C1 in Russian), but because I find it easier to focus on understanding the text and moving on; consuming it as information. The brain cares way more about relevant information than random trivia (which is what any new language is essentially to you).
The way I use the grading system is if a word looks familiar and I can mostly remember what it means, I set it to 3. Completely unknown words are 1, words I recognize but don’t know what it means is a 2, and if I remember a word a day or so later, I mark it a 4, knowing I’m probably going to forget it later anyway. I hardly ever mark a work as “Known.” I reserve that for words I know instinctively without having to think about the meaning at all.
I’m the kind of person who likes a lot of structure and clarity. Language-learning is anything but that, at least to me. I’m slowly learning to be ok with that and try to focus on just enjoying what I do understand, and trust the process. I’m solidly in the intermediate stage now where it’s gotten really hard to see my progress, but I’m not yet fluent enough to do a lot with the language. It’s tough. If that’s where you are, too, I would say do whatever you need to do to keep your interest and motivation up. If that means moving on from a lesson that’s gotten tedious, move on. If you like to hammer on a word until you know it inside and out, do that.
It’s really a very individual thing, I think.
BTW, there’s lots of good advice in this thread. Thanks, everybody!
I’m coming back to LingQ after a long stretch of not using it because I was trying to do stuff beyond my level. How you use the platform will determine your study method. For me, I’ve entered some of the challenges as a way to mark my progress and keep motivated even though I’m basically starting out again.
Since they require a LingQ/Learned Words goal it does push you to do content you haven’t done already because getting a word to known is a little more difficult than just creating LingQs.
However, I don’t want to just consume all the time so I’ll pick a course with a bunch of lessons and keep moving on to the next after going through each at least once or twice until I feel like I’m done for the day.
On the next day I’ll start at the beginning again and see if my comprehension of the later stories helped at all and hopefully I feel like I’ll start to retain more of the content. This way I’m not getting bored just doing one story over and over.
Welcome to LinQ! For immersion, focus on comprehension rather than perfection. Move on when you understand most content. Word grading can be automated, but review helps. Enjoy learning Spanish!