Word count

I wanted to ask what opinion do you have regarding the fact that here on lingq the inflections of the words are also counted ?

I suppose there are two ways of looking at it. You could see your words known number as inaccurate, in that, for example, “run” and “runs” are the same word just conjugated differently. Or you can take the words known figure as generally representative and indicative of your knowledge of your target language, and increasing as your knowledge and exposure increase. I suspect the intended function of the words know figure is not to scientifically measure your knowledge but rather to allow you to observe your own progress and feel some ongoing sense of progress and reward.

Those are two videos Steve made about this topic.

The word count is an estimate of exposure to the language. Also, some inflections are substantially different from their root words. Keep in mind as well that you won’t necessarily encounter every single form of every word you have seen, so, you needn’t divide your ‘word count’ by the theoretical number of variants. If you used LingQ for all of your reading, I think eventually you would have multiple hundreds of thousands of words for any language.

Yes, Creimann, you are right. This is why my German wordcount is so high. Not only are there multiple inflected forms of words, but the words become joined into single words. Because of this, the number of possible words in German is infinite. On top of this, I think that LingQ counts phrases as words also. Thus, any language can have many, many thousands of words.

@Gingko - Just a correction: phrases are not included in the Known Words total. They are just included in the LingQs total and also in the Learned LingQs statistic when moved to Status 4.

The definition of the word "word’ is different for many people. For instance, I consider "tree’ and “trees” to be two different words:

  1. Tree + absence of s = only one tree. 2) Tree + S which indicates plural = more than one tree.

Of course if I know the word “tree” I know what “trees” mean but it’s not so evident for other words.
I know a lot of conjugated verbs in Spanish but I might not know their equivalent in some tenses!

Counting the inflections is useful and efficient in my opinion.

Thanks Alex. I was not sure on that one.