Writing levels

Hello everyone, I just wanted to ask you what your average mistakes per words is?
I wanted to know, because I want to know how people are doing (writing wise) just by using LingQ. I myself have studied a little grammar.
My recent scores are below:
Spanish - 1 mistake every 10 words
German - 1 mistake every 12 words
Chinese - 1 mistake every 10 words
Swedish - 1 mistake every 9 words
Let me know as I am interested about this topic, also let me know your LingQ level in that language as I want to see whether there is a correlation between the two.

My French - 1 mistake every 10/12/17 words.

As a tutor for German the statistics of my corrections (different texts and different people) were
1 mistake every 4/4/4/10/3/2/2/3/3/6/10/6/9/3/6 words.

It sometimes takes a lot of time to correct and explain the mistakes, especially if there are many in a text. Then the given points - compared to the time spent - are IMHO too little.

The thing is I make some errors which are real mistakes and then there are the punctuation and accent mark errors (which remain in the text through my carelessness before submitting my text). II’d be happy with an error rate of around 15, at the moment it fluctuates from 8 upwards. I consider myself as intermediate in French and Spanish, the other languages are definitely still Beginners 1.

As a matter of fact, I’d be happy if I noticed my forum post typos before I pressed the button…

I fully agree, Hape. Usually, the statistic for the German corrections is 1 mistake on 4 to 8 errors. And it take too much time to correct it compared to the points you earn. That is one reason why I put myself off from the writing correction list. I spend my time with things that helps more learners. For example, I translate the description of the new features of LingQ into German. (I do this on my own and without any financial interests, only with the purpose to help LingQ). Or I translate the German surface of LingQ.

My level differs depending on the topic and my concentration. The last results were: No error, 7, 15, 21, 11, 31, 22 (English)

Sorry, typo. Not “7”. It should be “27”.

Correct is:
My level differs depending on the topic and my concentration. The last results were: No error, 27, 15, 21, 11, 31, 22 (English)

Wow! Thanks for asking this question. This is good to know. I consider myself as a lower intermediate in Spanish. My last few results, in reverse order, were (1 error per x words): no error! (only 20 words though), 27, 16, 18, 20, 11, 26. I typically write around 200-300 words. I tend to not proofread before submitting (although I do use a dictionary).

@ Vera and Hape

I encourage you to budget your time and work on highest priorities. Correcting a writing is an open-ended process.

which means, Edward?

Corrections are never really “done” or perfected in an objective way. Since there is no objective standard each tutor creates their own standard of what “done” means. To me, I am “done” correcting when I have-- at least-- corrected as many errors that I can identify (without notes) and have written a general comment.

I can always do that in a time that is comparable to what tutors make during conversations. If I have extra time by that standard, I do more notes on individual errors and may edit my general comment.

I think it’s not a good idea to correct only the most important “high-priority” stuff. The writers have a right to know all their mistakes because they pay.

But I think LingQ staff should think about some more points for writing corrections. 15 minutes speaking = 150 words correction = 500 points = $5.
To correct 150 words it needs very often more than 30 minutes.

@dooo: Yesterday I translated an advice for LingQ members and the text was “Try to make the finished writing sound natural. It should read as if a native speaker could have written it.” Edward, I’m not overcorrecting. It is not my German descent that make me nitpicking. The fact is that German isn’t as simple as English.

@hape: I agree. I pay for the correction, and I expect to get a corrected writing back.

You should not forget that English corrections are much simpler than German or Russian correction. Our grammar is more complicated and we have longer words. Even experienced students make a lot of errors.

There are two factors that influence the number of errors:

  • Level of the student
  • Difficulty of the language

I often got the impression that students submit writings too early. I got some writings were every second word had a mistake.

Well said! I agree fully.

@Vera I agree that a lot of people write to early, I have recently had a few English texts from people who have been learning English for a few days, they made one mistake every two words and it was only a 20 word text. However in my writings I try to stretch myself by writing about advanced topics, I have recently been sending in several pieces about health, the environment, work experience etc and because of the difficulty of the topics I always make quite a lot of mistakes. Another thing Vera is that I don’t believe that many learners write like natives and even with corrections I don’t feel that writings sound “native”, just because natives have natural expressions and idioms.
What do you think?


Students pay for correction, not proof-reading with notes.

“Try to make the finished writing sound natural. It should read as if a native speaker could have written it.” It is probably better to emphasis the ‘Try’ part of this quote. “Native-like” is always the orientation of the learner, but it is understood that it is not realistically attainable.

My Dad is from Germany. I am very nit-picky by nature but I get that from my Mom, who is Welsh :slight_smile: As an ESL teacher who has earned a salary mostly from the private sector for many years, “nit-picky” is the enemy-- it is not your friend.

I just had a look on the two writings of yours that I had the pleasure to correct for you - they sound both very native and natural (after my correction). I must add: both writings have been very well written by you.

To sum up: Yes, I try my best to make the writings look/sound so “native” as possible after my correction.

@08nessh: I’ve no problems with your writings. I believe I suggested you earlier to let me know if you want to submit a writing to me. Then I’ll change my settings that you can submit the writing to me.

@dooo: These are the words from ‘LingQ’. I had to translate them. I agree that it is sometimes too difficult to make the writing sounding natural especially if the writer is a beginner. As I wrote above, I try not to be nit-picky. You’re absolutely right when you say that this is not your friend.

What is ‘sounding like a native’? I think it depends on the education of the speaker. My daughter is native German but she is not able to express in the same way as I do, because she’s only 10 years old. But compared to other children at her age she sounds well educated. On the other hand I know adults who are not able to communicate properly in their native language. Long time ago the final statement of one of my tutors was that I wrote like a student in grade … I thought this was a nice and helpful comparison.

@hape thank you, I made quite a lot of mistakes in the writings that I sent you (compared to what I usually do), although the first one was a rather tricky topics. I really enjoy writing and in my opinion not enough LingQers write enough. Writing is something that helps me to start to speak about a topic, I write about it and then gradually begin to speak about it.
@Vera, ahh thank goodness, I thought you might have been talking about me earlier (within a group of students).
@Vera and hape, how important is writing to you?

A writing has to be natural as much as possible and some corrections are more difficult than others.
I’m a student and a tutor, and the main idea that I would like to express here is that there is a relation of trust between the student and the corrector and that whatever is not corrected could be thought as ‘correct’ in the student’s mind, mostly if he/she reads a comment of encouragement ‘only’. Therefore, if a writing has about 1 error/5 words or worse, and that certain things are not corrected, it should be said in the comment to the students that there are other minor mistakes but the more important ones were corrected!
It’s not my point to correct only the high priorities and let the other mistakes alone, without being picky :slight_smile: