Zoran: that sucked the way you did the level changes

Moving the goalposts half way through a level is highly demotivational. Sucky move bro.

What would be better is this:
Grandfather in the current levels so that it changes when we cross the threshold to the next level.

What you have done instead is for those of us just about to get to the next level, you have moved it further away. That is demotivational and not thinking about the consequences could be considered to have been a dick move.

You might lose people over this. I suggest you fix it the way I recommend. Your call though.


I am sorry you feel that way. We had to adjust level targets to make them more appropriate for each language. I understand it may be demotivational for some users, but keep in mind that new level targets are more accurate.


I don’t get what your problem is? You known words will still increase, and haven’t been touched. You’re angry some arbitrary goalpost has been moved to more accurately reflect some arbitrary, ambiguous level. Maybe you could’ve thought that “Sure my goal is now higher, but that means my goal is more accurate now and will be worth more when I attain it”


I completely get what you mean, but the reality is that the old numbers were quite meaningless to begin with. I was about to reach beginner 2 and suddenly I have another 500 words to go to reach it. But my plan in the end is to reach over 100, 000 words so it doesn’t particularly matter to me what the individual goalposts are because I’m planning to absolutely destroy any reasonable goal and aim for a very large number.
Saying it’s demotivating is a little extreme because you’re not playing a game. LingQ is not a game. Learning a language is not a game. So what difference does it make if you have to learn a few thousand extra words? Weren’t you going to do that anyway? And when you did reach the goal, you’d just make the next level your goal anyways.
My only issue is that there hasn’t been any official post about the new changes and Steve hasn’t made a video talking about it, so everyone has had to discover it suddenly which is understandably shocking.


I am wondering what the new numbers are. However I think mine didn’t change (not sure) maybe just by chance. But I don’t feel strongly about it. Did anyone move back a level?

Is there somewhere where we can see the new list showing how many words to achieve each level?


Yeah so I used to be about 3,000 words from Advanced 2 in Russian, and now I’m like 18,000. It is for sure more accurate now, but it was a little surprising when I noticed it today!

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Allow me to suggest to you that you might be overreacting. You haven’t lost anything. You still have all your known words. Set a goal based on your own known word target, or better yet words read (See PeterBormann’s page, “General SLA strategies”). The only thing that changes is the one word on your profile, which is based on an arbitrary definition of what the levels are. You can still use the old ones if you want:


Zoran, I’m sure we’d appreciate a new table to replace the one in Help>>FAQ>How many words do you need to know to be fluent? page (the one I pasted above).

Also, when we say more accurate, do we mean more accurately reflects the known words expected at the CEFR levels?

Thanks for all that you do, by the way.


Funny, and I thought that

  1. vocabulary sizes were notoriously elusive (see, for instance: What are estimates of vocabulary size for each CEFR level? - Language Learning Stack Exchange)
  2. native speakers usually operated with collocations, not individual words
  3. it was unclear what “known (words)” exactly meant in this context.

First there was “accurate vagueness”
and now there is
“more accurate vagueness”.

What’s not to like about such an increase in sweet semantic nothingness? :slight_smile:


“I’m planning to absolutely destroy any reasonable goal and aim for a very large number.”
That’s the spirit: either we achieve native speaker-like proficiency or we die trying! :slight_smile:


We will update the number on the help page too, give us some time.


It bothered me at first when the goalposts were moved but then someone posted how it’s much better to track the words that we’ve read. He suggest 2.5 million to 3 million words read to be advanced. That makes sense and I’ll be tracking that now.


Basically, for Advanced 1 you now need the amount of words you needed for Advanced 2, you Intermediate 2 is what used to be Advanced 1, etc?
I don’t see a problem with it.

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Those goalposts based on known words didn’t become more meaningless after the change. Because it doesn’t matter what coefficient you apply to zero sense.


So we should measure in collocations, fixed phrases and cockney rhyming slang equivalent comprehension? I think to be fair it is hard to really understand what other lingq.com users are doing and what their level is in reality, but it is definitely a great tool. Definitely nothing to get to upset about when some people may well be putting in phone books. I was really impressed with a guy who had a huge amount of words in German and said they must be good, and they wrote back “at speaking at least!” some people don´t reply at all what their strategy is so in general the amount of words may be motivating, but I get the impression some people could be doing all sorts of odd stuff and can´t quite take the numbers so seriously. But it can be fun.


“So we should measure in collocations, fixed phrases and cockney rhyming slang equivalent comprehension?”

  • Words read
  • Words written
  • The exposure time (overall, speaking, listening)
    are more or less useful metrics for measuring progress, the rest such as “known (individual) words on LingQ”, the “number of months / years”, etc. are irrelevant metrics…

But if “irrelevance = fun” in your SLA reality, so be it :slight_smile:

I have 834 known words but when when it is a sentence like a house it will not count as s known word.

Frankly, I don’t understand why everyone is so upset about this. First of all, grandfathering people in would be a difficult thing to do as far as programming logic is concerned.

Mainly though, I just don’t think this is a big deal. If LingQ staff thinks that the old known words targets weren’t representative of the levels they were supposed to represent, who cares? If people are losing the entirety of their motivation over some arbitrary goalpost being moved, then they probably didn’t have the motivation to learn a language to a high level in the first place.

The known words targets exist only as one of many metrics that can be used to measure progress. What would be most effective for each individual would be to choose a known words goal independently from the LingQ-defined goals, and work towards that personal goal. LingQ’s metric for known words is their suggestion based on their research. Whether we agree with those numbers or not should not be cause for 50 posts in the past few days talking about how this is (somehow???) ruining the language learning experience for people.

On a larger scale though, the most concerning thing is this trend of users filling up the forums on a language learning website with complaint after complaint after complaint. That isn’t to say you need to be 100% on board with every single decision that LingQ makes. I don’t agree with every decision they’ve made either. However, ever since LingQ 5.0 came out, the forums have been flooded with posts that are just complaints over minor things that don’t affect the thing we’re all here to do: learn languages. Complaints like the order lessons are in on the home page, or the hundreds of feature suggestions that only a tiny subset of users would use. At the end of the day, LingQ knows how their users use the site, and are developing for the masses. Who are we to complain about minor decisions they make when those decisions don’t affect the core functionality of LingQ - mass reading and listening.


Imagine, you have subscribed to a designer chair with a lifetime warranty and support. You use it, enjoy it, and sometimes write to the manufacturer about what you would like to see fixed in this chair. For the most part, the manufacturer either ignores your most important suggestions or fixes minor ones, and usually does so very slowly. One fine day, you are going to sit on your chair and have a glass of wine to celebrate something. And you fall on the floor with all your might. Because the manufacturer pulled the chair out from under you without warning. After a while, he silently returns the chair. And only when you ask, “what’s the?” - he replies that he changed the color of the label because he decided to so, because it’s a better color.

I don’t think something wrong with the users who complains. Even less wrong with premium users. They must be treated with respect. There is a lot of ways to mitigate any changes in the app. Why to do it like that?

Word numbers goalposts doesn’t matter in the grand scheme of things, ok. But they might matter for some people at some period of their journey. As the challenges can motivate you, just because you like to see how you’re moving up the score table. So the getting to the goalposts also can motivate you.