Have you gone from beginner to fluent/conversational using LingQ?

Oceano gb United Kingdom

Have you started a new language on LingQ and became fluent? How long did it take? which methods did you find most effective? Tell me more about it I am interested to hear your stories.


August 12 at 22:04
  • MarkE us United States

    I have been wondering the same thing lately. It seems that a lot of people who have 30K-40K known words on LingQ already had prior experience with the language. I figure this by looking at their stats and see that their "LingQs learned" number is much lower than their known word count. Im curious to hear if anyone used to lingQ from scratch to fluency as well.

    August 12 at 22:41
    • kevindevos pt Portugal

      Important to note, for example russian is heavily inflected and tons of words sound similar to words in english, sometimes i see a diferent version of a word i previously lingqed and learnt, and mark it "learned" straight away, which may increase the known counter more than lingqs learned counter.

      August 13 at 10:05
    • riquillers qa Qatar

      Well you can't be sure just by checking their known words compared to their LingQs learned. I almost never use the flashcards system and I'm always reluctant to manually move a word from LingQs to known words so I have a very low learned LingQs number. I imagine there are other people like me out there.

      LingQ has definitely helped me understand more(currently at 19000 known words), but I've still got a long way to go.

      August 18 at 16:52
      • [werral] aw Aruba

        I thought "near native level" fluency was ~10K words? I don't understand how you would still have a "long way to go" if you have almost doubled the average fluency number.

        This is my first time learning a new language so excuse me if this is incorrect.


        September 25 at 15:28
        • ftornay es Spain

          This is a complicated topic, there are several factors that you must consider:

          - First, Lingq counts each separated form as a different word. In English, eg., it counts "work" and "works" as two different words, so you Lingq count can be higher that the actual number of words ("word families") you know. Depending on the language the difference can be substantial. In a language such as Swedish, which seems to be riquillers' target language I would say that the ratio is probably higher than two. That is, 19,000 known Lingq words correspond to less 6,000 word families.

          - Second, your known word count and your fluency in the language are only weakly related to each other. A decent vocabulary is a prerequisite for fluency but it doesn't guarantee it. You must work in other areas, such as listening comprehension and conversation before you can achieve fluency

          - Third, "fluency" is a very tricky term because each person interprets it differently. You can consider someone to be very fluent, whereas that person him/herself considers that they make too many mistakes and that there are areas that need improving, etc.

          September 25 at 16:36
  • ftornay es Spain

    I've gone from a beginner level (not from scratch, I had been learning before discovering Lingq) to conversational in Russian. It's hard to tell how long it took because it's been such a gradual process. I was able to "kind of" function after 2 years, I guess, although I was certainly not "fluent". Now I'm in my fourth year and I feel pretty confident.

    As for methods: I began reading/listening to Lingq lessons. When I got to a high enough level, I began importing more challenging texts, mostly novels and watching videos outside Lingq.

    August 13 at 00:43
  • ericb100 us United States

    I'm definitely not fluent in any of the languages I've studied on Lingq (yet! ), but I have to say I've progressed much further and faster, I believe, on Lingq than I would have with other means for self study. I'm learning German, now, on my own. I started off with Memrise, which did give me some decent basics, but to keep learning with Memrise (or any other SRS tool imo) gets to be prohibitive. You find yourself catching up on reviewing words over half the time. Heaven forbid if you take a day or two or more off and have to come back to review hundreds or thousands of words. That was such a drag. I just didn't see it being feasible.

    That's around the time I found Lingq and started listening to youtube videos by Steve. It seemed plausible and more fun that through reading and listening you could gather much more vocabulary quicker and easier and with more fun. I've found that to be true. I started off by uploading the lessons for Assimil German and reading and listening to the entire book that way. Along the way I've imported articles and audio from Nachrichtenleicht and some audio and text from a few short books. I also have a subscription to Deutsch Perfekt magazine and try to read as much as I can from there as well, outside of Lingq.

    I don't spend a huge amount of time a day....perhaps at most 15-30 minutes of listening and 5-15 minutes of reading but my vocabulary has come a long way in a short time.. My listening comprehension still feels poor...I think mostly because I still don't have quite enough vocabulary or listening experience but it gets better every day. It would not improve much with tools like Memrise or SRS (Anki, etc). I read and listen to each thing I import into Lingq until I feel like I understand and hear everything. This may take 5-10 readings and 5-20+ listenings depending on how many new words there are. Every so often I'll go back to some old things I've imported and sometimes there are words, I've forgotten...I move them back to "yellow" and start the process of learning those words again. I won't specifically read that article/story over and over again until that single word sticks...I figure at some point you may need to move on to new content and hopefully encounter that word again in a different context where it may "stick" better that next time.

    Anyway, sorry if this doesn't give the perspective you are looking for from someone who has gone from the very beginnings to fluency on Lingq, but hopefully it gives some confidence that the tool does help quite a bit, especially if you prefer a less structured tool (although you can be as structured as you want).

    August 13 at 13:48
    • AKDiscer us United States

      How is the Assimil German course? I thought about pulling the trigger and buying it, but I've not yet.

      September 13 at 12:20
  • iancurry us United States

    I'd say I reached a fluent level with French using LingQ (keep in mind I already know Spanish and Portuguese decently well). Besides using LingQ, I listened to a lot of French podcasts (Francais Authentique, Aux Frontieres Du Possible) in my free time/while doing other activities. I think it's really important to supplement LingQ with listening as much as possible authentic audio. Obviously, doing this only builds your comprehension and vocab levels, so you have to do a lot of speaking at some point. I felt decently comfortable after 2-3 months of iTalki lessons 2-3 times/week.

    August 13 at 14:36
    • Oceano gb United Kingdom

      Cool! I am actually learning french and im glad to hear you have been successful, i don’t know what it feels like to speak fluently in a second language so I hope I’m going to get there soon. I find with french the YouTube videos and authentic content people speak so fast I find it very Difficult to keep up and if I miss a word then I’m completely lost however I’m only on 740 words known so far

      August 13 at 18:31
      • MarkE us United States

        Hey Oceano you may already know, but case you don't. Check out the site InnerFrench! Hugo has made some great podcasts. Each podcast has a transcript you can import into LingQ.

        (Also he speaks slower in his older podcasts and a little bit quicker in his newer podcasts.)


        August 13 at 20:06
        • Oceano gb United Kingdom

          yes i have subscribed to him and will look at his older stuff, thank you!

          August 13 at 21:59
      • iancurry us United States

        Yes, then you have a ways to go. I found that around 10k known words I could understand a lot of podcasts. Already knowing Spanish and Portuguese filled in the gaps. With this being your first foreign language, it will take longer. Just keep going, it will become clearer with time.

        August 13 at 20:56
      • ericb100 us United States

        You can change the playback speed on youtube. Maybe cut it to 90% and or lower and see if you can understand them better.

        August 13 at 21:54
  • marcossfernandes br Brazil

    Good question!

    August 13 at 17:21
  • Oceano gb United Kingdom

    Thank you for the responses. I think people tend to discover LingQ later on in their language learning through frustration at not being able to progress. i have only ever used lingQ so I start my languages from scratch. I am tackling French first and wonder if I should focus too much on individual stats however it helps me feel motivated to see progress

    August 13 at 18:28
    • ftornay es Spain
      I think people tend to discover LingQ later on in their language learning

      That's probably true but there's another factor. I recently began learning Indonesian/Malay. I started on Lingq and I plan to use it as my main resource but not the only one! In the meantime I've gone through Assimil's "Indonesian", that I am now reviewing, I'm about to finish the Indonesian Duolingo tree and I've studied some basic vocabulary on Memrise. I also follow a couple of very interesting youtube channels about Malay, which are my main way to keep track of the Malay version of the language, versus the Indonesian which is my main focus. All of those resources are only helpful to get you up to speed, they'll never get you all the way to a good level, as opposed to Lingq, buty they're helpful and I enjoy using them for a while. Assimil's probably the best of the bunch and, coincidentally, it's the most Linqq-like.

      The bottomline is that when you're intent on learning a language, you use multiple resources.. Steve himself has said as much in one of his videos. I find that a multi-angle approach at the beginning helps a lot but I certainly think that gettingto a real good level without Lingq would be a chore (I learned some languages without it back in the day. So finding learners that only use Lingq, as in your original question, may prove complicated.

      However, from my perspective as a dedicated language learner who has actually used Lingq to acquire a comfortable level in a challenging language, I can assure you can do the same using Lingq as your primary resource. I'm sure you'll want to add others over time, but not because it's indispensable, it just helps and spices things out and if you're really in love with a language and a culture you can't stop yourself from learning more and more about it.

      August 13 at 22:23
  • Administrator
    ericrobertz ca Canada

    I have been using LingQ since September, roughly 300 days, 400+ hours. I went from almost 0 Japanese to now being able to converse at a basic, day to day level.

    In terms of JLPT, self assessed N4. Kanji will always be an uphill battle in my eyes.

    By this time next year, i hope to be conversational, enough to function and talk about what I want freely.

    I read and listen for about 1 hour a day and speak with my tutors 2 to 3 times a week. Outside of LingQ, I watch shows on Viki (then import them) and chat with Japanese friends.

    August 13 at 18:49
    • Oceano gb United Kingdom

      wow thats about as long as I have been working on French, well done for this! Japanese looks very challenging , I hope to learn it one day.

      August 13 at 21:58
  • ktjoseph vg Virgin Islands, British

    lingq has helped me certainly improve my oral comprehension in french i'm still not "fluent" but i think i have improved a lot and i will eventually get to a level i desire although i must note i already had a basic knowlege of french when i started on linqg

    August 13 at 21:57
  • PatricioIglesias mx Mexico

    I learned Italian to fluent from scratch with Lingq, youtube and podcasts. The comprehensible input method works, and Lingq makes it easier. I would say that I'm almost fluent in German (about B1), using only Lingq and youtube. So yes, you can learn a language really good with lingq, but eventually you need to speak it a lot to complete the process.

    August 13 at 22:50
  • Uwek us United States

    LingQ really propelled me to go from understanding hardly nothing to understanding almost everything. Although I'm gonna say that using LingQ alone didn't really propel to become conversational/fluent. It was more of me exploring and using other resources to practice my target language. I have used Italki and the app Tandem to find partners and use my target language. I have to say that LingQ eased a lot of the effort when it comes to speaking with people and understanding what they are saying in the target language. LingQ prepared me for speaking/listening sessions like these. Although I have also used Youtube videos extensively/intensively to further hone my listening comprehension.

    August 14 at 00:15
  • t_harangi us United States

    Fluency in a language comes from exposure and practice. LingQ is extremely good as a tool to help you with exposure and building up passive vocabulary, but of course when it comes to speaking practice, the ball is always in your court no matter what study method or tool you may be using.

    I started Spanish from scratch here on LingQ and currently have over 17K known words. My comprehension is getting very good, but I haven't pushed myself to speak at all -- I think it's only a matter of time though.

    The thing is, though, you can get fluent using any method -- even Rosetta Stone :-) -- if you just spend the time to get the exposure and then get ample speaking practice. LingQ just allows you to do the first part a lot more effectively by learning through materials that you enjoy.

    August 17 at 18:41
  • LILingquist us United States

    I have done this with Spanish. LingQ made it possible. One day I'm going to finish the article about it.

    Technically, I considered myself at "intermediate" rather than beginner when I found LingQ because I had taken Spanish/French in school, but so does everyone.

    I have a number of other life things happening at present so I'm just using my Spanish a few times a week at work and random articles I find here and there. Once the dust settles, I plan to use LingQ to do French or Russian next.

    August 17 at 21:40
    • aronald us United States

      You have similar interests to mine (Russian, Spanish, French).

      August 18 at 15:09
      • LILingquist us United States

        Even more so, actually. I took a look at your profile and see that you have Mandarin and Arabic as longer term interests, which I do as well. I've put them off farther because I was more interested in finishing the Spanish and taking up Russian and French; and also because I wanted the Mandarin and Arabic capabilities to improve a bit more at LingQ and for Steve to try Arabic. (Getting there on both it seems!)

        With regard to whether or not to go French or Russian next: on the one hand, I like the idea of knowing the language similar to French (Spanish) and getting the French "done" right away and becoming trilingual soon. On the other hand, the Russian is less likely to be "confused" with the Spanish because it's not as close to it and there may be some particular work or travel opportunities available to me with Russian. On the other hand yet again, the French is probably different enough to not worry about confusion, I heard mixing them up is more of an issue with output anyway, and I might not even bother with the travel/work stuff anyway so I might as well do French.

        Decisions, decisions.

        PS: On your long-term goals, I'm not sure whether you have particular reasons for shooting for those respective passive word counts, but based on the my own experience in Spanish, assumptions for French, and following others in Russian, my longer-term counts will probably be 33-35,000 in French and 90-100,000 in Russian.

        August 18 at 21:31
        • MarkE us United States

          I have been working on French for some time now (Nowhere near fluent). But I decided to take a break from it and started Russian up again. And I must say Russian is much more difficult than French. But still very doable. Both are so fun! Let us know what you decide.

          August 18 at 22:59
          • LILingquist us United States

            Oh indeed I shall!

            August 19 at 02:50
        • marcossfernandes br Brazil

          When you have said that you are more interested in finishing Spanish, what do you mean by that?

          I mean, when do you think you are done in a language?

          And a last one, how long do you think it is going to take?

          August 19 at 17:00
          • LILingquist us United States

            The specific answers to these questions will vary with the individual learner because each person’s goals for what they want to achieve in the language will be different. However, thanks to Master Steve’s teachings, I do think two general “rules” apply to everyone. 1) No matter what your proficiency level is, no matter how good you are, you can always improve; and 2) No matter what your proficiency level is, no matter how good you are, you will always WANT to be better. In other words, you are never really “done,” learning languages, like any learning, is a lifelong process.

            That being said, if you want to learn more than one foreign language, at some point the second foreign language is going to have to get priority attention and the language you were previously learning has to take a back seat. In the past Steve has suggested your time be split at least 80%-20%. In my case that would be 80% work on Russian or French and 20% on Spanish.

            Now, more specifically to your first question of how do you know when it’s time for that first foreign language to take a back seat: I think it is when you have met your goals in that language. For me and my Spanish, that was, at a minimum, fluency. I wanted to be able to converse comfortably with my Spanish-speaking peers on a wide variety of personal and professional topics of interest to me. I also wanted to be able to understand a lecture on a professional topic of interest to me, watch movies and telenovelas, documentaries, talk shows, and the news (especially the Mexican weather girls). I wanted to be able to read the newspaper, novels, and nonfiction books on topics of interest. I can do all that now.

            But remember, you can always get better, and want to be better, so I wanted to find some numerical, definable benchmark by which to measure myself, as well as to know when it was okay to say “I’m done.” For me that was the Advanced Level 3 All Time LingQ stat goals, and then some of my own: 33,200 Known Words; 45,000 LingQs made; 500 Hours of Listening; 16,000 words of Writing, 50 Hours of Speaking; and especially 2 million words of Reading.

            Most importantly, I wanted to spend enough TIME with the language, so I counted every hour of my learning, eager to put in the 960-1,000 hours required to learn Spanish for an English speaker as measured by the Defense Language/Foreign Service Institute. (24-25 weeks, 40 hours of study). Right now I’m at 1,300-1,500 hours.

            So, in summary, I’m there. The only real things left on my Spanish to do list are taking a solo trip to a Spanish speaking country (as a reward and vocabulary activation effort) and maybe passing a C level DELE exam. I’m not sure I’m going to bother with the latter, the diagnostic test, which I took “cold,” put me at Level C1.1-C1.2. Since I have a lot of other things going on right now, and have put all language activities on the back burner for the moment, I have some time to decide whether I want to pursue those last two items or move on.

            August 19 at 19:51
            • marcossfernandes br Brazil

              Thank you for your thorough answer.

              August 20 at 16:18
        • aronald us United States

          Sorry to reply so late. I’ve been wrapped up in work. It doesn’t look like you’ve started French yet, but I think when you do start you’ll be surprised at how fast you will fly through it. The first week or 2 may seem slow but after that it’ll be smooth sailing. On the other hand, Russian will be an uphill battle for a long time, but it can be a great gateway into other slavic languages. With that said, I think you could easily take on both languages simultaneously. The time spend in Russian will need to be fully engaged in order to make good progress, and when you do French it will feel much more relaxed. French‘s similarities to English and Spanish make it feel like you’re learning only 1/4 of a language.

          Regarding Arabic and Chinese, I probably won‘t even start them for a couple years (or until after Russian, Spanish, and French have reached Advanced 2). Both languages have aspects that I’m not crazy about. I generally don’t like the sound of spoken Chinese, and I don’t like the large variation in spoken dialects of Arabic. However, I think reaching an advanced reading level in both would be fun.

          Other than these 5 languages, I have a little interest in German (because of Schubert lieder and love of Bach, Beethoven, and Brahms). A language that I think could be oddly fun if I can find enough study material would be Cherokee or another Native American language. Also Japanese has growing interest for me.

          September 08 at 16:53
          • Swedishfinnpolymath fi Finland

            I have not used this site so I have no idea in terms of the quality and quantity of the resources listed but it could be of interest to you if you are interested in Native American languages.

            September 08 at 17:06
            • aronald us United States

              Wow thank you! I’ll add this to the archives.

              September 08 at 17:15
          • LILingquist us United States

            Good to know. Thanks for the encouragement!

            September 09 at 21:02
  • DitzyRobert ru Russian Federation

    I dare to say I have. My ability to articulate English has improved drastically. Not that my level is top-notch but it's not that bad, either.

    August 18 at 16:16
  • mcsza br Brazil

    Great question!

    August 18 at 22:28
  • Dimethylamine us United States

    Yes, I can attest to this from going to Ukraine and having many Skype lessons. I still have a long ways to go.

    LingQ is great but needs to be augmented by something like Italki for you to become conversational.

    September 10 at 02:57
  • niek1337 pl Poland

    I am a premium member here since 2013, and I've learned a bunch of languages to different 'levels of fluency' here on LingQ.

    I'll give you my best 'success story':

    I started Polish here from scratch to fluency, it took me around 4-5 years I think.

    Importing interesting content to LingQ has been the most effective way for me.

    Besides that, making Polish friends and watching Polish content on the internet really helped me out aswell.

    I 'enjoyed the ride', the whole process of learning has been just as fun as 'reaching fluency'.

    A few months ago I even decided to move to Poland, and the language has never been an obstacle since my arrival here.

    September 10 at 06:30
    • marcossfernandes br Brazil

      Very impressive!

      September 12 at 19:58