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My LingQ Testimonial March 28, 2008

Posted by Edwin in French, LingQ, Progress.

Some of you might have already figured out, by the lack my posts in the past few weeks, that I have been extremely busy. I have changed team recently at work, and I have been working on intense short-term projects since then.

Despite my busy schedule, my language learning progress has not slowed down in general. I have been reading and listening to a lot of French contents during this period. The LingQ statistics show that I have read close to 151,000 words in the last 3 months, which contributes to about 40% of the total number since I started using the system 8 months ago. Assuming an average article of 800 words in size, this means I have read close to 200 articles in this period!

I took a few years of French at high-school, which of course did not take me anywhere. Despite getting a ‘B’ in GCSE, I could not even conduct a basic conversation in French. I had not touched the language for almost 15 years, until the summer of 2006, when I decided to pick it up again. It was tough for me because there were not many Francophones in my area, and that I could only spend a portion of my spare-time learning. I joined LingQ in the summer of 2007, and I found significant improvement after only a few months, especially in my reading and listening.

The LingQ language learning approach focuses on input activities, namely reading and listening. This works great if the learner is in an environment where there are not many opportunities for output activities (speaking and writing). Once the learner has built up his confidence in reading and listening, he would find it much easier to improve his speaking and writing skills.

The LingQ language learning approach also emphasizes on learner’s own responsibility in his learning. He picks his own materials and the pace of learning. This works extremely well if the learner has a tight or unpredictable schedule.

Last weekend, I went to visit Ottawa, Montreal and Quebec City, the first time since I started to pick up French again. I was amazed that I could understand a lot of conversations spoken around me. I was also very happy to find myself being able to exchange a few lines with the Francophones over there. What I found most astonishing was that I did not achieve this by memorising the lines from some phrase books, but the conversations came out quite naturally from my mouth.

Now I have gained more confidence in my reading and listening, I am ready to move into the next phase where I would intensifying my speaking and writing activities.



1. Rmss - April 2, 2008

Congratulations! Very nice, indeed.

Personally I don’t like LingQ that much. It’s a bit vague and I don’t have a good idea on how to use it. At the moment I just watch heaps of Spanish television, listening music/radio all day long, reading, speaking with friends (at campus, I’m majoring Spanish so also in class), speaking with exchange partners through Skype. My progress just skyrocketed, but maybe LingQ wouldn’t hurt, if I knew how to use it properly.

2. Edwin - April 2, 2008

As I have said in an earlier post, I think it is a great tool to improve my reading skills. It gives me an estimate of the unknown words in a text even before me read it, and it keeps track of all the new vocabulary and their references. I don’t know of a better tool out there which can do the same.
Of course, it is not the only useful tool out there. I also use other tools such as other online dictionaries and Skype. But then it is the philosophy behind LingQ that I appreciate the most.

3. Ramses - April 8, 2008

I actually started using it, and kinda like it. One thing that turns me down is the fact that there seem to be no SRS system. Flashcards are just presented in alphabetical order, or am I doing something wrong?

4. Edwin - April 8, 2008

There is nothing wrong.

I think they are planning to introduce some SRS mechanism. At the same time, I am also looking for some easy way to transfer the vocabulary list to my SRS system.

One major problem is synchronization. I need to figure out a way such that I can transfer updates from LingQ to my SRS system at ease, and still keep the existing information (such as levels) in my system.

5. chris(mandarin_student) - April 19, 2008

sadly I can’t trail is properly at the moment, word detection does not work properly for the Asian languages that are currently in Beta

6. Edwin - April 19, 2008

I wonder if adding a space after each character would work. In other works, treat each character as a word.

7. chris(mandarin_student) - April 22, 2008

Hi Edwin, yes it does (I tried ;)) but that is far too much trouble for a big text. Also breaks up the reading.

When I asked they seemed to reckon it should be working by the summer.

8. Edwin - April 22, 2008

Have you tried using text editors which runs macros? I have been using Ultraedit. I can hit a key and it will do all the spacings for me.

9. linguist101 - May 22, 2010

The idea is sound but most people will not go fetch their own content to use with lingq and pay $10 a month when they can use that content in a flashcard program on their computer or handheld for free.

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