Your 3000 words cutting announcement with "Lingvist Free"

Dear Lingvist team,

I have received your letter about "Lingvist 2018" and the table differences between "Lingvist Free" and upcoming "Lingvist Unlimited".

A few weeks ago I have signed up for learning Portugese (BR), which is NOT yet officially available on your portal, with your PT-EN reverse course.

I didn't want to start with Spanish or French on Lingvist at this time, because I have the feeling that I need to invest (much) more time into Portuguese for my 2nd and (maybe) 3rd years and not confuse new languages with what I have already learned in Portuguese without building "the core".

According to your longer 2018 newsletter in the Portuguese written language I now definitely know that I was right ;)

A learner can e.g display on Lingvist the PT (L1 source) sentence above the (translation / sentence) panel, but sadly to say, you won't hear the base/source PT audio, instead of it focuses on the EN course and thinks you actually want to learn English as the L2 target language (from Portuguese EU/Portugal).

Well, better than nothing, don't you agree? ;)

I know how it "feels" on the DuoLingo (EN-PT) forward tree having to read Portuguese and translate into English (higher ratio); somehow this is still great for practicing reading books or reading TV subtitles ;)

As a new Lingvist user I want to say something about your planned max. 3000 words cut with "Lingvist Free":

  • My DuoLingo Portuguese (BR) course already lists 3,450 words for my completed EN-PT tree (I am still not at (max.) level 25, so there will be a few MORE words to come, until I reach 30.000XP and more).

  • I will see how the DuoLingo reverse trees PT-DE and PT-EN go with the count, as they already introduced NEW Portuguese words in the beginning skills of my tree, so there is hope!

  • I am also active on Memrise since more than ~1 year:
  • All courses Memrise PT BR Basic, PT1-7 and "DuoLingo PT BR by MartinPen (user-created)" already count a total of ~4,726 "words learned" (incl. phrases/sentences, ~114/1742 words (sentences) from 50languages)

  • and I have even N O T completed the offical Memrise PT7, so finishing it will add another (not already counted) 350 words.

  • I guess the higher Memrise "words learned number" means, that same "words" - seen across various courses - may be double/triple counted (could be; I can not verify personally)?!

  • The (free) EasyAcademy Portuguese Polyglot course on Memrise lists about 7,172 words (per description levels B1/B2/C1).

There are more 2000/4000/6000 or above 8000 words free user-created courses on Memrise, but - of course - NOT with full context / example sentences!

Unfortunately "Lingvist Free" can not be IMHO anymore (for me) the "upper-beginner / intermediate / advanced" web portal a learner can go to, when he "finished" his first learning steps with DuoLingo, Memrise, 50languages (or Mondly).


  • DuoLingo does not always present meaningful sentences with their robotic engine.
  • Memrise adds some phrases/sentences on offical 1-7 courses, but reviewing by "fully typing" (activated user script) is quite exhausting and multiple-choice makes REALLY no sense.
  • and I could probably learn another batch of "useful sentences" for real-life for possible speaking (e.g two person dialogs/lessons) and various available themes on Mondly (e.g at the restaurant, at the airport, at the doctor, e.g)

I believe you can already configure it out that I initially have not joined Lingvist N O T to learn a language (like Portuguese) from scratch (0-3000), but to find a place where I make my next learning steps, either:

a) to strengthen weak / difficult previously learned vocabulary (because of missing the right and changing context(s) on other plattforms)

b) to learn NEW upper-intemediate to advanced words

c) to learn those words from B) in an quite (more) effective and FASTER way by using sentences / varying context, but still having only to type a single word (I love your concept!).

This was one of the reasons, why so many people on the DuoLingo discussion forum suggested to sign-up on Lingvist, just because they can remember/recall words that good or even better than using other learning portals, and they can learn a lot more than only 15 words / day.

My questions to your Lingvist team:

  1. Are you 100% sure that you want to introduce this announced maximum ~3000 words limit, which probably means that you will be losing upper-intermediate/advanced learners for "Lingvist Free"

  2. What are your plans to introduce 5,000 - 10,000 and above (>10,000) words and seeing them in varying contexts including videos, story telling?

I basically read that you plan for (grammar) challenges, reading longer texts assisted, etc.
Maybe I have to wait a bit more to find out what this all means in more detail....

  1. Why not go the alternative "ads way" for "Lingvist Free" for 3,000-5,000 Non Plus/Pro users (not <3000), which you could name "Plus/Pro" or anything else, where a user can select to deactivate ads by paying (but maybe not 22,95$/months)?
    I have no problems seeing ads on a website after a lesson or in parallel on a right panel - like DuoLingo does it right now for Non-Plus account holders.

Ads on a mobile app however can be much more frustrating (than the web), agreed, as if they are shown between lessons or you have to click the "No, I do not want this Pro/Plus membership" each time after a finished ~7 words (10-20 questions) lesson.
You can't run them in parallel to a lesson / flashcard on that smaller smartphone screen, like you could on the website.

  1. Do you have any plans to add more different account levels to "Unlimited"?

Having only "one premium" account may be great for your easier accounting/billing process, but I am not sure if every language learner is on a "higher budget" or does not want all other available "Premium/Unlimited" features.

Sorry, I can not compare the new Lingvist pricing to model to other premium vendors, as two Portuguese Podcast (video/audio) series have a model way beyond my tigther budget.
German: Ich habe leider zeit nicht den nötigen Überblick dafür.

  1. Do you have any plans for a "Lifetime" account subscription (>1year) or limiting an account to a single language, instead of providing access to (all) / multiple courses (e.g French, Spanish, German, Russian, etc.) for "Lingvist Unlimited"?

I think the last point 5) is also one point, what I was personally missing in your feature comparision matrix.
How many courses do each account type provide?

  1. Have you thought about limiting learning NEW words from 50 to 10-15/day?

If I could have the option to learn only 10-15 upper-intermediate/advanced words (3,000-5,000 and above) per day with "Lingvist Free", this would be better than to have nothing and being stopped at 3,000.

I will be happy to hear from you and I am curious how I could integrate Lingvist in 2018-2019++ into my study plans, in parallel to the above mentioned other learning sites.

I wish you much success for your business and 2018 year and I can't wait seeing some "documentation videos" of your Lingvist team, playing around with new features.

Viele Grüße / With best regards


There is a thread talking about 5000 "lemmas" vs "words":

Here is a DuoLingo thread talking about "lexemes" vs "lemmas":

Either way, having a 3000/5000 number represent the counting maybe for full words, lexemes or lemmas


taking into effect that the PT->EN reverse tree, where all different conjugated verb tense forms are not as high as in Portuguese as a Romance language by itself,

where Lingvist may teach me many more (English) words than within in the forward courses EN-Spanish or EN-French would probably do it..

.... I am still unsure how I should feel about the new "word limitation".

If the 3000 or 5000 cutting numbers are not lemmas or lexemes, how big is the actual vocabulary one can learn with Lingivst? Maybe (B1/)B2 level?

Although you are right, the Duolingo course has more words, whether or not it has the same words is the question. I’m mainly learning German on Duolingo and there are quite a few words taught on Lingvist that are different.

What happens if we're almost at the 3000 word point in our courses? Does this mean that we will be able to continue only if we subscribe?

I'll wait for more features to be added and developed before I subscribe. That is, I'd like to see quite a few things being added to the Spanish course before I pay for it. I think it makes sense to wait for the Spanish course to be fully added first since it doesn't yet have 5000 words in it since graduating from Lingvist with the current word count wont quite fulfill the claim that one would be able to understand the same percentage of the text we read like with the courses that have 5000 words.

I think you are right @silkandspice, if you compare it to French and little bit above ~5000 words user thread reports:

Spanish: ~3774 words:

This the newest pricing / gift present website:

4000 vs ~5000 words are a little bit confusing in the different tables / (per language) subscription newsletters, aren't they?

Does it really make sense to publish in a table to have a maximum of 4000 words, when the French course in fact as ~5000? No!

For now we can "imagine" that a "cutting" will occur starting 2018 at ~3000 words, as announced so far.

IMHO you better learn all the "3774" words or rest of "774" words in the next 10 days ;)

However, I am getting so many (new) word / sentence repeats - in the same learning session and "words to practice" re-adds for those NEW learned ones (same day), that I am already aware:

I can NOT strictly focus the next 10 days on easily learning a larger batch of NEW words, and either ignoring quite (too) difficult typing word repeats (somehow I am missing multiple-choice for Memrise 6 flower planting steps) for the same learning session or next day reviews.

Mission failed :-)

In comparison:

On Memrise I can freely choose when I want to learn new words, what level (more difficult to inter-mix different words; may work better on Lingvist), if I want to half-learn 10 words for multiple-levels (preventing words added to review queue) and when I want to review the backlog review queue.

I can even ignore some words from the level-/course table or in the learning screen, when the word first popups up (well, for the Spanish course I don't miss this feature at the moment).

I like the Lingvist bottom grammar/word tips when learning new words, which Memrise does not have.

I think it is even better than on DuoLingo, where you have to open the "tips and notes" in a parallel browser window or read them before you start a new skill / lesson.

@thomas-heiss said in Your 3000 words cutting announcement with "Lingvist Free":

Why not go the alternative "ads way" for "Lingvist Free" for 3,000-5,000 Non Plus/Pro users (not <3000)

(My current status: French 3836, Spanish 575)

I hate ads ever so much... but I do think this may be a good idea. Anecdotal evidence, I know, but: I found Lingvist and decided to use it because I need more French training, but was frustrated with Bliu Bliu limitations, too advanced for Duolingo, and didn't think Memrise was super effective in personal recall for advanced French (after months of use-answers were multiple choice instead of production). Lingvist, while it doesn't have longer text passages to read, met an essential need for me by being adaptable to my current level, being smart enough not to show me words I know 20,000 more times after I get it right the first time (cough Memrise), and providing me recall training where I have to remember and correctly produce the word. In short, it is a wonderful, adaptable resource that is relevant to me after years of imperfect and sporadic French learning.

I have since started using it for Spanish, where I may have skipped a few words but not a ton. I'm at the beginner level there, and could easily use Duolingo, Memrise, and a host of other programs to keep training at a beginner level: There's stiff competition at the beginner level.

I absolutely love Lingvist, and have just bought the unlimited subscription for the full year of 2018. I have not bought a subscription for any other app at this point, as I hate subscription services (getting recharged if I forget to cancel), and don't usually love something that much.

So why the long story? To say this: If I hadn't found this app until 2018, I would have tested into the 3,000 word mark for French, and would have never been able to use it long enough to find out how much I love it. It's difficult to find something that is effective and useful for the intermediate/advanced level, so I'd love to see some way that you can allow those that test higher to still try out the service.

I don't know any of the tech that goes into this, but an alternative might be letting a new intermediate/advanced person hit 500 or 1000 new cards, instead of an absolute vocab cap no matter the level. Thus, their cap may be higher, but as they haven't needed the first 3,000 words, it still gives them an opportunity to use/try the service before hitting their cap, and then decide if it's worth investing to continue (as I did!).

(Side note: no hate to Duolingo, Memrise, Bliu Bliu, etc... They are useful for certain strategies--Duo for absolute beginners, Memrise for sheer vocab, Bliu Bliu for comprehension until you quickly hit the timed limits--and I still recommend them to others accordingly, but none of them worked for my French like Lingvist does!)

Just to let you know:

I had started last Wednesday a new "end of 2017 year challenge" on DuoLingo - already linked in this "year 2016 challence" (there is no 2017 challenge yet on Lingvist forums) thread:

I would have been interested to test the new "voice speaking" feature on the Android app for Spanish and see if I can speed up reviewing my cards (maybe not ;):

What do you guys think about the voice speaking feature?

Would it actually help with cards review speed improvement for my challenge or does it realistically may even get into my own way if I can not already talk/spell Spanish words perfectly?

In my opinion (starting my 8th day):

  • Lingvist is somehow missing a "SKIP" or "Review not right now"

  • defined "review button" and "progress bar" for a defined 30-60 session (e.g do you want to start a 15/30/45 or 60 minute session?)

  • "Learn NEW words" button (inter-level / inter-topic mixing is good on Lingvist! Better to learn all foods, animals and colours on DuoLingo/Memrise; I hate this!)

  • Lingvist is IMHO much more difficult for harder words than Memrise because of the review/new words learning auto-mixing and insisting to get words "right" to be removed from the stack

  • seeing an Lingvist (the same) / (an) example sentence does not ALWAYS help me.
    I fail the same on Lingvist like I do with some more difficult words on Memrise for my Portuguese without or with MEMS:
    My "Vocabulary history" clearly states that I repeat some/many words 19(18, 17)-12 times.

Comparision for my 2017 end of year challenge:

  • On Memrise I could e.g go through the FULL words list per level and learn (1st see/plant) many easier words, I may be interested on, and I may have been able to reach the goals of my challenge to see >3000 words ;)

  • I do already have some ideas how to further improve the Memrise review process, assisting the user if he repeatedly fails more difficult words in the same learning/reviewing session, but we need to change / improve some user scripts for this to prevent repeating words/sentences in a typing session 3-7 times.

I do not think at this time, that I will successfully manage to reach 2000 words in 11-12 days, sorry. Well, I will try hard...

That might be too much for someone who has just started learning Spanish and is no upper-beginner/intermediate with some basic grammar Spanish verb conjugation skills or has many (all) infinitive words on his tongue.

@e I just have to chime in to say that I am addicted to both Duolingo (my current streak is 1400+) and Memrise (I've got three long streaks going at the moment, the longest of which is 600+ days), but as of today Lingvist is the first and only online language service I've paid for.

It's not as addictive as the two others, but it just delivers more. Add in the sleak, pleasant design and a customer service that actually listens to the users, and they've definitely earned their fee. So I paid it.

@kaspar said in Any discounts or promotions planned for the future?:

This is why we made sure that most of our learners can continue learning with the effective (ad) free version and put only those features behind the paywall that only the most dedicated learners use.

Well, I gave already my detail feedback with suggestions to your team mid of December 2017 what I think about your "3000 words cutting" method with "Lingvist Free" in this thread, didn't I?

The feedback from staff has been ZERO, sorry to say.
IMHO you chose the "one way road" and you continued to drive it, dunno why.

Because you want to (only) continue "ad free"?

Your staff has already agreed in other recent threads that "Lingvist unlimited" upgrade makes e.g no sense for Spanish learners as they can only extend vocabulary from 3000 (Free cut) to ~3800 and not 5000 at this time and that the costs would not justify the "Lingvist unlimited" benefits (maybe it does for French because of ~5000 words).

We are convinced that the current and future features of Lingvist Unlimited help learners to acquire information faster and deeper

Well, there has been two threads about about this and statistics, and your blog article.

Your own past analytics e.g say that at least three learners could learn 2000 words in 17 hours on three different learning concepts with this in common.

Nevertheless, I personally and strongly think that these 2000words/17h data has been collected with a quite different older Lingvist algorithm and the "practice repeat stack" behaved very different at that time....or ALL of the three learners may not have been true beginners in that language?!?

My data of my own "end of 2017 year Lingvist Spanish challenge" proved, that I could "only" learn 1000 words in 20 hours and 11 days.

Because your dynamically increasing "repeat practice stack" drove me really crazy...I already wrote about it in another thread.

No, I am surely not a superbrain.
I will not 100% remember every single Spanish word I was taught on Lingvist (even shown within a complete sentence).
I surely will make some or many errors in repeats (and I did!) when I can NOT guess the word correctly the first time or remember the different Spanish writing / pronuncation style even the word is almost the same like in Portuguese.

For some days I took 1h learning sessions...for other days I tried hard to push the 50/100 NEW words limits and could only succeed with 2-3 hours / day splitted learning sessions.

One of the last two days when I came back 45-90 minutes later after a short break, I was again overwhelmed with added words in the "repeat practice stack".

My language background:

  • I was pretty much pre-skilled with Portuguese Brazil as my 1st Romance language for more than one year on DuoLingo and Memrise and other portals, even I had to learn Spanish from scratch (so not a "true" Romance language beginner - I believe that for those beginners it would be even harder - almost impossible to reach the suggested statistic data on Lingvist!).

  • I am a very quick writer (ten finger system), so I knew how to quickly push from one flashcard (even with errors) forward to the other to win over your error system!

I also wrote down what statistic number I could achieve in 17 hours (<1000 words) but this taken screenshot is at the moment stored on a 2nd Laptop harddrive and not available to me as I write this comment.

So no, I am that much convinced what you told (and I quoted) above, Kasper. I am very sorry.


The first week after my Lingvist challenge I was back in learning new Portuguese BR words on my last Memrise PT BR 7 course and it was so much more relaxing for me in combining different learning concepts like:

  • "half-planting (10) NEW words" (Memrise Android app allows you to do it) to avoid reviews the same and next day (e.g your backlog queue is still filled)
  • (half-)planting first 10 words of multiple levels (groups)
  • to plant more difficult words in 6 steps with mixed challenges (audio, multiple-choice, not only typing) for 4+12h reviews later (and not sooner than 4h)
  • NOT being forced to review at the same time when I want to learn NEW words
  • defined learning sessions to focus on NEW words (and not reviews or 3-6 error repeats; most often 1-3 (max) answer error repeats is the personal limit!)
  • more effective "cram (bulk) learning" (I easily hit the 50/100 words limits)
  • finally seeing a progress bar (I missed it so much!)
  • defined 100 words reviews in a single "review session" with a progress bar

I would like to agree with you Kasper, that there is room for the one or other improvement.

I want to wish your team all the best!

Viele Grüße / Best regards from Germany

last edited by Thomas.Heiss

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