Number of new words daily

I'm overwhelmed. At almost 50 years old, I don't learn new things at the rate your average user does. Why can't the number of new words each day be set by the user? Moreover, you often go over the 20 that is set as my goal! I'm only on my 80th card for today and you've thrown 23 new words at me. I don't even see how a teenager would learn that fast. If you practiced every day for 100 cards, you''d be expected to learn 7300 words a year. It's too much!

I would love to practice more, but the more I practice the more you open the vocabulary fire hydrant. I often find myself stopping my daily practice because you just throw so many new words at me. It would seem dead simple to let the user customize that. At the very least why not let paying customers do it?

So why isn't this a thing?

@Nick-Gorton in the other thread you've mentioned that you don't like to be patronized and that is exactly what are you asking for. Lingvist's algorithm is trying to make sure you don't repeat too often the words you are most likely able to remember, so if you are seeing new words, that means there is nothing for you to repeat at the moment. Lingvist will continue to serve new words for you till you stop or (if you are on a free plan) till you hit the free limit. You are totally in control or your learning session. If you feel overwhelmed with new words just switch to another kind of activity: read a text, talk to a native or whatever pleases you. After a couple of hours you can come back and practice a couple more familiar words,

How am I asking to be patronized if I want to learn at my own pace? By patronized I meant that your program thinks it knows better the speed at which I should learn rather than letting me have control of that speed.

However your comment did make me have an idea for a work around since you don't seem to be willing to let the program adapt to different learning styles/preferences. All I have to do is enter incorrect answers to any words I'm not comfortably confident with and want to practice more. It's unfortunate that I have to do this to get the program to run at the speed I would like to learn, but it's apparently what I will need to do since this isn't something you seem willing to let your customers have any control over.

@nick-gorton said in Number of new words daily:

By patronized I meant that your program thinks it knows better the speed at which I should learn rather than letting me have control of that speed.

Hey Nick I know it can sound patronising the way you put it, but the whole idea of accelerated learning is that we don't really know the speed we should be learning, that's why we just control how much new material we want to learn, and let the program tell us when to review them. The idea is that if you review too early it's not efficient, if you review too often it reduces to rote repetition and it's bad for long term memory, and if you review too late you might have completely forgot it. So the program tries to learn from our learn behaviour what are easy for us, what are more difficult, and what we are likely to forget, and remind us when we are just about to forget them so we can actively recall them, so that we don't waste time reviewing them too often and enhance our long term memory. Guaranteed the program is not perfect, sometimes it may not capture our true learning ability, but if we have to schedule the learning ourselves we just might pick up a textbook and learn our own way, don't you think?

All I have to do is enter incorrect answers to any words I'm not comfortably confident with and want to practice more. It's unfortunate that I have to do this to get the program to run at the speed I would like to learn

I also do this from time to time :) I think there might be two reasons we want to do this, for me at least. The first is that I already know the word but I just want to see more of it; the second is that I am not sure about the answer, but I have a pretty good guess so I want to try my luck and see if I can hit the bar. For the first I think we should just have more faith in our memory capacity and the learning algorithm; for the second we should avoid guessing completely. It's more harmful to guess right than guess wrong, because we'd be feeding the algorithm the wrong information about our knowledge of the word and our memorisation capacity, and render the algorithm useless to us.

None of what I said is quite original, there has been a lot of research on spaced repetitions. I'm not sure if you are familiar with Supermemo or Anki, which are pioneers in computed based memorisation systems, and which both have extensive documentation on how the system works. I wish lingvist would link (or write) some articles on this to save the users from these unnecessarily confusions.

Ah I see they already have some explanation on Spaced repetition here, not quite extensive though.

@olivier-ma-dongqiang I totally understand and agree with spaced repetition. However that wouldn't be compromised by allowing users to customize the speed of learning. You can use spaced repetition in all learning (accelerated or not). The concepts of spaced repetition are neither dependent on nor negatively impacted by adjusting the speed. I'm not suggesting changing your algorithm but rather having a volume control that people can use to adjust the difficulty level.

Moreover, if the number of words presented is based on the algorithm, why have a daily goal of 20 at all? That is, why not let the algorithm itself have all the control and just give people a goal of 100 cards a day?

And finally, having a great algorithm is awesome. However no algorithm (at least not until just before the singularity happens) is going to account for different learning styles and learning disabilities of everyone using your particular algorithm. I'm a physician, meaning I've had to pass a metric fuckton of tests measuring rote learning and actual comprehension. I'm also someone with a learning disability. So I've spent a lot of time learning how to make an unfortunately one-size-fits-all education work for me. I've heard from educators that their style is the "one true method" so many times I've lost count. And unfortunately I'm hearing the same thing from you. It's unfortunate because people with different learning styles are not as uncommon as you'd think. So I think relying on a single "one true method" that is not even customizeable in ways that would be easy doable is making it unnecessarily difficult for many of your users.

I will continue to use my kludge - which apparently you do as well. It would just be nice if you all would consider that if people are using a kludge to get around your algorithm, you might want to reexamine whether or not that algorithm is really doing as good as you think it is for the varying users who might benefit from Lingvist.

Hi Nick,

for the past days I started to jump into reading the fundamental concepts of the Windows app Anki with all it's very powerful settings, different deck options, filtered decks, their new experimental Anki 2.1 beta scheduling, etc. and some background stuff about SuperMemo SM2 to SM5 and SM15/SM17.
YES; you need to be a technical guy to understand all this and there will be a high learning curve...honestly: quite confusing! (I am IT guy and Java developer) :-)

My current language background is using Memrise and DuoLingo (and others) for 1,2 years of Portuguese Brazil (in Memrise you can set options in your settings if you want to learn 5/10/15/20 new words).

I also have experience with Lingvist with my 11 days end of 2017 year challenge where I learned 1000 words in ~20 hours for 1h, and several days 2-3h/day to hit the >50 words limit.

I know for sure that you can freely either set in Anki the new words count to 0 or 20.

And according to other user suggestions you can create with the "Custom Study" button and "increase new words to xx" or "preview new cards" options a way how DuoLingo skill lessons work:

  • set the NEW words to a limited multiplier of 5-7
  • you do not mass-learn 20 new words on DuoLingo
  • the Memrise Android app default is 5 / set to 10 for me
  • the Memrise Android app stops at learning steps 3 or 4 / of 6, so 10 NEW words are half-planted (this is good like a preview, and I will not be penetrated with reviews the next 4-5h
  • my Memrise web portal default is (was) 15 new words and 100 reviews (per session including progress bar)

With the Anki "deck custom options" you can e.g define different learning steps for NEW words", so you can split learning 2x 5-7 new words across two or three different "filtered decks", where your NEW words are in.
Usually you can use this technique for cram learning or mass words learning, where you want to increase your daily NEW limit of 20.

There are SO MANY Anki options like if you want to mix the review with new words, want to review old words first, set new words to 0, install addon scripts which can first show learning words (which have not been converted to review cards) the next day in your deck or the Anki default (with no addon) that you first have to have finished reviewing due words before you see any others.

There is a really big Anki support forum with TON's of support threads:

Because I added a comment on in their language app comparision about Memrise and explicitely mentioning Lingvist, I was in contact with one of the staff because I probably wrote Lingvist too many into my own comment.

I wrote a really long answer e-mail to them about my plans for Portuguese Brazil and my 2017 challenge experiences with Lingvist learning Spanish (the good and the bad) and comparing to Memrise and I want to quote just a few of my (German) sentences from this e-mail:

Meine Meinung:

  • Ich finde man sollte halt Lingvist mal gesehen / ausprobiert haben (kostet ja nichts bis 3000 Wörter).

  • Lernen im Context ist sicherlich schon (ab einem bestimmten Level) sinnvoll; wenn dann wären aber mind. 3-5 oder mehr abwechselnde Sätze sinnvoll (Erklärung: Lingvist wiederholt leider immer nur den einen Satz, wo man das Wort falsch geschrieben hat)

  • Aber jetzt habe ich ja "Cloze Deletions" und Anki Shared Decks (wieder-)entdeckt, auch für 15.000 Portuguese BR Sätze (nach Wort Frequency) von Nori ;)

Ich weiß ehrlich gesagt nicht, warum Lingvist ausgerechnet das Spaced Repetition (SR) Rad völlig neu erfinden muß....vielleicht erschließt sich das mir ja noch in diesem Jahr (als IT'ler).

Wonach die User im Forum - oh Wunder - plötzlich vereinzelt schreien, das kann ja Anki längst (z.B 0 neue Wörter, "Filtered Decks" für 7-14 neue Wörter - mit unterschiedlichen Lern-Steps je Minute - an einem bestimmten Tag / Lern-Session).

Und der Anki Author macht einen echt tollen Support im Forum....und das seit Jahren.

Da gibts aber ggf. noch viel von Lingvist aufzuholen?!?

Es wird für 2018 spannend bleiben...


Pardon me, but it is quite late here and I have no interest to read my very long (German) e-mail myself again and to translate the above into English ;)

The shared summary would be:

  • Anki supports Cloze deletion.

  • Multiple card templates.

  • You can download big shared decks from the community where some courses also include full sentences, even multiples.

  • there are Open Source subtile (SRT) to Anki deck converters available to convert video/audio films to flash cards

  • Carlos of my challenge told me in my thread (on DuoLingo) that he would find it difficult to start a language from scratch on Lingvist (I did this with Spanish)

  • Lingvist might have to add several user settings (the more, the better) which all other programs seem to already support

  • Lingvist repeat / practice queue (for Spanish) was sometimes 1, 3, 5 (almost "0") or even a few times 10-15, when I started to receiving NEW words
    -> I will have to re-test if I can review to 0 without seeing NEW words
    -> if there is a review <-> NEW words mixed default setting active, you have no full control over how and when you want to learn NEW words :(

@nick-gorton Somehow you managed to misunderstood every point I was trying to make.

Moreover, if the number of words presented is based on the algorithm, why have a daily goal of 20 at all?

The number of words presented for review is based on the algorithm, the 20 words goal is for new learning, and it is not fixed in anyway, you can adjust it anyway you like. The new words to learn determines you learning speed, it has nothing to do with spaced repetition; the learnt words to review determines you learning efficiency, that's where SR comes in.

I've heard from educators that their style is the "one true method" so many times I've lost count. And unfortunately I'm hearing the same thing from you.

I'm not sure from which educators you heard this, but I definitely didn't say it. Your learning progress is determined by the algorithm and the data you fed it, that's why I went in length talking about try not guessing and you shouldn't review too much. And I don't believe anyone thinks this algorithm is the one true model, the lingvist guys are improving their algorithms all the time, don't you see the train wreck experience people are complaining about on the forum about lingvist's attempts to improve their algorithm?

By the way it's not my algorithm. I complain about it as much as you do, but I'm still having the best learning experience of all platforms. (If you are a physician, I'm sure you can understand that an algorithm happens to meet all your needs on an extremely high dimensional support domain is of probability zero?)

I come to help, but apparently I'm not helping; so I guess I'm done here.

@olivier-ma-dongqiang said in Number of new words daily:

the 20 words goal is for new learning, and it is not fixed in anyway, you can adjust it anyway you like.

How? Can't find that anywhere. That's exactly what I want to do. I'm only 75 cards in and the algorithm has given me 30 new words today!


Olivier meant probably:
adjust new words = stop learning / using Lingvist

This "concept" would work, if Lingvist would clearly use the "Review first - new words after full review (0)" method.

But to more and more users (I was at about 10-15 review stack) Lingvist switched to the "mix review + new words" option, so you either may see:

  • new words before practice stack 0
  • new words before 100 cards (same learning session)

Sorry Nick, there is nothing which you can do about it at the moment, well, there is one little thing:

STOP using Lingvist (your session) for 45-90 minutes after you get >20 new words and wait that you can continue reviewing old words.

You are not forced to repeat all words in a single session.

Try to split the practice stack between 3-4x 10-15 minute sessions and hope that you do not constantly get new words after you continue your 2nd / 3rd session.

This was perfectly working for my 2017 challenge...

If those 45-90 minutes are not enough (it was for me that the repeat stack was refilled to at least 60 words), I would wait at least 4-12h (Memrise default).

But as it seems the "error answer repeats" are shown way sooner than this, so a 1-2h break could really help you.

Please let us know if it could half-way fix it for you or you still receieve too ma new words in all 2-4 sessions.

Ilmari Pyykkö

I have now used Estonian version of Ligvist and received 0 new words during 4 weeks repetition. I am sick of repeating the same list day after day, and of course there will be typing errors. But ones I had only 1 typing error in the 100 word list. An next time the saem words that I have repeated 40 times.

I want to get my money back for the who year reservation tha I have paid. This is bad business policy from the company!!

How can I get my money back!!

@Ilmari well Essential Estonian course is 100 words total, so there is no more words for you to learn, though I wouldn't expect them to repeat every day. Regarding a refund, you should to contact official support through the help menu.

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