As adults, we are great at learning languages with well-structured lessons. We can make a lot of progress by taking classes, using flashcards, or learning with a comprehensive language-learning program like Ouino. But we often forget to reinforce everything we learn in our lessons by including the language in our lives in many other ways. The most successful language learners will immerse themselves in any way they can. Watching a lot of television is an excellent way to do so. But where can you find content in your target language? One magic word: Netflix.
In the last few years, Netflix has seen unprecedented growth. Netflix constantly releases an unbelievable amount of content; a total of 54 Netflix originals will debut in March 2018! That’s an incredible amount of language-learning content to binge on! Watching television shows and movies in the language you are learning is an awesome way to include the language in your life. Netflix has an increasing number of foreign shows and lots of translations to help you out. In this post, we will show you how to use Netflix to help you learn languages.
If you’ve tried to use television to learn languages in the past, you may have noticed that it’s not always easy to find shows in your target language. Even with Netflix, you can choose random titles, and click on the language icon to see if it’s available in the language of your choice. Many of them are not, so this is not very practical. Fortunately, there’s a way that makes it really easy to find all the shows that are available in a given language, either as an original or a dubbed version. Simply open your web browser and type the following in the address bar:
Once you have logged in to your account, you’ll see a language drop-down menu. Simply choose your target language in the list of available languages. Let’s say you’re learning German; all you have to do is select it in the drop-down menu and you’ll see all the available German titles. There are hundreds of titles available in many languages. Let’s take a look at the different ways you can use those titles.
As a beginner, it can be helpful to choose something that you have already seen in English to help you understand better. Let’s say you were of huge fan of Stranger Things and watched the whole series twice already. Simply select it and it will start playing in your preferred language. In order to change the language, just click on the language icon at the bottom, choose German, and Boom! You can watch the whole series again in German and make awesome progress. It can give you a reason to watch a series you love again, completely guilt free, because you are actually learning a language at the same time. It can also be an excellent idea to watch your favorite childhood movies in your new language. Family movies are often easier to understand and since you know them by heart, it will be a breeze to follow along.
This is not nearly as effective, but let’s face it, you want to make the language part of your life, but you likely won’t stop watching movies in English altogether. Sometimes it’s nice to just sit back and understand the movie without having to concentrate on every single line of dialogue. But as you comfortably watch the movie in English, why not put the subtitles in your target language? By doing so, you will often find your eyes wanting to read the subtitles as you hear the English equivalent. So every time you watch something in English, turn on those foreign subtitles. While it may not be the most effective method of learning, you will definitely learn a few words. If you don’t put them there, you will learn zero words in your new language. It’s a small change that doesn’t require much effort on your part. Using foreign subtitles when watching foreign material is also very effective, but unfortunately, you must find subtitles that are closed captions, which are quite rare. If they are not closed captions, the audio and subtitles won’t always match perfectly and it will be quite confusing.
Watching television to learn languages is great, but you must choose material that is appropriate for your current skill level. If you’re a beginner in your new language, there is really no point of watching a complicated political drama, especially if you haven’t watched it before. You’ll likely just zone out and won’t be able to focus in a way that can be productive. If you’re a beginner, why not choose material aimed at young children? Sure, the story will be childish, but you’d be surprised by how much you can learn. Learn to choose material that is slightly above your current level in the language. However, if you can’t even understand preschool shows, you might want to spend a bit more time studying the language before television can be truly effective for learning.
Learning a language is all about immersing yourself as much as possible, and watching Netflix shows is an excellent way to do so! If you keep taking your lessons everyday, and use Netflix to reinforce what you learn, you should see drastic improvements in your language skills in no time. Have fun watching awesome shows in your new language!
Fair Use: All rights to their respective owners. Some clips used under Section 107 of the Copyright Act 1976, allowance is made for “fair use” for educational purposes. We are not affiliated in any way with Netflix.
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