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What is the best way it watch movies in the language I am learning?

I have been taking German for a little bit now and i think that maybe watching movies in German would really help. I'm just not sure what is the best way to go about it for learning the language. Should I just watch them with no subtitles or translations whatsoever and kind of figure it out? Should I have German subtitles and no English translation? Should i have English subtitles, or maybe both English and German subs if that is possible? Should I watch films in English subtitled in German? Please give me advice either biased on personal experience or maybe some sort of scientific study. thank you

June 11, 2016

11 Kommentare

  1. Start watching German movies with English subtitles. Advantage: You'll get familiar with the sound, the different tones of the language and you see how the actors's face are moving during their speech, and yet you understand the content because of reading the subtitles.
  2. If you are familiar enough with it, change the subtitltes to German. It'll boost your vocabulary!
  3. Try to read books, listen to podcasts, read the newspaper a.s.o. as well. Watching movies is a great way of learning a language, but you have to learn it with several means to become better quickly.
June 11, 2016


Tut mir Leid, ich kann noch nicht auf Englisch schreiben (nur Deutsch/ Französisch). Ich lerne Deutsch mit Krimis. Es macht mich viel Spaß. Zurzeit schaue ich ohne Untertiteln, ich finde das besser. Meine lieblings TV-Serie heißt SOKO Leipzig. Es gibt andere Städte wie Köln, Stuttgart, Donau, Wismar, München=5113 ...) https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCyC3snC1jKl1i0dh60lmJrA https://www.youtube.com/user/SokoLeipzigFans

Hier kannst du viele Krimis kostenlos schauen http://www.zdf.de/ZDFmediathek/kanaluebersicht/aktuellste/884714#/kanaluebersicht/884714 Ich mag auch viel : Ladykracher (bei Myspassde) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lN26IR_24lI&list=PL94C7EDE446C02090 und Knallerfrauen https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=okFWkvbRMkc&list=PLlF6wdAQ8FG4XZUd-RDRSWMSOaTOSocmi

Viel Spaß!!!

June 13, 2016


Mon dieux, que cool, SOKO Leipzig xD Je suis d'Allemagne, tu ne peux pas t'imaniger, comme drôle est pour moi, mais probable exactement aussi drôle que mes fautes pour toi...

October 28, 2017



June 11, 2016


I agree with Alex! Plus a few more points...

Try and do it with a TV show - it's just waaay easier for your brain to cope with in 30 minute chunks. Also it'll help if you're following familiar characters.

It doesn't have to be German TV, and German dubs often have clearer dialogue and are easier to understand. There's a dub for every show... and it's also easier if it's already a show you know very well.

And almost anything is better than comedy, because jokes are just annoying when you don't understand them.

June 11, 2016


If you are like me and you read a lot more than you listen or speak, then you can probably go straight for German movies with German subtitles. I often find that I catch things in the subtitles that I just manage to miss in the spoken audio. You can get quite good at understanding a language from written material, but you always need to train your ears to hear it, and movies always give you the more casual, everyday version of the language that learning materials so keenly try to avoid. If you find yourself really bewildered, then just pause the movie and go over what you just heard. If it takes you several hours to get through a movie this way, then the next one you watch will be twice as easy to follow, and so on.

I don't think English subtitles will really help any, you'll just get more comfortable reading subtitles quickly and ignoring the subject matter. Unless you watch a film over and over again until the spoken lines are burned into your memory - at that point, they might make a useful reference, but the watching of the film a dozen times will have been much more helpful by itself.

June 12, 2016


why not start with cartoons or movies for children?

June 13, 2016


Yeah, that's good too - although, I don't think the language used is that much simpler compared to standard film and tv, unless you are talking about stuff aimed at pre-schoolers. Lots of kids movies are surprisingly high-brow, often aiming jokes at the parents as much as the kids. It just depends what you are interested in though really. There is no 'wrong' place to start.

June 13, 2016


It probably depends on you abilities. I'd vote against watching English movies with German subtitles - the best you can hope for there is learning how to write it, but not speak (which is imho more important). Personally, I'm a big fan of watching movies without subtitles, because they tend to distract you from what's said. When I was a kid I used to watch movies in English without subtitles with a friend whose DVDs had no German sonora - it was pretty tough at first, but I improved rapidly. More than if I had watched it with subtitles, I suspect. If you're very new to the language, however, it might not be too difficult that way. You should probably just take your time and test it out.

June 11, 2016


Best to watch it in German with German subtitles. A study on this subject has been done, with interesting and useful results: http://www.spiegel.de/wissenschaft/mensch/dvds-film-untertitel-helfen-beim-sprachenlernen-a-660578.html

Summary in English: The study participants were in three groups. (1) Watching a film in English with subtitles in their native language, (2) watching the English film with subtitles in English, or (3) watching the English film without any subtitles. Afterwards English soundclips were played for them, some in content familiar from the film, some new content, and the participants were to repeat what they heard.

The group who had subtitles in their native language performed the worst. Presumably subtitles in one's native language distract from concentrating on the language being learned. In contrast, subtitles in the language being learned help pick up new vocabulary.

While we're on the subject, some (maybe all, I haven't checked thoroughly) Netflix original series are available in several languages both for the audio and subtitles, which can be separately selected. Just like English with captions for hearing impaired, the audio and subtitles don't always 100% match but it's still very helpful for picking up vocabulary. I've been watching Daredevil in German with German subtitles, it's a great immersion tool.

July 2, 2016


Today I came across this topic in a video titled "Learn English With Movies Using This Movie Technique": https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=791cOfTEkEc

This technique can be used with any other languages as well. The only things needed are subtitles for the particular movie and, of course, the movie itself :-)

August 20, 2016
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