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Does watching movies in different languages help to learn?

I'm listening to the Dr. Horrible soundtrack right now, and I was wondering if watching movies or listening to songs in different languages actually helps to learn the language better?

March 22, 2017



Yes. You'll be listening to the rhythm of the language and its pronunciation. You'll catch the words you already know almost effortlessly!


True. It only takes a short while before you hear the gaps between the words and a short while later before you hear the gaps between the syllables.


I find it useless at the beginning, but once you can hear 25% of the words or more, it would speed up your learning process because you can start figuring out the missing words. The trick is to know which movies are good for you at what stage of your learning. Most beginners just watch whatever they can find, and that's not helpful.


I don't agree. While it's definitely much more beneficial, it's not useless either. My approach is to dive into the language and it's worked for me so far. Actually, consuming content in your target language before studying helps you a lot with pronunciation since you have a vague idea about how it should sound. Surrounding yourself with the language from day 1 is the best method.


I agree. When I learned Arabic, music and TV helped. Repeating what you hear, even if you have no idea what it means or can't read a new alphabet yet - helps with intonation, inflection and overall phonetic confidence. Being insecure about pronunciation is one big reason why people quit foreign language study.

When I was little I got into the habit of watching subtitled TV in my own language, and I'd write down any word I didn't know. I continued this habit with other languages and it helps a LOT.


It also depends on the type of person you are and how you learn


Definitely, it's a great way to get used to speed/rhythm/accent and pick up new vocabulary and grammar. Plus, in my experience at least, finding a movie or TV series in the language that you're learning that you really love can be an amazing motivator.


Absolutely, it helps strengthen pronunciation and shows the relationship / similarities between your native language and the language you're trying to learn.


A lot, actually. Specially songs. What I do, actually, is that I watch dubbed cartoons or movies with audio and subtitles in my target language. Those are always the easiest and good for my German level at the moment.


The movie should be originally in your target language, I should say...


To me it depends on what language. For instance, if the language is to fast you may not pick up anything. However, if it is like a children's show, and they speak slower and simpler, perhaps you could learn.


If you're a beginner, I agree, but once you get a little more advanced that's not really a necessity. Once you get a bit used to the language, you can just watch anything you want. I'm learning Japanese and just watch whatever I feel like and I can still recognize a lot.


I can tell you that it works, in my case, most part of my English I learned watching TV shows and always put the closed caption to know the words and what they say, maybe my English is not 100% good but now I can hear someone talk in English and I understand very well, actually I'm learning Danish using English because Danish is not available for Spanish speaker so I have no choice just use English. In conclusion watching movies, TV shows and listening music it works a lot and then you have to practice.


I agree. I did the same thing, even in my native English, and improved my Spanish with music, and my French with subtitled TV. In another example, all Arabs know Levantine and Egyptian Arabic dialects because of the popularity of Lebanese and Egyptian music & TV. In contrast, Arabic from the Gulf and from the Maghreb isn't widely understood and it's because Gulf music isn't popular outside of the Gulf (with the exception of Morocco) and they choose not to represent their culture in film/TV. Artists from the Maghreb tend to conform to the Egyptian style and don't popularize their dialect, so people don't know it. I think it's sad, because failing to adequately represent yourself allows others to misrepresent you.


I think so. Because it gets your brain use to hearing the language you are learning. But I am not 100% sure if that is right.


I agree with this. Even if you're only getting a few words, you're "tuning" your brain to the target language.


thats an awesome question, but i don't think it would be, unless you knew your word realy good, and it said the words in print on the bottom of your lectronic


most definitely but I would recommend subscripts it makes it a lot better also watch a movie you already watched it helps you learn new words also I watched fault in our stars while i was in German class and it helped me a lot!!!!!


I've got Connie Francis singing in Spanish more or less on loop at present, thanks to YouTube.


I prefer pure listening to watching stuff since I can half listen while doing something else.

[deactivated user]

    Yes it does! I watch movies in German and in Spanish. And I am amazed how having the vocabulary in context helps.


    Especially if you are familiar with the movie already, it can be extremely helpful! For example, I've got a serious love for the movie The Shining, and I pretty much know exactly what they are saying at any given point, so listening in another language is fairly easy. (vs. using subtitles) I love to watch the DVD in French or Spanish to strengthen those skills once in a while. Just listening to a language you're working on (even if you don't know exactly what the translation is) can get your brain moving in the right direction. :)


    I once watched "The Exorcist" DVD with the French language track. Learned a lot of really filthy French swear words! :-)


    It has helped me a lot, lately I've been watching a lot of Chinese and Russian movies and I feel like I'm starting to understand when people speak the language quickly.


    Yes, if there is subtitles. However, you will need some knowledge of the language before you do this though. Have a great day!


    It will most likely help because when you are watching a movie you can figure out words by the situation in the play.


    Absolutely! My favorite strategy is to watch movies I've already seen (hello Disney) both dubbed and subbed in my target language. However tempting, I've found it's not very helpful to have either the dubs or subs in your native language, because it really interferes with your absorption of the target language.

    Most language courses also tend towards the formal, and watching movies helps you get a better sense of how people actually speak.


    I think it does as a supplement, but it can't be the only thing. It is a useful exercise in listening and comprehension, though, and it's amazing how much films rely on visual cues and things that don't require language. It's a good way to appreciate film, as well as learning a language.

    Interestingly, I had a real test the other day when I watched a movie in a language I didn't know at all, with subtitles in the language I'm trying to learn. It was quite the experience - I think I got most of the movie, though!

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