Watching videos/films to learn languages
As we all know, videos and films are often a great help with learning languages. However, I have a question regarding this topic. Would you recommend variation and watching as many different videos as possible, or is it often better to go back to previously seen videos and watch the same videos repeatedly until you're confident with virtually every word/sentence?
A very interesting topic. Thanks for posting this. I have very little experience with learning listening comprehension. I'm planning on mastering my listening skills in French and German during a few holiday weeks. They're not very bad now but I aim at fluency in listening, i.e. being able to watch Youtube videos in my target languages just as if I were watching those in English, for their content and not just as language learning. I would be extremely happy to read tips from people who have more experience with these things.
I always tell people here to do so, to watch movies, shows and youtube videos as much as they can. It works for everybody who sticks with it. I have already proven it with two languages. My advice is to choose something that you already know from a different language and then just keep watching. Recently someone told me that few hours a day for few months made them fluent in listening, I have to agree, my own estimate is about 100 hours of content that does it (which is pretty much the same number). Don't be discouraged if it's hard at first, it is supposed to be hard, but gradually it will get better and better. 14 months ago I knew no German and right now I have a paused vid on my PC with episode of Friends in German and I can understand EVERYTHING (beware it's an episode from 9th season and I watched every single previous episode and watched few seasons of another show before). Also the good news is that this makes me more fluent in speaking/writing. I have yet to prove it in real life conversation, but I like to talk/think to myself in German and I have a penpal from Germany and writing her is soooo much easier with every new message and I believe it's mostly thanks to the video content I absorb.
Happy watching :-)
Thanks. I've been thinking, and you seem to agree with this, that intensity might be the key here. That's why I want to devote a couple of weeks to this, watching videos a few hours a day, instead of watching one YT video a day (before that fluency of course).
I'd say it's better to watch in bigger time spans, but in the same time you should stay in touch with it. So if you for example have more time on weekend I would still try to watch at least 5 or 10 minutes a day during the week and then 30 minutes or 1 hour on weekend before you have more time for it during the vacation. If you don't have time on weekends either, I would still recommend doing at least a bit every day, since it's still better than nothing.
I do indeed plan to watch loads of videos, I want to be fluent in French. Did you watch the videos with or without subtitles? My current plan is to start with subtitles to increase my vocabulary and pronunciation (I'm sure it's very off at times), then later watch without subtitles.
For example me learning German from English: 1st stage: German videos with English subtitles. Didn't stay on this level for too long, you are still thinking in English which doesn't help much. It's good though for getting used to the sound of the new language. 2nd stage: German with German subtitles (can be hard to find, TV channel archives can be a good source, also news websites can provide that). That is the stage where you can compare written and pronounced forms of the languages. Didn't stay at this level for too long either. It can be actually distracting and I was reading too slow, so I had to pause all the time, just to catch up with reading. Around this time it's a good idea to pick up a book in your target language, I read about 300 pages of a Remarque book in German at the time. 3rd stage: German with no subtitles. I believe I watched about 40 episodes of Stargate SG1 in German without actually understanding it, but I knew what was going on because I knew the show and it was very cool to be able to pick up random line here and there. This is the stage of 1 year old that is picking up the language, one word at a time. It is required that you have a solid vocabulary in your head, and now you have to re-learn every single word by listening to be able to recognise it in normal talking. Eventually you will pick up more words and it will be less frustrating and more satisfying with every single hour of video you watch.