An Introvert’s Guide to Language Learning- How to Learn a Language While Watching TV

I love learning foreign languages. For a couple years I tried learning on both Spanish and French but my time was so divided I didn’t really learn much of either. Now I just focus on Spanish. 

 

When I’m proficient enough to read books and watch shows in Spanish – without subtitles or intensive vocabulary study – I’ll start back on French. I maintain my French by watching a TV show a week dubbed in French with English subtitles.

 

I love using TV to build my foreign language listening comprehension. It’s fun, so I watch often. I also learn a lot of slang and practice understanding at normal conservational speed.

 

I find I won’t watch as much if I don’t have English subtitles. Since the more I watch, the more I learn, English subtitles are a must for me. I tried using Spanish dubbing with Spanish subtitles but the translations often weren’t the same. Often, in the dubbed version an idiomatic phrase would be translated for meaning, but in the subtitled version, it would be translated word for word. Strange, but true.

 

(Note: Be sure to check the DVD or Netflix’s language info to make sure the edition you’re buying or renting has the dubbing and subtitle features. Not all editions have them.)

 

The following DVDs offer English subtitles and dubbing in Spanish and/ or French in at least some editions:

Angel
Seasons 1-4: French and Spanish

Monk
Season 1: French and Spanish


Buffy the Vampire Slayer

Seasons 1-2: French
Seasons 3-6: French and Spanish

 

Sex and the City
Seasons 4-6: Spanish

Curb Your Enthusiasm
Seasons 1-4: French and Spanish
Season 5: French


Six Feet Under

Seasons 2-4: French and Spanish
Season 5: French

 

Dark Angel
Seasons 1 & 2: French and Spanish


The Simpsons
Season 2: French
Seasons 3-11: French and Spanish

 

Deadwood
Seasons 1-3: French and Spanish

Smallville
Season 1: French


Entourage

(Good for learning
slang and curse words)

Seasons 1- 4 French and Spanish

Ugly Betty

Season 1: Spanish

Firefly
Season 1: French and Spanish

X-Files
Seasons 1-6: French
Seasons 7-9: French and Spanish

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