You’re so excited to learn a new language. You are thrilled when you receive your new textbook and can’t wait to get started. Whether you want to learn so you can travel more or talk to non-English speaking co-workers, learning a language is an exciting journey.
But once you delve in, you start to realize how much work it’s going to be. In fact, for the easiest languages, it’s an estimated 480 hours of study to reach basic fluency.
That means you’d have to study for 10 hours a day for 48 days to master your chosen language. A schedule like that might be doable for a motivated learner. However, it is also exhausting, intense and not very practical for most people.
Regardless, the more you expose yourself to the language, the faster you’ll become proficient. So why not make it fun by watching a movie in your target language?
Here we’ll explain how you can benefit from this language learning method.
Help You Speak More Like a Native
Have you ever noticed how stilted the conversations in a language-learning textbook sound? “What time is it?” “It is 4 o’clock.” “The house is blue. Blue is my favorite color.” You get the idea.
It’s important to learn how to speak correctly, which is what the textbook is teaching you. But, as you can imagine, natives don’t actually speak like that.
Watching a movie in your target language can help you get a feel for the real flow of a language. You’ll hear idioms, common abbreviations, and even slang terms that won’t show up in a textbook.
Hear Words in Context
Another benefit to watching a movie is hearing vocabulary words in context. Sometimes a straight-up definition of a word doesn’t quite make sense. Or you don’t understand how to translate it.
This can happen when there isn’t a direct translation for a word. But if you can hear it in context it becomes easier to understand how to translate it and, more importantly, how to use it in conversation.
Watching a Movie Is More Fun Than a Textbook
Watching a movie is obviously more fun than reading a textbook. However, don’t get the wrong idea. You won’t learn much if you just sit back and passively watch a movie.
While hearing the flow of the language does help train your ear, passive listening is only minimally helpful. To get the most language-learning out of watching the movie you’re going to have to put in some effort and pay close attention.
Listen closely to what the characters are saying. Write down unfamiliar words to study them or look them up. Take breaks to give yourself time to digest what you’re learning. A whole 90-minute movie in one sitting can feel overwhelming depending on where you’re at in your language learning journey.
Get Creative and Have Fun!
Watching a movie is a great language learning tool. You can learn to speak more naturally and sound more like a native. Plus, you may find yourself more motivated to practice when you get to enjoy a movie rather than read from a textbook. Do it right and you’ll be babbling along like a native in no time!
For more great lifestyle tips, be sure to check out the other posts on our blog!