Watching movies in target language

I’d like to hear everyone’s thoughts on whether or not it is helpful to watch movies (that you are familiar with) in the language you are trying to learn?
I personally would love to get all the old disney movies (back when they were good) in Russian.

I’d love to know what you think!

In my opinion it’s good exercise however for me it’s difficult understand the speaking on america movies. They speak very faster. I like to listen radio (BBC and voice of america) It’s more easy to hear and understand.

Well I understand virtually nothing, but I think to some degree it helps to watch things you’ve already seen in your target language. I watch Sopranos and Californication in French and try to listen for words I’ve learned. I watch Dexter and Sopranos in Spanish and understand almost everything. These are all things I’ve seen in English before, but I don’t consider them to be my ‘work’ in learning the language, I consider them to be more of a fun assessment…

If you can understand a movie in a foreign language, then all power to your elbow Nathan. Personally I usually can’t, because movies are generally dubbed. American movies are very fast-paced, and the dialogue is snapped out between car chases and helicopter explosions. Having a Russian translate that into something that can be lip-synced doesn’t make the dialogue any clearer.

Having said that, I have Francis Ford Coppola’s Bram Stoker’s Dracula in French, German and English with subtitles. They speak slowly and clearly (no running away from exploding helicopters), and you can watch, e.g. in English, then in German with English subtitles, then in German with German subtitles, then in German with no subtitles. So I suggest you try it and see.

The older Disney films are slow paced so might be easier than the recent ones. I can’t follow “Aladdin” in English (what is Robin Williams ON?) French films are often paced slowly, but without a lot of dialogue. “Das Boot” is slow paced but they mumble into their beards over the sound of a submarine propeller so I can’t actually hear what they are saying. The only Russian films I tried were so violent I couldn’t watch them!

Watch the vocabulary you pick up and don’t trust the subtitles for an exact translation. I find in French and German films they can swear like troupers and the American subtitles just say something like “My Goodness!”

yeah subtitles are normally ultra simplified in any language, it’s too bad…

I would sometimes it is helpful to learn watching movies with language we want to learn. However it should be bore in mind that one will only learn if that person has some background knowledge of the language. It’s will not be helpful if you just sit back, watch as many movies and then expect to be fluent in that language next day. Also one more thing that should be kept in mind is the fact that each and every movie would have different native speakers and it will not be cake walk to get adjusted with all these accents… On lighter note, we can definitely watch movies for entertainment and then may end up learning some new stuff…!!!

Apart from my Swedish, the only language I can watch movies in is English.

As for subtitles being simplified, I think it sometimes is necessary since the dialogues can be very fast, and that there simply isn’t enough room to translate everything (unless the sentences are shown for 0.1 seconds as in Chinese movies…).

On a side note, I’ve heard people being amazed at the fact that every foreign-language show or movie is subtitled in Sweden, despite a loose translation.

“How can you manage to read that fast!?!?!?”
“When you go to the movies, you want to relax - and NOT have to read”

I enjoy watching movies in the target language but do not consider doing so to be a very intense learning experience. Movie dialogues can be difficult to understand.

Yea I don’t think it’s the best way, but it is just another resource I guess. I think it’s good for getting a feel for the language though, being able to hear extended conversations. Also if I put say German subtitles on it’s great to start to understand the way sentences should be organised

Oh, definitely. With subtitles. If a word keeps coming up in the subtitles that I don’t understand, I’ll look it up. And it keeps my attention much longer than most other language-learning activities.

I enjoy movies, but they’re always very dialogue-intensive. I prefer to get dubbed versions of television shows which are, such as Scrubs or Curb Your Enthusiasm where I am also familiar with the content. In the case of the former show, it has dubs and subtitles in several languages, so it can help as a bridge to advancing comprehension if you’re learning two or more of them. For example, I watch one season through in English first, then maybe in French and then in Spanish and so on.

I would love to get Outrageous Fortune in German… Shame it’ll never happen

In my humble opinion watching movies in target language is especially good for understanding and a bit less helpful for speaking. You have the best connection to events; you see mimic and gestures and thus learn deeper. However, you should have enough recognition vocabulary, only then it is useful. Personally I’ve learn a lot by watching TV and movies.

I’m French-canadian and I have been listening to English movies and television series for years. I don’t watch TV a lot, but when I can, I choose the English version.

Most of the time, I don’t understand everything because the pronunciation is often really bad. But I still like it because it keeps me “on my toes”: it helps me and forces me to focus on the words and the phrases, and that way I make progress.
I like « Numbers » and « 24 Hrs» (television series). At the beginning, I missed so much of the dialogue that I became frustrated. Nevertheless, I persevered and now I can enjoy it even if I still miss some of the words. I think it helps and, as Steve said,

  • “…key to successful language learning is to accept uncertainty, vagueness and imperfection, for a long long time, and to enjoy it.”

  • “…listen to things and read things that I do not fully understand, in the knowledge that this will lead me to understand and feel the language faster and better and more solidly, than trying to understand everything and get explanations.”

Coming from the opposite side of Margopel, I can say that I’m English-Canadian, but have watched a certain amount of television programmes and movies in French over the years…of course much more lately, since I’ve returned to studying the language over Lingq.
I find that the added visual element helps the understanding during quick dialogues.
It’s also good to be exposed to lots of different material and accents, I feel.

Firstly im sorry if my english not so freshgraduated from indonesia.i’ve watched many films made by walt disney such as madagascar,kungfu panda…after watching i felt my english became improved. i could listen slowly.i just listen without indonesian subtitles.But when i watched prison break i couldn’t follow the dialogue.Do you have any suggestion what films i must watch to?if u dont mind,please correct my post.thanks

Watching movies is a great way to learn a language but only if you have already reached a very high level. Movies are too long for beginners, you have to like the movie, watching a movie you like over and over again is also very boring, dubbing is terrible, finding good movies in your target language can be difficult. I think it is better to start with short episodes of series

Кажется мне, что фильмы и mul’‘tfil’'my сама помощь в изучении языка. Даже если вы - новичок, возможно слушать и запоминать. Это есть так часто меня. Истинный, это касается трудных слов не очень. Но смысл ясен в целом

I’m sorry I beg pardon for previous post-modernism. Here that I wanted to say:
It seems to me, that films and mul’tfil’my very help at the study of language. Even if you are a novice, it is possible to listen and memorize. It is so often for me. True, it touches difficult words not very much. But sense is clear on the whole

I find that reading and listening are far richer environments for language learning than movies, since our brains are required to imagine everything based on the input of words. In movies the fun is taken away. We are forced to accept the representation that is provided by the director of the movie. Whenever I watch a movie of a book that I have read, or a story that I have heard as an audio book, I am always disappointed with the movie. There are many fewer words, and a lot of running around and noise.

A movie can be an improvement on a play, however, as in the case of Жестокий романс, the film version of the play Бесприданница by Островский. That was one of the first Russian movies I saw, and remains my all time favourite.

The important thing is to do things in the language that we like. I am not a great fan of cartoons.