How to improve your language skills with VO films

Are you wondering how to learn a foreign language effortlessly, with pleasure, and in a few weeks?
A simple and effective remedy: The film in VO!

Of course, the principle is the same for any video in general, especially series, and we encourage you to explore all media. The advantage of a movie is that it keeps you on the edge of your seat, it makes sense on its own (no need to watch a sequel), and the subtitles are carefully crafted to provide the best possible experience.

The secret to improving your foreign language skills

Seeing a movie in its original version allows you to broaden your cinematographic culture, to enjoy yourself, and above all to immerse yourself in a language, with an accent, to simply improve.

The most common and easiest language is, of course, English. The United States is exceptionally productive in this area: an average of 385 films were produced between 1988 and 1999. More recently, the whole world has started making films and series.

But in order to enjoy a foreign-language film, and for it to be beneficial, there are rules to follow.

How to watch a movie in a foreign language

Subtitles: subtitles or not? This is a huge debate. The advantage of removing subtitles is that it does not confuse you, you can better appreciate the images, you are in oral comprehension and not written comprehension. The advantage of subtitles is that when you read, you will retain the spelling. Another advantage of subtitles is that they support your concentration. It is up to you to choose your favorite formula, and why not alternate?

The movie card: You will understand the movie better, thanks to that you will be able to do without subtitles, and you will get vocabulary and a story that you will be able to use later. Reading or making an index card about the film takes a few seconds, and ideally includes the following elements: title, main actors and director, synopsis, technical vocabulary about the theme of the film.

Vocabulary: precisely, this vocabulary would benefit from being noted. You do not need to look up the definition right away, that would slow you down. Just list those words that come up regularly during the film, and whose translation you will look for later. The progress will be spectacular if this work is done assiduously.

The theme: it is important that it is a movie that you like. Or a series of course, it is even better because you already know the characters and the context. If you like the movie, you will watch it all the way through, and you will learn a lot more because you like what you hear. If you manage to like more cultural, historical films, that is a plus.

Where to Watch Foreign Language Videos

Cinemas often show movies in their original versions, all the big American movies for example exist in VO. For other languages, it is more complicated, but if you are lucky enough to live in a big city, look for language associations in your city, and authors cinemas.

In the age of the internet, the great advantage is the extraordinary offer of subtitles and language choice: English, Spanish, German, Italian, Portuguese, Russian, everything is good. For this purpose, take a good look at the options for Netflix, YouTube, disney+ or other favorite streaming service.

A final tip is to look at the websites of television stations in the target country. Often TV channels block content due to copyright issues, which can be circumvented by using VPN, a service that geolocates you to the country of your choice. In any case, TV news in particular are often accessible regardless of your location. The advantage will be that you will know the questions if you keep up with the world news in general, and it will also give you a new perspective, taking the point of view of a foreign country.

→ English word list for written expression

→ 50 English linking words

One thought on “How to improve your language skills with VO films

  1. slt me I would like to improve my oral expression in Arabic I am in master 2 in the Arabic department of the University of Dakar Senegal but I have gaps in my expression. so I would like, if possible, if someone who speaks good Arabic to help me to improve my language. here is my skype account oumar.sow247 . thank you for your understanding.

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