One of the 4 skills you must learn is another language. Another language is always nice and it sounds cool. And how do you learn another language? In college, of course, or e-courses or just from a listen-and-reply tape. But a fundamental support is watching television! I can hear you say: ‘What?!’

The best example: The Dutch people.

I’m from the Netherlands, so I know what I’m talking about ;). It is really strange to see that the Dutch speak English pretty well (almost everyone) and that the German (our neighbours) don’t speak english that well. This is strange, because we have the same amount of english in school. The big difference is on television. In the Netherlands we don’t do voice-overs, we use subtitles, everything is with English audio and Dutch subtitles. And in Germany, they never use subtitles. (Watch this funny SouthPark in Germany video; ‘Oh mein Got, sie haben Kenny getötet! Ihr Schweine!’) I think the subtitle is the main reason for the well-English-speaking Dutchmen.

Why should you watch shows to learn another language?

  • Watching television in another language (with native language subtitles or upside down) helps. You get more familiair with the language and your vocabulary will grow!
  • Shows are easy. Why is it so nice to watch a simple serie after a hard day of work? Because they are so simple! Just half an hour filled with humor or excitement. Most of the times not that hard to follow.
  • You will notice that you learn. This is one of the best things, you won’t look at the subtitles all the time anymore, you will recognize words and it just feels great!
  • Series are addicting. Watch Heroes, that show is so addicting that you want to see them all, so you can’t stop learning another language!

Some tips

I think that if you already speak English and you want to learn another language you should change the subtitles, as not all the episodes of a serie will be available in another language (and the subtitles are, if you search well.) I can recommend ‘How I met your mother’, cause that is just funny! Let me know your thoughts on this!

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