The holiday season is upon us yet again, which means delicious food, fun events with friends and family, and plenty of time to snuggle on the couch binging your favorite movies. If you’re currently in the process of learning a foreign language, it’s also an excellent time to sneak in some practice.
Learn a Language: How Foreign Movies Can Help
As an English speaker, you probably have a variety of favorite films come to mind when you think of the holiday season. You might even have a list of favorites that you and your family watch every year as a tradition. They don’t necessarily have to be Christmas movies. Some families like to binge comedies, and others prefer to focus on action or historical films. No matter what your preferences are if your current focus is language learning, you might want to add a few foreign films to your movie list for this year.
- Listen to Native Speakers
When learning a language, it can be helpful to listen to native speakers. Watching foreign movies is an easy way to do that.
- Learn Through Real-life Situations
The context of the story provides insights into the language spoken during the film. You’ll be able to see how certain words, phrases, and slang terms are used in various situations.
- Use Visual Cues
In any film, there will be plenty of visual cues to help provide further details on how certain words are used. Along with paying attention to the overall story, you can also watch for small things, like the way a character refers to the beer in their hand or the way they comment on the weather, to increase your understanding of the language.
- Take Advantage of Subtitles
When all else fails, the subtitles are there to help. If you’re getting good at the language, you might want to try watching the film without the subtitles. However, there is no shame in using them either. They’re a good way to measure how far along you are in the learning process.
Adventures from Around the World: Movies in the Languages You Love
1. Italian: “Perfect Strangers”
When seven close friends get together for a dinner one evening, they all decide to place their phones on the table and share any incoming messages, comments, or phone calls with the group. As the notifications begin to arrive, it quickly becomes apparent that these lifelong friends don’t know each other as well as they might have thought.
2. Spanish: “Wild Tales”
This is an Argentinian film that contains six short films in one. Each film examines the extreme ways that humans will behave when faced with various distressing situations. Filled with themes of revenge and complete with crazy twists and turns, this film is sure to give you and your family something to talk about.
3. German: “The Lives of Others”
Set in East Berlin in 1984, this film follows an agent of the secret police as he conducts surveillance on a man and his lover. As time goes by, he finds himself growing attached to the people he is spying on.
Sometimes, you need a little horror to balance out all the holiday cheer. In this Russian film, a young woman goes with her fiancé to meet his family for the first time. When she begins having frightening visions and noticing odd behavior from some of the family members, she realizes she might have made a horrible mistake.
5. Chinese: “If You Are the One”
This funny romantic film follows a love-hungry single man and a recently heartbroken woman as they take a road trip together. Along the way, they realize there might be more than friendship between them.
6. Portuguese: “Amor.com”
This is another fun and lighthearted romantic comedy to enjoy. It follows the love story between two seemingly polar opposites, a fashion blogger and a gaming nerd.
7. Turkish: “Evim Sensin”
This sweet and sensitive Turkish tearjerker examines a relationship stressed to the limits by a terrible disease. It’s a remake of a similar Korean film called “A Moment to Remember”.
This film follows Adam and his wife Lamia, progressive Christians who live in Nazareth. When Adam sets out to start a new business selling “holy air” from the area, we see his interactions with members of various religions and cultures in his local community.
9. Norwegian: “The Wave”
This thrilling and high-budget action film details a frightening rockslide that causes a tidal wave to annihilate a small Norwegian village. A local scientist tries to warn of the impending doom, but it might be too late for him to save his family and the rest of the locals from disaster.
10. Korean: “A Fabricated City”
Popular gamer Kwon Yoo is a failure in real life but a huge success in the gaming world. When he is framed for murder, he and his gaming friends set out to discover the truth about the killer and clear his name.
Learning Languages: Get the Most Out of Your Holiday Break
Along with watching foreign films and squeezing in a little solo language study when you have time, you can also sneak in some practice this holiday season by asking a family member to quiz you on your language skills. Language learning is an interesting conversation starter at holiday parties, and many of your loved ones are likely to be fascinated by your progress.
From our family to yours, we wish you a wonderful holiday season and new year.