Netflix in Spanish
by Emily Daniel
With all of the time we spend watching TV and movies, why not use that time to â€œstudyâ€ and reinforce what you are learning in Spanish lessons while relaxing and enjoying yourself?
I recently stumbled upon a movie called Abre los Ojos (called Open your Eyes if you search on Netflix) starring Penelope Cruz and directed by Alejando AmenÃ¡bar. I was completely captivated by the characters, plot and was very confused about some things that were happening in the movie (I watched it two times). Even when I watch TV and movies in English I am one of those people that doesnâ€™t want to miss anything that is said and I admit that I have a hard time hearing probably from the days of listening to my headphones much too loud. So, I watch everything with the English subtitles! Before watching the movie Abre Los Ojos I promised myself that I would not turn on the Spanish subtitles and use that hour and a half to â€œpracticeâ€ listening. I didnâ€™t realize that the movie was going to be absolutely incredible and there were many times that I didnâ€™t hear or understand everything and I wanted so badly to turn on the captions. If anyone has seen the movie Vanilla Sky, this movie is basically the original Vanilla Sky but in Spanish. I had never seen Vanilla Sky so I didnâ€™t know that Penelope Cruz was cast alongside Tom Cruise and played the role again in English nor did I know anything about the plot. I wonâ€™t give anything away but there is a man wearing a mask for a good part of the movie and let me just tell you that I had to be totally disciplined to not turn on the subtitles to see what he was saying because I couldnâ€™t see his mouth under that mask to read his lips and had a hard time hearing! I rewound it a couple times to listen to some intense scenes a second or third time, but overall watching the movie without subtitles and understanding 97% was good enough for me and it was very fun.
For beginners and intermediate students
I would recommend beginning by turning on only the subtitles
in Spanish. You will learn new vocabulary, phrases and see how sentences and questions are formed and youâ€™ll notice a lot of things that you have been learning in lessons. When you become more proficient in Spanish, give the Spanish audio AND subtitles a try. Donâ€™t expect to understand everything. Try to get the gist and donâ€™t get frustrated by not understanding everything perfectly. The listening muscle is one to strengthen and it takes time as you expand your vocabulary and skills.
For higher intermediate and advanced students
once you decide that you want and need more of challenge than only Spanish subtitles, move to the Spanish audio AND subtitles.
Once you want more of a challenge
at this point, move to Spanish audio only. Donâ€™t expect
to understand everything. Try to get the gist and donâ€™t get frustrated by not understanding everything perfectly. The listening muscle is one to strengthen and it takes time as you expand your vocabulary and skills. You should be enjoying the show so if you ever become frustrated turn the subtitles back on until you are ready to give yourself a break. The improvements may be so subtle that you do not even realize that you are improving in your comprehension but if you are listening to Spanish on a regular basis, there is no way that you canâ€™t be!
After feeling comfortable listening to Spanish audio only or if you want to experiment along the way, begin exploring some movies and TV shows that were filmed in Spanish
with or without the subtitles. You will be exposed to various accents, idioms and you will finally be able to read the speakerâ€™s lips!
For students of any level or students that have children
I would really take advantage of all the TV shows and movies for kids! Allow your kids to watch an extra half hour or hour of TV in Spanish
(and watch with them!). If you are a parent that limits TV time or uses special privileges to incentivize, they will be so excited to get some extra time watching TV. Itâ€™s a great way to â€œsneakâ€ that Spanish learning in and disguise it as a treat. Kid TV shows are a fabulous way to learn language for children and adults that are learning second languages!
The same principal can apply for playing on Apps. Allow them that â€œprivilegeâ€ of 30 minutes playing on a Spanish game or app.
How do I change the settings on my Netflix to get the subtitles and/or audio in Spanish?
After watching Abre Los Ojos movie I began to wonder what other amazing movies in Spanish are out there and I thought there just HAS to be a way to turn Netflix on in Spanish. With a little bit of research here is what I came up with to share with all of you. Not every show and movie has the Spanish option, but you can google a list of TV shows and movies that offer the Spanish audio/subtitles on Netflix to get you started.
If you find any good movies or TV shows that you enjoy, please email me at SpanishLessonswithEmilyD@gmail.com
and Iâ€™ll compile a list to share in a future newsletter!
A few links to lists of movies in Spanish streaming on Netflix to get you started
Â¡Concierto de Mariachi Gratis!