Ugly Betty Adaptations and Other Telenovelas for Language Learning

The Telenovela Method, as explained by Andrew, is a great way to learn languages quickly, which a recent study suggests actually helps your brain grow. The main reason I like this method is the authenticity of language and culture which is usually lacking from language learning resources. Finding subtitles to go along with the movies or TV series can be a problem though, especially with telenovelas.

Ugly Betty Adaptations in Spanish

The most famous telenovela and the original Ugly Betty, Yo soy Betty, la fea, was made in Colombia and you can watch all of the episodes (many with subtitles in Spanish and English) at viki.com. The European Spanish version, Yo soy Bea, also has a quite a few episodes on viki.com though not all have Spanish subtitles yet.

The Mexican version, La Fea Más Bella, is available on DVD through Amazon.com as a shortened/edited version with English subtitles only. However, Univision has uploaded all 300 episodes to their YouTube channel if you want to watch online (no Spanish subtitles though.)

Mexican version of Ugly Betty

Mexican Telenovelas

If you are interested in using Mexican telenovelas to learn Spanish, I highly recommend Las Tontas No Van al Cielo. It is actually better than La Fea Más Bella, even funnier and much more addictive. The DVD available on Amazon.com is, of course, a shortened version of just over 15 hours but the editing was actually done quite well. There was only one storyline that I don’t remember seeing the end to, but everything else made sense. If you have time to watch all of the episodes, this site seems to have all of them available.

Best telenovela ever.

 The male lead is Jaime Camil, who was also the male lead in La Fea Más Bella. The female lead is Jacqueline Bracamontes… who also had a small role in La Fea Más Bella. I was also pleasantly surprised to find out that the theme song, Esto es lo que soy, is sung by Jesse y Joy, my favorite Mexican band.

This dude is hilarious.

This dude is hilarious.

If you prefer to have actual DVDs so you’re not stuck in front of a computer all the time, there are a lot of Mexican televenovelas sold on Amazon.com for less than $10 each. They will be the edited versions because the full versions that aired on TV are more than 100 hours long and that is a LOT of DVDs. They tend to only have English subtitles but their price is rather cheap for how many hours of Spanish you’ll get to hear. If you don’t mind using the computer, Andrew also has lists of sites for watching Spanish-language TV online as well as Spanish videos with Spanish subtitles.

Ugly Betty Adaptations in Languages Other than Spanish

For Portuguese, Brazil has Bela, a Feia and many clips can also be found on Youtube. There are no French or Italian versions, but Germany has Verliebt in Berlin and you can get the (many) DVDs which include every single episode on Amazon.de from third-party sellers (region 2 only though!).

There are two versions in Dutch, Sara from Flemish-speaking Belgium and Lotte from the Netherlands. A few clips from Sara can be found on VTM’s site and LotteTVChannel is still uploading all of the episodes of Lotte to Youtube. Plus Lars Oostveen is the male lead. You should recognize him as Sam Scott, a.k.a the American, from the Extr@ series. Now you get to hear him speak his native language.

And he’s instantly ten times cuter when he speaks Dutch.

A few other adaptations of Ugly Betty exist in languages such as Greek, Croatian, Polish, Russian, Tagalog, Mandarin, etc. but I don’t think they’re available on DVD. Some clips may be available online though.

Quotes from The Loom of Language on Classroom Learning and the Direct Method

+-*I started re-reading The Loom of Language by Frederick Bodmer while travelling around Australia a few weeks ago. I only made it through the Introduction when I realized I had already added nearly 20 bookmarks and notes on my Kindle. I love this book so much. Even though it was published in the 1940’s, it […]

Full Story »

Australian Vacation / Holiday 2012

+-*I recently returned from two weeks of travelling around Australia. A friend from Arizona, Michelle, came to Australia for the first time and we decided to visit all of the major tourist attractions. We went to Sydney and Melbourne, drove along the Great Ocean Road, enjoyed a few days at the Great Barrier Reef and […]

Full Story »

Extr@ Spanish, French and German Videos

+-*A huge thank you to Andrew at howlearnspanish.com and commenter Robin who led me to the Spanish, French, and German Extr@ TV series. They were produced by Channel 4 in the UK and are aimed at teenagers learning languages, but any language learner should find them useful. Unlike language textbook videos where the speech is […]

Full Story »

Open Lectures, Course Materials, MOOCs, iTunes U: The Internet is for Learning

+-*MOOC (massive open online course) providers such as Coursera, Udacity and edX have been in the news and featured on blogs recently. The free exchange of knowledge and ideas is an exciting concept for those of us who love learning for the sake of learning. However, Udacity and edX don’t seem to have very many courses […]

Full Story »

The Finnish Educational System and English Language Education

+-*If only we could all be like Finland when it comes to teaching languages… Thanks to @LinguistAshley for live tweeting this talk a few weeks ago and @sirkkunikamaa for putting her slideshow online.

Full Story »

Australia in the Asian Century: Focus on Mandarin, Japanese, Indonesian and Hindi

+-*The Australia in the Asian Century White Paper was just released on Sunday, and it contains 25 major goals for Australia, some of which pertain to language learning. Essentially, the paper states that every Australian student (in primary or secondary schools) will have the opportunity to learn one of the four priority Asian languages: Mandarin, […]

Full Story »

Classroom Games for Introductory French Classes

+-*Every week in my first semester French class, we played games to review and reinforce what we did in the previous class. For other French teachers out there who are looking for more activities, these are what I actually used in my class this year. A lot of these I found on Pinterest, where I […]

Full Story »

Comparative and Multilingual Books for Learning Languages Simultaneously [UPDATED OCT 2014]

+-*I’ve updated the list of multilingual sites for learning several languages together, but if you’re interested in books (some as PDFs) rather than websites, these are the resources I have: A Comparative Practical Grammar of French, Spanish and Italian by O. W. Heatwole (1949) You may be able to buy it from third-party sellers on […]

Full Story »

Beliefs of American University Students Towards Foreign Language Requirements and Textbooks

+-*I’ve been reading articles and dissertations on students’ beliefs and perceptions of foreign language study recently, and came across two with some incredibly painful quotes that I had to share. Foreign Language Requirement Price and Gascoigne (2006) reported on 155 incoming (directly out of high school) college students who responded to this essay prompt: One goal […]

Full Story »

Why is Jennie no longer in France?

I created this blog in September 2006 when I moved to France from Michigan to teach English. Many of the earlier posts are about my personal life in France, dealing with culture shock, traveling in Europe and becoming fluent in French. In July 2011, I relocated to Australia to start my PhD in Applied Linguistics. Although I am no longer living in France, my research is on foreign language pedagogy and I teach French at a university so these themes appear most often on the blog. I also continue to post about traveling and being an American abroad.

Support ielanguages.com

The 2nd edition of French Language Tutorial is available as a PDF book. It has been updated with much more vocabulary, sample sentences, and cultural information, plus extended vocabulary lists, cross-referenced topics, and an alphabetical index.

Visit the Store to buy the PDF e-book for $14.95 as an instant download or the paperback book for $29.95 + shipping (shipped worldwide by lulu.com). Purchase of the printed book includes the PDF book for free! Thank you for supporting ielanguages.com!

French Today - Master the Modern French Language

21st century French audiobooks and audio lessons: learn to understand and speak modern French

Learn Spanish, French, German, Italian, Mandarin Chinese and English as a Second Language with authentic videos that include subtitles and translations.