Videos & Subtitles are Best

In my nerdy, just-for-fun independent research on language acquisition, I’ve come across several articles about using video with subtitles in the classroom and how it vastly increases the rate of vocabulary acquisition. Hearing and reading the words in context is very important – now I just wish someone would tell producers of DVDs that… Subtitles in movies or even the closed-captioning in TV programs are not exactly consistent with what the actors actually say, but it’s better than nothing.

Here are a few free language websites that use video with subtitles or transcripts so you can read along and have a better chance of understanding:

French: Imagiers.net and ClipClass.net

Italian: Impariamo Italiano

German: My German Class (hilarious videos too!)

Dutch: 2BDutch.nl

(Of course, you can always just search Youtube and DailyMotion for free language learning videos and I’m sure you’ll find many more.)

In addition, Yabla is a nice site that has many videos with subtitles and translations into English, but only a few are free as demos. You can slow down the speech, click on any word to get a translation, and play dictation games. It’s not cheap, but it seems really useful. It’s currently available in French, Spanish and English for ESL learners.

And thanks to a tip from roam2rome.com, there’s a free library program called Sing & Study that allows you to copy & paste in song lyrics in two languages, and then add a Youtube video so you can listen to the song and read the lyrics in your foreign and native languages side-by-side.

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  • http://laprochainefois.blogspot.com/ cathy

    agreed… i’m always so excited when I see a movie that is french dubbed and subbed (ie, stardust) because I -think- that its an opportunity to practice my french… but i’m always wrong because the subtitles rarely match the words! i’ll just keep waiting, it has to happen one day… hopefully! and maybe one day we’ll get more french movies with french subs! one day.

    and thanks for sharing the links!
    .-= cathy´s last blog ..playdate =-.

  • http://laprochainefois.blogspot.com cathy

    agreed… i’m always so excited when I see a movie that is french dubbed and subbed (ie, stardust) because I -think- that its an opportunity to practice my french… but i’m always wrong because the subtitles rarely match the words! i’ll just keep waiting, it has to happen one day… hopefully! and maybe one day we’ll get more french movies with french subs! one day.

    and thanks for sharing the links!
    .-= cathy´s last blog ..playdate =-.

  • Alin

    Hi. You should really check the following website: http://www.ted.com/OpenTranslationProject. It is a site with presentations on a variety of subjects, in English, translated in different languages. You can also contribute, by offering to translate. Hope that helps.

  • Alin

    Hi. You should really check the following website: http://www.ted.com/OpenTranslationProject. It is a site with presentations on a variety of subjects, in English, translated in different languages. You can also contribute, by offering to translate. Hope that helps.

  • http://ausoleillevant.blogspot.com/ au soleil levant

    These are great links Jennie! Thanks as always for all the work you do helping the rest of us learn languages.

  • http://ausoleillevant.blogspot.com au soleil levant

    These are great links Jennie! Thanks as always for all the work you do helping the rest of us learn languages.

  • http://roam2rome.com/ Roam2Rome

    Ciao Jennie,

    Thanks for the link love :)

    Have you seen Lingo Lyrics? (lingolyrics.com) It’s a site kept up by 2 girls in France. They post French music videos, with the French lyrics and English translation. (I’d like to do a similar one for Italian)

    Lots of songs, but purple is not my thing so I imported their translations to my Sing & Study app to practice my French comprehension… which I’ve recently picked up again.

    I hate to admit it, but I started learning French at the same time as I began Italian (I’ve spoken Spanish all my life), and I was quickly fluent in Italian because I used the song and movie method, whereas I focused more grammar in French, and here I am going back to the song method…

    I agree with you. It’s a fun way to seed up vocab acquisition…

    Ciao, ciao :)
    Martha
    .-= Roam2Rome´s last blog ..Oggi Sciopero! (On Strike Today) =-.

  • http://roam2rome.com Roam2Rome

    Ciao Jennie,

    Thanks for the link love :)

    Have you seen Lingo Lyrics? (lingolyrics.com) It’s a site kept up by 2 girls in France. They post French music videos, with the French lyrics and English translation. (I’d like to do a similar one for Italian)

    Lots of songs, but purple is not my thing so I imported their translations to my Sing & Study app to practice my French comprehension… which I’ve recently picked up again.

    I hate to admit it, but I started learning French at the same time as I began Italian (I’ve spoken Spanish all my life), and I was quickly fluent in Italian because I used the song and movie method, whereas I focused more grammar in French, and here I am going back to the song method…

    I agree with you. It’s a fun way to seed up vocab acquisition…

    Ciao, ciao :)
    Martha
    .-= Roam2Rome´s last blog ..Oggi Sciopero! (On Strike Today) =-.

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.

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