by Ryan Pell
Have you ever watched Lois de Funès timeless comedies? They are great in English translation, but they are absolutely divine when you watch them in French. The incomparable humor in Fantomas and La Grande Vandrouille only comes to its fullest glory when watched in the original language.
Watching original movies is also a common technique in learning foreign languages. But before you can do that, you need to get your knowledge of the language to a solid level, which you can achieve with a language learning app.
Apps have become an integral part of language learning a long time ago. They are also quite effective and not time-consuming. According to the Michigan State University research, if you spend 10 minutes a day learning a language with an app, your speaking skills will take just 12 weeks to improve.
But how to choose the right language learning app that will get you to the level of watching films in the original language?
Let’s take a look.
1. All Lessons in an App Should Be Balanced
To be able to understand the spoken language, you should take a multifaceted approach to your lessons. It means that your classes should include not only speaking but also writing, reading, and listening tasks.
Many language learning apps focus too much on grammar and vocabulary without using it as one complex. But the problem is when you put this knowledge into context, you will have a hard time applying it – this information is usually fragmented in language learning apps.
An ideal lesson in a language learning app should consist of:
a listening part, where you get to listen to a native speaker narrating a text
a reading part for you to learn and practice new vocabulary
a writing part to exercise your knowledge of vocabulary and grammatical rules
Also, a perfect lesson should provide total immersion into a language, which means that a native speaker should present all the tasks. The tasks should touch upon the cultural phenomena associated with the language you’re learning.
When all the information is presented comprehensively, you will have an easier time understanding some linguistic and cultural ideas mentioned during a movie. You will also recognize grammatical constructs more effortlessly.
2. Pick an App that Teaches You Pronunciation
It’s common for a beginner not to understand what actors are saying when watching a film in an original language. That’s why it’s crucial to learn pronunciation from the very beginning.
Some languages have very specific pronunciation rules. If you don’t know them, you will have difficulty learning how to read and write. For instance, if you’re learning French step-by-step, the first level would be learning the alphabet, sounds, and pronunciation.
If you decide to learn a language with an app to help you watch a movie in this language later, choose the one with tasks that check how well you pronounce words and sounds. It’s also great if the app has entire lessons dedicated to pronunciation and phonetics.
3. Choose an App with a Forum
It’s always great to share your excitement about the movie you’ve just watched with somebody else. But it’s even more awesome if you can do it with a person who speaks the language of that movie.
So, to combine the useful with the pleasant, look for an app with its own forum. On such forums, language learners can ask questions regarding vocabulary grammar and share tips.
You can use a forum to find like-minded people, discuss the lessons learned from movies, and ask for more movie recommendations. This is also an excellent opportunity to practice the language you’re learning.
People also use app forums to find native speakers for a language exchange. Essentially, you offer somebody else to teach them your native language while they teach you theirs. It’s an excellent way to learn a language for free and to find a friend for life who loves movies as much as you do.
Being able to watch a movie in the original language gives you an incredible sense of power. But it’s going to take you a while until you can fully understand what the actors are talking about.
So, if your goal is to start watching original movies, you need to start learning the foreign language from scratch. And a language learning app can help you with that.
When choosing the app, make sure you look for the one with the following features:
Balanced lessons. A standard lesson in an app should consist of writing, reading, and listening tasks. All the tasks should create an immersive environment to help you better understand the culture behind the language.
Pronunciation tasks. An app should provide you with lessons on pronunciation to help you understand the spoken language better.
A forum. It’s great if an app has a forum where you can interact with native speakers and use it as an opportunity to practice your knowledge and share your favorite movie moments.