How to Improve your Chinese with Netflix


It has never been easier to learn a foreign language than in today’s era of technology-aided learning. Netflix is an international streaming service that has a ton of movies, TV shows, and other visual media. Offering content in over 25 languages, this platform has gained popularity among people of different age groups in all corners of the world. There is a high possibility of intercultural exchange of ideas and communication among people from different parts of the globe.

Learning, or enhancing, your foreign language skills by spending time on Netflix sounds like heaven. What if I told you that this does not have to be a dream? Can you really improve your Chinese with Netflix? Keep reading to know more.

It is important to keep in mind that learning Chinese with absolutely no background knowledge can be close to impossible using only Netflix. However, when combined with comprehensive language learning and regular classes, Netflix can greatly assist in improving your Chinese. There are thousands of movies, television shows, documentaries, and more media in the Chinese language available on Netflix. Even though subtitles or translations on the platform are not always 100% accurate, it still helps to watch something in a foreign language and be able to understand it while watching it. Here is how you can improve your Chinese with Netflix.

1.Turn on translated subtitles

When a show is made in a language and you watch it with subtitles in a different language, there is a possibility of losing the true meaning of the writing in translation. The natural style cannot be expressed truly after translation. However, it makes total sense for a beginner learning a foreign language like Chinese to turn on translated subtitles to understand what is going on in a TV show or a movie. There is also another option for foreign listeners. You can change the audio to a language you understand, say, English, and then turn on Chinese subtitles. This is a reversed way of learning a language, as you will be made to compare the dubbed dialogue with the subtitles. This activity will help you understand the nuances of the language even better. You can also use this to find phrases and expressions that you can use in your daily conversations in Chinese.

2.Work on your listening skills

To truly become an expert in a language, you need to be able to listen and understand the minute differences in the verbal communication of the language. This includes Chinese as well. In the beginning, if you are watching Chinese TV show on Netflix, you may find it hard to listen and understand everything that is being said by the characters. However, if you pick a show whose plot you are familiar with, you can spend more time paying attention to the language. Make sure you watch only one TV show at a time and not a bunch of different ones. This is because you need some time to get used to the pacing and dialogue of a show to truly work on your listening skills. Working on your Chinese comprehension skills will give you the ability to understand the pronunciation, distinct accents, and commonly used expressions easily.

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3.Try doing a little “shadowing”

If you are a Chinese language learner who is at a more advanced level than a beginner, this is a great method to help you grasp and understand the language. As the name suggests, shadowing refers to closely listening to the dialogue and repeating it almost at the same time as it is being said. This method helps you improve your fluency and pronunciation in the Chinese language. Shadowing is suitable for learners who can distinguish between different words and phrases and can put together a grammatically correct sentence. This method also helps Chinese language learners understand how to talk naturally like a native speaker. With practice and repetition, you will be able to notice common patterns in the language, which will give you a grasp of the grammar and other rules.

4.Make use of helpful tools that assist in the same

There are multiple extensions for the users of Google Chrome in improving Chinese using Netflix. A useful language learning extension you can try out is:

Language Learning with Netflix

This extension gives you the chance to watch your favorite Chinese movie or TV show not only with one language subtitles but two! You can utilize this nifty tool to add subtitles of both your native language and Chinese. This will help you translate and add new words to your vocabulary while doing what you love. If you come across a Chinese word you do not understand, you can immediately find its meaning by looking at the translation of it on your native language subtitles.

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In Conclusion

One of the biggest advantages of learning the Chinese language with Netflix is that you get to witness characters speaking how the language is used in the real world. This makes the experience different from learning using a language app or a book. On Netflix, you get to see people communicating with each other in Chinese, and it improves your confidence about doing the same. Learners are also motivated to learn a foreign language if they are influenced by a piece of media they like. All you need to do is find Chinese media that you enjoy on Netflix and plug in!

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