PeterMollenburg wrote:. But I'm still sure Engrenages and the like would leave me pretty annoyed (at my lower level of comprehension).
Crime fiction seems to be a special difficulty of its own, I think due to the mixture of slang and jargon.
I wouldn't get hung about about not understanding everything in any programme though. If you hear a new word, you can look it up.
I think picking series with available transcripts is a good idea.
Engrenages is a particularly difficult tv series. Crime fiction in general is not the problem. There are series of medium difficulty (Profilage is a good example), or even easy ones (CSI clones tend to be repetitive and not hard to understand)
Profilage has a transcript available, if I remember correctly.
In general, I think there are very few totally wrong options. As long as you can stick to the series (if Buffy works, great), it is an asset. Even a "wrong choice" won't matter much in the big picture of hundreds of hours of tv series.
iguanamon wrote:When doing a first series, it's about the cumulative effect. Watching just a few episodes just won't allow that cumulative effect to happen.
YES! So, anything that can make you binge watch (or at least watch frequently and a lot) is a good choice.
Over 50-100 episodes, comprehension becomes significantly better. Absorption/comprehension of natural speech patterns/conversational vocabulary becomes more automatic as a benefit. It's a cumulative effect over those 50-100 episodes.
Yes, I agree again. I'd like to add that the next series will again feel like a step back, and the learner may feel they don't understand that much and doubt their progress. That is normal. But the second time, it will take perhaps 20-30 episodes, instead of 50-100. And the third one will take 5-10. (or other numbers, depending on the individual and on the choice of tv series, but I think these are approximately ok for illustration).
A dubbed series has advantages and disadvantages. Obviously, a dub is not native speech or culture which is a disadvantage. The advantage is in having possibly more engaging and familiar content to enjoy and use. If you've already watched every episode of a series and can "name that tune in five notes" spout dialog in L1 with just a few cues, then it becomes easier to understand what's being said in L2 and your mind can "fill in the blanks" more easily. Dubbed series can be a bridge to truly native content. They can also be a way to utilize time already spent on L1 with L2.
Yes. The dubs (if we put aside the really bad ones) widen the pool of content available to the learner. They tend to be easier, that is an advantage. And they contain stuff you would otherwise waste time on in English. This way, it will not be wasted time language-wise.
However, I think the "it is not the original culture" argument is being overestimated in some ways. Yes, you learn much more about the culture from the original tv series from your target language's country. I love the different styles and the content of each of the traditions I am now able to observe thanks to my new languages, don't get me wrong. But let's not forget that the euroamerican cultures are actually not that different, and also the american tv series are part of much more than just the US culture. A random French native is very likely to have both original and dubbed series as a part of their cultural background. So, if you watch for example Game of Thrones in French, and so do millions and millions of French natives, are you not sharing a bit of the same culture with the natives?
What dubs and translations can do for a learner is show us how dialog/concepts in L1 are expressed in L2. Since we are all human and share many universal traits, actions and reactions, there are plenty of "aha!" moments when we realize how a common concept in our L1 is expressed or conceived of in L2... because we have that context coming from our L1 to help us. Of course, dubs/translations shouldn't be our exclusive mode of engagement with L2... neither should they be avoided.
Yes, again. I couldn't say it better.
I'd like to add that I remembered the dubbed show Eureka during my DALF very fondly, as it turned out to have been one of my best resources.
It filled a gap on the original series market for me and balanced out the difference between my English and French speaking skills about various topics more than I had expected. It was a dubbing and it taught me so much!