How to learn from watching videos in target language

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elsmandino
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How to learn from watching videos in target language

Postby elsmandino » Tue Mar 12, 2019 10:00 am

Apologies if this is a daft question, but I was wondering how best to use videos to improve my listening comprehension.

Thanks to some previous threads on this forum, I decided to use Netflix to help improve my French.

My criteria was that:

1. It had to be something that I would watch in English.
2. Was no longer than half an hour.
3. It had to be something that I was very familiar already (i.e. dubbed in French).
4. It should not have an subtitles - I am desperately trying to stop using these, as my listening skills are really poor.

I decided to watch the IT Crowd, which is one of my favourite sitcoms.

I am watching an episode a day and am gradually picking up more and more words - though a lot if it I still cannot understand.

My plan is to continuously watch the 25 episodes until I start to understand exactly what is being said.

A couple of questions:

1. Is my plan, above, a good idea or is this not a particularly effective method?

2. What is the best way to watch a piece of video that you are struggling with? If, for instance, I hear a word that I am unfamiliar with, should I write it down and review at the end of the video or pause the video and immediately look it up?
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Adrianslont
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Re: How to learn from watching videos in target language

Postby Adrianslont » Tue Mar 12, 2019 10:15 am

As a beginner I would find watching a series too demanding and inefficient but others have a greater tolerance for ambiguity.

If you can find scripts/accurate subtitles you can use them to help you understand the show. Some people on this forum have used Buffy the Vampire Slayer to learn French because accurate French transcripts are available on the web.

There is a great site called Hypnoweb where you can find accurate French transcripts that match the French dub of English language shows. I just had a look for you and they don’t seem to have any for gre IT Crowd.

I know they have them for many episodes of How I Met Your Mother - https://mother.hypnoweb.net/how-i-met-your-mother/episode.63.2/S01E01-un-signe-20608.html

Scroll down and click on the tab that says “Script VF”
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DaveAgain
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Re: How to learn from watching videos in target language

Postby DaveAgain » Tue Mar 12, 2019 11:45 am

I think it's a good idea to watch the sort of programme you like to watch in english. I don't think it has to be the exact same programme, but certainly the same sort of thing.

For looking up words. Experiment with both writing them down, and looking up during (I mostly do that). See what you prefer to do.

---
Documentaries/news etc are supposed to be easier to understand than fiction, so you might want to have some days where you watch/listen to those instead.

Arte's 'le dessous des cartes' are 12 minutes long, [youtube.com].
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elsmandino
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Re: How to learn from watching videos in target language

Postby elsmandino » Tue Mar 12, 2019 12:58 pm

Thank you very much for the advice.

I have never come across Hypnoweb before - really great site.

I think that I am, unfortunately, one of those people that is finding that watching videos in another language just too difficult, without any proper guidance. The subtitles for the IT Crowd are very inaccurate, so I am think that if I watch something else, with an exact script, I can gradually learn as I go on.

Unfortunately, How I met your mother does not have the French dub on Netflix UK, which is a real shame.

It was a bit of a long process but I managed to find a sitcom that has both French dubs and a full transcript on Hypnoweb - that 70's show. I have never seen it before (though I am aware of it), so I shall have a go with that.

If would be really grateful to know of any others.

Thanks, also, for the recommendation of le dessous de cartes - I shall watch both types of video. I agree that it is uses a more formal French that I am able to understand more easily.
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DaveAgain
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Re: How to learn from watching videos in target language

Postby DaveAgain » Tue Mar 12, 2019 1:19 pm

elsmandino wrote:Unfortunately, How I met your mother does not have the French dub on Netflix UK, which is a real shame.
As you're in the UK you can also watch the live-stream of TV5Monde, which comes with subtitles. (the catch-up site, tv5mondeplus.com, does not)
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白田龍
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Re: How to learn from watching videos in target language

Postby 白田龍 » Tue Mar 12, 2019 4:14 pm

It seems a sound plan... my listening comprehension building is almost exactly like your strategy, except I would want to do 2-3 hours a day if I had the time. I don't usually look up any words from tv shows, but I will read a lot to improve vocabulary. I will usually begin reading from amateur blogs or fanfics, which tend to use informal language which correlates more to what is used on television.

(Edit: I arrived to the the choice of reading materials for Persian that is a language that has strong diglosia, it would not be so advantageous for other languages...)
Last edited by 白田龍 on Mon Mar 18, 2019 12:28 pm, edited 3 times in total.
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Cavesa
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Re: How to learn from watching videos in target language

Postby Cavesa » Tue Mar 12, 2019 8:48 pm

I think this is a sound plan for an intermediate learner. I'd say that going through a full beginner course first, or even an intermediate one, could speed up the process a lot. If you are a true beginner, I'd say you might be getting reallly a lot on your plate.
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sherbert
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Re: How to learn from watching videos in target language

Postby sherbert » Tue Mar 12, 2019 8:56 pm

For me, anything that is dubbed, TV series or otherwise, is not the way to go. I have found that with dubbing, it is obvious that it is professional actors who are reading, and the words are enunciated way too clearly to mimic or approximate normal human speech, so a learner may be ill-prepared for real world interactions in the target language.

Also, I have watched Armenian TV series where the dubbing was of such poor quality that I kept hearing the original language of the series (Spanish} in the background, which was both distracting and annoying.

Currently I am watching a Mandarin TV show which is part drama and part animation, and one of the characters is a gruff uncle, whose pronunciation and intonation is difficult to understand. Just listening to the iterations of his voice, often descending into gibberish, is time well-spent and good practice, because many native speakers are not in the business of making themselves clearly understood.

I would recommend every day watching, without subtitles, 10 minutes of TV news, 10 minutes of standup comedy (probably not available in Urdu), and 10 minutes of game shows, rather than a dubbed TV show in order to sharpen passive skills.
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Cavesa
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Re: How to learn from watching videos in target language

Postby Cavesa » Tue Mar 12, 2019 9:21 pm

sherbert wrote:For me, anything that is dubbed, TV series or otherwise, is not the way to go. I have found that with dubbing, it is obvious that it is professional actors who are reading, and the words are enunciated way too clearly to mimic or approximate normal human speech, so a learner may be ill-prepared for real world interactions in the target language.

Also, I have watched Armenian TV series where the dubbing was of such poor quality that I kept hearing the original language of the series (Spanish} in the background, which was both distracting and annoying.

Currently I am watching a Mandarin TV show which is part drama and part animation, and one of the characters is a gruff uncle, whose pronunciation and intonation is difficult to understand. Just listening to the iterations of his voice, often descending into gibberish, is time well-spent and good practice, because many native speakers are not in the business of making themselves clearly understood.

I would recommend every day watching, without subtitles, 10 minutes of TV news, 10 minutes of standup comedy (probably not available in Urdu), and 10 minutes of game shows, rather than a dubbed TV show in order to sharpen passive skills.


Dubbed tv series have helped me enormously! Of course it is beneficial to use the originals too, but why not start form easier stuff and continue to the harder, and why limit oneself, if the natives don't.

The quality of dubbing varies greatly. By country, by time at which the dubbing was made (for example, the quality has really dropped in Czech dubbing, due to pressure on too small wages that the good voice actors won't take of course, and on very fast sloppy work to further save money), and by the individual series. When it comes to French in particular, there are shows with awesome and very natural dubbing (I really profited from Eureka), but also rather bad ones. I have not yet encountered any dubbing so tragic you'd hear the original in the background or have everything narrated by just one speaker (which is the traditional dubbing in some countries).

Stand up comedy tends to be rather hard for beginners (and elsmandino is asking about French, a language they are beginner at). Tv news are not bad, but might be too boring and depressive. And I'm also for longer listening sessions, even if it means not having them every day, but that may be just a matter of personal preference.
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Adrianslont
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Re: How to learn from watching videos in target language

Postby Adrianslont » Tue Mar 12, 2019 11:53 pm

elsmandino wrote:Thank you very much for the advice.

I have never come across Hypnoweb before - really great site.

I think that I am, unfortunately, one of those people that is finding that watching videos in another language just too difficult, without any proper guidance. The subtitles for the IT Crowd are very inaccurate, so I am think that if I watch something else, with an exact script, I can gradually learn as I go on.

Unfortunately, How I met your mother does not have the French dub on Netflix UK, which is a real shame.

It was a bit of a long process but I managed to find a sitcom that has both French dubs and a full transcript on Hypnoweb - that 70's show. I have never seen it before (though I am aware of it), so I shall have a go with that.

If would be really grateful to know of any others.

Thanks, also, for the recommendation of le dessous de cartes - I shall watch both types of video. I agree that it is uses a more formal French that I am able to understand more easily.


Yes, innacurate subs are a drag.

Search “hypnoweb” in this forum to get a few more suggestions of shows with transcripts.

Apart from that, it’s a matter of trawling hypnoweb to find the ones with transcripts.

You might want to search this forum for “emk” and “buffy”. Emk is a forum member who has written extensively and helpfully about using tv shows,
particularly Buffy, and transcripts. And other stuff.

It’s a shame I can’t warm to Buffy at all, my daughter has a box set, including French audio!
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