How to Use Netflix to Learn a New Language
If you can’t pack up and study in a foreign country, simulate a foreign environment at home
The best way to learn a new language, as you probably already know, is through 24/7 immersion. Move to a place where that language is spoken, converse with the locals, allow the ambient spoken and written words to soak into your brain.
It’s certainly efficient, but it’s also not exactly realistic for anyone with a job or a family or a mortgage. Fortunately, the next best option can be accomplished a lot closer to home. To simulate a foreign language environment in your own living room, all you need to do is change some settings in your Netflix account.
I’m not saying you can expect to flip on Train to Busan and suddenly become fluent in Korean, but as long as you’re motivated to actually use Netflix to study, it can be a fantastic language-learning tool. I’ll be sharing some tips on how to maximize its potential, using Spanish as an example, though of course, you could use these strategies for any language supported by Netflix. (Also, subtitles and foreign audio can be easily enabled on most streaming boxes, but some of the other tips require — or are at least much easier to do — using a computer.)
With that in mind, vamos!
The great thing about using Netflix to learn a language is there are many titles available with foreign language audio tracks. To start browsing, head to the audio and subtitles section.
This page will show all the titles Netflix has available in your chosen language. Sometimes this means the title was natively recorded in your target language, while other times it’s just a dubbed audio track. Unfortunately, Netflix does not currently have an option to sort between the two.
Still, you can use this page to find titles that will at least support your target language. So far, Netflix has content in 25 languages, including Mandarin, Russian, and Urdu, among others. You can find a partial list of Netflix’s foreign shows on…