Fun Way to Reinforce Language Learning

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

As I have said on multiple occasions, I am in the process of learning Chinese Mandarin. In general I don't find language learning to be an easy feat. I am familiar with studying different languages as I have had to study Flemish, Afrikaans, a little Latin, and Spanish throughout the years. However, Chinese has been the MOST difficult of all these languages. Probably because the language doesn't have the Latin or Germanic language roots that I'm familiar with. So, because of this I have been working harder than ever before to find tricks to help me in this language learning endeavor.

A while back I had shared five tips for language learning that I have found really helpful. Here, I would like to add a sixth suggestion. So, here it is:

Watch dubbed movies.

I'm sure you have already figured out that you can watch shows or movies that are filmed in the language that you are trying to learn. That's great, I like to do the same thing. I love watching my Taiwanese shows. But I've come to realize that while it is helpful to watch movies and shows in Chinese with subtitles, I have also started treating those subtitles as a crutch. I can't watch the shows without the subtitles though because I'm not fluent enough to follow the plot without them. So, I decided, why not watch movies that I already am very familiar with that are dubbed in Chinese? Being the big kid that I am, I immediately began looking for Mandarin dubbed Disney movies. Last Christmas I was given some Mandarin dubbed Disney movies from my parents and since then, I have been hooked.

I don't have to understand every word to know what is being said, because I am so familiar with these stories. I have actually learned quite a few new phrases and words this way because I completely understand the context in which they are being used. Getting rid of the subtitles has gotten me to really listen to the words spoken. I have found that I can even turn a dubbed movie on in the background and I'm understanding more than I realized just from listening to it. This may seem like a method for kids, and yes, it is often suggested for children, but that doesn't mean it won't work for you too.

If you are really adverse to watching children movies, then it is also pretty easy to find "grown up" films that are dubbed. The reason why I choose Disney movies is because I love Disney and am very familiar with these stories. Also, just like it can be annoying (and hard to take seriously) to watch a kung fu movie that is dubbed in English, watching a movie dubbed in another language can be equally annoying and strange. I find that the same is not true of animated movies. I don't have any trouble watching dubbed animated movies, so that is why I choose Disney movies. But it's really up to you. If you don't have a problem with this, go for it. So, for all you language learning movie buffs, go out and enjoy watching your favorite movies in your new language. Have fun!

I have added links for some sites for finding movies in different languages:
Chinese Mandarin:

*Sometimes it takes a bit of deep searching to find movies in the language that you want. Not all countries even dub movies. It's actually pretty difficult to find movies dubbed in Dutch because they prefer to watch movies in the original language with dutch subtitles. But if you can find a movie in your new language, I highly recommend it. Happy watching!

********************************************************************************************** For More Reading Pleasure:



  1. Awesome! Learning a new language should always be fun. :-)

  2. This is such a great idea to watch those movies to help you learn a new language. I want to learn more languages, too, thanks for sharing these tips!

  3. Thanks for sharing this blog. Great tips on here. I am also learning Mandarin and live in Beijing so I often listen to the radio in Chinese just to be more familiar to the words and sounds.

    1. Thank you for commenting, Elika. I also like to listen to the radio in Chinese. I listen to a Taiwanese station since that is where my family is from. That definitely helps too. Are you teaching yourself or do you go to school/take private lessons?

  4. Wow!! Good luck! I can't even imagine...I found learning German pretty tricky and that at least shares a lot of words with English! I definitely agree with these tips though--for me watching dubbed movies and shows really helped.