Have you ever thought about practicing the language you are learning with Netflix? Netflix streams to more than 190 countries around the world. While most of the content is in English, the streaming platform also supports 22 languages that include Arabic, Korean, Simplified and Traditional Chinese.
Binge-watching could be a great way to pick up a second or third language and learn how it is spoken colloquially. Or, you could improve your English too.
The language learning Chrome extensions below help stack a self-improvement habit on top of your Netflix fixation. Just note that not all content has the same number of languages supported by subtitles.
Language Learning with Netflix: Netflix Study Pack for Languages
LLN (or Language Learning with Netflix) is one of the more complete tools for the purpose. The Chrome extension displays two subtitles at the same time. The first one is the native language of the show, and the second is the language you are trying to learn. This visual pairing allows you to compare and absorb new words and the way they are spoken.
You can control the playback speed with the Chrome extension. Slow them down (or pause) to study at your own pace. But the best feature is the vocabulary highlight that grays out less common words to study later.
The pop-up dictionary is an extra aid. Use it to understand the meaning better and also hear it’s correct pronunciation.
The Language Learning Chrome extension comes with this catalog of movies and TV shows with high-quality subtitles.
Download: Language Learning with Netflix for Chrome (Free)
Mate Translate: Learn With Netflix’s Subtitles
Mate Translate proves again how valuable Netflix’s subtitles can be for learning any language. The main app is a text & speech translator available across multiple platforms including Android and iOS. The Netflix specific browser extensions are there for Chrome, Opera, Firefox, and Edge.
Mate Translate can translate 103 languages. As you watch a streaming show, just click on a word or a phrase. The translation is displayed in the player and you can use any synonyms, phonetic transcription, and the speak-out feature to learn pronunciation too.
Save the words in categorized lists to practice them later. You can also export the word lists to a spaced repetition app like Reji to review them at intervals.
Download: Mate Translate for iOS ($14.99)
Download: Mate Translate for Mac+Safari ($29.99)
Subtly: Become Fluent With Translations
Subtly also works like the Netflix extensions above. Like them, you can translate the words or phrases and learn a new language with the context of what’s happening in the scene. Watch a show and then revise with the vocabulary list it helps you build up.
Use Subtly and translate English subtitles into 11 languages: Chinese, French, German, Hindi, Italian, Japanese, Portuguese, Russian, Spanish, Arabic, and Turkish.
Subtly is gradually being improved to include more languages. Also, you can look forward to its future as it tries to bring in other streaming platforms like Amazon, Hulu, and Showtime for a wider platter of choices.
Download: Subtly for Chrome (Free)
eJOY: Improve Your English Fluency
Urban Dictionary is always a big help with slangs. After all, Street-speak is a part of many Hollywood movies (Pulp Fiction, anyone?) and it could just help you grab the little nuances that make any language colorful.
An extension called SUFLI is a bit buggy. So my search took me to eJOY which is like a full-featured English translator for your browser. Use it to get definitions of words, English idioms, common phrases, slangs, and collocations.
It also works with YouTube, Udemy, Coursera, and a few other streaming platforms that support closed captions.
eJOY also has its own shortcut keys that help to speed up translations. You can use it to translate to other languages with the advanced translator, but eJOY is more for improving your grasp on your English vocabulary.
Download: eJOY for Chrome (Free)
Lingvo TV: Learn in Your Browser and Phone
Lingvo is a Chrome extension that works with your phone. It can be any phone with a mobile browser. Start Netflix on your browser and then launch the Lingvo page on your phone’s browser.
Enter the code from your Lingvo Chrome extension on your computer and you can view the subtitle translations on your phone. The source and target language can be configured from the Settings on the mobile app.
Now, you can learn a language on the move while watching Netflix. Lingvo TV also supports Amazon Prime and YouTube.
Your PC or TV, and mobile phone need to be on the same network. Once connected via the code, the same subtitles you see on the PC or TV scroll down the mobile screen.
You can select a word and get its meanings in the language of your choice with a tap. The subtitles you tapped on are saved in the app’s history.
Lingvo frees you up a bit more to enjoy the movie on the screen while you tap on the scrolling subtitles on the mobile screen.
Download: Lingvo TV for Chrome (Free)
Netflix Makes It Easier to Learn a New Language
Should you use Netflix to learn a new language? Probably not if you are picking up a second language for the first time because these language learning extensions won’t teach you the grammar and the fundamentals.
However, it is a fun way to learn a language through immersion. If you are already familiar with a language, then go ahead and use Netflix to get more exposure. It might help to build your listening skills too.
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