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Wednesday, June 6

How to Improve Your Spanish Fluency with DVD Movies

DVDs are Perfect for Spanish Learners.

Video tape is good for watching the movie. Spanish movies on VHS were usually dubbed in English or had English subtitles. We tend to watch them passively letting them wash over us.

The DVD has changed all that. Not only can you watch a Spanish movie in Spanish, you can now watch even a Hollywood movie in:

  • English;
  • English with Spanish subtitles;
  • Spanish;
  • Spanish with English subtitles,
  • and my personal favourite- Spanish with Spanish subtitles.

How to Do It

1. Pick a movie with a Spanish sound track. Pick one that is not so gripping that you get caught up in the action and flip on the English track to catch every detail. On the other hand it can't be so dull as to put you to sleep.

2. Watch a scene with the Spanish sound track and no subtitles. See if you can get the gist of the scene from body language, context and of course spoken Spanish.

3. Watch the same scene with the Spanish sound track and with the Spanish subtitles turned on. See how much more you can understand.

Note: The subtitles don't tend to match the spoken dialogue exactly but that is a small matter and if you notice this you are doing well indeed.

3. Watch the scene with the Spanish sound track and the English subtitles turned on.

Bonus Fluency Tips for the Keeners

1. The really great contribution of DVD players to Spanish learning is that it is random access. We can repeat scenes, phrases or words very quickly and precisely. Use these features to review the difficult parts. Speak aloud along with the actors.

2. Some DVD players, and hard drive based viewing systems such as media players and virtual DVD players also allow you to slow down the movie. If you have access to this feature, try slowing down the fast or wordy bits.

3. You can try writing down some of the dialogue. This is to help you focus on the exact details of what is said. It is not a written exercise.

See also previous article on:

Learn Spanish Talking to Your TV.

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