How to Learn a Language with Netflix [2024 Guide]

You know that feeling when you're glued to your favorite Netflix show, completely invested in the characters and storyline? What if I told you that the same addictive experience could actually double as your language tutor?

Yep, you read that right!

That's right, no more slogging through mind-numbing textbooks or monotonous grammar drills. With a few simple tricks and your trusty Netflix subscription, you can soak up new vocabulary, expressions, and cross-cultural insights simply by indulging in shows you genuinely want to watch.

Intrigued yet? In this guide, we'll break down how to learn a language with Netflix without wasting your time or going off track! I'll also clue you in on Lingopie's power-packed features and official extension that combine Netflix's expansive library and language learning.


Is Netflix Good For Learning Languages?

While textbooks and classroom lessons are valuable, there's no substitute for the cultural connection you get from actually watching movies and shows in your new language.

Having this authentic exposure to how native speakers truly use the language is invaluable. You'll pick up on slang, jokes, idioms, and nuances that just can't be properly taught out of a book. Your ear will tune into the rhythm and cadences, helping you understand rapid-fire conversations more easily.

More importantly, streaming shows and films gives you a window into the culture itself. You'll learn about traditions, pop culture references, and daily life through the lens of entertaining stories. This breeds a deeper understanding, interest, and appreciation that stretches far beyond just memorizing vocabulary lists.

Watching Netflix
Photo by / Unsplash

How To Start Language Learning With Netflix

Set Netflix For Language Learning

Now that you're convinced of Netflix's potential as a language-learning powerhouse, it's time to set yourself up for success. There are two main paths you can take - the easier, more feature-packed route by connecting Netflix to a dedicated language learning platform like Lingopie. Or the manual, do-it-yourself approach directly through Netflix's settings.

Option 1: Connect Netflix to Lingopie (Recommended)

Lingopie is purposely designed to turn your favorite shows into comprehensive language lessons. By linking your Netflix account, Lingopie overlays features like clickable subtitles providing instant definitions, and other adaptive learning tools to review words you struggle with most.

You'll also get broad, customizable controls over things like the pace, automatic flashcard creation, and more to create the perfect studying environment for your needs.

Lingopie's innovative technology also tracks your viewing progress and associated vocabulary across devices too. That way you can naively switch between binging on your TV, tablet, or laptop without missing a beat.

Rather than cobbling together a suboptimal setup yourself, Lingopie effortlessly combines all the tools you need to learn rapidly into one seamless experience. Join the thousands of learners maximizing their Netflix binge time!

Option 2: Manual Setup Through Netflix

If you prefer the DIY approach, you can absolutely configure Netflix for language learning directly through their settings and extensions. Just keep in mind it will require more tech finagling upfront.

  • Create a separate Netflix profile specifically for language learning. This allows you to change the language preferences without affecting other profiles.
  • In your language learning profile, go to Account Settings and change the primary language for that profile to your target language. This will change the Netflix interface language.
  • Use the "Browse by Audio" or "Browse by Subtitles" sections to find content with audio tracks or subtitles in your target language.
  • If your language doesn't appear in the dropdown lists, use the search bar and type in the language name to see if any titles come up.
  • Search for countries, regions, directors, etc. related to your target language to find movies/shows providing cultural immersion.
  • Add interesting titles to your watchlist by clicking the "+" icon when hovering over them.

The manual approach gives you flexibility but requires more upfront setup compared to using an integrated language learning platform like Lingopie that seamlessly blends Netflix with study tools.

Choose The Right Netflix Show

Selecting the perfect show is make-or-break when using Netflix for language learning. You want a series that doesn't just grip your interest but also matches your current skill level. A show too advanced will leave you frustrated, while one too easy won't challenge your abilities.

When hunting for that linguistic sweet spot, keep these factors in mind:

Language Difficulty Level

  • For beginners, stick to shows with simpler vocabulary and sentence structures to start
  • As you progress, level up to dialogue with more complex grammar and idioms


Familiarity with the show can also be helpful. If you're already familiar with the show in your native language, it may be easier to follow the plot and understand the context in the target language.

Subtitle And Audio Options

Check the subtitles and audio options available for the show. Target language subtitles can help you follow the dialogue and understand new vocab, while audio in the target language can improve your listening comprehension.

You can often choose between human translation (which gives you a figurative translation and helps with idioms and metaphors) and machine translation (which provides a word-for-word literal translation).

If you require an audio description when watching TV, you will need to make sure the audio tracks available are in the language you need.

For language learning, we recommend popular TV shows on Netflix such as "La Casa de Papel" (Spanish drama), "Dark" (German show), and "Lupin" (French TV series). These shows are engaging, offer a range of language levels, and have multiple audio and subtitle options.

Lingopie carefully curates the finest shows on Netflix tailored to various language learner proficiency levels, ensuring users have a diverse and engaging selection to explore. Explore our guides designed to help you study your target language effectively using Netflix and Lingopie.

Active Learning While Watching Netflix

Passive watching alone won't maximize your language gains from Netflix. To truly level up your skills, you need to actively engage with and practice what you're learning. These active learning techniques will turn your Netflix binge from mere entertainment into an immersive study session:

  • Pause and repeat intense dialogues or memorable scenes out loud, verbatim. If you're using Lingopie, you can also slow the audio and use our "say it" feature to perfect the pronunciation.
  • Maintain a digital vocabulary journal by jotting down new terms and expressions as they appear on screen. Not only will this reinforce memorization, but seeing the vocab used in context cements its actual meaning and usage.
  • Put your skills to the test by summarizing and retelling the plot points you've witnessed so far - all in your target language, of course. This story recounting flexes your grammar abilities as you properly structure sentences to convey what's happening.

The more you can interact with Netflix through these active methods, the better your overall retention and rapid mastery of the language. You're not just exposing yourself to vocabulary, but training your brain to use it in real-world scenarios.

That's where Lingopie's interactive learning tools truly shine. As you watch, our AI technology tracks the vocab you're struggling with most and generates personalized study materials like video flashcards to drive home those weak points. Plus, our adaptive learning system designs targeted drills and exercises to lock those fresh language skills into muscle memory.

With focused active learning, you'll be amazed at how quickly your Netflix obsession evolves from a guilty pleasure into the ultimate portable language lab!

Passive Learning While Watching Netflix

While not as powerful as active practice, passive learning through sheer language exposure can still boost your skills. Try these simple Netflix hacks for passive gains:

  • Watch with target language subtitles or try double subtitles - one line in the foreign language, the other in English. This lets you start making audio-text associations.
  • Listen to audio in your target language, even if you don't understand everything at first. Getting your ears accustomed to the rhythms and sounds is invaluable.
  • Seek out movies and shows originally produced in that language, avoiding dubbing when possible. You'll pick up more authentic speech patterns.
  • Use language learning apps in tandem to reinforce the vocabulary and grammar popping up in your Netflix binges.

While passive techniques alone won't make you fluent, they provide crucial comprehension training. Combining passive and active methods supercharges your overall learning.

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Tips For Using Netflix For Language Learning

Browsing Netflix
Photo by charlesdeluvio / Unsplash

While Netflix binges are entertaining, avoid overdoing it for language purposes. Set a reasonable weekly/daily limit for your Netflix study sessions to prevent burnout.

Create a thoughtful language learning plan mapping out which shows to tackle in what order, as well as which active/passive techniques to apply. Regularly review your progress and adjust the plan as needed.

Importantly, don't just binge-watch new content - re-watching is far better for absorption. Research shows you need 6-20 repetitions of new vocabulary and grammar to truly learn it. One-time movie viewings won't cut it.

This is where TV shows shine - their shorter runtimes and episodic nature make them ideal for re-watching the same scenes and dialogues multiple times. The more you can recycle that input, the faster those language skills will stick.

If you're serious about learning, using Netflix with Lingopie is the best way to go so you can track your progress and get more out of your learning. You can tap on a word to learn more about it or get grammar hints to help you understand its usage.

Other Language Learning Techniques

Finally, it is a great idea to use Netflix for language learning in conjunction with other foreign language learning tools. This is the fastest and most efficient way to develop your new language.

You can improve your reading skills by reading literature related to the shows you are watching. For instance, if you are watching a Spanish-language show set in Argentina, you could find a novel set in Latin America that relates to the themes of the show.

You can also set your profile language on your various social media platforms to your target language, as well as the language setting on your mobile phone. This is a great way to absorb written words and immerse yourself in the language.

If you are feeling creative, you can also write summaries or online reviews of all the titles you have watched in your target language. Writing and expressing your thoughts in a different language has many cognitive benefits.

If you are an English speaker, try to avoid too much English dialogue around the shows. Instead, focus on expressing your thoughts purely in the target language. Learning languages is a process that takes some commitment and dedication.

Whenever you can, try to speak with native speakers of your second language. Everything from their choice of slang words to their facial expressions and body language will inform your learning.

Finally, the laddering technique is when you are learning two languages or more at the same time. You use the other languages you are learning to help you learn a selected language.

So, if you are learning French, Italian, and Spanish, but are advanced in French, intermediate Italian, and a beginner in Spanish, you can translate a few words of your new Spanish-language vocabulary into Italian, then the Italian into French to ladder the languages, rather than always going back to English.

When using these diverse methods alongside Netflix for language learning, your Netflix account becomes a door of opportunity for a bright multilingual future. If you do not want all of your suggestions on Netflix to be in a different language, you can create a separate profile specifically to use when you want to learn languages.

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Now, that we have discussed in detail how to learn a language with Netflix, let's take a look at some frequently asked questions about language learning with Netflix.

What is the 'Lingopie Subtitles for Netflix Chrome extension'?

Lingopie Subtitles for Netflix is a Google Chrome extension included in the Lingopie's subscription. To get started with Lingopie, simply download the Lingopie extension and pin it to your browser for easy access. Then, select a video from Lingopie's curated Netflix catalog and log in with your Lingopie account to connect it with the extension. Once you're connected, you're ready to start learning!

As you watch your show, every word you click on will be saved to your profile, so you can review it later with Lingopie's flashcards and engaging games.

How can language learners use Netflix for language learning?

Language learners can use Netflix for language learning actively or passively. As you watch various Netflix originals in your preferred language, you'll absorb the new words and phrases you hear or actively write them down and repeat them aloud.

Use the search bar to explore the wealth of foreign-language content made available by your Netflix account.

Can I still learn my target language if I use native language subtitles?

Yes, you can still learn your target language if you use subtitles in your native language. If you watch dubbed or original language content in a foreign language with subtitles in your native language, you will still absorb the spoken word.

Similarly, you can watch content in your native language with subtitles in your target language. You can mix and match subs and dubs however you like, although you will learn the fastest with target language audio and subtitles.

How often should I watch Netflix in a foreign language?

You should aim to watch Netflix in your target language at least for thirty minutes every day. This high-quality foreign language exposure will be hugely beneficial. With so many Netflix titles in different languages, your Netflix library is a treasure trove of useful learning potential. Make sure to use it daily.

Summing Up: How to Learn a Language Using Netflix

As you can see, you can use Netflix for language learning in several ways. Whether you choose to just watch passively or learn a foreign language actively, the streaming service provides extra language practice and valuable exposure.

Remember to try out the Netflix for language learning Google Chrome browser extension which will help you to navigate Netflix as a language learner.

Then you can enjoy your foreign-language movie or TV show with dual subtitles and other interactive features.

You can also head over to Lingopie's streaming service to enjoy similar features and different TV series in several languages. If your chosen language is not on Lingopie, you've still got Netflix for language learning.

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