They're creepy and they're kooky - and did you know they’re also multilingual?
That’s right. The members of the Addams family are not shy about flaunting their foreign language skills.
Who are the Addams family, anyway?
Unless you've been living under a rock - you'd know that Wednesday is Netflix's breakout series of 2022. The eponymous main character of the show is a core member of this famous spooky family.
We love watching TV and films to learn languages in a fun and natural way. Watching Wednesday and the Addams Family franchise on the small and big screen can help you pick up many foreign language phrases easily!
In this article, we’ll share some fun facts about the Netflix series Wednesday. We will then introduce you to the Addams family, a famous fictional family whose quirkiness has expanded across many versions, including the Netflix show.
We will then share a list of foreign language phrases commonly used by the mysterious clan.
Read all the way to the end to find our recommendations for some of the best versions of The Addams Family shows and films you should definitely check out.
Let’s take a look!
Fun Facts About Netflix's Show Wednesday
If you haven’t heard of The Addams Family, you’ve surely learned about the massively popular Netflix series Wednesday.
The 3rd most-watched show ever on the streaming platform, Wednesday centers on one of the iconic Addams family members, Wednesday Addams - also known as Merlina or Miercoles in Spanish, and Mercredi in French.
In the show, the proud misfit joins a school of other magically gifted, albeit often despised group of outcasts at Nevermore Academy in the fictional city of Jericho. There, she takes it upon herself to solve a series of murders while dealing with the challenges of being a teenager in high school.
Here are some fun facts about the Netflix series:
1. Wednesday is the only member of the Addams family with a stand-alone series.
That's right. Though there have been over a dozen films and series made about the Addams family, this is the first one that focuses exclusively on the life of one of the characters.
2. Tim Burton is the executive producer of the Netflix series.
If you enjoyed watching films like Beetlejuice, Sweeney Todd, Sleepy Hollow, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, and Alice in Wonderland, then you'll love watching Wednesday. Tim Burton is the genius behind all these fantasy films and the series.
3. If you're an Addams Family fan, you'll see a familiar face in Netflix's Show Wednesday.
Christina Ricci, who plays normie teacher Marilyn Thornhill in the Netflix series, played Wednesday Addams in a 1991 film about the family.
4. Jenna Ortega was cast as Wednesday Addams partly because of her Latino background.
Because Wednesday's father, Gomez, is portrayed as having Mexican roots on Wednesday, Tim Burton wanted to cast a Latina actress to play his daughter.
5. Unlike other versions, the series gives Wednesday supernatural abilities.
Members of the Addams family have been previously portrayed as having supernatural abilities. However, the Netflix series is the first iteration of the Addams Family to give Wednesday actual powers - in this case, the ability to have visions of the past and future.
6. The Addams family members aren't the only outcasts in the series.
Though the Addams family and their ghoulish relatives are constantly in opposition with the outside world, on Wednesday, we meet other beings that are equally despised by society. Werewolves, sirens, shapeshifters, gorgons, and other supernatural beings add an additional element of fantasy.
7. Each episode of the Netflix show has the word "woe" in its title.
The first episode is called "Wednesday's Child Is Full of Woe." It pays homage to the main character's name, which was inspired by the poem Monday's Child - from which the title comes. From then on, each of the remaining 7 episodes includes the word "woe" as a tribute to this phrase - and to Wednesday.
8. You can practice 35 foreign languages while watching Wednesday on Netflix.
If you love Wednesday, and you're trying to learn a language - you're in luck!
In addition to English, the acclaimed Netflix show is dubbed into a whopping 17 languages, and subtitles are provided for another 18!
There are SO many other great reasons to watch the Netflix series Wednesday.
Now, let's take a look at the history of the Addams Family to help you prepare to watch Wednesday.
A Brief Background About The Addams Family
Wednesday is based on a group of characters created 0ver 9o years ago. American cartoonist Charles Addams developed the characters in the 1930s, and since then, over a dozen shows and films have been made based on the famous family.
The premise of the show is the unusually relatable relationships between the members of the family and their often awkward (though comical) dealings with “normal” folks on the outside.
Here are the main members of the group:
The patriarch of the Addams family, Gomez Addams is of Spanish / Latin origin (depending on the version) and is often seen wearing suits. He is usually portrayed as a Latin Lover, and his love for Morticia is conveyed in his use of foreign language phrases.
He is known as Homero Addams in the dubbed versions in Spanish (Latin American).
The tall, sleek, long-haired, and perennially young-looking matriarch of the Addams, Morticia (née Frump) is much less expressive than her adoring husband. Her pale skin and dark hair and clothes add to her perception as a witch, which she is often accused of being.
Her French skills are one of the things that drive her husband Gomez crazy in lust.
Though her relationship with her mother is complicated in the series Wednesday, the title character takes after Morticia’s serious demeanor and dark style. Wednesday Addams is known for her intelligence and her interest in death. She also enjoys carrying out painful, scientific experiments on her brother Pugsley.
Pugsley is Wednesday’s younger brother, and often the recipient of her cruelly comical experiments. The clumsy boy likes to partake in his share of experimentation and childish play, and he is habitually portrayed as more “normal” than the rest of his family. This causes Pugsley to be perceived as the black sheep by the family.
His character is named Percicles in Latin American versions.
Those are the four main characters of Wednesday and The Addams Family, though there is a string of equally peculiar personalities that accompany them and have helped make the quirky show a classic.
We get a glimpse of Gomez, Morticia, and Pugsley at the beginning of Wednesday, and a few times throughout the series.
However, it's Wednesday who gets the spotlight in the Netflix show.
Foreign Phrases Used By The Addams Family
If you're learning a foreign language and love watching TV and films, binging on Wednesday and the Addams Family might help you kill two birds with one stone.
The show's incredibly large list of dubbed languages and subtitles is a bonus for linguaphiles. Did you know, however, that you'll hear some foreign language phrases even if you watch Wednesday or the Addams Family in English?
The Addams Family was created for an English-speaking American audience, but it’s common for screenwriters to incorporate foreign language phrases into the dialogue.
Why do the Addams speak foreign languages, though?
Gomez Addams was created as a Spanish/Latin character, so that explains why he often interjects Spanish phrases in the middle of a conversation.
Morticia is famous for using French phrases that seduce Gomez. However, it's not clear why she speaks French. It may perhaps be related to the cliché that French is the language of love - and Gomez and Morticia's passionate love is at the center of the Addams Family.
French Words and Phrases
Here are some French words and phrases you’ll hear in the show and films:
c'est merveilleux (m) / merveilleuse (f) | it’s wonderful
mon chéri (m) / ma chérie (f) | my darling
au contraire | on the contrary
mon amour | my love - used for both men and women
entrez, s'il-vous-plaît | come in, please - formal
la bloom de matin | the morning bloom
mon ami (m) / mon amie (f) | my friend
un je ne sai quoi | a certain something (lit. an I don’t know what )
c’est terrible | it’s horrible
magnifique | magnificent
fini / c'est fini | done / it’s done
en garde | on your guard (said before a fencing match)
il me perce comme un poignard | it pierces me like a dagger
Words and Phrases in Other Languages
querido (m) / querida (f) | Spanish - Darling
mi cariño | Spanish - my sweety (for both men and women)
lobo (m) | loba (f) Spanish - wolf
gracias | Spanish - thank you
mi amor | Spanish - my love (men and women)
tormenta | Spanish - storm
cara bella | Italian - dear beautiful
cara mia | Italian - my darling
bubele | Yiddish - darling/sweetie
There you have it! These are some of the foreign language phrases you’ll likely hear while watching Wednesday and The Addams Family in one of the many TV shows or films made about them.
Now you can start flaunting your language skills as unabashedly as the Addams love doing.
Which Version of the Addams Family Should You Watch?
We know you’re eager to start watching The Addams Family and to begin practicing your language skills by picking up the foreign language phrases they use in the films and shows.
The Addams Family’s massive appeal across generations is evidenced by the many versions of the family on the small and big screen. What makes them stand out is the combination of great comedy, peculiar characters, and a celebration of not fitting in with the rest of society.
Some of the dark characteristics of the family - including their odd habits and interests - help draw in audiences that love mystery, horror, and anything that has to do with the supernatural.
Let’s take a look at four different versions of The Addams Family you should definitely watch.
The Addams Family (1964-1966 TV series)
This version of The Addams Family was the first to take the newspaper comic and bring it into American households in the mid-1960s. Though it only ran for two seasons, it was an acclaimed series that portrayed the daily, comedic dealings of the Addams family members, including Grandma, Uncle It, Thing, and their butler Lurch, with the outside world that often feared and loathed them.
This is also the version where you’ll hear the most foreign language phrases sprinkled into the dialogue.
The Addams Family (1991 film)
Built upon both the newspaper comics and the 1964 series, this well-known early 90’s film brings together a cast of prominent Hollywood stars to incarnate the quirky quartet and the rest of their odd family on the large screen. The Golden Globe-nominated movie puts a spotlight on the family drama that unfolds when a long-forgotten relative comes back into the lives of the Addams family and causes a lot of welcomed chaos.
The Addams Family (2019 film)
If you enjoy watching films with the little ones, you’ll love this 2019 animated version of The Addams Family. The plot of the film touches on the familiar “us versus them” drama that is at the core of the Addams family storyline. When they’re driven out of their home by town folk and forced to escape to an isolated property in New Jersey, Morticia and Gomez attempt to isolate the family from the rest of the world.
It’s a coming-of-age story for both Pugsley and Wednesday, who desire to be part of the outside world despite their parents’ fears.
Wednesday (2022 Netflix Series)
Wednesday became a breakout show at the end of 2022 and is the first stand-alone show made about a single member of the family. Much darker than its predecessors, it portrays an older Wednesday Addams who gets tangled in a sinister plot that predates her birth.
Through the series, the audience gets to learn more about this fascinating Addams character - including her proclivities, her supernatural gifts, and even her vulnerabilities.
The show does a great job of bringing the Addams Family franchise into the 21st century.
Binge Watch Wednesday on Netflix Now and Start Learning Foreign Language Phrases!
Watching Netflix's Wednesday is an entertaining way of picking up some foreign language phrases. You can also watch some of the other great Addams Family shows and films we've suggested above.
Guess what? Season 2 of Wednesday has already been confirmed! We can't wait to see what other foreign language phrases we'll pick up while watching the new season of the iconic show!
Did you know that learning a language through television and films can help you stay consistent with and committed to learning? Not only that, but you’ll also become more aware of the culture of the language you’re studying and will connect with a community of fans who also love TV and films.
Sign up for Lingopie with a 7-day free trial, and start building up your communication skills quickly.
With dual subtitles and over a thousand hours of great content available in 8 languages, you'll be sure to find a show or film you like in the language of your choice.
As Morticia Addams would surely say, Lingopie for language learning - c’est merveilleux!