We all know immersion is the best thing for language learning. But outside of the classroom, going on holiday, and meeting people, how can we really engage with languages in an exciting and stimulating way? Movies! There are a huge variety of foreign language films available through a variety of sources, and watching with or without subtitles can make it less or more of a challenge! Movies are also fantastic for vocabulary building, by allowing you to associate language and words with a visual stimulus, helping your brain make the connection and remember it with greater ease.
With this in mind, today we have decided to run through a few of our favourite foreign language movies for different languages!
French: Amélie (2001)
This French romance is like being scooped up and placed right in the heart of Paris. The film is written in such a way that the dialogue is charming and engaging without being overly complex, so it can be easily enjoyed with or without subtitles for basic and advanced French speakers alike.
German: Das Boot (1981)
This claustrophobic WW2 drama is about the relationships between a German U-Boat crew during the Battle of the Atlantic. Tense and intelligent dialogue intercut with gritty action scenes make this one of the best War movies ever made. For German learners the dialogue is gripping and authentic, with an all-star native speaking cast.
Mandarin: Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon (2000)
Ang Lee’s Oscar winning 2000 masterpiece catapulted the styles of classic Chinese kung-fu wuxia cinema into the 21st
century. Beautiful imagery, dramatic martial arts scenes and gorgeous cinematic shots really transport you to ancient China. With an all-star cast featuring Chow-Yun Fat and Michelle Yeo, the dialogue has the astonishing depth and metaphorical significance that we can expect from Mandarin Chinese, and that can be enjoyed by anyone.
Japanese: Seven Samurai (Shichinin no Samurai) (1956)
This engrossing samurai epic is often called one of the most important pieces of film of all time. From legendary Japanese director Akira Kurosawa, a dramatic story, engaging and loveable characters, and inspiring imagery makes for an unmissable film. Kurosawa’s dialogue is as energetic as his cinematography, and Japanese students will really enjoy unpicking the vocabulary and grammar from the tense exchanges in the film.
Italian: La Dolce Vita (1959)
A landmark in Italian cinema, Fellini’s dramatic comedy chronicles the glamour and decadence of Roman night-life in the 60’s. The bizarre and extravagant cinematography is matched by witty and nuanced dialogue that will both delight budding Italian-ophiles and challenge advanced speakers. The 3hr run time may seem a bit daunting, but this is one that Italian lovers shouldn’t miss!
Did we miss your favourite? Let us know what you think about learning a foreign language using film by contacting us via Facebook or our commenting below!