So I’ve been watching this show on Netflix and it is thoroughly entertaining. I’ve not heard of the character before but that’s because I’m not French. You could consider him to be a French Sherlock Holmes
I had no idea they were books which you can download and find on Gutenberg (thank you to Paulina Mitelsztedt for letting me know about this!)
As I’m learning French, I wanted to try something a bit different. This time, I decided to watch each episode (which runs to just under an hour) with French sub-titles. This way, I would read them and then try and pick up as much as I can aurally to relate the sounds to the words I see on the screen.
One of the greatest difficulties I am having with French is that they run their words together as one. This means I have trouble discerning the separate words.
Par example, tu as (you have) they will pronounce it as t’as. (So you hear ‘ta’). Now ta can mean another word ‘your’ but it’s got nothing to do with that word. As a result, the French simply speak too fast for me to catch what they’re saying AND on top of that, add colloquialisms that are not in the formal language.
Similarly, they change their questions around and use an incorrect, informal use of language, “c’est qui?” (It is who?). I would have said something like, “qui est la?”
As a result, watching French television can be a demoralising experience.
Knowing that every other country and language does exactly the same thing, I thought that I would use the opportunity to READ the French sub-titles and then try and make some meaning based on the actor’s body language and facial cues to get the gist of the message.
Immediately after watching it with French sub-titles, I would RE-WATCH it in English sub-titles taking notes of the areas where I didn’t comprehend or grasp what they were talking about to see if I was on the right track.
The results were quite surprising.
What I noticed that there were some scenes I had gotten COMPLETELY WRONG. That is, based on their facial expression I thought that what they were saying was more amicable (eg scene where Lupin meets his ex-wife at a cafe to talk about their son) it turns out that it wasn’t as amicable as I thought. The reason was that there was so many colloquialisms in the scene that I had missed the meaning entirely.
Luckily Street French comes to the rescue by explaining some of the slang that is in the show and I come out a little bit wiser.
However, one of the things I have been loving recently is learning from the YouTube community. This was a comment to me left yesterday…
Have you tried the Netflix chrome language extension? You can have it pause after every line, and copy the dialogue.(Julie from YouTube)
So naturally, I go looking for this Netflix Chrome Language Externsion.
and here’s how polglot Luca (I follow his channel on language learning religiously) uses this extension.
I like watching French shows first with the French sub-titles and then re-watching them in English. Now, many of the programs I watch on YouTube I automatically put on French subtitles so that I can read it in that language too. It’s a great way to pick up the language especially when you have trouble picking up aurally the words they say due to colloquialisms, volume, speed and mumbling.
Now, if only all French people had subtitles so I could read them in real life and everything would be easy.
How do you learn a new language with television shows?