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Tuesday, November 8, 2011 (read 1558 times)
Learning Spanish through filmby Chloe Bustin
Learning a language and improving your linguistic skills doesn’t just have to centre around vocabulary flashcards or grammar lessons. Recent studies by a consortium of British Universities have shown that the impact of foreign cinema has an excellent influence on language acquisition. If you don’t have access to native speakers on a regular basis, but want to practice your Spanish in a relaxed and entertaining fashion then nothing beats putting your feet up and watching a film in Spanish.
There are two ways in which movies in Spanish are formatted - dubbing or subtitling. Dubbing plays recorded dialogue by native speakers over the original language, whilst subtitles merely provide you with the written Spanish translation at the bottom of the screen, in sync with the original film. Either way of watching films is highly beneficial for your Spanish- dubbing, which may be considered the more challenging option, helps to develop your listening comprehension and pronunciation; and subtitles are great for vocabulary recognition and translation skills.
Hispanic cinema is broad and fascinating, from the truly unique films of Pedro Almodóvar, to Guillermo del Toro, El Labernito del Fauno which achieved great success for its amazing blend of fiction, horror, fantasy and history. If you’d prefer more biographical plots then films such as Los Diarios de Motocicleta about Che Guevara’s journey around South America, Maria llena eres de gracia- the harrowing story of a young drug mule- or the highly emotive Mar Adentro, starring Javier Bardem are all absorbing picks.
However, if you’d rather stick to Hollywood blockbusters, then most DVDs nowadays have the option to change the language settings, so you can watch your favourite films in Spanish. This means the films that you know well are suddenly transformed into Spanish features such as ‘Buscando a Nemo’, ‘Piratas del Caribe’ ‘La saga Crepúsculo: Eclipse’, or even ¿Que pasó ayer?- the Spanish title for The Hangover.
Regardless of which way you chose to watch films in Spanish, not only will you gain heightened cultural understanding and improve your retention. Being exposed to real, fluid language will enable you to pick up any uses of colloquial structures and phrases, improving your Spanish immeasurably!
Keywords: Spanish, spanish language, learning Spanish, Spanish vocabulary, Spanish grammar, Spanish films, Spanish cinema, Spanish culture.