This Chrome Extension Helps You Learn Another Language with Netflix

Netflix is an incredible resource for learning languages! Whether you are a casual watcher who takes advantage of the wide range of international film and TV available, or view shows with the subtitles provided by Netflix itself, any viewing experience can be turned into a language lesson — a fun one! And now, there is a Chrome extension to make that learning experience even better! Here’s why Language Learning With Netflix is a great tool to use, and how to use it.


What do you watch on Netflix? / photo via Wikimedia


Simple set up

Getting Language Learning With Netflix couldn’t be easier. Just click on the extension, add it to Chrome, and you’re done! Open a new tab and click on the icon that now sits on your toolbar, choosing Catalogue. Choose the language you are learning and make sure your Netflix country is correct; you are now ready to explore!


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This extension will automatically list the full catalogue of what is available in your chosen language and country. You’ll get a brief synopsis, information like genre and year of release, and a rating alongside the number of votes. There is even a link to the IMDB for each film or show if you want to know more before you get started.


Learning a new language? Check out our free placement test to see how your level measures up!


Getting started

Once you have found something you want to watch, hit the button for Watch on Netflix. We chose crime thriller “La Mante” to demonstrate how this extension works. Make sure the Netflix subtitles are set to the language you are learning and start to watch. The French and English subtitles are displayed together at the bottom of the screen to make the dialogue easy to follow.


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Here is where you tailor the viewing experience to your own needs. You can keep the auto-pause on so that the show stops after every single subtitle so you have time to absorb the words on the screen. There is a ‘ticker’ that runs beneath the subtitles so you can follow word for word and won’t get lost. You can even hover the cursor over words for a pop up dictionary if you want to check further. And that’s it! Enjoy your film or TV show with subtitles running along the bottom of the screen. How quickly will you pick new words up?


More tools

Learning Languages With Netflix doesn’t just stop there though. If you click on the cog for settings, there are lots more options you can choose.


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So, from the bottom up. You can slow speech segments to make the video more easy to understand with the subtitles. You can check to see if a translation is available by a real person instead of a machine translation. And you can change the translation language here if you haven’t already done so in Netflix.

Perhaps the most useful tool for learning is to adjust the Vocabulary Highlighting, which greys out less-common words. There are a number of levels available for each language, and in the case of French, that is eight. This ranges from level one where only 300 words are focused on, to level eight where no words are omitted at all. This could be a great way to work through a series, working up the levels as you grow more confident.


Other things to know

Keyboard shortcuts can be used to pause, play, repeat, and go back or forward between scenes. If you get engrossed in a scene and are confident in the language you are hearing, you can click the subtitles to disappear, bringing them back easily whenever you are ready. It’s true that you can only use this extension on desktop rather than with Netflix on your phone or tablet, though don’t let that put you off; you are using this tool to learn, not simply watch, after all!

The catalogue provided by Learning Languages With Netflix is only a guide! Browse through Netflix in the normal way to see what else is available. There is nothing stopping you from watching a favourite series in your target language with both audio and subtitles, using the extension to double check your understanding.


In short, the flexibility of Netflix combined with the simplicity of Learning Languages With Netflix is an incredible way to get some language practice in. So, what are you going to watch first?