Watching english films

Michael   Sat Jun 30, 2007 7:51 pm GMT
I've got a one simple question (I suppose) - If I watch an english version of the film many times am I able to learn english good?
Guest   Sat Jun 30, 2007 8:34 pm GMT
Repetition is good. Watch it two or three times and then move on to the next movie this way you won't feel bored and will be able to develop good understanding of the language. I prefer sitcoms over movies because they contain more dialogues and less fighting scenes. Incorporate both types as much as you can into your learning. This is very important. You should also notice that they are informal mediums so you are going to learn a lot of informal terms, slang words and all that Jazz. For more proper and formal English, you need to watch channels like Discovery Channel, Animal Planet, BBC and Reality TV.

I am not sure if only watching movies many times is going to help you very much in your English skills-- you need to seek a variety of contents constantly through reading books and listening to a variety of programmes in the language. Using only one medium will give you limited exposure so you'll acquire limited skills. I mean you are not going to write well if you watch only movies. This is my POV, feel free to disgaree with it.
Michael   Sat Jun 30, 2007 8:54 pm GMT
There are not available english TV stations in my town. So I want to learn it by watching films (downloaded from the net), reading books written in english and listening to BBC news.
Guest   Sat Jun 30, 2007 10:18 pm GMT
That would be enough to catapult you to the next level. As I see, your written English is not bad. Keep working daily! Can't you buy/rent DVDs or VCDs from local shops? One of my friends speaks English like a native speaker without visiting any English speaking country. He listens to BBC for 30 minutes and read newspaper articles for 30 minutes. He spends one hour daily. During five years, he has spent 1*5*365= 1825 hours. His progress is immense. He is second Tony Blair when it comes to speaking. You see, he did not sacrifice his other day to day activities over learning a language.
zod   Tue Jul 03, 2007 5:49 pm GMT

Did your friend ONLY listen and read, or did he practice writing and speaking to get so good? In other words (the old question): Was massive input enough?
K. T.   Tue Jul 03, 2007 6:17 pm GMT
Charles Berlitz did something like this, I think, with French. It is good practice and here's why: If you hear it often enough some useful phrase will pop out at the right time when you need it. You will be startled and pleased when this happens.

BTW, Berlitz (the company) has a hilarious ad you can view at YouTube. It's in German at first, but hold on and you'll hear the English. Type in "Berlitz Commercial" or "German Coast Guard"...
Guest   Tue Jul 03, 2007 6:28 pm GMT
He is 23 years old. He did not write at all. But I guess it won't be bad as he speaks English so well. He did not speak 24/7 in the language, he spoke only when he got an opportunity here and there. He kept devoting one hour daily to the language and this regularity had worked wonders for him. He does not use pretentious words or obscure words while speaking. His fluency is impressive. It is that of a native-speaker. He says that he reads articles out loud from newspapers(when he reads them for 30 minutes or so). He has been doing it for years. In his case, I'd say that massive input was enough. People learn the language for communication and he is very good at that. He can easily outclass George W Bush when it comes to fluency as he does not his sentences. The kind of fluency he has acheived - most people achieve it by living for 10-15 years in an English speaking country. I am not kidding. He is that good.
K. T.   Tue Jul 03, 2007 6:31 pm GMT
For English practice: After you listen to the commercial, see if you can hear the difference between singing, sinking and thinking.

This is a commercial made FOR German speakers, but it points out WHY good pronunciation in English is important.
K. T.   Tue Jul 03, 2007 6:35 pm GMT
It is okay to "er" and "um" sometimes. Better to pause than to say something that is incorrect. It's also okay to use higher-level words. I try to tailor my speech to my audience, but if someone complains about a "big word" I know that my listener isn't as well-read as I thought he was.
Guest   Tue Jul 03, 2007 6:42 pm GMT
My point was that one could be fluent and express everything without having a pool of large vocabulary at his disposal. For any idiom or slang or big word, there is an easy word to choose from to express the same thing. Am I right or wrong?
K. T.   Tue Jul 03, 2007 9:15 pm GMT
You used words like "pretentious" and "obscure"...

I'd rather use an exact word than be wordy.
Guest   Tue Jul 03, 2007 11:22 pm GMT
If you want to know what wordy means, then please read Travis's posts.

Guest   Tue Jul 03, 2007 11:24 pm GMT
He does not use DIFFICULT words while speaking.
Guest   Tue Jul 03, 2007 11:33 pm GMT
"If you want to know what wordy means, then please read Travis's posts.

Thanks. "

K. T. : I've read some of his posts. People who have an interest in linguistics get excited about things that seem like unnecessary details; however, people DO subconsciously notice these details. Is the person speaking as I do OR does he/she hail from a different class/place?

I do not mind if people write in a different language or use difficult words. I can use a dictionary and learn. I can ask someone what the word means. Why be ignorant? It's like misplaced pride.
zod   Wed Jul 04, 2007 6:40 pm GMT

Did your friend use a dictionary to help him understand the BBC broadcasts and the articles, or did he figure things out from context? Also, did he have some kind of English language background (classes, self-study, etc.) before he started his BBC/newspaper article routine? (I can't imagine a beginner jumping right into that kind of schedule.)