Douwe Osinga's Blog: Seinfeld teaching French

Tuesday, March 15, 2005

I like watching old Seinfeld reruns. I like it to the extend that I have a complete collection of them on my hard disk. You know, for when I get bored or need something relaxing. I also like watching old Friends episodes with my wife. Of course after a while you tend to know the lines. So we decided to leverage that. By having those old sitcoms teach us some new French.

See, if you rent a DVD in Switzerland, it will usually come with four or five spoken languages plus a bunch of subtitles in even more languages. Now, we both learned French in high-school, but it is sort of rusty. I mean, it's probably enough to buy a drink in a café or a dead beaver in a bakery, but not enough to follow movies or have anything bordering on an interesting conversation.

Even watching episodes of comedies you've seen before is kinda hard, but it is doable. Plus there are all these other options: you can watch the French version with French subtitles (unfortunately the one we tried had two different translations, one for the audio, one for the subtitles, so it didn't help that much), or watch the French with English subtitles or really any combination. Even English without subtitles when you're tired.