When I was at university, my friends were studying French, Spanish, and Italian. Most of them had been studying modern languages since they were in secondary school – so for around seven years.
Despite spending so long learning modern languages, hardly any of those friends could hold a decent conversation with me (I was brought up in Spain and am fluent in Spanish). Fast forward to my third year, when those friends were returning from their year abroad, and the difference was remarkable. They all came back practically fluent!
Most university students come back from their year abroad with vastly improved modern language skills. This is because being immersed in a foreign language completely – and having to listen to it all the time – has a much greater impact than taking lessons in a classroom.
Thankfully, there are ways of throwing yourself in at the deep end and using the internet to learn foreign languages. With a Virtual Private Network (VPN), you can pretend to be in a different country to bypass geo-restrictions and watch foreign TV channels. The result is that any modern languages student can truly immerse themselves, even before they get the opportunity to spend time abroad.
Help Your Children to Learn Foreign Languages with a VPN!
When we’re young, our brains are like sponges. Young children find it very easy to learn languages. For this reason, parents should consider using a VPN to expose their children to foreign languages.
Why let them sit glued to cartoons in your native language when they could be watching Spongebob in Spanish, French, or any other language you like?
How to Choose a VPN for Learning Modern Languages
Your IP address is a digital address that reveals where you are. This address allows websites to block you from seeing their content. For copyright reasons, most TV stations don’t allow you to view their content outside of their original market.
A VPN allows you to conceal your true location. A VPN for learning modern languages needs to have servers in the nation whose language you’re attempting to master. Thus, when choosing a VPN, you should check the VPN’s server locations.
Thankfully, there are VPNs with servers located all over the world. ExpressVPN, for example, has servers in 94 countries. This makes it the best VPN for learning modern languages.
As well as having a server in your desired country, the VPN must provide fast speeds. Many VPNs slow down internet connection speeds by up to 90%. If you intend to watch streaming foreign TV channels, slow speeds mean you’ll wind up waiting for the video to buffer instead of learning modern languages.
Thankfully, some VPNs have plenty of servers around the globe AND provide fast, reliable connection speeds. To see the best VPNs for learning languages, please please head over to our five best VPNs article.
In addition, if you’re new to the world of VPNs, please check out our beginners’ guide here.
Vastly Improve Your Modern Language Skills with a VPN
As soon as you’ve decided on a VPN provider, the world is your oyster. As long as your chosen VPN has a server in the country you require (you can check on the VPN’s website), you’re free to start watching that nation’s live TV.
A VPN service costs between $50 and $90 per year. That’s a small amount to pay compared to how much a university qualification costs. Considering the leaps and bounds that watching foreign TV with a VPN can give your language skills, it’s amazing value for money.
Watch Netflix in the Language That You’re Learning
With a VPN, you can watch Netflix in a foreign language. When you connect to a VPN server abroad, you seem to be in that country. When you log into your Netflix account, you see that nation’s catalog of titles. More importantly, you also have access to their foreign audio language library.
Watching movies and TV shows in a foreign language is a superb way to train your ears. Not only is it fun, but you’ll learn quickly and easily! What’s more, because you can watch movies and TV shows that you’ve already seen on Netflix in your own language, you’ll have a frame of reference. This makes it easier to learn vocabulary.
How to Access Foreign Language Audio on Netflix
The easiest way to search for foreign audio versions of movies and TV shows on Netflix is by using the following links:
http://www.netflix.com/browse/audio/FR – This will take you to the French audio catalog.
http://www.netflix.com/browse/audio/ES – This will take you to the Spanish catalog of titles.
To find a catalog of audio titles for a specific country, just replace the last part of the link (after the / ) with one of the following language codes:
- Arabic – AR
- Bengali – BN
- Traditional Chinese – zh-Hant
- Simplified Chinese – zh-Hans
- Danish – DA
- English – En
- Finnish – FI
- French – FR
- German – DE
Greek – EL
Hebrew – HE
Hindi – HI
Icelandic – IS
Indonesian – ID
Italian – IT
Japanese – JA
- Korean – KO
- Netherlands – NL
- Norwegian – NB
- Polish – PL
- Russian – RU
- Romanian – RO
- Spanish – ES
- Swedish – SV
- Turkish – TR
- Tamil – TA
To listen to most of those audio files, you’ll need to connect to that particular country using your VPN. Some files may be available in some places without a VPN. However, you have much more choice when you connect to the country in question.
Also awesome is that when you connect to a foreign country using a VPN, you can find films and TV shows with subtitles in that language. That means you can watch them in your own language and read the foreign subtitles if you prefer. This is yet another awesome way to use your VPN to learn a modern language!
Watch Shows in Different Languages on Netflix – Alternative Method
If the link above doesn’t work for you, you can easily access the audio by following these steps:
- On the Netflix homepage, select Browse at the top.
- Now choose Audio and Subtitles.
- Select the Audio drop-down menu.
- Now you can change the country code in the URL to find the different audio options.
For the best VPNs for Netflix, please look here.
How to Set up a Modern Languages VPN
Setting up a VPN for learning modern languages online easily couldn’t be simpler.
- Select a VPN for learning languages. We recommend ExpressVPN because it has everything you need to learn languages all over the world. However, if you want more choices, navigate to our recommendations here.
- Click through to your preferred VPN for modern languages and subscribe.
- Download and install the VPN software.
- Run and install the VPN onto your device(s). ExpressVPN allows you to use the VPN on three devices simultaneously, so you can learn languages on a laptop, smartphone and PC.
- Select a server in the country whose language you are learning and click Connect.
- As soon as the VPN connects, it will conceal your real IP addressand you can access geo-restricted foreign TV streams.
In this guide, we’ave attempted to explain how anybody can use a VPN to learn a foreign language. However, if anything is still confusing or you need more information, please leave us a message below!
Title Image credit: ggu/Shutterstock.com
Image Credits: Jacob Lund/Shutterstock.com, hobbit/Shutterstock.com, woaiss/Shutterstock.com, vectorplus/Shutterstock.com