Best foreign language shows to help you learn a new tongue


There is no point in beating around the bush; life under lockdown is pretty boring.

We have gone from having a world of options from which to choose such as playing sport; shopping for leisure; or simply just calling round to our friends' houses and hanging out, to essentially, sitting in our homes all day and perhaps going for a walk in a secluded area.

However, instead of moping about the home and reminiscing about those wonderful days, why not see this period of unprecedented monotony as a wonderful opportunity for self-improvement. As they say, when life gives you lemons, make lemonade. For many the goal of learning a second language has fallen short because of a lack of time and commitment. This is your chance.

As a son of a language teacher who taught French, Spanish, and Irish, it was drilled into my skull that the only way to truly learn a language is to immerse oneself in it, and if you are not in the country which speaks the tongue then the next best thing is to watch programmes in the language.

So to make that learning process a little bit easier, at the we highlight some of the best foreign shows on Netflix to help you learn and enjoy.

Now before we start, I have not watched any good French language dramas to date so therefore I will not be recommending any.

Money Heist - Spanish (Netflix )

To kick us off, I have selected arguably one of the best TV shows I have ever watched in any language - Money Heist. To date there are three seasons available to watch on Netflix with the fourth instalment coming online in April. The plot line revolves around a well-planned, multi-day assault by The Professor (Álvaro Morte ) and his team of robbers, on the Royal Mint of Spain in Madrid. Their intention is to print and escape with €2.4 billion.

Suburra: Blood on Rome - Italian (Netflix )

Up next we have Suburra: Blood on Rome. Based on the Mafia Capitale investigation; an inquiry into criminal activities committed by some politicians of the government of Rome and the mafia in 2014; Suburra focuses on a fight over a piece of land in a seaside town of Ostia between Samurai (Francesco Acquaroli ) head of Roman organised crime and the Sicilian Mafia's contact in the capital and the Adamis, the gang who controls Ostia. Aureliano Adami (Alessandro Borghi ), son of Ostia gang leader, Tullio Adami (Federico Tocci ), joins forces with rival Sinti gang member ,Alberto 'Spadino' Anacleti (Giacomo Ferrara ), and Gabriele 'Lele' Marchilli (Eduardo Valdarnini ), the only son of a policeman, to stop Samurai's grab for land and power.

Dogs of Berlin - German (Netflix )

If you like cop shows, then you like our next choice. In this cutting edge thriller, Dogs of Berlin confronts the German capital's seedy underworld which you will not find in any travel brochure as well as the unease between Germans and the growing Turkish community in the country.

Kurt Grimmer (Felix Kramer ), a former neo-Nazi, womanising, and gambling addicted cop and Erol Birkan (Fahri Yardim ), a gay German cop of Turkish origin but full of integrity, are forced together to investigate the murder of German international footballer Orkan Erdem. The list of suspects are endless with a neo-Nazi gang led by Grimmer's mother, Eva (Katrin Saß ), Turkish nationalists angry at Erdem for choosing to represent Germany instead of Turkey, the Berlin mafia, football fans, and the Lebanese clan from Erdem's local neighbourhood are all on the radar for the police.

3% - Portuguese (Netflix )

Set in the future, Brazilian dystopia drama, 3%, is our Portuguese entry on the list. The premise of the show is simple; when people become 20-years-of age, they take part in what is known as The Process to decide if they can spend their lives in the utopia known as The Offshore, or live out the rest of their days in the hellish Inland; only three per cent succeed. However a rebel group known as The Cause is determined to destroy this set up.

Michelle Santana's (Bianca Comparato ) and Rafael Moreira's (Rodolfo Valente ) opportunities have arrived for them to take on The Process. But little does head of The Process, Ezequiel (João Miguel ) know, the pair have loftier intentions than simply spending the rest of their lives in paradise.

1983 - Polish (Netflix )

Perhaps a language which you might be interested in learning is one which we hear everyday via our neighbours and work colleagues and that is Polish. In these times of solidarity why not learn to say Dzien dobry (good morning ) to your Polish friend? And to help you learn is 1983; a Polish dystopian drama about what life would look like if the communist regime still reigned supreme.

1983 is actually set in 2003 but the title refers to the fictional March 12 bombings in 1983 which led to a government crackdown on anti-communist terrorists and resulted in overwhelming national support for the government thus preserving their power. However, Inspector Anatol Janów (Robert Wieckiewicz ), a police inspector who asked too many questions in previous cases, thus derailing his career, and Kajetan Skowron (Maciej Musial ), a law student whose parents perished in the bombings and who has spent most of his life as a symbol of the state, team up to try to uncover the truth about the bombings in 1983.

So there you have it. Five shows to entertain and help you learn a new language during the lockdown.


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