How do you even say Louvre???
September 26, 2012 10:08 PM Subscribe
French tv & movie recs for someone who wants to be entertained but also get used to the language?
posted by Mizu to Media & Arts (27 answers total) 32 users marked this as a favorite
I'm going to Paris this winter on a trip! Super excited. But, I have always been tragically terrible at french. I've never been good at languages, but french has been the huge shame of my life. I was a student of art history for years and years - I still can't remember how to spell nouveau, let alone how to pronounce it. I have no space in my brain, it seems, for french spelling or pronunciation. I can't physically make my mouth make the sounds that french has that english does not.
However, for my job, I watch japanese tv and cartoons constantly, and I have been known to go on media binges of different cultures - hindi and korean most recently. It seems that, with repeated daily exposure to a compelling narrative, combined with good subtitles (I edit subtitles for work, so it's extremely distracting when they are bad or poorly timed) I can pick up, not the language itself, but a comforting familiarity with it.
I would like to do this with french. My goal is, when I get to Paris, to be comfortable ordering off a menu with only minimal pointing and not being ashamed of my pronunciation, and finding the bathrooms, and buying things from stores with the assistance of hand gestures. I'd like to be able to not stress out about how to say please and thank you and excuse me. I would also love to be able to have a comfortable familiarity with the sounds of the language so that I will be able to discern the tones and emotions of the people talking around me. It's not really about content, so much as... gist, I suppose?
I really think I can do this by the end of December if I start watching french media now. I already know that I love the french sense of humor and absurdity, I love their art and food, and I love the preoccupation with love. What I don't know are the actual tv shows and movies that are any good to watch! Are there sitcoms? I love sitcoms. Are there over the top soap operas with starcrossed lovers and mean people in fabulous outfits? I love those. I also like really nerdy things, cartoons, movies about imaginative and beautiful and strange people and objects. A good coming of age story is like finest candy to me, so are quirky rom-coms, which try as I might I never get tired of. Fantasy, science fiction, and strange genre works are all good, too. Shows intended for older kids are also great, and that might work well on the language front.
I suppose the caveat is that the characters speak fairly clearly, with a pretty neutral accent, about a variety of subjects relevant to the modern world (as much as I would like a period piece I probably don't want to skim french off them), and the soundtrack isn't overwhelming the words.
I've got netflix (USA), amazon prime, and... a variety of other means. Big multi-season shows would be cool, as well as lists of films and miniseries. You can assume I've seen and enjoyed everything by Jean-Pierre Jeunet. Thanks in advance!