Practice another language with Netflix

My kiddos and I have been learning to speak Spanish for a couple of years now. The hardest part, I find, is incorporating the language daily in natural ways. One way is to read Spanish stories together. We really enjoy One Third Stories for this. But I am not a native Spanish speaker, so reading aloud is never going to help us all develop the ear for the natural language.

Casting around, the best advice I have found is to watch television in another language. Radio programs or podcasts are other options, but we find the visuals of TV help us learn new vocabulary much more quickly.

Netflix habla español

Our favourite show to watch in Spanish is Pocoyo. Because Pocoyo is designed with young language users in mind, the vocabulary is simple, slow, repetitive and usually matches the visuals on the screen. Although Mister Eleven is ‘too old’ for Pocoyo in English, Pocoyo in Spanish is a fun challenge to catch new vocabulary words.

To find a program to incorporate into your additional language practice, I recommend looking under Netflix’s ‘Little Kids’ or ‘Early Learning’ categories for something your children are willing to watch. You can try diving straight into a favourite current show in another language, but even the little kid shows can sound like one long gibberish word and shows for older language users will have even faster and more complex language.

Television programs with Spanish audio

To find out what other audio languages a program is recorded in, choose the program in Netflix, find the Audio and Subtitles icon, and then scroll down to see what languages are offered. Not every program has more than one language.

How to change Netflix audio track

Some of the programs we have found with a Spanish* audio track include:

  • Splash and Bubbles
  • Dinosaur Train
  • Daniel Tiger’s Neighbourhood
  • Paprika
  • Hatchimals
  • Hello Ninja
  • Trolls
  • Pajanimals
  • Shopkins
  • Sylvanian Families
  • Lune Petunia
  • Popples
  • Super Monsters
  • True
  • Heidi
  • Little Princess

*Not differentiating between ‘Spanish’ and ‘European Spanish’

Google Translate for a little extra help

Google Translate app

My bonus tip for incorporating an additional language into your daily routine through the use of tv shows is this: keep the Google Translate app handy. We were certain the octopus on Pocoyo was being referred to as ‘fútbol’ as that is what it sounded like to our untrained ears. A quick Google Translate for ‘octopus’ quickly set us down the right path again – he’s called ‘pulpo.’ It’s like being a toddler again!

How do you incorporate another language into your daily routine? Let us know in the comments!

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