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4 Foreign-Language TV Shows to Binge

Settle in and get cozy: it’s time for a good old-fashioned guilt-free TV binge. Even a mega-marathon of these shows would be time well spent. After all, developing your listening comprehension skills is crucial to language learning.

Just remember to stand up and stretch between episodes – getting the oxygen flowing will keep those language muscles flexed!

Ekaterina (Russian)

This immersive historical drama tells the story of Russian Empress Ekaterina II, who eventually rose to international fame under another title: Catherine the Great. Lavish costumes, gorgeous set design, and strong acting make this show a feast for the eyes. Plus, all of the battles, victories, and romances are based on real-life events, so you’ll be getting in a history lesson as well.

3% (Brazilian Portuguese)

This chilling dystopian series presents a world divided between life “Offshore” and life “Inland.” Through a battery of tests and interviews known as “The Process,” all people are allowed one chance to compete for a spot among the elite “Offshore” group. Ultimately, just 3% will make it through, abandoning all others to a life of poverty and insecurity in the Inland. Explore the struggle and conflict of this stratified world through powerful cinematography and emotional plot lines.

Cable Girls/Las Chicas del Cable (European Spanish)

This popular series follows the complicated lives of four women at the National Telephone Company in Madrid during the late 1920s and early 1930s. Advances in technology and changing expectations for women create a dynamic environment, in which Lydia, Carlota, Ángeles, and Marga navigate revolution, romance, and the workplace.

Terrace House (Japanese)

In some ways, Terrace House might be considered “The Real World” of Japan. The basic premise is the same: a reality show about a group of strangers living together in a Tokyo mansion. But in departure from the over-the-top reality stars we’re used to seeing on American television, Terrace House features a cast of delightfully soft-spoken people just trying to get to know each other. In fact, most of the drama takes place in the conversations of the commentators as they try to figure out the secret motivations of the house residents. This show is a great resource for Japanese-language learners because all of the dialogue is unscripted, giving a nice portrait of the language as it’s used in daily life.

Get on the fast track to language learning with an online or in-person class through ALTA Language Services. ALTA offers courses in a wide variety of languages; contact us today for more information.

About the author:
Danielle Martin has taught multiple subjects to students in three different states. She previously spent time as a literary agent’s assistant and video editor. Danielle writes about language, education, health, international culture, organizational culture, and lifestyle topics. She also enjoys writing fiction.

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