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Want to Practice your Language Skills? Check out these International TV Shows

In 2021, the Korean-language drama Squid Game took the internet by storm. While you’re anxiously awaiting confirmation on a second season for the show, why not check out another international tv show to keep practicing your language skills?

While watching TV might seem too easy, research has shown that international TV shows can actually help language learners with comprehension. To get the most out of your language learning, experts suggest watching the same episode over and over. Use subtitles on the first few viewings and then try watching without the subtitles.

With so many international tv shows available, no matter what language you are trying to practice, you will likely find a show or two to watch. To get started, here’s a round-up of 8 popular international tv shows to stream. Pop some popcorn and get ready to brush up on your language skills.

#1. Money Heist

Stream on Netflix

Language: Spanish

If heist crime stories are your thing, add Money Heist to your list. Not only will you get sucked into the plot (this show takes tons of unexpected turns which helped it win an International Emmy Award for Best Drama Series) but you’ll also get to practice your Spanish along the way.

#2. Dark

Stream on Netflix

Language: German

Dark is a German-language sci-fi mystery that follows a family’s time-traveling quest to find a missing child. This was Netflix’s first original German-language show and it landed a 95% on Rotten Tomatoes.

#3. The Circle (Brazil and France)

Stream on Netflix

Language: Portuguese or French

Need a break from thrillers? Consider a reality show instead. The British and American versions of this social-media-based game show were so popular that Netflix produced spin-offs in France and Brazil, too. If you’re interested in brushing up on slang in Portuguese or French, this show is a great place to start.

#4. Spiral

Stream on Prime Video

Language: France

After finishing The Circle France, continue practicing with a viewing of Spiral. Instead of internet slang, this police drama will help you build your vocabulary of French legal jargon. Don’t let that turn you away – this series ran for 15 years and was extremely successful around the world (it’s been shown in about 70 countries). It even won the 2015 International Emmy Award for Best Series.

#5. El marginal

Steam on Netflix

Language: Spanish

This high-stakes Argentinian crime show follows an undercover ex-cop who tries to solve a kidnapping. It’s an award-winning drama with three seasons and an unpredictable plot that will suck you in right away.

#6. Ragnarok

Stream on Netflix

Language: Norwegian

Although it’s not affiliated with the Marvel universe, this Norwegian-language fantasy offers another dystopian retelling of Norse mythology. And after binge-watching this series, continue practicing with Netflix’s first Norwegian-language series Home for Christmas.

#7. Sacred Games

Stream on Netflix

Language: Hindi

This Hindi-language crime show is India’s first original series to stream on Netflix. The complete series is available so you can binge away. If you are also trying to practice your Hindi reading comprehension, the show was based on a novel by Vikram Chandra.

#8. Itaewon Class

Steam on Netflix

Language: Korean

If you’re set on learning Korean after Squid Game, there are tons of other Korean-language titles on Netflix. Itaewon Class is just one popular K-drama on the streaming platform. This 16-episode series tells the story of an ex-con seeking revenge through ambition. But you’ll also find other interesting Korean-language options like Hi, Bye Mama! and Record of Youth.

Which show will you watch first? No matter what you pick as your next binge-watch, international-tv shows can be a great tool in your language-learning process.

Ready for more? Browse other articles on ALTA’s Beyond Words Blog for additional language learning and interpreting stories.

Stephanie Brown is a New York City-based travel blogger and freelance content creator. You can find her at The Adventuring Millennial.








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