Voulez-vous voir un film ce soir?

The image says "How to use Mango Premiere: film-based language learning," with the Mango logo, an "M" comprised of multicolored squares and triangles in patterns red, blue, yellow, green, black, and white.

By Holly L.

Are you interested in learning French, or another language, but find traditional tutorials tedious?  

Consider Mango Premiere, an online language learning system that offers instruction through film for select languages. While enjoying a movie you can familiarize yourself with your chosen language by studying the dialogue while also focusing on grammar, vocabulary, phrases, and culture.

Customize your learning experience by viewing the film in “Movie mode,” in which you can view the movie with your choice of subtitles (English, the language you are learning, or both at the same time).

The still photograph from the film Around a Small Mountain is labeled "Scene Introduction" and depicts a man and woman standing next to a small convertible on a sunny street. The captions read, in French, "L'homme revient, et Kate l'invite á son spectacle de cirque ce soir-là gratuitement." This is followed by the English translation: "The man returns, and Kate invites him to her circus show that evening for free."s

Choose “Engage mode” for an in-depth scene exploration. In this mode, you begin with a Scene Introduction, an overview of what to expect in the coming scene. Next, you have the option of scrolling through Words You May Encounter and Cultural Notes. After viewing the scene you may click on to a Followup, a detailed breakdown of the scene with grammar and cultural notes. The subtitles are enhanced by phonetic pop-ups and Mango’s semantic color mapping, which demonstrates connections between the learner’s target and native language.

The illustration shows two translations from English to French: "I speak French very well" is translated to "Je, parle très bien français," and "Oh, good morning" is translated to "Tiens, bonjour." Each word is in a different color with a block underneath indicating Mango’s semantic color mapping, which demonstrates connections between the learner’s target and native language.
A visualization of Mango’s semantic color mapping.

While exploring the features of Mango Premiere, I watched Around a Small Mountain (or 36 vues du Pic Saint Loup), a 2009 French drama by director Jacques Rivette (one of the founders of the French New Wave) featuring Jane Birkin and Sergio Castellitto. With a cast of characters whose lives revolve around a travelling circus, the film is very dialogue-driven and I felt that the Engage Mode features helped me achieve a more nuanced understanding of the story.

There are more than 70 languages you can learn on Mango, with movies currently available for the following languages: 

English (for Spanish speakers) 

French 

Spanish (Latin America) 

Italian 

Chinese (Mandarin) 

German 

Hopefully Mango will expand its Premiere services to include films in more languages. I for one may be more motivated to brush up on my Korean language skills if I can do so while watching a fun K-drama

Access Mango and Mango Premiere for free with your HCLS library card.

Holly is an Instructor and Research Specialist at the Miller Branch. She enjoys knitting, preferably with a strong cup of tea and Downton Abbey in the queue.