Best foreign language learning films. Nominations for 2018


With the Oscars just days away, we’ve set about collecting our own nominations for best language learning movie of the year. Have a look at our suggestions and see if you agree. Then make your own nominations in the comments section at the bottom of this page. Tell us about a great movie for language learning. Tell us why you enjoyed it and what you learnt.

Our nominations

We’ve asked a variety of language learners to tell us about the movies that they enjoyed in their second language in 2017. Here they tell us a little bit about the plots and the language used in their nominated films:

Language: German
In Zeiten des abnehmenden Lichts (In times of Fading Light)
Nominator: Simon, English 37, intermediate learner of German

“In times of Fading Light is set just before the fall of the Berlin wall, at the birthday of an aging communist party grandee. Political tensions and a sense of foreboding are reflected in friendships and family relations, but no one really has an inkling of the drama that is about to unfold.

It’s a gentle movie that is easy to follow and where people speak fairly slowly. The only problem was that, being set in Berlin amongst a family of Russian émigrés, the accents are a bit tough.”


Language: Spanish
Nomination: El Bar (The Bar)
Nominator: Gleb, Russian 35, intermediate level Spanish

“The film is like a slice of Madrid life and it feels very authentic. A very diverse bunch of city residents get stuck in a bar hiding from a killer shooting at pedestrians on the street. One by one they get killed off… and in the end just the naked girl survives… surprise!

The movie is fast-paced and there is quite a lot of shouting. This makes it easy to hear the words, but they do go by pretty quickly! I managed to understand a lot in this movie and enjoy it, but I would say it is for intermediate learners and upwards.”


Language: French
Nomination: Au revoir là-haut (English title: See you up there)
Nominator: Maria, Spanish 32, Beginner with French

“This is quite a tough movie, but one that I found very powerful. It is set right at the end of World War 1 and is about senseless fighting and a lot of questionable moral behaviour. It’s definitely a film that makes you think.

I actually watched the movie in English with the French in subtitles. I’d not have been able to follow it otherwise, as the story is pretty complicated. However, I did learn some words from the subtitles and the movie definitely inspired me to want to learn more about France. It is a beautiful film.”


Language: Chinese (and English)
Nomination: 战狼2 (Wolf Warrior 2)
Nominator: Connie, German 26, intermediate Chinese learner

“This was a hugely popular movie in China. It stars American and Chinese actors and is actually a multi-lingual movie. There are parts spoken in Mandarin and in English. It’s an action movie about a Chinese soldier who goes to Africa and ends up defending aid workers against rebels.

The great thing about this movie is that it is only partly in Chinese, so you get a break from the hard work of listening. The English parts also come with Chinese subtitles so you are still learning, but just in a different way. Although this is maybe not a movie I would choose to watch in my own language, I found it very instructive.”


Language: English 
Nomination: Paddington 2
Nominator: Laurence, French 36, advanced English learner

“This movie is simply amazing. So much fun and, to my astonishment, even better than the first! If you want to see British culture and London at its best, Paddington is the movie for you”

There are lots of different accents in this movie, which I guess could be quite tough. However, Paddington is pretty easy to understand and the plot is not hard to follow. Also, it is so engaging that you are really motivated to listen hard!”

Picture credits. Thanks to:

About the Author Rosetta Stone Team

Contributor | The most trusted language solution for 25 years is now accessible on any device, from anywhere in the world.

follow me on:

Leave a Comment: