• Watching a series in VO or VOST allows you to progress in learning foreign languages. 

  • Foreign series can also make it possible to discover a culture and make people want to learn the language.

  • There is a real craze around learning fictional languages ​​from the series. 

  • How the series are a great vector of motivation in language learning. 

Your parents refuse to subscribe to Netflix, Disney+ or Amazon Prime Video because you already spend too much time in front of the screens?

Here is an argument that could make them change their minds.

Who has never heard a language teacher say that watching films or series in the original version (VO) or in the original version with subtitles (VOST) allows you to progress in learning a foreign language?

At a time when all platforms allow you to enjoy their foreign programs in VO or VOST, it would be a shame to deprive yourself of it.

Better still, the series are now a vector of motivation in learning a particular language.


There are a thousand and one reasons to prefer the VO or the VOST to dubbing: it allows you to appreciate the acting of the actors, the dubbing conceals many subtleties of the original scenarios, one can be disappointed when the dubber changes, and especially because that makes it possible to progress in foreign languages.

How do the series allow you to progress in foreign languages?

"We encourage our learners to watch series [en VO ou en VOST], it's the best way to put their learning into practice", explains Emmanuel Orssaud, spokesperson for France and marketing manager for Duolingo, a platform dedicated to free foreign language learning.

Why ?

Putting a vocabulary word into context in a given situation allows for better memorization.

We all know what “lupus” is thanks to the medical series, don't we?

"We are thinking more and more about integrating cult replicas of series into our courses... This is close to our hearts", agrees the expert.

The series also allow you to learn a whole vocabulary that is not taught at school or in language courses: slang, idiomatic expressions and all the subtleties of the language.

Those who have seen

Breaking Bad

cannot ignore all the subtleties of the use of the word “bitch”, just as fans of Succession are able to place a well-felt “fuck off”!

Watching a series in VO or VOST allows you to exercise your ear with the natural flow of natives and their different accents.

“Watching a series is like traveling.

Traveling is an immediate way to be able to apply one's knowledge and basics in a language.

Series discoveries have the same effect,” comments Emmanuel Orssaud.

What series to watch to progress in foreign languages?

Remember to adapt the content to your level and your objective.

If you are new to English, for example, choose sitcoms, where it is easy to follow the story, such as



How I Met Your Mother,

which you probably know by heart in French.

For about two weeks, watch two or three episodes a day, in VOST in French, then for two to three weeks, two or three episodes a day in the original with English subtitles, finally go to the original.

Don't try to write down every misunderstood word, it will spoil your fun.

Your English will improve naturally.

"And being able to understand, if only a few words, of what is happening in a series, makes you feel accomplished," adds Emmanuel Orssaud.

Those wishing to progress in formal English, for example, will favor historical dramas such as

The Crown


Downton Abbey


The Gilded Age


The most experienced will discover Brummie aka the Birmingham accent with

Peaky Blinders

or Highland English with


These accents may seem difficult to follow at first, but you get used to it very quickly!

If you need to familiarize yourself with a specific vocabulary, choose a series whose universe corresponds to the lexicon you wish to acquire:

The Office

for the world of work,




for the business world,

The Good Fight

for the legal world.

, etc

How do series make you want to learn foreign languages?

Thanks to the platforms, we can watch series from all over the world.

The phenomenal success of the Korean series

Squid Game

on Netflix has thus had unexpected consequences.

"After the launch of Squid Game

on Netflix , we saw

a 75% increase in new subscribers to Duolingo to learn Korean in the countries where we offer this language, which until now was not in our top", says Emmanuel Orsaud.

“In general, after the launch of a series, we observe an increase in requests, which corresponds to a cultural moment.

There is a connection between this discovery at the cultural level and this curiosity, which leads users to want to learn the language and appropriate part of this culture,” analyzes Emmanuel Orssaud.


La Casa de Papel

, "we didn't see a sudden interest in Spanish, which has always been the second most learned language on Duolingo, but we could see that several cultural moments such as the launch of a new season of

La Casa de Papel

or the arrival of Lionel Messi had a small influence, ”notes the expert.

Some series contribute to the influence of the French language.

“French remains the 3rd most learned language on Duolingo.

But, we saw a craze around season 1 of

Emily in Paris

, especially in Brazil.

Successful series like

Emily in Paris



have really helped to showcase French around the world,” notes the marketing manager, who launched a communication campaign around the series worn by Lily Collins at the time of the launch of season 2 on Netflix. 

What is the point of learning the fictional language of a series?

In science fiction series, the characters often speak fictional languages: Klingon in the

Star Trek

saga , High Valyrian in

Game of Thrones

or even the Elvish languages ​​in the highly anticipated

The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power


Fans of these great sagas can learn the fictional language of their favorite characters.

“We have 511,000 active learners worldwide taking High Valyrian lessons on Duolingo.

It will be necessary to observe when

House of the Dragon

will be launched, for the fictitious languages, there is an effect when a new series arrives or when it is talked about in the news.

There is always a

Star Trek

effect , which is long-term with 304,000 active learners worldwide for Klingon.

There is a real craze for these fictitious languages ​​from the series, ”lists Emmanuel Orssaud.

And to announce: “We plan to enrich our offer in fictitious languages.


What's the point of learning a fictional language, other than showing off at nerd dinner parties?

Learning a new language, whether fictional or real, is very beneficial for the brain.

Bilingualism improves concentration, promotes the ability to manage multiple tasks simultaneously and improves creativity, according to a study published in the journal

Brain and Language.

"Valar morghūlis" ("All men must die"), as they say in Game of Thrones, but good news, bilingual brains also age less quickly, according to a study published in the Annals of Neurology.

New good reasons to watch series in VO or VOST!


"Emily in Paris" 2: "Emily also feels this need to have fun with this new character, Alfie", tease Lily Collins


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  • Series

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  • Game Of Thrones

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