5 Best Spanish Movies (Spain) on Netflix USA to Learn Spanish | Hello Spanish

Here are the best 5 Spanish movies to watch on Netflix USA. Because watching movies in Spanish is a great way to improve your real-life Spanish. It can be hard to find good movies online, but with this list, problem solved!

This content was originally published here.

Literature at the Margins: Learn Chinese, Read Sci-fi

In my experience learning Chinese over the past decade, one of the biggest challenges I’ve faced is getting enough practice reading (and writing) characters:

“Study them every day, use them every day” 天天学,天天用 1

Characters take an inordinate amount of time to memorize, and the lack of spaces between words means that proper nouns, set phrases, and foreign transliterations have to be parsed out from the more common vocabulary of everyday writing.

This is the easy answer for why so few Anglophones read untranslated Chinese literature:

Because Chinese is hard.

As the old joke goes, though:

Q: What’s the difference between ignorance and apathy?
A: I don’t know and I don’t care!

My suspicion is that there are a lot of people out there like me — people who are being held back not so much by the difficulty of learning Chinese, as by the difficulty of finding things to read in Chinese, so that we can actually get the practice we need to become (and stay) functionally literate.

Ignorance and apathy are self-perpetuating, of course: The less one reads in Chinese, the harder it is to pick up a book or story to read casually.2

At the same time, one hears over and over again that nothing worth reading is being published in China today. Just a couple of days ago, Ha Jin, an author who I respect and admire, was quoted on LitHub saying that, “Many of my novels—A Free Life, War Trash, A Map of Betrayal—which have political resonance, are not allowed to published.”3 Can Xue has gone even further, saying, when asked about contemporary Chinese literature, “I have no hope, and I don’t feel like evaluating it.”4

Setting aside, for the moment, questions of censorship and literary merit (which seem to, somewhat conveniently, to do double duty as pitches for dissident lit), genre fiction—particularly short fiction—provides interesting examples of ‘marginal’ or ‘weird’ literature: the queer, the dystopian, the creepy.

The trick is finding it.

For a long time, the twin pillars of Chinese science fiction were Science Fiction World 科幻世界, which was founded in 1979, and New Science Fiction 新科幻, founded in 1994. NSF went out of print at the end of 2014, but you can still read back issues from the last two years of their run, which are available for purchase here.

Since late 2012 SFW, meanwhile, has generously provided a public WeChat account (‘scifiworld’) with re-posted stories and articles. If you don’t have the app, or don’t want to read things on your phone, you can use this mirror. It’s pretty bare bones, but it gets the job done:

Chuansong.me, better than nothing

If you’re ready to take the leap to buying full issues of SFW (albeit from a couple of months back), you can find those here or here. Both sites accept payments through your WeChat wallet, which you can load with money off a credit card.

Moving into the strictly online publications, there are several options:

SF Comet 彗星科幻, an online bilingual sci-fi contest launched by Li Zhaoxin 李兆欣in 2014.5 Although it’s been on hiatus since late last year, the archives are all still up. There is also a pile of unpublished material that should be seeing the light of day soon. Here’s a story by Zhang Ran 张冉 about a brain operation gone wrong.

Douban Reading 豆瓣阅读, featuring self-published novellas and short stories (somewhat like Kindle Direct). Sci-fi is here, while fantasy is over here. Lots of interesting choices here, like this one about a planet of Morlocks and Eloi, or this (topical) one about an election.6 (They also sell ebooks, but these tend to be translations out of English, since relatively few Chinese sci-fi and fantasy authors write novels.)

Kedo 蝌蚪五线谱, online sci-fi publication which is partially government-funded. Seems to be very active at the moment.

Science Fiction Digest 科幻文汇, an online forum and digital magazine that appears to be somewhat defunct at the moment, but has extensive archives available for free.

Micro SF, an iOS app sadly not available through the US version of the Apple store.

Aside from these, here are two more projects worth checking out, which lean more towards fantasy and slipstream:

ONE·一个  , one picture, one story / essay, and the answer to one question, posted daily. Launched by Han Han 韩寒, and co-edited by Ma Yimu 马一木, ONE also posts on WeChat (‘one_app’) three days earlier than the website. Just last week they published a story about mermaids dealing with climate change.

文艺风尚, edited by the author Di An 笛安, and founded by Han Han’s arch rival (of sorts), Guo Jingming 郭敬明. They do have a WeChat account (‘wenyifengshang’) which they sometimes post short fiction to, like this by Mi Yuwen 米玉雯. Full issues of the magazine are available to download on Amazon.cn, but if you’re not based in China you’re pretty much out of luck.

This is just a start, obviously. As a translator trying to break into agenting, I know from experience that the biggest challenges acquisitions editors face are 1) finding out what’s out there and 2) pitching projects to their bosses. I really do hope that we’ll get to the point where sites like LitHub can do more than bemoan the Chinese literature that isn’t, and celebrate the Chinese literature that is.

This content was originally published here.

Watch an entire movie theater react to seeing Pikachu speak English for the first time

An entire movie theater went bonkers seeing Pikachu speak English for the first time

PikachuCartoon Network / The Pokemon Company

  • Pikachu speaks English in “Pokémon the Movie: I Choose You!” 
  • This is the first time audiences have heard Pikachu say actual words, and they were shocked.
  • Watch the audience reaction in the clip below. Pikachu starts speaking English about 18 seconds in.

Hi, I am just learning that Pikachu speaks English in the new Pokemon movie and, yes, it is extremely fucking weird pic.twitter.com/k5hm5lyW7Y

— Ryan Broderick (@broderick) November 13, 2017

Recommended For You Powered by Sailthru

An entire movie theater went bonkers seeing Pikachu speak English for the first time

An entire movie theater went bonkers seeing Pikachu speak English for the first time

Pikachu speaks English in “Pokémon…

This content was originally published here.

For Everyone Who Doesn’t Speak Spanish, Here’s Bad Bunny Feat. Drake’s “Mia” Translated Into English

Drake fans from across the world went crazy when the Bad Bunny collaboration ‘Mia’ was finally released. The song, although incredibly catchy and a perfect summer tune (a little late into the new season but still perfect for summer nostalgia), is entirely in Spanish.

READ ALSO: Hurricane Michael Forces Canada To Issue Urgent Travel Advisories

TL;DR For those of us who aren’t familiar with the Spanish language, but still love the song ‘Mia’ by Bad Bunny & Drake, now is finally your chance to take a look at the actual English translation available below.

Latinx music has been insanely popular recently, and although most of us in Canada don’t speak the language, we still enjoy the songs released by our favourite artists.

Though we are still unable to fully relate to the song, since we don’t really know what’s being said, we can only realy relate to the beat. Luckily, we won’t have to face this dilemma much longer. 

Yes, ‘Mia’ has finally been translated into English. Once you see what the Toronto musician has been saying this entire time, you’ll realize he really is a true romantic at heart.

Here are the official lyrics:

[Chorus: Drake]
Yeah
Everyone is waiting for you
But you are mine
Making them hate me more
Because everyone wants to try with you
What they do not know is that you do not get carried away by anyone
And everyone wants to try with you
What they do not know is that today I’m going to look for you 
Yeah, Yeah

[Chorus: Drake]
Tell them that you are mine, mine
You know you are mine, mine
You said it yourself
When I did it to you

[Chorus: Bad Bunny]
Tell them that you are mine, mine
You know you are mine, mine
You said it yourself
When I did it to you

[Verse 1: Bad Bunny]
Baby, I’m a fan of your walk
I give you everything, even my breathing
With you I see everything as spiral
I want to take pictures of ourselves and go viral
Your eyes concentrate me
With you I put on the overall
I touch you and the whole world stops spinning
No death will stop us
Baby, I’m only yours
Say you’re going with me
Stop throwing you
That nobody is going to touch you

[Chorus: Bad Bunny]
Tell them that you are mine, mine
You know you are mine, mine
You said it yourself
When I did it to you

[Chorus: Bad Bunny]
Everyone wants to try you
What they do not know is that you do not get carried away by anyone
And everyone wants to try you
What they do not know is that today I’m going to look for you

[Chorus: Bad Bunny]
Tell them that you are mine, mine
You know you are mine, mine
You said it yourself
When I did it to you

[Verse: Bad Bunny]
I am your Romeo, but not Santo
To these idiots with the forty I threat
They love me since I sing
But I am yours

[Chorus: Bad Bunny & Drake]
Tell them that you are mine, mine
You know you are mine, mine
You said it yourself
When I did it to you

See what I mean? It’s now super obvious that these guys are madly in love with whomever their mystery girl is. We can finally fully enjoy the song next time we hear it play!

This content was originally published here.

Learn French, Italian, and more with these $118 Rosetta Stone bonus packs | Android Central

Amazon is offering up some great discounts on a selection of Rosetta Stone Bonus Packs. Each pack costs $118.30, and most of them usually sell for at least $200. No matter which language you go for, you’ll be getting one of the lowest prices in its history. We’ve only seen a better discount once, when these bonus packs included a $20 Amazon gift card, but that deal is long-gone. This one is your next-best option.

As of press time, your options include English, Italian, French, and German. Each pack gets you two years of Rosetta Stone access, which is usable across your desktop, mobile, and tablet. You’ll also receive a software download that gets you lifetime access to offline practicing capabilities. That means whether you need to brush up next year or 40 years from now, you’ll be able to access that software. Finally, you’ll also receive the Barron’s Grammar Guide for your chosen language, which helps teach you essential grammar tips, as well as the corresponding Barron’s Dictionary which will help you sort your gauche from your droite.

Being multilingual is literally never a bad thing. You’ll be able to travel with ease, and of course it can also expand your networking and friendship opportunities. It also makes a great party trick. Rosetta Stone has made a name for itself when it comes to learning new languages, and there’s a good reason for it. It uses “Dynamic Immersion” to help you grasp the new language, which means that you’ll not only hear the words, but see signs and symbols that represent it, and learn to read and write it as well. It helps you not only learn new words, but also phrases based on real-world content, which means you’ll actually be prepared for natural conversations.

Whether you’re looking for a great gift idea for the holidays, or have always wanted to learn a new language on your own, you won’t want to miss out on this discount.

This post may contain affiliate links. See our disclosure policy for more details.

This content was originally published here.

Guadalajara Reporter Says 911 Operator Hung Up On Expat Who Did Not Speak Spanish

Recently, the main English news source in Guadalajara for Expats is reporting that 911 operators in their area cannot respond in English to callers.  The Guadalajara area including Lake Chapala is home to the largest number of Expats in Mexico.  They have been servicing this market for many decades.

After a home invasion and being tied up at knife point, an Expat freed herself to call Mexico’s 911.  When they realized that she did not speak Spanish and could only say Emergency, they hung up on her.  This is a serious danger that Expats face in Mexico when reporting their emergencies to Mexico’s 911.

Some areas of Mexico that have high numbers of tourists visiting have a part time operator.  However, there is no guarantee that the part time operator will be on duty when you need them most.  This is the reality that Expats face when dealing with a medical, police or fire emergency in Mexico.  This is not an issue that only affects Lake Chapala.  We hear stories like this all the time across Mexico from our fellow Expats.

This fact is the main reason we have created our ExPat911 APP.  Our operators are 100% fluent English speakers.  Our users only have to push a button in our app which notifies us of the type of emergency they are facing.  We do the rest of the work for you and will even contact your family back home to let them know of your emergency.

For more information regarding our app and service, please refer to this article which explains everything:

What Is Expat911 And How Does It Work?

Below is the actual article from the Guadalajara Reporter which explains in detail what happened to this Expat when calling 911 at Lake Chapala.


No English spoken at 911 as Chapala cops also ignore expat’s emergency calls

By GR Staff

Foreigners who lack a firm grasp of Spanish may discover that Mexico’s recently launched nationwide 911 emergency hotline is essentially useless in moments of distress.

That’s the conclusion of a lakeside resident was left in the lurch after walking in on a burglary in progress at her home this week.

Returning from a brief outing for shopping errands on Wednesday morning, the woman realized that something was amiss when she spotted her television set unplugged and sitting out of place. Stepping out of the door again she was immediately accosted by a pair of young bandits who forced her back inside and tied her up at knife point.

She managed to get free shortly after the thieves departed the premises with a load of valuable loot. She then picked up the phone and dialed 911 to call for help. Flustered by the frightening incident she wasn’t able to express her situation in Spanish. To her surprise, rather than mustering some sort of response, the operator simply hung up.

Read the Full Story Here at The Guadalajara Reporter >>>

This content was originally published here.

Can you learn Chinese faster by making it harder?

Image credit: Stephanieking via Wikimedia Commons.

When learning Chinese, should you focus on extensive learning, where you cover a lot of fairly easy material, or should you throw yourself in at the deep end and make things as difficult as you can and hope you adapt? Can you learn faster by making it more difficult?

I have advocated both approaches, which might seem contradictory. During a lecture about learning and teaching Chinese I held recently at the University of Leuven, Belgium, this very question came up. I think I gave an adequate answer to the question, but I also realised that the full answer is probably not something that fits easily in a Q&A session after a lecture. Hence, this post!

The short answer: It’s better to cover large volumes of easy material

The short answer is that you should probably focus more on extensive studying than you are currently doing. I’m saying this both because it’s generally speaking a better approach, and because I know that most courses don’t do this even remotely as much as they should. Read more in this article:

There are also many requirements that have to be met in order for deep-end immersion to be a good idea, but more about that later.

Extensive studying

To make sure we’re on the same page, the idea behind extensive studying is that you cover much more content in a given amount of time, which you can do because the difficulty is much lower.

Compare reading the next chapter in your textbook (which will contain things you don’t know) to reading text based almost entirely on things you already know. The latter is several times faster, so you can cover several times more content.

This is valuable for a number of reasons, but most importantly, it gives you the variation you need to really learn what words mean and how they are used. It’s also more fun and motivating, and opens up for incidental learning. For this to be effective, you really need to know almost everything (most research suggests 98%).

I have yet to write an article about extensive studying in general, but this article about extensive reading can easily be applied to other areas as well:

Making it harder: Deep-end immersion and kamikaze runs

One of the most popular articles on Hacking Chinese is The kamikaze approach to learning Chinese, where I describe how I managed to learn very quickly by immersing myself in classes that were actually way too difficult.

In essence, I enrolled in classes that were aimed at people who had studied much longer than me, and in doing so, I skipped several textbooks and had to do a lot of catching up. Merely staying alive in such a situation meant that I had to learn quickly. I never did very well compared to my classmates, but I did very well compared to the people who didn’t do this. I’m also very confident I did better than I would have if I hadn’t challenged myself in this way.

So, which one is it? Easy or hard?

As the person in the audience at the lecture pointed out, it seems contradictory to recommend both approaches. And it is, or at least would be if I recommended both methods for the same people in the same situation. But I don’t.

Like I said above, the short answer is that you should focus more on extensive studying, reading and listening to as much Chinese at or below your level as you can possibly manage. This is true for a vast majority of students.

The longer answer is that there are specific situations where you can boost your proficiency quickly by doing a kamikaze run. You need several things to even consider doing this, however:

  • Enough time – You will have to work harder than anyone else in your class, so you need ample time to do this in. Apart from taking longer to learn the material you’re covering in class, you should also devote a significant amount of time trying to plug gaps below that level. If you don’t, you’re just adding to the illusion of advanced learning. Yes, perhaps you can make sense of the newspaper articles you read in class, but what good is that if your pronunciation is unintelligible and you can’t understand the answer when you ask for directions? You also need time after the kamikaze run to catch up on things you missed.
  • Strong motivation – To succeed in an environment too difficult for you, you have to persist and keep at it for a long time, probably several months. You don’t only need time and motivation now, you need it for a long time. If you don’t give yourself time enough to adapt to the harsh environment, the effort will be wasted. In other words, I only recommend this method to people who are willing to spend significantly more than full time learning the language.
  • Passive knowledge – This is perhaps the least obvious element. I think that the reason I succeeded with my kamikaze learning was that I entered these challenges with passive skills that were more advanced than my active skills. I knew more words and grammar than I could use. While I learnt many new things as well, the real benefit came from being forced to constantly use all the things I had previously learnt. See the conclusion below for more!

A tentative conclusion: Making it harder boosts skill development

This is a complex topic and to be entirely honest, I’m not entirely sure exactly what makes each method work. My tentative conclusion is that challenging yourself is very useful for improving skill-based components.

This ties in well with my experience in other areas, such as unicycling and gymnastics, where it’s essential to constantly do more difficult things in order not to stagnate.

Language learning is only partly skill-based, though. There’s also a knowledge component, such as basic understanding of written characters and spoken words. In this area, I think extensive learning excels.

In other words, if the goal is to improve reading and listening, I think the kamikaze approach is a bad idea, and I would much prefer to read and listen to more Chinese at a lower level. But if the goal is to boost communication when passive knowledge is already quite good, and given enough time and motivation, I think that placing oneself in a very challenging environment can be very beneficial.

I’m very curious to hear what you think about this, so please leave a comment below!

Do you want more practical exercises, audio versions of articles and Chinese translations? Check out my Patreon page!

This content was originally published here.

Video shows Walmart employee telling man to speak English “because we’re in Texas”

  • A Houston man said a Walmart employee told him to speak English.

    A Houston man said a Walmart employee told him to speak English.

    Photo: Joel Aparicio

  • Latinos who don’t speak Spanish.

    Latinos who don’t speak Spanish.

    Photo: Getty Images

  • Selena

    This Texan star brought Tejano music to the masses in both English and Spanish, so it’s surprising to some to learn she didn’t really speak Spanish. She learned just enough to be able to sing her songs.

    Selena

    This Texan star brought Tejano music to the masses in both English and Spanish, so it’s surprising to some to learn she didn’t really speak Spanish. She learned just enough to be able to sing her songs.

    Photo: Vinnie Zuffante, Getty Images

  • Selena Gomez

    Like the Texan singer she was named for, this Texas-born star also doesn’t really speak Spanish.

    Selena Gomez

    Like the Texan singer she was named for, this Texas-born star also doesn’t really speak Spanish.

    Photo: Jon Kopaloff, FilmMagic

  • Christina Aguilera

    This star has a Spanish album, but she says she doesn’t really speak it fluently.

    Christina Aguilera

    This star has a Spanish album, but she says she doesn’t really speak it fluently.

    Photo: Charley Gallay, Getty Images For Entertainment I

  • James Roday

    Not many know the star of Psych is even Latino, but his real name is James Rodriguez. He’s also from Texas and doesn’t speak Spanish.

    James Roday

    Not many know the star of Psych is even Latino, but his real name is James Rodriguez. He’s also from Texas and doesn’t speak Spanish.

    Photo: USA Network, NBCU Photo Bank Via Getty Images

  • Demi Lovato

    Yet another Texan Latino who doesn’t speak Spanish, although she says she’s learning.

    Demi Lovato

    Yet another Texan Latino who doesn’t speak Spanish, although she says she’s learning.

    Photo: John Parra, Getty Images For Clear Channel

  • Eva Longoria

    The actress didn’t grow up speaking Spanish but says she learned it as she became politically and socially active. Although she still prefers English and says she just gets by in Spanish.

    Eva Longoria

    The actress didn’t grow up speaking Spanish but says she learned it as she became politically and socially active. Although she still prefers English and says she just gets by in Spanish.

    Photo: Ian Gavan, Getty Images

  • Julian Castro

    He’s a rising star of the Democratic party and he speaks often of his abuelita, but this Texan-born Latino doesn’t speak much Spanish.

    Julian Castro

    He’s a rising star of the Democratic party and he speaks often of his abuelita, but this Texan-born Latino doesn’t speak much Spanish.

    Photo: Alex Wong, Getty Images

  • Stacey Dash

    The “Clueless” actress is part Mexican. She says she plans to learn Spanish so she can teach it to her kids.

    Stacey Dash

    The “Clueless” actress is part Mexican. She says she plans to learn Spanish so she can teach it to her kids.

    Photo: Alberto E. Rodriguez, Getty Images

  • Cameron Diaz

    She has Cuban heritage and says her family were cigar rollers for generations, but she doesn’t speak Spanish.

    Cameron Diaz

    She has Cuban heritage and says her family were cigar rollers for generations, but she doesn’t speak Spanish.

    Photo: Stuart C. Wilson, Getty Images

  • Jessica Alba

    The third-generation American says her grandpa decided not to speak Spanish in the home because he didn’t want his kids to be different.

    Jessica Alba

    The third-generation American says her grandpa decided not to speak Spanish in the home because he didn’t want his kids to be different.

    Photo: Ilya S. Savenok, Getty Images For Global Citizen

  • Ryan Guzman

    This “Step Up” star is also from Texas and although his dad is from Mexico, he doesn’t speak Spanish.

    Ryan Guzman

    This “Step Up” star is also from Texas and although his dad is from Mexico, he doesn’t speak Spanish.

    Photo: Jesse Grant, WireImage

  • Bella Thorne

    This up-and-coming Cuban-American actress says her first-language was Spanish, and she can still understand it, but that she stopped speaking it when she went to school and struggled with dyslexia.

    Bella Thorne

    This up-and-coming Cuban-American actress says her first-language was Spanish, and she can still understand it, but that she stopped speaking it when she went to school and struggled with dyslexia.

    Photo: Kevin Winter, Getty Images

  • Melissa De Sousa

    The Panamanian actress and Afro-Latina says she’s proud of her Latin roots and is frustrated when she visits family and can’t understand everything that’s said.

    Melissa De Sousa

    The Panamanian actress and Afro-Latina says she’s proud of her Latin roots and is frustrated when she visits family and can’t understand everything that’s said.

    Photo: Jason LaVeris, FilmMagic

  • Carlos Pena, Jr.

    The Big Time Rush star is learning Spanish too. He’s had to learn because he’s singing in Spanish now.

    Carlos Pena, Jr.

    The Big Time Rush star is learning Spanish too. He’s had to learn because he’s singing in Spanish now.

    Photo: Barry King, FilmMagic

  • David Archuleta

    So… he speaks a little bit of Spanish, but he didn’t really learn until he went on a Mormon Mission in South America.

    David Archuleta

    So… he speaks a little bit of Spanish, but he didn’t really learn until he went on a Mormon Mission in South America.

    Photo: Jonathan Leibson, FilmMagic

Image of/

Image of

A Houston man said a Walmart employee told him to speak English.

A Houston man said a Walmart employee told him to speak English.

Photo: Joel Aparicio

Video shows Walmart employee telling man to speak English “because we’re in Texas”

A Houston area man is receiving threats for posting a video online showing a prejudiced comment from a Walmart employee.

Joel Aparicio said he was doing his Sunday shopping at a Pasadena Walmart when the self-checkout machine malfunctioned and a staffer arrived to help.

As the problem was worked out, Aparicio said he asked the Walmart employee if she spoke Spanish. She said no.

Aparicio said he then asked her if there was anyone available who did speak Spanish who could help him. He said the employee managed to fix the problem anyway and left, but the error occurred again moments later.

When the same woman returned to help him, Aparicio said she told him, in Spanish, that he shouldn’t be in this country if he couldn’t speak English.

That’s when Aparicio said he began recording their interaction.

“It’s necessary to speak English then?” Aparicio asks the woman in Spanish.

“Yes, because we’re in Texas,” she responds.

LATEST: Texas teacher pleads guilty to improper relationship with student

“Only because of that?” Aparicio asks. The women nods.

As the checkout process continues, Aparicio tells her: “You don’t have green eyes to only be speaking English.”

“I live in Texas, so I speak English,” she replies.

Aparicio, a 13-year resident of Houston and originally from El Salvador, said he had been going to that Walmart, located on Shaver St., for about 10 years.

“I felt bad,” Aparicio told Chron.com. “No one had ever treated me like that in that store. They’ve always been friendly.”

“I felt discriminated, to be truthful,” he said. “Just because I didn’t speak English.”

He said it’s the only time he’s ever experienced something like this in Houston.

After posting the video online, Aparicio received threats from people apparently familiar with the woman.

ICYMI: Swarm of one million “killer” bees removed from SW Houston home

“Say you f**king Mexican b*tch. Learn some f**king English hoe ass n***a,” read one private message sent to Aparicio. “If I find you, I’ma f**k you up big time for messing with my grandmother.”

Another person posted that Aparicio recorded her mom. She threatened to “kick his mother f**king ass.”

Aparicio said he informed the police about the threats.

“It doesn’t have to be this way,” Aparicio said of the interaction with the Walmart employee. “She looked Hispanic. We have to try to help each other.”

In a statement to , Walmart said it was aware of the video and said the incident was being addressed internally.

Fernando Ramirez covers Texas news and politics. Read him on our breaking news site and on our subscriber site. | Fernando.ramirez@chron.com | @fernramirez93

This content was originally published here.

Learn Spanish, Japanese, Mandarin, ASL, and more with online programs

Heads up: All products featured here are selected by Mashable’s commerce team and meet our rigorous standards for awesomeness. If you buy something, Mashable may earn an affiliate commission.

Speaking multiple languages is pretty much a given in many parts of the world. According to , over half of the population of the EU is at least bilingual.

SEE ALSO: 10 gift ideas for that friend who loves to travel

The U.S. is another story entirely. While most high schools and universities have some language requirements, but they vary wildly in their scope. By the time we’re a few years out of school, most Americans lose any momentum we may have picked up in learning a language. 

Having at least conversational fluency in another language is not only helpful when traveling and interacting with immigrants in your community, it’s also a great skill to put on a resume. If you’re interviewing with a company that does a lot of business in Asia, knowing Japanese or Mandarin can give you a competitive edge.

The most effective way to learn a new language (besides just moving to a place where it’s spoken) is to make it a habit. Thanks to the magic of technology, that’s easier now than ever. While you’re never going to become fluent in any language with technology alone, there’s tons of software and apps out there that attempt to make learning a language as fun and engaging as possible so that you’ll be motivated to keep at it. 

Here are our favorite language-learning tools that will help you out, whether you’re starting from nothing or just trying to remember everything you forgot from your Sophomore Spanish class. 

Rosetta Stone

You’ve probably heard of Rosetta Stone already but if you’re not familiar, it’s the mother of all language-learning software with almost 30 languages offered. They started out with CD-ROMs, but since no one really has a CD drive anymore they’ve moved everything online. (You can still purchase a downloadable software, but it doesn’t have as much content.) 

Rosetta Stone is the PCMag Editor’s Choice in paid language software because of its intuitive interface and immersive approach. There are literally no instructions in English — you have to figure everything out with context clues like you would if you were visiting a foreign country. 

Rosetta Stone uses a subscription model, with tiered pricing for different subscription lengths. A 3-month subscription is $49 ($16/month) while a 24-month subscription (the longest they offer) is $149, or $6.21/month. Plus, students get 10% off everything with code UNiDAYS. 

See Details

Rocket Languages

This Rosetta Stone competitor is a similar idea with a slightly different approach. Rocket Languages is another online language learning system. Unlike Rosetta Stone, the lessons aren’t completely immersive. This is the software that feels most like a college language course so if those worked for you, Rocket Languages should too. It’s divided into three levels, which mirrors the beginner, intermediate, and advanced course structure found at most schools. 

Another thing that sets Rocket Languages apart from Rosetta Stone is the lifetime access. Rather than pay by length of subscription, you pay by level. $179.94 gets you lifetime access to all three levels in the language of your choice. 

You can sign up at the Rocket Languages website, or grab one of these bundles from The Mashable Shop. You’ll get lifetime access to levels one and two of Spanish, French, Japanese, Italian, German or Chinese for $49. That’s $70 off the Rocket Languages price of $119.96.

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Udemy

If you prefer learning from an instructor and interacting with fellow classmates, Udemy offers tons of language courses for all levels of learners. From Chinese pronunciation to American Sign Language, the options are (almost) endless. Udemy also offers lifetime access to the courses you purchase, including access to a student forum where you can interact with others taking the same courses. 

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Duolingo

The free app Duolingo is the most fun I’ve ever had learning a language. It works like a mobile game, offering in-game currency when you complete lessons and visualizing your progress. It’s been consistently at the top of app store charts and has a glowing 4.7 stars on iTunes. 

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Learn Chinese in 3 Minutes with Micro-drama, Nothing But Breaking Up

It will only take 15 minutes to read this post!

(bù guò shì fēn shǒu) or Nothing But Breaking Up is a ‘micro-drama’ made up of eight 3-minute long episode. The series is fast paced, extremely engaging and also a great tool for learning Chinese!

These super short mini shows are the newest novelty to come out of China’s video streaming app (dǒu yīn). Unfortunately, 抖音 (dǒu yīn) Douyin is not available for people not using a Chinese app store, but luckily, it can be accessed on both iQiyi and YouTube!

不过是分手 (guò shì fēnshǒu) Nothing But Breaking Uptells the story of (chén sī xián) Chen Sixian, a young man who feels trapped in a relationship with his college sweetheart, (xiǎo ) Xiao Yu, who is constantly ‘breaking up’ with him. When she goes to Shanghai on a business trip, Sixian decides to go out with an old flame but gets caught out. After suffering a tragedy, Sixian goes on a journey to try and turn back time and change that regrettable night.

Using 不过是分手 to Learn Chinese in 3 Minutes

Although some of the narration is quite fast, most video streaming services, including YouTube and iQiyi allow you to change the speed of the video so that, if needed, you can take more time to watch the subtitles.

Watch the whole series on iQiyi 

Tips For Watching:

1. Learn or review the words in the vocabulary list below:

I have created a list of words to learn that you may not be familiar with for the following episode. You can click on each of them and (if you’re logged on to your Written Chinese account online) add them as a flashcard to learn

2. Watch with subtitles turned on

To get a better understanding of what’s been said, turn on the subtitles for the episode so that you can follow along.

3. Slow down the speed of the show

The speed is quite fast, especially of Chen Si Xian’s opening monologue. There are options to slow the speed to half or even a quarter of the speed in order for you to read the subtitles.

4. Test your understanding of the English translation

You can watch the show with English subtitles on Youtube, or you can read the script below! You can also download the script and read it along with the show.

Let’s get started…

不过是分手 Nothing But Breaking Up

Episode 1 Vocabulary

  • (fēnshǒu) to break up
  • (gāozhōng shén) high school ‘goddess’ / sweetheart
  • (jiě shì) explain / explanation
  • (zhǔnbèi jiéhūn) prepare to get married
  • (zhuīyì) reminisce
  • (shú xī) familiar
  • GG – used to express ‘game over’ to praise the opponent.
  • (lěngjìng) cool-headed/calm
  • (sǒng) ‘terrified’ but in this situation means ‘to give in’
  • (yìng qì) firm / strong willed
  • (hòu huǐ) to regret
  • (bì jìng) after all
  • (gēnzōng) to follow
  • (fān lái fù qù) to toss and turn (sleeplessly)
  • (zhì piàn rén) producer
  • (dǎo yǎn) director
  • (biān jù) screenwriter
  • (shè yǐng shī) camera operator

(běn) Script

Please note, the English translation is not a word-for-word translation of the Chinese, but has been modified slightly to sound more natural. Click on the Chinese linked text to see each character and their meaning.

。( de jǐnggào shì zuìhòu yī biàn, guǒ nǐ yào fēnshǒu wǒ yě suíbiàn) It’s my last warning, if you want to break up, I will do as you want.

(Wáng jùn dǎoyǎn zuòpǐn) The work of the director, Wang Zijun

陈思贤 (chén sī xián) Chen Sixian:

,( de péng you xiǎo yǔ yǒu huán máobìng)My girlfriend, Xiao Yu has a bad habit:

。(tài ài jiǎng fēnshǒu) she loves to say ‘let’s break up’.

,(háizǐ ma) Girls…

,(ài shēngqì) become angry easily

,(kě yǐ jiě) this, I can understand…

? (shì tiāntiān fēnshǒu yě hǎo ba) But threatening to break up every day isn’t good, right?

,(jīnnián zhǔnbèi jiéhūn) This year, we’re planning to get married,

。(shì shí houhǎohǎo tán tán le) so it’s time to talk about it.

。(bùguò shì bù shi xiànzài) Only not right now.

。(xiànzài xiǎo yǔ yīnggāi zài fēishàng) Right now, Xiao Yu should be on a flight.

,(zhè shì gāozhōng de shén) This my high school sweetheart

,(péng you quān jiàn lái le shēnzhèn) I saw on my friend ‘moments’ that she was in Shenzhen

,(jiǎndān liú le gè yán) so I just left (her) a message,  

,(tā yuē chī wǎnfàn) and she invited me to dinner.

,(hái zài yóude shíhòu) I hesitated,

。(jiù jīng dào zhèlǐ le) but I’m here now.

,( men zhuīyì le měihǎo de guò qu) We reminisce about good times,

,(gǎnkǎi le kān de xiànzài) sighing over the hardships of nowadays.

,(bù jì de yǒu méiyǒu zhǎnwàng wèilái) I forget if we talked about the future.

,(ránhòu jiù shén me dōu bù jì de le) Then, I don’t remember anything.

… (zhí dào tīngdào shúxī de shēngyīn) Until I heard a familiar voice…

(xiǎo ) Xiao Yu

陈思贤! (chén sī xián) Chen Sixian!

陈思贤 (chén sī xián) Chen Sixian:

小羽…(xiǎo yǔ) Xiao Yu…

GG Game over

。(bù zhī dao wèishén me xiǎo huì chūxiàn) I don’t know why Xiao Yu appeared…

。(wèishén me huì bào zhe Jiā qí) or why I’m hugging Jia Qi

。(lěng jìng, lěngjìng) Stay calm, Stay calm.

。(wǒ xiǎng wǒ shì yǐ jiěshì qīng chu de) I think I can explain clearly.

小羽… (xiǎo yǔ) Xiao Yu…

(xiǎo ) Xiao Yu

。(wǒ zhī dao zhè yī bāzhǎng huìhuì tài guòfèn) I don’t know if the slap was too much.

,(yīn wèi shànghǎi shànghǎi xià le bàoyǔ) Because there was torrential rain in Shanghai

,(háng bān xiāo le) the flight was cancelled.

,(méi dài yào shi) I didn’t have my key,

,(huí liǎo jiā) so I couldn’t go back home.

,(diàn huà jiē) He didn’t pick up the phone

,(zài ménkǒu děng de zi è) I waited at the door until I got hungry

,(chūzhǎo chī de) then I went to find food.

(jiù zài wǒ liǎ jīngcháng qù de cāntīng ménkǒu) I was just at the entrance of the restaurant we often go to.

陈思贤!(chén sī xián) Chen Sixian!

陈思贤 (chén sī xián) Chen Sixian:

。 (xiǎo yǔ, nǐ tīng wǒ jiě shì) Xiao Yu, I can explain (listen to my explanation).

(xiǎo ) Xiao Yu

。(zuìhǎo gěi wǒ jiě shì qīng chu) You had better explain

?!(yǒu shén me hǎo jiěshì de) What’s the explanation?!

!(fēnshǒu ba) We’re breaking up!

陈思贤 (chén sī xián) Chen Sixian:

。(yòu shuō fēnshǒu) Again, you say let’s breakup

,(qī nián le) It’s been 7 years

。(měi cì yī shuō fēnshǒu wǒ jiù sǒng) and every time you say ‘let’s break up’ I give in.

。(zhèyào yìng qì huí) This time I won’t give in. (I’ll be firm)

。(fēnshǒu jiù fēnshǒu) Let’s break up

。(yǒu wán méi wán) I’m done with this.

(xiǎo ) Xiao Yu

?(chén sī xián, nǐ shuō shén me a) Chen Sixian,what did you say?!

陈思贤 (chén sī xián) Chen Sixian:

,(měiyī shēngqì) Every time you get angry

,(jiù shuō fēnshǒu) you say ‘let’s break up’,

? (hái néng shēngcì le) and I can’t get angry once?

(xiǎo ) Xiao Yu

。(xíng. bié hòuhuǐ)OK, then don’t regret this.

陈思贤 (chén sī xián) Chen Sixian:

。(bùnéng sǒng, néng sǒng)Don’t give in, don’t give in

。(chènhuì, ràng yě fǎnxǐng xià zǒng shuō fēnshǒu zhè jiàn shì) This is an opportunity,for her to reflect on the mistake of always saying ‘let’s break up’.

,(nǐ měishuō fēnshǒu) Every time you say ‘let’s break up’

?(hòuhuǐ guò ma) did you regret it?

!(yǔ, nǐ zǒu le kě bié hòuhuǐ) Li Siyu, don’t regret walking away!

Jiaqi’s MSG:

!(lǎo tóngxué, zhù xīnhūn kuàilè bùyào rě sǎo zi shēngqì ó) Old classmate, congratulations beforehand on your happy wedding. Don’t make sister-in-law (Xiao Yu) angry!

陈思贤 (chén sī xián) Chen Sixian:

. (zhèxià chèdǐ GG le) This is completely game over.

(kuài shí diǎn le hái huíjiā) It’s almost 11 and she’s still not home

?(huì qù nǎr) Where did she go?

。(bùxíng, shéi xiān diànhuà jiù shū le) No, I lose if I call first.

。(wǒ yòu méi zuòcuò shén me) I didn’t do anything wrong.

,(bì jìng bào le biérén) After all… I was hugging someone else,

。(tā yīnggāi shēngqì) so she has the right to be angry.

,(dànshì tā jūrán gēnzōng wǒ) But she was stalking me!

。(hái piàn qù shànghǎi gěi wǒ xià tào) She tricked me with her trip to Shanghai.

(zhè jiù jiù duì le ba) That’s not right.

(kě shì lùn rú) But no matter what

(bìjìng qī nián le) we’ve been together for 7 years.

(bù guò) But…

,(āi, xiǎng le, xiǎng le) Forget about it

。(dōu lěngjìng xià yě hǎo) (Let’s) both calm down

。(shuì jiào, shuìjiào) and go to bed.

(fānláiqù shuì bùzháo) I Tossed and turned, but can’t sleep.

。(háishì jiěshì xià ba) Nevertheless, let me explain to her.

… (nínhǎo, nín jiào de yònghù zànshí)  Sorry, the user you are calling……

。 (āi, yī chǎojià jiù guānjī) She turned off the phone because we fought.

(nínhǎo, nín jiào de yònghù zànshí wújiētōng)  Sorry, the user you are calling cannot be connected

? (hái zài shēng qì) (She’s) still angry?

(nínhǎo, nín jiào de yònghù zànshí wújiētōng) Sorry, the user you are calling cannot be connected.

X Fuck

。(yòu shì zhǐyǒu nǐ huì kuài shēngqì)You’re not the only one who’s angry.

您好,您拨叫的用… (nínhǎo, nín jiào de yòng) Sorry, the u…

。(hǎodǎi jiē gè diànhuà bào gè píngān) It doesn’t matter how just answer the phone to say everything is ok.

(nínhǎo, nín jiào de yònghù zànshí wújiētōng) Sorry, the user you are calling cannot be connected.

?(háishì bùkěn jiē, huì chūshì le ba) (She) still doesn’t answer the phone, has there been an accident?

。 (bú shì ba, zhèxià chèdǐ GG le) Oh no,it’s completely game over…

(xià gào) In the next episode…

,(zhè lǐ shì nánshān jiāojǐng zhōng duì) This is Nanshan traffic police,

(wǎn shang shí diǎn shí fēn zuǒyòu) At about 11:40 in the evening…

(běi huán fù jìn shēng le yī jiāotōng shìgù) …there was an accident near Beihuan (Avenue)

Let us know what you think of 不过是分手 Nothing But Breaking Up by sharing your comments below!

Download Your Nothing But Breaking Up Script PDF

The post Learn Chinese in 3 Minutes with Micro-drama, Nothing But Breaking Up appeared first on Written Chinese.

This content was originally published here.