Language learning through netflix

Netflix has a new langauge learning tool through google extension. It provides translation, what do you guys think, it is a little bit like fluentU, has anyone experienced with it yet?


It have been out for a long time, it’s awesome ! try it asap !

I’ll just share it here, since you didn’t, hehe. Just to point out, this is a third party extension, rather than a feature made my Netflix, in case there’s any confusion.


Let me now if somebody tried it out, maybe only for this I get netflix subscription.

I use it sometimes to practice reading and my ear. It’s quite interesting but I can’t give you a lot of feedback on it as I just started to use iit recently and then my classes started. :sweat_smile:

I’ve not tried this specific tool, so I can’t give feedback on that. But I did have bad experiences with Netflix subtitles in general.

One problem for me is the fact that they only include subtitles for my region’s native language (German), whereas I do all my Japanese study with English material.

On top of that I already had shows where, even with my limited knowledge right now, I could tell that subtitles included words or concepts that the original lines did not include. And sometimes subtitles were of horrendous writing quality in general, on a level of “the IT intern who happened to know both German and Japanese” (no intention to discriminate IT interns, I’m in IT myself :see_no_evil:).

So I’ll probably stay clear of Japanese content on Netflix until I’m capable of reading native subtitles.

I’m using the free version, it’s OK, and honestly, it’s the only tool you can use if you want to try to watch Netflix contents in Japanese as a beginner.

The free version has two main limitations

  • it doesn’t provide auto-translation for movies that have only japanese subtitles. This is quite a big limitation for Netflix japan, where the majority of contents only have japanese subtitles, however, there’s still enough with japanese/english subtitles
  • you cannot save your favorite words. So if you want to remember some words, you have to manually copy them to a notebook

The paid version (around 500yen/month if I remember well) has these 2 features, but while the first works reasonably well (as well as japanese machine translation can be), the saving feature is very basic and not worth the upgrade IMHO.

I think it’s worth using it. The most useful feature is that you can navigate very quickly back/forth sentence by sentence, so you can listen each one many time

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I just installed it and tried it and it doesn’t work for me? Its definitely installed and I can switch the extension on and off. When I switch it off, original english netflix subs appear, but if I switch it on it continues to say “the first subtitle is yet to appear”…

And I’ve tried it on several anime now including Howl and Spirited Away. Hmmm. Anyone had this before?

Edit: I’ve googled and found naught, so have pinged them on facebook. I might try update chrome and see if that’s it.

It’s absolutely amazing. I live in Japan and watch most of my anime with that. With yomichan it’s super easy to mine new vocabulary with the sentence from the anime. And even when not mining, it’s so easy to watch with Japanese subtitles and quickly look up any words I don’t know. I’ve watched about 100 episodes of anime with it so far and it’s the ultimate anime watching + japanese learning experience I’ve had. Some shows I’ve enjoyed and learned vocab from using it:

  • ヲタクに恋は難しい
  • 私がモテないのはどう考えてもお前らが悪い!
  • 日常
  • この美術部には問題がある!
  • 痛いのは嫌なので防御力に極振りしたいと思います。
  • おそ松さん
  • ちおちゃんの通学路
  • 地縛少年花子くん (in progress)

If yomichan works on netflix subtitles, what do you need this extension for? Does it have some other useful features? Also, can you disable the translation subs?

Not for firefox, meh…

I have been using LLN for Netflx and LLY for youtube for a couple of months. It works great most of the time. For many videos (not all) there are Japanese subtitles, and with the keyboard controls you can pause at will, or automatically after every sentence and review the words you don’t know. You can click on a word and bring up one of a choice of dictionary definitions, and can also link in a dictionary of your choice. You can save the sentences with troublesome words to a study list.
Sometimes the subtitles are AI generated and have errors which can be both confusing and frustrating. You can also display machine or human translations into English for many (but not all) videos. Outside of conversation with another person, it’s probably the best tool I have used for listening practice. For a larger range of shows, I use a VPN to watch Netflix Japan but in that case, there is only machine translations (I’m looking at you Google).

it doesn’t.

the other useful features are replaying a line, rewinding line by line (rather than just 10 seconds which could skip the line you want), automatic pausing after every line so you can go through slowly if you’re a beginner, and moving the subs anywhere on the screen/changing font size.

yes you can disable translations in the settings.

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I will second @friedchicknfairy: LLN is a great extension :slight_smile:

LLN is packed with features, but I simply love being able to:

  • Listen to a sentence several times when I want to get a deep understanding of what is being said.
  • Use yomichan on Netflix’s subtitles (LLN also has a dictionary, but yomichan’s parsing system is much, much better).

I tend to keep things simple: I only keep Japanese subtitles on my screen, and deactivate furiganas. I use LLN’s “blurring subtitles” feature when I really want to focus on my listening skills. The subs are blurred, but when I do not get what is going on (i.e. most of the time), I go back, un-blur the subtitle by hovering the mouse cursor over, read what was written, and listen to the sentence once again.

All in all, :+1:!

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I’m in Germany and I have seen a lot of Japanese shows, movies and animes on Netflix with English subtitles. It is true that there are some exceptions where there are only German subtitles or none, but for most of the Japanese contents, there are English subtitles. Perhaps you have set the preferred language to German and didn’t see that you can select the language of the subtitles?

Wow, this sounds really good!

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Definitely no and no. I only watch movies in German when it’s the original language or there is no other option.

And I just went back and checked a bunch of anime listed as “Popular on Netflix” for me. The vast majority, including mainstream stuff like Naruto, SAO, Attack on Titan, only offers German and Japanese for both voice and subtitles.
The situation with anime movies is much better, unsurprisingly, but there’s only so many of those. And by extension of that, Japanese life action movies might offer English subtitles as well, but I’ve never looked into those.

I pretty much use it like this and it’s great. The built in dictionary is pretty mediocre but it’s good enough most of the time. Haven’t tried with yomichan tbh.

I wouldn’t trust auto-translations so I wouldn’t go for the paid option.

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Here is a selection for learning Japanese with a German Netflix subscription:

I’m sure that list is useful to many users, and it could help with the second point from my original post. But it still doesn’t help with the fact that my preferred subtitle language is English, but most shows that I checked only offer German and Japanese. And I wouldn’t expect that list to reflect this anyways, since my use case is unusual.

I do (partially) blame Netflix though, as they could easily consolidate subtitles across all regions, but instead give licensors free rein on implementing their restrictions and region locks.

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