I want to watch German films to improve my German. As a beginner, I will try to absorb as much vocabulary as I can. I will watch every film 3 times at least. The first time using English subtitles (or subtitles of my native language), then with German subtitles and finally with no subtitles at all.

So, what films do you recommend? I hope that you make sure that the films you recommend have both English and German subtitles.

  • That really depends on what films you like to watch. If you hate science fiction in English you'll likely hate it in German, too. If you're a beginner, I'd say use the two hours to sit down and just learn basic vocab the old way. You won't benefit too much from a movie. Think of it like weight lifting... you cannot bench 150 if you've never done any workout or anything like it. – Emanuel Sep 3 '14 at 12:03
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    @Emanuel I agree that learning vocabs is a good thing. But personally I made good experiences with watching movies in the target-language. It's like learning your native language: At first you'll get nothing, but since there always is a story and a context you can infer a lot. With subtitles it might even be easier. You pick up phrases, pronunciation, vocabs... and it's easier to stay motivated - if it's a good movie, which is kinda opinion based. – Einer Sep 3 '14 at 12:16
  • @Einer , I agree with you. I've watched a german film called Im Juli. I got 30 new words from it! – Fawzy Hegab Sep 3 '14 at 12:23
  • @Emanuel , There are no particular preferences for me. All are well! – Fawzy Hegab Sep 3 '14 at 12:23
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    What about English-language series that hvae been dubbed in German? Just buy the German DVD (mind the region code) and that will usually have audio and subtitles in both English and German. Series have the advantage that you can go through the episodes one by one and don't have to sit through 6h for your three runs. – elena Sep 3 '14 at 14:53

I am afraid to answer, because this is obviously impossible to answer based on facts...

Personally I would recommend to pick movies according to your most liked genres first as they might keep you interested the most. It's probably near to impossible to suggest movies from one's own likings. But since you've asked - go for "Das Experiment", "Das Boot", "Napola", "Der Untergang". All do not contain too much action or special effects so that the dialogues are more easy to focus on. If you are into comedies I'd recommend the movies by Loriot, although I guess that the understanding of humore in a foreign language is a higher art. (Your call!)

Have a look at http://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Liste_bedeutender_deutscher_Filme (a condensed english page is available too) for a list of - lets say - more distinguished german movies. This list of course is neither taking into account the complexity of language nor the mere existance of subtitles. So better check first.


I saw recently a movie called "Wo ist Fred?".

There are pretty simple word-stock and the good actors such as Til Schweiger.

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