One of the most annoying things about learning Arabic is the limited availability of subtitled movies and series – which is no longer a problem in almost all other languages.

But there is a pretty cool tool that solves at least part of the problem. (Thanks to reader faruq for telling me!)

Netflix and subtitles

Netflix is adding more and more original Arabic films to its program. However, Netflix has two major disadvantages:

  1. You can’t set Arabic subtitles for movies that are originally in English or German, etc.
  2. You can only see one subtitle at a time. Especially for learning a language it is useful to see the original language and a translation. This way you hear, see, and translate the words of the movie.

The Chrome extension Language Learning with Netflix (LLN)

There is a Google Chrome extension that solves at least one of the two problems and makes it possible to see subtitles in English and Arabic at the same time. It is called LLN: Language Learning with Netflix.

A scene from the Arabic movie “sand storm” on Netflix – with both, the Arabic and German subtitle. credit: screenshot Netflix

LLN is a chrome extension that supercharges Netflix – but it only works on your desktop or laptop (not on mobiles phones, tablets, or sticks).

How the extension LLN works

First you should choose a suitable movie. You can search for Netflix stuff on LLN’s website:

Once you found a good movie, you can play with the settings.

The extension offers many useful options:

  • a vocabulary-highlighting feature grays out less common words (adjustable to your level);
  • popup dictionary (just hover over a word);
  • automatically pause playback at the end of every subtitle (optional).
Available options and settings of LLN.

How to get and install LLN

The extension works with Google Chrome (on Windows, Mac, or Linux machines). You can download it from the Google Chrome:

Is it free?

Yes, it is free.

However, there is a subscription model (4,95 USD per month) which will give you more options. You will also support the developers and help to ensure that the plugin will be updated and upgraded in future.

Who is behind LLN?

David Wilkinson and Ognjen Apic, two independent developers.

David Wilkinson was born in Zimbabwe to English parents. He is a trained mechanical engineer who later started a business selling bilingual books. When he started to learn Indonesian and Farsi, he couldn’t find the right material and started to create his own material, he told in an interview with the Guardian: “I spent a lot of the time studying languages on my own but I made mistakes and I wasted a lot of time with methods which weren’t effective.”

Ognjen Apic is from Belgrade in Serbia. He is a Serbian linguist and professional developer who, years ago, developed a tool called Lingo Player.

When David saw Lingo Player on github, he was curious about the person who made it and contacted the author, Ognjen. David went to Belgrade and spent a couple of month there.

Eventually, they created LLC.

Editor’s pick

Learn more about how to use Netflix for studying Arabic:

  1. How to add subtitles on Netflix – The ULTIMATE GUIDE
  2. The secret Netflix codes that unlock hidden Arabic movies
  3. How do you watch almost any Netflix series and movies with Arabic subtitles?
  4. What are the best Arabic movies and series on Netflix?

Note: This page was last updated on Oct 2, 2020 @ 15:50.

picture credit: pixabay (Antonio Cansino)

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