Arabic, Dutch, English, French, General, German, Greek, Hebrew, Hindi, Irish, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Mandarin, Polish, Portuguese, Russian, Spanish, Yiddish, Radio/TV/Video/Film
March 10, 2013
Skill Level Beginner, Intermediate, Advanced
I no longer have Time Warner Cable, but in the early days of this project, I found it very useful for language-learning purposes, and I would imagine other cable or satellite or fiber-optic service providers would offer similar or perhaps even better services.
Especially if you already have a reasonable skill level, watching television programs and movies can supercharge your language-acquisition efforts—because on TV, people are not going to speak in the nice tidy way you hear on a product like Pimsleur or VocabuLearn. Television speech is messy, like life, and it gets you used to a different language rhythm.
I myself am not a huge fan of watching television in foreign languages when I don’t have a reasonable grasp of the basics, but I have heard stories of other people starting from scratch and doing quite well that way.
One thing you can always find plenty of in New York City, with multiple service providers, is Spanish-language programming!
To see what is available locally in the way of foreign-language channels, try searching online or call your current provider. If you are a Time Warner customer, you can type in your zip code on their website and look at the list of channels for multiple languages in your area. As of this writing, the 500s in my Manhattan neighborhood were full of all kinds of foreign-language options, some paid and some not. (And some suck and some do not.) There is Korean, Portuguese, Polish, Russian, French, Japanese, German, Arabic, Hebrew, Chinese, Hindi, and more!
With Time Warner, by the way, besides watching some of these language channels, I also enjoyed free movies on demand that came with my basic cable package. Those offerings often included numerous foreign films.