Into the Woods / Promenons-nous dans les bois
In France you can watch films in VO (version originale) ie in the original language or VF (version française) ie dubbed in French. I always choose to watch films in VO no matter what the original language is, so I watch French films in French, English films in English, German films in German, etc etc.
and when I watch them in English I like to read the subtitles in French as it helps me learn new vocabulary. These days I don't learn that many new words except slang or colloquial words (words that they don't teach you in class or in textbooks) or words that are technical eg related to a particular job (words that you don't often use in every day life).
So anyway I was watching this new Disney film "Into the woods", called "Promenons-nous dans les bois" in French (Let's walk in the woods) and while reading the subtitles I was like.. Gee... I only know half these words!!! (I mean the lyrics sung during certain songs).
Then I remembered... that reading kids books can actually be harder than reading adult books (in a foreign language). The reason (IMHO) is that if you are reading an adult fiction or non-fiction book, a magazine, a newspaper or a website you are more than likely somewhat already familiar with the subject matter (and more than likely already read something similar in English or your own language). However, you (ie adults) are not familar with "fairytale language", the language used in this film.
Here you have all sorts of characters, creatures, and a heck of a lot of verbs that I have never learnt and will probably never use.... I was astounded by how few words I knew and yet if you ask a native speaker 8 or 10 year old they probably know all of them.
So if you want to dramatically increase your vocabulary go read some kids' story books! ;)
(sorry this wasn't a movie review but if you want a quick one... I think the first half is quite good but the second half isn't so great IMHO and many reviewers online seem to agree!). I was expecting something like "Oz the great and powerful" or "Maleficent" (also by Disney) but it wasn't up to that calibre, and unlike Frozen the songs aren't that memorable or catchy. My main complaint is that there are too many characters so not enough character development or depth and you can't feel any emotion or sympathy for any of them really).
Speaking of vocabulary, not sure if I've posted this before (I don't think so) but this Youtube video came up while I was searching for something and then I remembered I had seen it before, years ago (when I first started this blog).
I don't know how old this girl is... 2? 3? 4? but she has an incredible vocabulary and listen to all her perfect grammatical structures.. I don't even think I can use that many different tenses in one short story. Incredible.
French cute kid tells a story (Winnie the pooh)