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Netflix, chill and learn English with Fleex's clever subtitles

Engadget Engadget 6/09/2016 Nick Summers

© Provided by Engadget

Movies and TV shows can be useful tools to learn a new language. The actors might be speaking in an unfamiliar tongue, but with a decent set of subtitles you can follow along and begin to recognise specific words and phrases. Fleex -- a service for people who want to learn English -- takes this to the next level by subtly switching and, eventually, removing the subtitles as your comprehension improves. Better yet, the service is now compatible with Netflix, meaning you can naturally learn the language while watching House of Cards, Daredevil and Stranger Things.

First, you'll need to sign up for an account and download the Fleex Chrome extension. Then, while you're watching a stream on, you can hit the toolbar icon to trigger Fleex's tweaked video player. There are three difficulty settings -- Standard, which is identical to regular Netflix, Dual, which shows both subtitle languages simultaneously, and Mixed, which intuitively switches between the two. Select the latter and Fleex will show you English subtitles for "easier" scenes and your preferred language for trickier bits. The balance will then change as you improve, switching more of the subtitles to English and eventually turning them off altogether.

At any point you can pause the video and review the various subtitle options. It's a simple, but effective study tool -- and if you're really stuck, you can click on a specific word to see a dictionary-style translation and definition. As an English speaker, I just wish it worked in reverse -- I would be curious to see if a service like this can improve my Japanese.

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