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Netflix teams up with Babbel to launch Narcos-based Spanish lessons


By Jessica Goodfellow, Media Reporter

September 5, 2016 | 2 min read

Netflix has teamed up with language app Babbel to launch a series of Spanish lessons based on its Colombian series Narcos.



Netflix first produced Narcos in the Spanish language to appeal to Latin American viewers, but the series has been watched by audiences worldwide. So popular in fact that Netflix's chief content officer Ted Sarandos claimed that the series is more popular that Game of Thrones.

With some studies suggesting that subtitled TV programs can help foreign language acquisition, Netflix is expanding its remit into education “to inspire even more people to learn Spanish," Babbel said.

The Narcos demo is designed like a regular Babbel lesson, but instead of teaching users the basics of a language, this demo teaches the Spanish equivalent of scoring deals to hiding contraband in line with the Colombian drug crime thriller.

Thomas Holl, founder and president of the Babbel Inc, said: “Many people worldwide are introduced to new languages through TV series and movies. By using what you love to watch, to learn a language you’d like to know, we’ve created an emotional connection that bonds you to a new language that might otherwise have remained inaccessible.

“The partnership with Netflix lets users engage with Spanish in a uniquely Pablo Escobar way, showing them that learning a new language doesn’t have to feel like sitting in a Colombian prison.”

The demo features images and audio material from the original Narcos series and is adapted to teach Narco-Spanish in six of Babbel’s display languages, including English, French, German, Italian, Portuguese and Swedish.

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