Language Reactor for YouTube – The Next Best Learning Tool (Update 2022) 🙌
Hello again dear LTL readers, this is Marine and I am BACK with another review. This time, for Language Reactor, for YouTube.
FALL 2021 UPDATE – Language Learning with YouTube is now Language Reactor!
Today I am going to introduce this FANTASTIC tool to help you learn a foreign language in a super easy way, whilst watching videos on YouTube.
And yes, that’s possible and a lot easier than you think.
If you are already familiar with Language Reactor, skip to the chapter you’d like to read the most.
Otherwise friends, stick with me.
Chapter #1 – What is Language Reactor?
Chapter #2 – How does it work?
Chapter #3 – Where to download?
Chapter #4 – Step by step instructions
Chapter #5 – Should you download it?
What is Language Reactor?
First things first, Language Reactor is a Google Chrome Extension.
First launched in February 2020, it is not an app, not a website, but a Google Chrome Extension.Soon to be available on Firefox and Edge.
What is it, you might ask?
An extension is a small software embedded into your browser to customise and improve your user experience. LLY is a Google Chrome extension, meaning you can only use it on a Chrome browser.
Sooo, what does Language Reactor do exactly?
Good question, thank you for asking. Language Reactor allows you to get TWO sets of subtitles to help you learn new vocabulary and sentence structures while watching your favourite YouTuber and other videos on YouTube.
How amazing is THAT?
Language Reactor is also available for Netflix, which is already a HUGE success even though launched only a year ago in late 2019.
Language Reactor was created by David Wilkinson and Ognjen Apic, two independent developers and fellow foreign languages learners.
Keep in mind though that Language Reactor is not an official YouTube extension!
LR works with a multitude of languages, so you’ll definitely be able to find at least one of your study language available.
Before going any further you should subscribe to LTL’s YouTube channel, since LR works on our videos too!!
How does Language Reactor works?
Language Reactor is a tool embedded into your YouTube, allowing you to watch your favourite videos with not one, but TWO sets of subtitles.
One will be the original language of the video, the other in your chosen language.
Let’s take myself as an example. French is my native language, and I am learning Mandarin Chinese.
So, if I am watching a Chinese YouTuber speaking Mandarin, I can have the subtitles in Mandarin (the video’s original language), and French (my chosen language).
I actually learn Mandarin better through English, so I can chose to get Mandarin subtitles (the original language) AND English subtitles (my chosen language).
You can do whatever works best for you! Every language combination is possible.
Where to download it?
Search for “Language Reactor” on Google or click here to get direct access to the download page.
Simply click on “Add to Chrome” and the download should automatically start. It will take only a few seconds to be installed, you don’t have anything to do.
Once the setup is complete you will be directed to the official website for detailed instructions on how to use it.
Stick with us to see if you should download it.
Step by Step Explanation
Let’s have a look at Language Reactor in more details with some screenshots to see how it all works.
After downloading the extension go to your YouTube, you’ll see Language Reactor is already set up and will ask you your native language, so they know what subtitles to set up as default.
I am going to take our video called “Chinese Language Programs – 3 Ways to Learn Chinese in China” as an example. In this video our marketing director Max from the UK explains how to learn Chinese.
Choose any video you’d like to watch, you’ll see the LR tool takes the other half of the screen, with every single sentence translated!
DON’T WORRY – You can activate and de-activate Language Reactor in one single click. This set up is not permanent, you can turn it off whenever.
GOOD TO KNOW – Language Reactor bases its translation on the “auto-generated” translation already made available by YouTube. If the video doesn’t have auto-generated translations, it is likely that LR won’t work properly.
SO, let’s get to it.
I learned English with American teachers at school and am a big fan of American series, so I sometimes have issues understanding the British accent, I need subtitles. Sorry Max!
But lucky for me, that is where LR comes in handy!
By activating Language Reactor on the video, I can get the TWO sets of subtitles: one in English (the original language) and on in French (my chosen language).
Even tough at the very beginning I chose French as my native language and that is my default subtitle, I can change this second subtitle whenever in the settings (more on that later).
💡 TOP TIP – Make sure to click on “Subtitles/closed captions (c)” on the video player, so that LR knows exactly what language to translate. If you do not click on it, LR will tell you “Please select subtitles in the YouTube player”.
You can also do that by clicking on the settings button on the top right corner of LR and select your preferred languages.
See the subtitles laid out one by one on the side? You can hide this section by clicking on the cross on the top right corner.
You might want to keep it though, as it has some really cool features!
When watching the video you can HIGHLIGHT the words.
If you highlight words on the YouTube player, you’ll get a short translation.
If you highlight words from the right side section, you’ll get a more detailed translation as well as an example of how to use this specific word.
CLICK on a word to get the pronunciation, a lot more usage examples and links to various dictionaries for a definition of the word.
You’ll need to sign up to actually save these words and sentences into a library to review them later on, and can be seen in the “Words” and “Saved” tabs.
Said words can then be exported to Anki to review them as flashcards.
On the top right corner you’ll have three options:
The CLOSE button you understand, the EXPORT button allows you to copy and paste all the sentences from the video into a page to print it or an excel sheet.
SETTINGS is what we want to look at in more details.
It’s here that the magic happens.
Change your subtitles and translation languages, the font and its size, what happens on mouse hover and with clicks, as well as so many other features to help personnalise LR.
That is also where you’ll learn about keyboard shortcuts to make the learning experience smoother and easier.
Finally, this is where you’ll find the very useful link to their YouTube catalog, where they list the best channels to watch depending on your target language.
Around the video you’ll have more buttons to help you skip to the next translation, auto-pause the video after each sentence, repeat, open/close the vertical view and more.
We’ll let you have a look for yourself.
Have you noticed a change in your YouTube search bar?
You now have two extra buttons, designed to help you find the foreign content YouTube is trying to hide from you.
Very simple, the button on the left translates the sentence written in the search bar, so you can access more videos in your target language.
For example, if you look for “Learn Chinese” and click on this button, if your settings got Mandarin Chinese as default translation, you’ll get 学习中文.
This allows you to have access to more videos you wouldn’t have been able to find with your search in English only.
Language Reactor for Netflix ⭐️ Your Next Favourite Learning Tool
What if we could learn foreign languages by watching our favourite shows? Well.. it is now possible with ‘Language Learning with Netflix’!
If you are using Language Learning with YouTube to learn Mandarin you probably noticed something is missing…
The Pinyin is not available on all videos!
Well again, this is a very recent tool so there will be improvements to be made, so let’s be patient and wait for them to implement it.
They already know about the need for Pinyin, as they listed it as one of their next improvements for the extension.
But when Pinyin is available, look at how good it looks!! Don’t you want to start noting down all of this new vocabulary on your notebook??
After all when Language Reactor started as Language Learning with Netflix they didn’t have Pinyin either, but it came later on and let me tell you this improvement was AMAZING and SO useful!
Let us know in the comments if you absolutely need the Pinyin to study Mandarin.
So that’s it, you now should be ready to download and use LR straight away!
Should you download it?
Let’s have a look at the pros and cons of downloading the Chrome extension.
|Free download||Pinyin not available on all videos|
|Easy set up||Chengyu not recognised|
|Easy navigating||Need YouTube subtitles to work|
|Instant words translation||Only available on Chrome (at the moment)|
|Accurate translation||Only available on desktop|
|Word usage examples|
|Access to dictionary|
I’d say you should definitely try it out once, have a look around and see if it fits your study methods or if it is something you could implement into your learning routine.
And it is free! How many FREE reliable learning materials of good quality do you have?
You can just uninstall it if you don’t like it.
Language Reactor can translate in ANY languages as long as the video has auto-generated subtitles.
So you’d basically be able to learn ANY language you want and watch these videos you wish you could understand if only you spoke the language.
Just keep in mind that Language Reactor is a tool to help you learn more vocabulary and improve your listening skills, but it cannot be considered a standalone course.
If you wish to learn Mandarin but never really got that motivation to start, check out our brand new Flexi Classes, where you can choose your teacher, your lesson and the time of the class. Anything you want, we can provide.
Do you plan on setting up Language Reactor for YouTube on your Chrome browser?
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Frequently Asked Questions
What is Language Reactor?
Language Reactor is a Google Chrome extension allowing you to watch YouTube or Netflix with TWO sets of subtitles.
One set for the original language of the video.
Another set for your chosen language, the translation.
How to use Language Reactor on YouTube?
Very easy to download, Language Reactor is then embedded into your YouTube.
You can activate and deactivate the tool whenever you want with one click.
Highlight words in the subtitles to show the translation, usage example, links to dictionaries and pronunciation. Save them in a library to review them later, or export them into Anki.
Watch the video as usual, but with the possibility of instantly get the translation for a word you didn’t get, or know.
Where to download Language Reactor?
Search for “Language Reactor” on Google or click here to get direct access to the download page.
Why use Language Reactor on YouTube?
Language Reactor is a fantastic alternative for learning foreign languages.
A great tool to add to your box if you already have tried all apps, books bore you and wish to find a more pleasant and efficient way to improve your reading and listening skills.
Who created Language Reactor?
The Language Reactor extension was created by David Wilkinson and Ognjen Apic, two independent developers and foreign languages learners.
Is it the same tool as Language Learning with Netflix?
Yes it is! Same developers, same system of TWO sets of subtitles.
Language Learning with Netflix was the previous name of Language Reactor. We have also reviewed Language Reactor for Netflix, if you want to see if you should download it as well.
Want more from LTL?
Want to learn Chinese from the comfort of you own home? Then our 24/7 Online Chinese lessons might be the thing for you.
We offer a 7 day free trial to all new online students where you can study Mandarin 24/7. Come and check it out free of charge and see what you think!
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