Finding Foreign-language Movies on Netflix Just Got Easier

I like to practice my German by watching German TV shows and movies.

I was excited today, then, to find an article in LifeHacker about secret Netflix codes that let you skip to a particular genre of film on the massive web site.

Recently, I have been watching TV romances and comedies on YouTube. All it took was using the search terms I teach in German 2: "Liebesfilm" "Abenteuerfilm" and "Komodie."

There are plenty of full movies online to watch while grading papers. Most of these are the quality of a Lifetime movie or some other TV drama. But I'm not watching to critique great film. I'm watching to identify new words I don't know and look them up on another tab.

For example, I will embed below a period drama I watched recently called Die Samenhändlerin. I like period dramas because I'm more likely to share them with students, and I like combining my love of German with my interest in German history.

One thing to be aware of is dubbed movies. If I see Forrest Gump among Komodiefilme, I'm not going to watch it. Occasionally I will select a film I don't recognize and get a minute or two into it before realizing that it's dubbed over in German. This disrupts the process. I know that it still 'sounds' like German, but I want to 'see' what they are saying, too. The actors' faces can often help me to discern the meaning of words I don't yet know.

These Secret Netflix Codes Can Reveal Tons of Hidden CategoriesI enjoy Netflix for its foreign films, but sometimes it's hard to find German films. (Admittedly, I'm not a very sophisticated Netflix user.) They will pop up on occasion in my recommendations. Right now, I'm enjoying Remembrance during my evening workout, a film about a romance begun in a concentration camp that is broken off after the escape of the German Jew and Polish lovers. Decades later there is a rekindling.

To get a look at all the films in a particular category, first copy this address into your browser.
The specific numbers to enter can be found on the What's On Netflix site.

The genres that I have looked into have between 20 and 25 titles each. For example, I wanted to look up Easter European movies, I entered the address above with the correct code:, and I found a version of Faust and a movie from the Republic of Georgia called In Bloom, that looks interesting.

One of the challenges of Netflix's system is that I can't find any explicit identification of the language in the film. Most sites say something like "In Czech with English subtitles" or something like that. I use the last names of the main actors as one clue, and there is often--but not always--a clue about the origin in the summary of the movie.

There are also a few English/American movies included in these lists, especially if they describe a king or event that took place there. When I saw that Jason Statham and Leelee Sobieskie were starring in one of the films on the German list, I assumed that not much German would actually be spoken.

Still, these codes will get foreign cinemaphiles much closer to the browsing that they want--much as knowing the right keywords helps with YouTube.

Among the foreign genres and code numbers are:
  • 7462 = Foreign Movies
  • 29764 = Art House Movies
  • 11828 = Foreign Action & Adventure
  • 32473 = Classic Foreign Movies
  • 4426 = Foreign Comedies
  • 5161 = Foreign Documentaries
  • 2150 = Foreign Dramas
  • 8243 = Foreign Gay & Lesbian Movies
  • 8654 = Foreign Horror Movies
  • 6485 = Foreign Sci-Fi & Fantasy
  • 10306 = Foreign Thrillers
  • 7153 = Romantic Foreign Movies
  • 3761 = African Movies
  • 5230 = Australian Movies
  • 262 = Belgian Movies
  • 5685 = Korean Movies
  • 1613 = Latin American Movies
  • 5875 = Middle Eastern Movies
  • 63782 = New Zealand Movies
  • 11567 = Russian
  • 9292 = Scandinavian Movies
  • 9196 = Southeast Asian Movies
  • 58741 = Spanish Movies
  • 61115 = Greek Movies
  • 58886 = German Movies
  • 58807 = French Movies
  • 5254 = Eastern European Movies
  • 10606 = Dutch Movies
  • 58750 = Irish Movies
  • 10398 = Japanese Movies
  • 8221 = Italian Movies
  • 10463 = Indian Movies
  • 3960 = Chinese Movies
  • 10757 = British Movies