"sehen" vs. "schauen"

A student asked me the other day if there is a difference between:
“Ich sehe mir einen Film an” and “Ich schaue mir einen Film an” …both meaning I’m watching a movie.
I told him that it means exactly the same and that I personally would rather use “sehen” and not “schauen”. I’m born and raised in Niedersachsen ( hochdeutsch ) and I never heard it here in Berlin too…and I live here since 20 Years.
Google says:
" Schauen ist eher “to look at”, sehen ist die bewusste optische Wahrnemung, also “to see”. In der Umgangssprache wird aber schauen gleichbedeutend mit sehen verwendet, wie in deinem Beispiel. eine Ausnahme: Fernsehen, da geht nur -sehen im Gegensatz zu: in die Ferne schauen, allerdings geht: Fernseh(e)n schauen …02.03.2009"
I can’t confirm that.
…the “Duden” indicates that “schauen” is used in süddeutsch, österreichisch, schweizerisch as a synonym for “sehen”


@gstarrrrr…hope this helps? :thinking:
Does maybe any of the other German Tutors have a better / other idea?
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Your explanation is great @Germanlady! Maybe there exists a slight difference between both verbs, but in reality they are used as synonyms.
You can see that translating the phrase “Let’s see”: In Northern Germany you would say “Sehen wir mal.”, but in Southern Germany and Austria we say “Schauen wir mal.”

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Thanks @SKrausser :pray: :smiley: and yes your example is great. I actually heard this term “Schaun wir mal” before :thinking:

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Yes, this expression is very common. Schau’n mer mal, wann die doofe Pandemie endlich vorbei ist :wink:

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Wahre Worte :roll_eyes::mask::weary: @SKrausser