I am sure that you all enjoy watching TV shows and movies, the majority of which probably coming from abroad. According to your language level, you may choose to enable the subtitles, and that is the topic we will tackle today !
First of all, let’s get things straight. We are going to talk about the subtitled version, not about translated subtitles, because it is more appropriate for language learning. Then, since you may have already found some movie or TV show subtitles that were shockingly lousy, we will stick to the original version. That way, we are sure to read something accurate !
Let’s start from the beginning : learning a new language is awfully long and demands regular and serious commitment ; I think that everyone can agree on this. Unfortunately, we don’t all have time to take classes to improve ourselves and, for lack of something better, we often make do with mobile apps or other learning platforms to work on it.
But here is the catch : once you learn a new language, you might have trouble using it ; learning a language is one thing, but using it is another. Indeed, to do that, it is better to possess some understanding of it, especially in terms of context.
Here comes the main reason as to why you should use subtitling as a learning method. First of all, I believe that everyone can agree on the fact that learning while having fun makes the task less tedious. In this case, we are talking about a method to easily combine words or phrases with their context. For example, watching a scene from a TV show and reading its corresponding subtitles lets you link the two of them in a clear way. Therefore, when we hear those words or phrases again, their context easily comes back to us. As such, understanding what is said and expressing oneself both become easier. We remember the whole situation, which means that the words come back to us naturally.
Subtitles are also of interest in the case of foreign movies themselves, simply because they present a different linguistic perspective from the one you have when watching the dubbed version or the version featuring French subtitles. Watching a movie in its original version allows for a better perception and understanding of the culture of the movie.
In a nutshell, if your written and oral expression is wonky, watching the subtitled version of your TV shows is the perfect solution !
Written by Maxime Cléret
Translated by Sarah Deville