Watching the Subtitled Version to Better Express Oneself

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 !

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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

Technical Writers : The Key Actors of a Company

Today, we do not venture on the road without a GPS device or a map, and, the same way, we do not want to buy a product without its user guide. How do we know that our printer is connected to the computer ? Which button do we need to press to turn on the car radio ? How do we change the phone’s battery ? Such questions technical writers would be able to answer.

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They are the creators of the user guides of the devices you are using. They did not assemble or imagine the pieces, but they made you able to understand why these pieces exist. They translate and interpret engineers, they create brochures and technical specifications. Sometimes, they even create video tutorials so you get access to more details and illustrations. In short, they are everywhere. They are multitasking : “technical writer” is not necessarily how they are called but they are still the reason why you do not need to go back to the store to ask how to use your coffee machine.

However, becoming a technical writer is not as easy as it sounds. Trainings are required to learn how to utilize the most commonly used (and demanded) software in companies and to learn how to structure the information.

You need to be concise. The user must be able to easily and quickly find the piece of information he needs. I mean, he already only reads the user guide because he is stuck (“why isn’t this drill more intuitive ?”), he does not want to also lose any time looking for the answer he needs.

Technical knowledge – in particular industrial knowledge – can be an added value for this job if you want to work in fields such as industry, defense, aeronautics, etc. However, this knowledge will not be needed in fields such as software development.

The technical writer can produce several types of documentation : software (how to use the software functionalities or the video game options), hardware and equipment (description of the product, its use, etc.), training programs (intended for trainers power points, video tutorials, etc.), or what is called RedacTech 2.0 (online help, management of wikis and FAQs…).

Thus, young technical writing students from all backgrounds do not need to be expert in a specific field to find a job, but having a bit of knowledge in several fields will allow them to have many open doors. As the profession is becoming increasingly better-known, there is no shortage of job offers at the moment. According to the candidates’ tastes, career opportunities in large aerospace companies, in SMEs or even in the army are entirely possible.

Although the market keeps expanding in France, technical writing is already well-known abroad and interesting job offers are available (provided you are comfortable with English, but also with other foreign languages such as German or Spanish).

To conclude on this awesome job, it is important to remember that “technical writing is the art and science of translating technical information into readable, accessible writing usable by a wide audience.” (Universal Class).

Written by Julie Daval

Translated by David Loury