Should You Use Subtitles When Learning a Language? Top Tips for Learning a Second Language

When it comes to learning a new language, there are a lot of different methods out there. Some people swear by immersion, while others prefer more traditional methods like studying grammar rules and memorizing vocabulary.

One method that has gained popularity in recent years is using subtitles when watching movies or TV shows. This can be an effective way to learn a new language, but it’s not without its drawbacks. In this article, we’ll take a look at the pros and cons of using subtitles to learn a new language.

You could learn some interesting Korean words from the film The Interview!

Correct Pronunciation

The main benefit of using subtitles is that it allows you to hear the correct pronunciation of words and phrases. This is especially helpful if you’re just starting to learn a new language, and although resources such as language apps can do the same, often the words are not used in context. With the flow of conversation, using subtitles to translate the language allows you to pick up the meanings quickly.

Give Context

Another benefit of using subtitles is that it can help you pick up on contextual clues that might be missed if you were just listening to the audio. For example, if a character says something in a different language and then switches back to the original language, the subtitles can help you understand what was said.

Increases Vocabulary

Learning a new language via subtitles not only introduces you to a whole range of idioms and colloquialisms that you may not come across in a lesson, but you’ll get to broaden your vocab too. Lessons rarely cover the thousands of words a language contains, but in a full-length film or TV series, you’re likely to hear many more words than can be taught in a lesson.

Visuals Add Extra Impact

A picture tells a thousand words, and in this case, it’s true. By watching a film with subtitles, you’re taking in far more than just the sounds of the words. Your subconscious is associating the words with the visuals happening on screen, and this increases the speed you learn at. It can also help with remembering word meanings, allowing your brain to rapidly sift through its internal filing system.

However, there are also some drawbacks to using subtitles when learning a new language. One of the biggest is that it can be easy to get distracted by the text on the screen and miss important details in the audio.

Parasite is a popular movie to watch with subtitles, but it’s easy to get distracted!

Another is that relying on subtitles can prevent you from developing your listening skills. If you’re always able to read the subtitles, you might not push yourself to try and understand the audio on its own.

So, should you use subtitles when learning a new language? It depends on your individual learning style and goals. If you want to be able to pick up on contextual clues and improve your pronunciation, then using subtitles can be helpful. However, if you’re more interested in developing your listening skills, then you might want to avoid subtitles altogether.

What’s the Best Method of Learning a New Language?

One of the best ways to learn a new language is to immerse yourself in it as much as possible. If you can, find a way to travel to a country where the language is spoken. This could mean taking a trip, living with a host family, or studying abroad. Immersion is one of the quickest and most effective ways to learn a new language.

This can also be a great way to motivate yourself when the going gets tough. A trip to the country is an awesome plan, especially if you’ve been studying for a long time.

If you can’t immerse yourself in the language, the next best thing is to find a tutor or take a class. A tutor can help you practice conversation and pronunciation, and a class can give you a structure for learning the grammar and vocabulary of the language. There are also many online resources that can help you learn a new language.

Whatever method you choose, it’s important to be patient and consistent with your studies. It takes time and practice to become proficient in a new language, but it’s definitely possible with the right approach.