Using Subtitles to Learn a New Language

In a world filled with people from different countries, language is more than a method of communication. It is a way to connect with cultures and express feelings by utilizing gestures, words and tone to portray a broad spectrum of emotions.

Posted on Aug 31, 2017 by Sophia Klippvik  | Tags: Subtitling, blog, translation

People today have a stronger appreciation for internationality, bridges between different countries are shrinking as businesses expand globally, travel becomes easier and foreign video content is more widely available. This is why learning a new language has become more beneficial, it gives people a chance to harness the ability to communicate with others in order to adapt and form deeper and lasting bonds.

Language learners around the world

Statistics source: Washington Post

But learning a new language takes time and commitment. Many people may not have the time to go to a language class due to an already packed schedule or they may not know how to use what they have learned via classes, textbooks or apps in real life conversations. This is when subtitles come into play. Subtitles do not take the place of language education; they merely enhance our comprehension of another language by helping us understand the context of the conversations when we listen to the uses of words and phrases.

When you are watching a foreign film while simultaneously reading the subtitles on the screen, your brain is automatically connecting what is being heard to what you are reading on the screen. So when you hear that foreign word or phrase again, your brain will remember the association. Subtitles can also make learning a new language enjoyable, because you are able to see the action associated with what is being said in the scene and the reactions expressed by the opposing person in the same scene. This helps you understand how the words are being used in the conversations in front of you. You also hear the tone of the voice associated with the words being spoken which can teach you how words can be used in different scenarios based on context. That is something you don’t grasp right away in a classroom.

Adding subtitles to a foreign movie or TV series is not only beneficial to the viewer but also to the individual or company making the film. Subtitles help the audience get two different language perspectives. Hearing the original language being spoken while reading the text helps the viewer relate better to the culture from which the language stems and this leads to a wider understanding and deeper bond.

BTI Studios understands the importance of subtitling in conveying a new language. This is why we are so committed to delivering quality subtitling services. With over 400 in-house staff across our 21 global offices and with over 4,000 language translators who subtitle various projects into more than 50 languages, we make sure we deliver quality work that not only translates but does so whilst staying true to the original content. 

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