Learn A Foreign Accent By Watching Films With Subtitles

Learn a Foreign Accent by Watching Films With Subtitles

Trying to learn another language? Foreign films can help you learn those words and accents, but a recent study suggests that subtitles can help a lot.

Photo by Gwydion M. Williams

Your first instinct is probably to turn on subtitles in your native language (English subtitles on a Spanish movie for example). But ideally, you'd watch with the subtitles in the foreign language as well. In the study, students learned the accents better and were able to understand new material easier. Plus, it helps you pick up individual words when people talk quickly.

Check the link for the details on the study.

Foreign subtitles help but native-language subtitles harm foreign speech perception [US National Library of Medicine via PsyCentral]


    Just saying that maybe, just maybe, this point would have been better made with a screenshot of a foreign language film and maybe one that actually had the subtitles correct?

    Surely watching stuff with two sets of subtitles side-by-side is too much information at once? Additionally I can only see that really working if both languages have similar grammar and script, I can't imagine it being useful for learning an Asian language for example where the sentence structure & grammar is quite different and the script uses ideograms. I'm sure it's possible to learn stuff that way - the brain is amazing at pattern matching and correlation, after all - but I wouldn't think it's very efficient.

      I think they mean foreign subtitles as well as foreign audio, not as well as English subtitles.

    Isn't that the first episode of Doctor Who with incorrect subtitles?

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