Some movies and shows demand subtitles. Foreign films are one obvious example, as are shows sponsored by a foreign language channel.
But there are other reasons to turn the subtitles on, and some of them don’t have to do with the film’s original language. Let’s look at why you should use subtitles for movies and shows.
The Accent Issue
Have you ever downloaded a British film, thinking you will comprehend it just fine because it’s in English, only to be confused by waves of Cockney, Welsh and Irish accents?
If you have, you know the value of subtitles in scenarios like this. Nothing cuts through a thick accent like a small line of print at the bottom of the screen. The side benefit is you may pick up some of the nuances of the dialogue and language that you might otherwise have missed.
The Audio Issue
Another reason to turn on the subtitles relates to how people use audio when watching videos. Some don’t use audio at all, which makes subtitles essential, especially if the language is arcane or obscure.
Hearing issues also come into play here since people who are deaf or hard-of-hearing either play their audio very loud or use subtitles. Hard-of-hearing people may need subtitles or personal sound amplification products when they watch TV to hear better without disturbing their neighbors.
The Learning Issue
Whether you’re watching films, TV shows, or entertainment videos, using subtitles usually increases your level of comprehension. Sometimes you may not even realize this is happening, as it’s a form of learning that occurs on a subconscious level.
Subtitles are great for increasing vocabulary and helping with word recognition. Over time, they may even help with grammar and syntax. This isn’t the most glamorous reason to use subtitles, but it’s one of the most valid ones.
Subtitles can also jumpstart reading skills at an early age without the hassle of trying to coerce children into something they might regard as onerous. Most kids prefer TV over books. It’s an especially good way to help with the reading skills of kids who may not have a lot of economic advantages, making it another reason you should use subtitles for movies and shows.