In Defense of Subs: 8 Reasons Why Watching with Subtitles ~*Elevates*~ Your Viewing Experience
Aug 31, 2022   •   Meryl Medel
8List.ph is published by ID8, Inc.
Aug 31, 2022   •   Meryl Medel
The debate between turning subtitles on or off has continuously popped in and out of conversations online and offline. Some people vehemently detest it (that Korean director Bong Joon-ho had to encourage people to overcome that one-inch tall barrier in his Oscars speech), while others are huge advocates. For us, we’re the latter, and here are some reasons why we think watching with subtitles is better than not.
Whatever content you’re watching, there will be times when you encounter some characters, actors, or personalities who speak really fast or have a thick accent. If you’re only listening by ear, conversations in such instances could be hard to understand. But when you’ve got subtitles, you won’t miss any words!
Ever had that moment when you miss a few scenes because you’re looking up the character list to recognize the names and match the faces in the show? Well, with subtitles, you can do away with that. Instead of having to pause the show and look the character list up on the internet, you can simply continue watching and immersing yourself in the story.
Aside from recognizing names, you can also easily match the dialogue with the speaker. Seeing the names of the speaker before the dialogue helps in understanding who’s saying what, especially when a character is off-screen during a conversation.
This particular characteristic is more applicable to closed captions than subtitles, but you get the principle. Seeing those descriptions of “birds chirping”, “glass breaking”, or “kid spluttering” gives you more context on what’s happening on screen. Plus, even some background noises you usually won’t notice otherwise are actually important in the plot, you know?
So many new and unfamiliar words! Used in context and with accompanying visual aids! It makes it all easier to understand, no? Reading subtitles help improve your comprehension skills, as it introduces new vocabulary and assists in word recognition. Subtitles also develop your reading speed since you’ve got to finish reading a set of subs before it moves on to the next one.
Some films have mixed languages, and when you’re only watching with audio, it could be difficult to understand what’s going on in the conversation if you don’t speak the language. When you turn on subtitles, you usually get a translated version of the conversation in foreign language for easier comprehension.
And when you’re watching any show in another language (remember all that craze with Bong Joon-ho’s Parasite?), subtitles definitely help. You can even take this a chance to help yourself learn a new language!
Don’t you just hate it when you’re watching a video and the volume suddenly increases? That’s one of the reasons why some viewers keep volume low — it’s too much of a surprise! But it also makes listening to dialogue a little harder. That’s why you’ve got to watch with subtitles. When subtitles are on, you can still understand the dialogue by reading, so you don’t have to be surprised every time the audio goes from whispers to sudden booms and shouts. Like every other film and show seems to be doing nowadays.
Have you ever found yourself “multi-tasking” while watching a show, maybe while doing chores or finishing some work? You end up missing a scene because you’re distracted, so you just rewind. And then again. And again. It could potentially waste your time, because you’re rewinding and rewinding instead of watching a single run-through.
Subtitles can help in this regard, as it makes you focus on the screen and concentrate on what you’re watching instead of being distracted with something else. (Though of course, you’ve got to pair this with control over how many hours you spend watching. But that’s another story.)
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