Don’t Use Subtitles in Your Native Language!

By Robby

If you are new here please read this first.

Improve Spoken English

– Video Transcript Below –

Hi Guys! Hello boys and girls! Hello my dear fellow foreign English speakers and welcome back to Robby’s English Harmony video blog or, alternatively, if you’re not watching this as video, but if you’re listening to his as an audio, welcome back to English Harmony podcast for those of you who can’t access YouTube video content, right?

To the best of my knowledge, China is pretty much the only country where people aren’t allowed to access certain YouTube channels, or something like that, but there might be more countries on the list which I’m not really aware of because I’ve only received requests from Chinese people to start the English Harmony podcast version, which would be just audio instead of video content, right

And that’s the reason why I actually started recording the audio files. Well, not really recording – I simply convert all my videos into audios, right? That’s how it happens. You can find them on top of every video blog post that I publish on my blog.

Anyway, today’s subject is should you – that’s a question, right? Posed, actually, to me by one of blog readers, should – well, he didn’t actually pose the question this exact way; he was actually asking me. If I’m not mistaken, that person was ‘him’, it was male, right? A man. And he was asking me a question about finding English videos, right? And he said that he’s finding it hard to find videos with subtitles in his native language and then that question poses another counter-question: should you actually be looking for videos with subtitles in your native language?

Should You Ever Look for English Videos With Subtitles in Your Native Lingo?

And obviously the answer is a definite ‘no’!

If your English is good enough to understand at least basic conversations, basic video content, you should not be looking for anything with your native language subtitles. You should be only looking for video content with English subtitles, right?

But it’s actually best to avoid subtitles altogether and in order to do that, you actually may want to use earphones or headphones, right? And you may want to read this article where I’ve actually elaborated on this whole subject, right? Why using ear phones might actually help you to do away with subtitles and the reason why subtitles may be actually slightly detrimental to your fluency improvement is quite simple.

Ideally You Should Avoid Subtitles Altogether…

You’re watching the video, you’re listening to people, but at the same time you’re reading, right? And the reading process kind of facilitates the written mind syndrome, whereby when you speak you actually combine words together, you avoid spontaneous speech and you may want to read the article and watch the related video by following this link, right?

You can actually click on it; there’s a new feature in YouTube videos which I’ve been using lately, right? You can right click on this video and it takes you to blog posts and you can watch that. Did I say you can only click on this video? You can click on this link, right? And it’s going to take you to that article and video, right? Where you can read about the writing mode of your mind and why it’s detrimental to your fluency, right?

So that’s why you should actually try not to use subtitles in the first place, but if you can’t do without them, if your English comprehension is not as good yet, you can obviously feel free to use subtitles but definitely don’t use them in your native language because if you do that, it will reinforce the translation mode of your mind, whereby you’re translating from your native language into English and vice versa, but it doesn’t facilitate thinking in English, which is crucial if you’re anything serious about your fluency improvement.

…But If You Use Subtitles, At Least Go For the English Ones!

And you may want to check out this article where I’m elaborating on the whole translation thing and why we tend to translate and why it’s actually bad and what you should do instead, right? And how to do away with translation altogether.

And yeah, that’s about it, my friends. In case you’ve been using your native language subtitles, in case you’ve been watching DVDs and films and whatnot and going for your native language subtitle option, please stop doing that because you’re actually doing yourself a big, big disservice.

You should go for the English option and, just like I said, you use the earphones, you may actually find that it’s actually quite easy for you to perceive everything that’s being said without actually reading anything and that’s the ideal way of enjoying the video content.

You’re just listening to it all, you’re just taking it in as if it were a real-life scene, right? As if you were observing people speaking in real life, it would be pretty much the same thing.

And obviously in real life you would have no subtitles popping up in front of you, right? That’d be science fiction! Although you never know, with all this technology and the way it’s going lately, you never know what may happen in ten or twenty years’ time, right?

But anyhow, the take-home lesson for today is don’t go for subtitles in your native language because that will make you translate and you’re going to get permanently stuck in the same place, whereby you can’t get rid of the native language in your mind when you’re trying to do things in English.

Basically, if you do something in English, it has to be English only – just switch off your native language.

English and Your Native Language Should Be Completely Separate!

Well, obviously, it’s easier said than done, but it can be achieved and right now, for example, there’s not a single word floating in my mind in my native language; it’s all English, right?

And that’s the state of mind which you should be aiming for and the first step in order to do that is to get rid of anything that reminds you of your native language and, obviously, if there’s subtitles coming up in your native language, that’s a definite no-no.

Get rid of that!

Replace them in English – replace them with English subtitles and you’re going to feel that your fluency actually improves, rapidly, from that moment on. OK?

So if you have any questions in relation to this subject, please feel free to ask them in the comment section below. Well, my friends, thank you for watching this video!

Alternatively, obviously, if you’ve been listening to this as a podcast, thanks for listening to the podcast and chat to you soon again and bye-bye!


P.S. Would you like to find out why I’m highlighting some of the text in red? Read this article and you’ll learn why it’s so important to learn idiomatic expressions and how it will help you to improve your spoken English!

P.S.S. Are you serious about your spoken English improvement? Check out my English Harmony System HERE!

English Harmony System

P.S. Are you serious about your spoken English improvement? Check out the English Harmony System HERE!

English Harmony System
  • zakoiakapa

    I’m very grateful to you for all your help..thx

  • IF you can’t understand well what they’re saying in the movie – by all means, use the subtitles (English ones) and then just like you said – try and watch it again to solidify your ability to understand without subtitles. It’s a great strategy, by the way, thanks for pointing it out!

  • zakoiakapa

    what if i split the movie in short sequences , with English subtitles , and watch it,once with sub and after without sub..
    u know because of slangs and idioms ,,,,ect.
    thanks robby..see ya