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Reasons to Ditch Subtitles

June 12, 2012
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Most of us love watching Korean media such as dramas and variety shows, right? Unfortunately, not all of us can speak Korean fluently so watching videos becomes a little difficult to watch without subtitles. Even though it can be a little difficult, I have came up with a few reasons why learners should not depend on subtitles.


Waiting for subtitles

This is one of the most obvious reasons. Subtitles don’t appear out of nowhere – someone has to translate, time, and code these subtitles. Why not try subbing your favorite shows yourself? Even if you don’t know a lot of Korean, figuring out new words and translating familiar words for yourself is great practice. You might even shock yourself.

Improve listening skills

Without subtitles, you can improve your listening skills. By opting out of subtitles, you are committed to focus on strictly verbal cues which can improve vocabulary and overall Korean accent.  You’re trying to learn Korean, not read English text!

More freedom

What can make you feel more connected to the Korean language than the primary source? Subtitles are like the middleman separating you from the ‘real’ and ‘raw’ language. Without subtitles, you’ll be able to feel more comfortable and familiar with Korean, just like your native language. You don’t watch English videos with subtitles, do you?

But don’t subtitles exist for a reason?

Well, of course you should use subtitles – but only to evaluate yourself! I recommend watching your videos without subtitles first, and then watching it with subtitles. What parts did you understand? Which words/grammar structures confused you? You’ll learn Korean from primary experience! How cool is that?

Anyways, those are some of the reasons/methods that I usually keep in mind. We all have different levels of Korean, so do what makes you feel comfortable and whatever helps you. Although, it is important to realize that at some point subtitles aren’t going to be available for certain things. The whole point of studying Korean is so you can enjoy things while using the language yourself. 🙂
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One Comment leave one →
  1. June 13, 2012 3:09 am

    Wow! Like you post ^^. I totally relied to the subs… But I’ll try to use your method.. Thanks !

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