Experts Agree that Watching Just 25 minutes of Subtitled Content Can Improve Language Learning Skills

Transcription services provider Go Transcript weighs in on growing need for subtitles in the entertainment industry and the educational value that comes from it

Go Transcript, a transcription service provider with such clients as Netflix, has noted a serious increase in need for more transcriptions for subtitles for both English and most recently, non-English productions.

They are not wrong. Netflix has increased its original programming content budget from $6bn in 2017 to $8bn in 2018 to meet consumer demands. The content has grown in diversity as well, with nearly 10% of ‘Netflix Original’ series scheduled for production in 2018 to be made up of non-English-language productions such as the Finno-Russian Bordertown, and Dark from Germany. As such, the need for transcription services in the entertainment industry is slated to grow to new heights by 2028.

The most popular result of entertainment industry transcriptions are subtitles, which are increasingly used as Netflix and similar services expand worldwide.

“Customers watching content that isn’t in their native language prefer to watch it with subtitles because of possible language barriers,” explained Go Transcript CEO, Peter Trebek. “Even for native speakers, not many traditional TV channels have subtitles or captions available. Therefore, consumers who need them in order to comfortably watch and understand their preferred content, choose streaming services offering subtitles.”

Trebek also believes that subtitled content can help students of a foreign language reach their learning targets.Experts Agree that Watching Just 25 minutes of Subtitled Content Can Improve Language Learning Skills

“As the demand for subtitled content increases, so does the creation of apps to facilitate the learning of a new language,” continued Trebek. “Extensions compatible with Netflix can provide the viewer with the chance to tap on the word(s) they may have misheard, and then get an immediate on-screen translation. It adds to the immersive learning experience of Netflix by giving the viewer a chance to build on their vocabulary.”

Subtitled content as a learning aid is not just recognized by transcription industry experts. A recent study from Holger Mitterer showed that when used alongside traditional study methods, watching just 25 minutes of subtitled content each day can help students learn a language quicker. The report’s main findings demonstrated that hearing and listening to a foreign language simultaneously will help the learner’s phonetic understanding of it. 

Further benefits of watching subtitled content to learn a language include higher reading speed and listening comprehension, a wider vocabulary, plus improved word recognition and grammar of the target language.