5 reasons to watch TV with subtitles

Subtitles: there to make our lives easier since 1971. Essential for the elderly, the deaf, the bits not in English, and for when we’re just trying to watch TV while someone else decides it’s time to talk on the phone, in the same room, for an hour, even though we were here first. But for those who don’t use subtitles in our daily lives, I’m here to tell you why you should.

#1: Hilarity

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Local man with allergies subject to cruel prank by friends (Source: difficultregions)

Subtitles provide snippets of pure comedic gold. After all, subtitles are usually written by typists just like us here at TakeNote, which leaves plenty of potential for hilarity in parenthesis. Haven’t you ever wanted to know exactly how to describe that background music, or the tone of someone’s sigh? No one should miss out, even if it’s just the sound of [claps like seal].

#2: Accents and slang

How many times has a character snapped out a witty, pivotal comeback, only for us to sit there blankly because we didn’t understand what the heck they’re on about? Subtitles are perfect for making sure you never miss a word of dialogue from your favourite actors, no matter how good (or terrible) their accents are, or how difficult their slang is to pick up. So say a silent thank you to those who spend hours listening to a single line, just to transcribe it perfectly. (Sound familiar, anyone?)
Subtitles brad pitt

If you understand Mickey from Snatch without subtitles, you get a medal. (Source: mikefize) 

#3: Learning spelling

Subtitles Breaking Bad
Nailed it. (Source: nerdphiles)

For those of us at Take Note who rely on the spell-check button, subtitles are a great way to learn how to spell certain words. Many people find reading the words, rather than listening to them, helps cement the position of all those tricky letters in our brains. And really, what better way to study than to do it in front of your favourite TV shows?

Subtitles puppy
I always thought it was arthur-itis. (Source: The Bionic Vet)


#4: Learning new languages

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A sure-fire way to impress your friends and family. (Source: The Camden Studio)

We British have an unfortunate reputation as the ones who won’t learn a second language, and then get affronted when we go abroad and no one is speaking English. Subtitles on TV programs – especially when you’re watching your favourites on DVD – are a great way to pick up some new words, or to help revise if you’re in the process of learning a new language. Whether it’s a single word or a whole phrase, subtitles are brilliant for getting your brain to work not only on an audio level, but a visual one, too. Next time you re-watch Sherlock in preparation for the upcoming Season 4, why not put on a foreign language subtitle track, and learn a few new words?

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Pink! (In Dutch.) (Source: BBC Sherlock)


#5: Companies will subtitle more content

Subtitles You Tube
A classic, subtitled for all. (Source: NYPDecider)

My final reason for using subtitles while watching TV is simple: the more subtitles are used, the more companies who determine what gets subtitled will make use them. Which is great news for agencies like Take Note, with typists like us who enjoy audio transcription of all kinds, but it’s essential for those who actually need subtitles in their daily lives. While some companies will provide subtitles for all of their content, others won’t bother to shell out for what they don’t see as important.

Imagine being unable to watch the new programme everyone is raving about, simply because it’s inaccessible to you. Subtitles bring essential quality of life to those who need them. By using the feature, we tell companies that subtitles are worth paying for and integrating into all their audio content.

So next time you flick on the TV or Netflix to catch up on the latest and greatest, pop your subtitles on, too. You won’t regret it.

Subtitles wolf
You might even go viral with your screenshot. (Source: Zap2It)

Words by Transcriber Sophie C


Take Note offers transcription services worldwide via our secure online portal; from video subtitles to verbatim legal documents, interviews, disciplinaries, translations and anything in between. For a quick quote, or simply some advice on time-stamped transcriptsget in touch!