One common way to improve foreign-language skills is to watch videos in the foreign language. But if you’ve ever tried watching a foreign film, you know it can be quite difficult to follow along. Characters in movies talk in idioms, and faster than your high school French or German teacher might have done.

Even if you are fluent in a language, you might find it difficult to understand regional accents. A native English speaker from Texas who learned French in school could actually struggle more to understand Scottish English accents than textbook Parisian French.

Holger Mitterer and James McQueen wondered if video subtitles might help non-native speakers understand difficult accents. But what subtitles would work best? Mitterer and McQueen work in the Netherlands; would Dutch speakers learn to understand an accent better by watching an English-language movie with Dutch subtitles or English subtitles? Or would the subtitles hinder learning?

 


Comments


View Comments / Leave a Comment

This post currently has 0 comments.
You can read the comments or leave your own thoughts.


    Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 28 Jul 2014
    Published on PsychCentral.com. All rights reserved.

APA Reference
Munger, D. (2014). The Best Way to Learn a Foreign Accent. Psych Central. Retrieved on September 18, 2014, from http://psychcentral.com/blog/archives/2014/07/28/the-best-way-to-learn-a-foreign-accent/

 

Recent Comments
  • Rob C: I agree with the idea that depression is a “learned state of mind” with focus on the state of mind...
  • Pat: Terry, you state that you “have nothing to show for it”, and you have been sober for almost 5 years!...
  • psychoterapia Poznań: Sometimes look into the past, sometimes in the future, sometimes in the present. All eyes are...
  • tijdeling: The quote by Styron contradicts or at least weakens the fInal line in this article about treatability. The...
  • Kumara: Important pointer. Thanks for writing this. On Right Speech, instead of “helpful”, I’d...
Subscribe to Our Weekly Newsletter


Find a Therapist
Enter ZIP or postal code