8 Scenarios Where Subtitles Are Beneficial

Have you ever sat watching a movie and as you see the subtitles at the bottom of the screen scrolling by you wonder to yourself, “well I see subtitles on every other movie that I watch and I really don’t know why production houses choose to use them and what some of their benefits are”? You don’t have to keep on wondering because in this article we will look at how film subtitles come in handy in different scenarios in our day-to-day lives and how we get to benefit from them.

If by now you don’t know what subtitles are, then I’m here to inform you that subtitles are texts that are added to any form of audio visual-media to express any message that is being relayed in speech form. Basically, subtitles are used to stand in place of or line by line with any form of audio recording. They make comprehension of movies super easy for a foreign audience depending on what the pair languages are. This only means that if a film doesn’t have subtitles, then it will be hard for a foreigner who is not conversant with the film language to watch and enjoy it. As long as you are a video content creator, you are able to benefit from using subtitles to localize your content and make it relatable to a larger audience.

RELATED POST: 10 SUBTITLING CHALLENGES YOU SHOULD BE READY FOR.

It is very important to note that the primary reason subtitles were introduced in film production, was to solely act as inclusivity for the deaf and individuals who are hearing impaired. Before all these other benefits that we will look into came into play, making films that would be enjoyed by everyone without others being left out was the reason production houses thought of including texts at the bottom of the screen which we now call subtitles. Further note that production houses used to use caption texts to serve the same purpose.  

Below I will outline different scenarios where subtitles would come in handy and how they would benefit us:

  1. I’m sure everyone has found themselves in a position where they want to watch a great movie but they are in a noisy place. I have and multiple times in that case. A movie with subtitles would definitely come in handy in such an environment. You might argue, what if you have headphones? Headphones would help to some extent but chances are you will always struggle to listen and having subtitles to follow through will be super beneficial.
  2. I know people who love watching YouTube videos in the office because of free Wi-Fi. Depending on where you work, this might be illegal and to do this discreetly without being caught or distracting your workmates, watching videos with subtitles would really come in handy. I’m not advocating for people to go watch media content in the office but if you really must, definitely get video content that has subtitles so that you can enjoy your media content and not get caught.
  3. Imagine being on a really long flight, you have access to watch a couple of movies but you not able to because your headphones are short and you cannot do anything about it. In such a scenario, a movie with subtitles would really come to the rescue because all you have to do is mute the video and watch as you follow through with the subtitles. There is definitely no room for any inconvenience when you can watch subtitled movies on the go.
  4. I never understand how movies go through all the production processes and still come out with volume inconsistency. Have you ever watched a movie and you find out that certain scenes are too low on volume or don’t have any audio completely? I know how annoying this can be because it has happened to me a couple of times. In such a scenario having subtitles on that movie would really help because you won’t miss out on any important scenes because of audio inconsistencies.  
  5. We are living in a fast-paced world where learning a foreign language puts you in a position to get more opportunities and thus why people are taking up lessons left right and center. Depending on what your language pair is, watching movies with subtitles will really be helpful in further boosting your comprehension of that foreign language you are learning. Foreign films with subtitles come in handy for people trying to broaden their vocabulary use on a particular foreign language. So, if you are trying to learn a new language, movies with subtitles in that foreign language should be your best friend.
  6. From time to time, we have to consume different media while in public spaces. The media content might be of sensitive subject matters which might be offensive to different people. If you really have to consume this type of content in public and have no headphones to use or for some weird reason, your earphones are not working, enabling the subtitles would be the only way out for you. I bet you never thought of that as a benefit of having subtitles, but in such a scenario subtitles will definitely come in handy.
  7. If you are doing research on something and have to take notes for it, watching a video with subtitles will make your work super easy. Depending on how good your listening, comprehending, and typing speed is, using a video that doesn’t have subtitles will prove to be annoying in the long run. Availability of the subtitles will allow you to read, comprehend and type easily than you would, if you had to listen, comprehend and then type. Most times the audio on videos is usually super-fast and to make your work easier getting a video with subtitles will definitely change the entire game for you.
  8. Did you know that watching a video with the subtitles only without the volume, will help save battery consumption on your device? I also did not believe it at first until I tried it and it really is true. How cool is that? I don’t know the concept behind this reality but maybe the technology companies that manufacture these devices can answer it. This is just a bonus point which isn’t necessarily as important as the others that I have mentioned above but one that I thought would be cool to mention.

RELATED POST: GUIDELINES FOR CREATING ONLINE SUBTITLE.

Subtitles are typically displayed on 1 or 2 lines of text, in 2-4 second bursts. You would know subtitles on a movie have been done well when the audience can comfortably read through without feeling rushed and be able to understand them fully.

Now that you are aware of different scenarios where subtitles would come in handy for you, I bet you are in a better position to make a conscious judgment on whether they will actually benefit you or not. In my opinion, subtitles have really been a game changer in the film production industry and one that is not going anywhere, anytime soon. All these scenarios I have given won’t apply to everyone, but everyone can relate to one or two of them. Think of all those scenarios in a world without subtitles and visualize how hard life would have been.

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