Can You Understand English Movies without Subtitle?

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Do you feel as though you are deaf when watching English movies or TV series since you don’t familiar with the dialogues? Do you think the casts speak very fast that you don’t follow what they are talking about? Easy, buddy! You are not alone, and we are here to assist you to overcome your confusion. 

Those are just some typical issues when it comes to watching non-subtitle English movies, news, or shows for non-native speaker audiences. It can also be used simply as a means to measure how good your English skills are – especially in listening and vocabularies.

If you appear to be able to grasp word by word or even a whole conversation in a movie, then you are without a doubt an advance English learner, which is wicked. Congratulations! 

And for you guys who are still wrestling with those problems, here are some tips that will help you understand when watching English movies without subtitles. 

1. Idioms 

In order to understand English movies, it obviously requires patience, determination and years spent of polishing up your craft, which is not so different from mastering English itself. 

When you come across an idiom, you might pause for a moment if it doesn’t ring a bell, and wonder what does it mean.

Here are some common idioms you countless times hear or see in English movies and how to catch them on. 

Idioms such as “a piece of cake, under the weather, not one’s cup of tea” etc., are just the tip of the iceberg. 

E.g. I’m not going to fail. It is a piece of cake. (‘Piece of cake’ means something that is easy to do.) 

E.g. I’m afraid I won’t be able to come today as I’m under the water. (It means you are slightly ill or sick.)

E.g. Playing football is not my cup of tea. (It means you don’t really like playing football.)

2. Phrasal Verbs

Phrasal verbs, on the other hand, can be a little bit challenging than idioms since a phrasal verb can have multiple meanings as well, which could cause a misunderstanding. So, how to get the idea of using or analyzing phrasal verbs correctly?

 Let’s break them down. 

‘Take Out’ has several meanings and it’s fairly unfathomable for some novice English learners if they don’t really strive to work out the main idea of something.  I’ll show you some examples in sentences so it could help you to comprehend better with it. 

Let’s begin.

I took some books out yesterday. (I borrowed books from a library yesterday.)

My dad was hospitalized last week, so I took some money out to pay the bill. (I took some money from a bank.) 

The huntsman was ordered to take Snow White out. (The Huntsman was ordered to kill her.) 

See? That’s why phrasal verbs can be bewildering for some reason. Believe me, Take Out still has some other meanings, but I chose to show you some of them. 

3. Expand Your Vocabularies

It is quite arduous when trying to catch word by word in an English movie especially when the actors talk briskly. We have no other choice but to rewind it to the exact minute at which we find it hard to follow. 

If it happens to you, I suggest you read articles, news, or English novels like a lot to expand your range of vocabularies. By doing so, you will be able to guess what words are being discussed there, and you can even guess what would be the next word afterwards. 

4. Think in English

Commence speaking English anytime, anywhere regardless of how inadequate your English skills are to get you used to it. For example, you can ask your peers or colleagues to talk about everyday subjects or problems, which are clearly not a rocket science, so that it will unconsciously build your self-confidence better. 

Other possible ways would be to watch easy-to-digest English movies where you don’t have to bother yourself opening an English dictionary as they are made with everyday languages. 

Reading children books is also not a bad idea because they contain conversational language, which is very helpful. 

If you ask me whether I a 100% understand the entire dialogue in a movie, the answer will be “NO.” No, I don’t understand the whole conversation in it. But as long as we know what the story is about that’ll be enough or you can play it many times later.

Besides, watching movies without subtitles is way more entertaining, I suppose. How about you? 

Do you have any problems watching raw movies? Is there any recommended show you’re watching at the moment? 

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