There is a very good way of starting to learn and love a language, and it has nothing to do with grammar books and other things that seldom stir the enthusiasm of language students. I’m talking about watching films, a very entertaining way to let your ears get used to the sounds of the new language.

Nowadays, thanks to the internet, it is extremely easy to get hold of films and TV series from all over the world. TV series are particularly apt for boosting your listening skills, as you can get used to the different ways of speaking of the characters throughout the episodes and the seasons. The incredible popularity of this TV format makes possible for everyone to find something they like, as a huge number of such programs have come out in these years.

To overcome the initial language shock, often due to some particular accent the characters may have, while starting a new series one should definitely go for the subtitles. But beware! You are supposed to choose the original language subtitles, otherwise you’ll lose half of the benefits. Choosing subtitles in your own language while you are watching a film with original dialogue may be confusing; moreover, you run the risk of having the dubbing transcription instead of the translation of the dialogues, and that would be extremely disconcerting as dubbing has quite different rules from subtitling.

Dubbing needs to take into account the scene as a whole: who is speaking; what is on the screen at that particular moment; the kind of movements the actors are performing with their lips. The art of dubbing is fitting the translation of the dialogue into the actual movements of the actors’ lips in the original language, so that the dubbing can be quite different from the original dialogue, and so can its transcription. So next time you’ll set out to watch a film or a TV series in its original language, keep in mind that original subtitling are the best for you.

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