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Intermediate German: Understanding spoken German
Intermediate German: Understanding spoken German

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3.1 Subtitles on

You will now watch a clip, focusing on how the presence of subtitles personally affects your viewing.

Activity 11

Watch the video clip once through, making sure the subtitles are turned on. This was the button that turns them on and off:

Described image

While you are watching, ask yourself these two questions.

Am I predominantly reading the subtitles or listening to what Herr Schmidt is saying?

If I'm reading the subtitles, is this because they make it easier for me to understand what Herr Schmidt is saying?

Download this video clip.Video player: ol_l113_vid002.mp4
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There is no right or wrong answer to this. It is good to make sure you are listening as well as reading the subtitles – it can be tempting just to read what it is on the screen, if you find it easier to read material than listen or watch.

Box 3 Remember to listen

Described image
Figure 13

Be aware that it is good to focus on what you are listening to, rather than reading the subtitles, if you are wanting to improve your understanding of spoken German. People speak in different ways, use different expressions and have different regional accents. The more you listen to different people speaking, the more prepared you will become for the great variety of spoken German you will encounter.

You can try listening to what is said both with and without the subtitles turned off. You can then see which you find more helpful. The main thing to remember is that every time you listen closely you are are likely to understand more each time. You can find out which you find most helpful for your own learning, listening with or without having the subtitles on.