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I am still a beginner in the Japanese language, but I do try to watch a lot of Japanese media. Normally I use English subtitles so I can understand what is going on, but when I do that I have noticed I don't pay as much attention to the audio as much. So if a character is speaking in Japanese, I would read the English subtitles and really not hear the actual Japanese much.
I have been experimenting with taking subtitles right off and just listening(similar to radio basically). I find I hear the words being said far easier and can concentrate on the language I am trying to learn instead of trying to translate it everytime to English with subtitles.
I think that for a intermediate-advanced learned who is able to comprehend dialogue most of the time this would be even more helpful. By turning on subtitles you will fall into the trap I am, of focusing a lot on your native language instead of focussing on your learning language. The final step to learning a language is skipping that last step of translation and learning to think in the language you are learning.
I encourage all of you who use subtitles to try turning them off and tell me what you think. Those who have already tried this, did you find it more helpful to your learning?
Definitely YES! Turning off the subtitles helps like charm! But, I do want to point out that, in the first year of me watching J-dramas almost everyday, I had my subs turned on and that helped me to understand HOW the Japanese is translated NATURALLY into other languages, esp. English. As you pointed out, it helps to THINK LIKE A JAPANESE!
Ever since that I have been watching the J-dramas without the subtitles and I was super astonished to realize how much I can actually understand already! Yes, turning them off at a certain point is really helpful!
I am happy to see others experiencing the same effect of turning the subs off!!! (^_^)
I think it depends on learning language level. My mother tounge is Indonesian, and i have been learning English formally since i was 4th grader. But i started to turn the subtitle to English not Indonesian when i was a college student, cuz i was kinda envy to my friends they didnt even turn on the subtitle at all! lol...
At first it wasnt too hard, until i forced to myself that i had to totally listening. But sometimes i found it hard, cuz the some movies often use slang, too fast conversation, or particular topic/words that i didnt really familiar with (science, politics,etc). Until now when i watch movies i have to listen at first couple of minutes. If i find the words are hard, i decide to turn on the subtitle lol. If not, i listen really carefully at quite hard volume. lol.