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https://www.duolingo.com/E.T.s_Son

I Watched My First French Film Without English Subtitles

E.T.s_Son
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Last night, I watched a movie called "L'Enfant" by filmmakers Jean-Pierre and Luc Dardenne, starring Jeremie Renier and Deborah Francois. It was a superb movie with a great storyline that keeps you emotionally involved right towards the end.

I've watched a few French movies prior to this one but I always had English Subtitles turned on, which was a handicap to my progress in learning the language. However, last night I thought I would turn on the French subtitles to that I could actually see the words that they were saying. Even though I couldn't hear out the words clearly due to the speed in which they talk it was great that I see how the words were spelled and constructed in a sentence.

I actually would pause the movie over and over again when I encountered a word I didn't know or understand the structure of a particular sentence and would look up a translation of it. This process actually made viewing the movie in its entirety longer. However, as I progressed through the movie I stumbled upon the same words or sentence structures before from earlier in the movie and would understand more what they were saying. It felt great to have understood the movie without using English subtitles.

Using the French subtitles I got to see how, why, where, and when to use certain pronouns, prepositions, adverbs, etc. One thing I've had trouble with on Doulingo is comprehending the pronouns "y" and "en" among a few other things, but after watching that movie and doing more research on the pronouns it COMPLETELY opened my mind to the use of the certain words.

I'd say if I were to watch this movie about four more times I'd be able to watch it "with the French subtitles" WITHOUT having to pause the video to look up the meaning of a word or sentence structure

I feels so great to understand another language to an extent. I feel like I was born in France now. LoL Aujourd'hui est une bonne journée

4 years ago

72 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/AshleyHayton

wow man grand job thats just fantastic supes proud

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/E.T.s_Son
E.T.s_Son
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Merci beaucoup

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/n6zs
n6zs
Mod
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What fun! You are an inspiration to us all!

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/BastouXII
BastouXII
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Great example for everyone! That's actually what I keep telling people to do : put the subtitles in the language they learn instead of their own. I'm so glad someone had such a great experience and shared it, it makes a way better example than simply saying it!

Good work my friend! Keep at it for some time and you won't believe how much you've progressed in your learning! Plus you'll enjoy yourself along the way!

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/E.T.s_Son
E.T.s_Son
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Thank you very much. I will say its hard finding French movies with French subtitles. The subtitles are usually translated in English or Spanish. Thankfully I found that movie with the French subtitles at my library. I think I'm going to check out that movie again just to read the subtitles lOL

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/BastouXII
BastouXII
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If you're interested in French movies and are from the USA, look for French Canadian ones : they're available in region 1 easily, they all (but the most obscure ones) come with English subtitles and many with English dubbed language and many are quite good. One was nominated for the best foreign language film Oscar in the last three years (Incendies in 2010, Monsieur Lazhar in 2011 and Rebelle in 2012). There are also a bunch I could recommend if anyone is interested.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/alphabeta
alphabeta
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The problem I have with this is that the French subtitles do not always correspond directly to what is being said. The same thing happens with English subtitles: lines are often changed to be shorter so they can be read quickly and in one go. So your brain is reading the French and trying to hear the French that you're reading, but it doesn't always directly correspond, and there is discord.

Does anyone know if there's a way to, say, download "strict" subtitles that correspond exactly to what is being said?

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/GirlyAlkemy

You make a good point, and I've noticed this too when watching with subtitles, and it's nice to at least be able to discern between what you hear and what you read. The only thing I can think of is literally searching for the script of the movie, if it is an original French film. It should be there.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Dogstaruk

Actually, I think it's sometimes useful when the subtitles aren't quite the same. They often give you a simpler way of saying the same thing while still giving a good understanding of what the spoken sentence was. Noticing the differences is a sometimes a good way of learning. It's a shame that more French TV doesn't have subtitles at all. I've bought boxed sets of series only to find there aren't french subtitles for the deaf or hard of hearing. Why is this? Sept Jours Sur La Planète produces three short videos a week with word-for-word literal translations. Useful and free!

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/E.T.s_Son
E.T.s_Son
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Now that you mention it, when I encountered translations within the movie that didn't make sense I thought I wasn't comprehending the context of the situation so most likely the subtitle wasn't correct. But for the most part I think the subtitles helped me expand my knowledge

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Thomas_Nelson

On Netflix, I can find cartoons with Spanish audio and matching Spanish subtitles. Sadly, outside of cartoons, I can find no movies with non-English audio and exact-matching subtitles.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/uhanepono

Try Jean Cocteau. They are a bit art house (which I love) but he was a poet and fimmaker and the subs are verbatum.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/GirlyAlkemy

Yes, same here, definitely.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/BastouXII
BastouXII
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I don't see this as a big problem, as Dogstaruk said, perfect subtitles would clearly break the pace of the movie and take your head way too much off the actual action, trying to read everything that was said. That being said, I don't think it happens so often that it's frustrating, and, usually, the subtitles for people with hearing difficulties are quite accurate.

If you watch movies on a computer, you can download many self contained subtitle files from the internet (there are a few examples of websites to search for them on this wiki page). I don't know how easy it is to find subtitles in the original language of a movie though.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/alphabeta
alphabeta
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I do think it's a problem, because when there's discord between what is being said and what is in the subtitles, my brain (and I assume others' brains) tends toward the easier option: reading the subtitles. Then I may as well be reading a book.

Speaking of... audio books may be a really good idea. I feel like I just had an epiphany.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/BastouXII
BastouXII
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If you like audiobooks, there are some free ones to download somewhere. Have a look at the French section of this page.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/E.T.s_Son
E.T.s_Son
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I think I'm going to go to the library before the end of this week to check out some audiobooks.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Zero774997

I'm from Belgium, and here we speak both French and Dutch. I'm from the Dutch speaking side, and sadly I learned English well before French simply because French lacks subtitles. I still have issues with it (hence Duolingo) Everything from the French TV is dubbed, so it is much harder to comprehend what is going on. I'm very comfortable reading subtitles, it's everywhere here, because the dutch side dubs nothing. Frankly, I find non matching lips and voices that are completely fake much more distracting than a little subtitle. It's something you get used to. From someone that isn't used to it, I can see that this is boundary, but you do get used to it and you'll find that it's not that distracting at all. Frankly I wonder how many other nations could have easily picked up another language if it all was a little more subtitle friendly.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/nefter
nefter
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Nice wiki page, I declare myself totally fan of lyricstraining, luv that kind of site... regards

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/smearedink

This is also my problem with doing this, but I should probably do it anyway, because it's not really such a big deal.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/jaripownd

Nice streak you got there myman

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Peremptor

I had a free two-week period at papagei.com (otherwise you have to pay for it) where I could watch movies and see not the original subtitles but some self-written below the movie.

Otherwise there are lots of languages if you buy a movie in Germany.

Many of these also speak French and sometimes Russian, so there's many to watch if you have some old DVDs. Shipping would be about 6$ to America via Ebay :-)

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/branbee
branbeePlus
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I've thought about that too. I'm like "I hope they are telling me the wrong thing"

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/boringtomi
boringtomi
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Great job, my friend! Where are you on your tree? Finished already or still working on it?

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/E.T.s_Son
E.T.s_Son
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I'm almost finished with my tree! I probably would've been done by now but I took a few weeks off this site however I still checked out French books at the library to keep my mind refreshed.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/jdberry300
jdberry300
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Nice, I'm jealous! I have real trouble with French movies. I find them idiomatic, unnaturally brisk (because movies have to be) and slangy, and the subtitles never seem to match. As an English analogy, I'll learn the phrase "hello, how are you" but a character will say "yo, homes, 'sup?" (and the subtitle will read "how's it going over there?") "I would like to see a movie" is spoken, "let's catch a flick" (and the subtitle will read "we should go out tonight.") "We must go" is yelled "let's hit the bricks!" (with the subtitle "our departure is imminent")

All at lightning speed.

I realize I need to practice a lot more, but it's frustrating.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/BastouXII
BastouXII
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Try animated movies : the acting is concentrated on the voices, and since most are meant for children, the sentences are easier to understand and contain less slang.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/E.T.s_Son
E.T.s_Son
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You should go to the library and see if they have any books on te slang in that particular language. If I can recall I believe at my library there was a nook on slang in a particular language. I'm just not sure I was for French, maybe German or Spanish

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/damil55

word

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/damil55

bonjour!mon reve est to speak french fluently.my friend just reffered me to this site.feel free to be my friend.i would love to learn more on conjugation

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/BastouXII
BastouXII
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To help you out a bit (with conjugation and more), check this discussion with French grammar tips, especially the chart one and the one about easy tips for complex rules, as the only tip there is so far is one about conjugation.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/jktsmith
jktsmith
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Génial! And to see a fellow American learn French through Duo, the movies, and the library in our decidedly non-Francophone culture (sauf dans quelques petits poches, évidemment)? Inspiring, monsieur. (Now phone home and tell your dad!)

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/E.T.s_Son
E.T.s_Son
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Hahah! I definitely will phone home and let dad know I'm conquering another human language!

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/GirlyAlkemy

Excellent! Thanks for sharing the experience, I had a similar case when watching an English movie with French audio+french subtitles. Thanks for reminding me to do that again. Bravo :)

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/KevinKlinelover

I go on Amazon and I would look for my favorite movies dubbed in French & Italian. I watch them like a native and use them to help me with the stuff I'm struggling with. Like for example: I look for children's movies like Little Mermaid, Mulan, Robin Hood, The Madagascar trilogy, etc. Before I make a decision on what to get, I go to wikipedia to check if there are Quebec voices or not. Most of the French is on my English DVD, some are in my Italian DVD's, 2 movies of which French is found on both the English and the Italian. If the French is Quebec, I look for a separate one. When I was watching "La Bella e La Bestia" on the Control your Temper scene, I came here to learn some words and be able to speak some. Since my French & Italian DVD's are in Region 2, I burn them on my computer and watch them that way.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/BastouXII
BastouXII
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Actually, about the Canadian vs France French, Canadians dub movies in international French, so less argot (French slang from Paris) and no joual (French slang from Quebec) either, so they articulate way better than how people usually do when casually speaking (in either France or Canada). Plus, the Canadians take extra care to make the words match the lips, where most people dubbing in France simply don't care (they go for the most accurate translation, regardless of how it fits the lip movements of the actors). I don't know for you, but in my humble opinion, it breaks the experience. One last thing, with so many good original movies in French and Italian, why would you go and look for dubbed English ones?

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/rakusin
rakusin
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Hope I can do that like you one day, congrats!!

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/AC3_PRO_555

Awwwww your already growing up too fast!!!! Don't party too hard son...

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/E.T.s_Son
E.T.s_Son
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LoL! I won't!

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Salvatricem

Congratulations! I was so excited the first time I was able to read through (and understand) a whole parable in French without having to look at the translation. I have not yet done that with a movie!

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/E.T.s_Son
E.T.s_Son
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Reading subtitles in French in a movie can be daunting but try it. DOn't be intimidated. Like I said in my original post, I had to constantly pause the movie to find a translation of something I didn't understand but I made it to the end and now my vocabulary and grammar knowledge has expanded.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/HankLickteig

oh watch out! he didn't use english subtitles!

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/marcel1444

Awesome!! Way to go!!

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/420NOSKOPZ

OMFG you are a boss :D

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/ooOBilalOoo
ooOBilalOoo
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Well done ! It will be a long time till I manage that !

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/E.T.s_Son
E.T.s_Son
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Trust me its not that daunting of a task. There will be more than a few words, idiomatic expressions, grammar constructions you don't understand but as you go through the movie and look up translations of words, etc you'll get a better understanding of why, how, where, when to say or write in the langauge

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/tariqnisarahmed

Good idea!

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Lucija71995

it's easy for you native speakers of English to find the matching subtitles. I usually can't find the subtitles in my language. when I want to watch a French movie, I have the English subtitles-so I have to mix 3 languages in my head!

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/BastouXII
BastouXII
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If you have the movie in a digital format on a computer, you can find standalone subtitle files in many languages (maybe including your own native one) online. There are some websites dedicated to searching for or hosting these subtitle files. You can find some of these and many more resources on this unofficial Duolingo wiki page.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Searlasmane

The only trouble with online subtitle files is that they often go at a different pace from the movie, so you spend your time cursing and pressing shift-h when you hear a familiar phrase, then shift-j when it comes up in the subtitle, and shift-k to set the subtitles to that spot — only to have to do the same again a minute later because the movie is going faster than the subtitles.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/BastouXII
BastouXII
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You can re-synchronize them. There is software to edit subtitle files in various ways.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Searlasmane

What software, please? (I'm on a Mac)

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/BastouXII
BastouXII
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A simple google search gave me many (disclaimer : I haven't try all of them and I don't own a Mac, so I cannot guarantee the quality of these solutions) :

Online (no download necessary) :

Mac :

Also, if you use VLC (and I guess it also works in other video rendering software as well, like MPC-HC), you can shift subtitles in the settings without having to change the sub files permanently.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Searlasmane

Thanks, BastouXII. I was actually using VLC's method to sync the subtitles; the problem was that these subtitles had been made for a different version of the film, and were running slower than the film, so after three or four lines of dialogue they would start to drift out of sync again. I actually don't think any of these programs are going to solve that problem, as the subtitles are set to link a particular line of written dialogue to a particular second and microsecond of spoken dialogue. Unless the software can somehow discern how this should be reformatted — and I can't see how it could — the problem is going to remain. By the way, another site for French films with French subtitles: http://expressfrancais.com/peliculas-en-frances-con-subtitulos-en-frances-pagina-2/ I'd recommend Rien a Declarer — very funny, about an ultra-nationalist Belgian customs official forced to team up with his French counterpart, not realising that the Frenchman is engaged to his sister. Dany Boon, but with less mugging and slapstick than usual and more gentle humour.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/BastouXII
BastouXII
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Did you check the link I gave you for the VLC settings? It's a good guide, and there are 2 settings in VLC : one to shift the subtitles all together before or after, and one to adjust their speed. What you want to do is play around with the second one (either alone or in combination with the first setting), that should fix your problem.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Searlasmane

Thanks — but I'd tried adjusting the subtitle speed first; it's incredibly hard to get the speed right.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/BastouXII
BastouXII
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Well, yeah. If you know for what ips rate (images per second) the subtitle file was made and the one of your movie file, you can find (or calculate yourself) the appropriate ratio.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/FrenchAddict7

Congrats!

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/NormanLG07

oooooh C'est super ;D

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/LIOMREAD

wow ur a true frenchy,you are my hero,i adore you!!!

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/E.T.s_Son
E.T.s_Son
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Haha! I'm not there yet but I'm still climbing the ladder to fluency

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/benknowles-baker

I also agree with liomread you are an inspiration

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/BourgeoisJeremi

way to go, my little duckling!

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/BourgeoisJeremi

How much time did it take you to get to level 14?

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Searlasmane

Really enjoyed watching Rien a Déclarer with French subtitles. Ça déchire!

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/you_wot_m8

I REELY LIKE UR FRENCH BROV

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/cooper2003

wooooooooooooauw

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/CarltonWard

you suck dick

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/AbraxunsIllusion

Please be respectful.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/BourgeoisJeremi

seriously...chill out

4 years ago