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Thread: to understand

  1. #1
    e2e4 is offline Senior Member
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    Default to understand

    I'd like to listen to native speakers but reading the title on the screen in English besides so as to improve my possibilities of understanding how they pronounce the words.
    For example, if I watch British series "Only Fools and Horses" or even "On the buses" I can't understand at least 50% of the actors speaking.
    I think that that is partly happening because of my not knowing all the words used but mostly of their not clearly noticeable speaking which I'd like to get used to.

    Can anyone help giving me the links in which I can get what I explained about.

    Thanks

  2. #2
    birdeen's call is offline VIP Member
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    Default Re: to understand

    What I do is open a script or subtitles file in another window and look up what I can't get. It's usually because of words or idioms that I don't know in my case. Or you can simply watch films with English subtitles on.

  3. #3
    Tdol is offline Editor, UsingEnglish.com
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    Default Re: to understand

    They're using regional English- there's a lot of Cockney English in Only Fools and Horses, for instance, so even if you understand the dictionary meaning of the words, the real meaning may be very different. We have a glossary of Cockney rhyming slang in the Members' area which may help with some of the expressions: Log In - UsingEnglish.com

  4. #4
    birdeen's call is offline VIP Member
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    Default Re: to understand

    I forgot to add one thing. Wheras reading scripts may seem a worse solution than just trying to listen very carefully (and maybe several times), I don't think it is, at least in my case. After reading, I just listen once again to see how the sounds I couldn't get take the shape of the words I've just read and that's enough. I know from experience that I can understand those phrases later (usually).

  5. #5
    graduate_st is offline Newbie
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    Default Re: to understand

    I actually start to use this free software to improve my listening skills.
    You can see an example at YouTube.com just type "E.S.V. QuickText" in the search field.
    For me It works perfectly!

  6. #6
    Rover_KE is offline Moderator
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    Default Re: to understand

    It's a mistake to assume that subtitles (AE closed captions) on TV programmes and films are always accurate transcriptions of the dialogue heard on the screen.

    They very often paraphrase the script to save space.

    Rover

  7. #7
    birdeen's call is offline VIP Member
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    Default Re: to understand

    Quote Originally Posted by Rover_KE View Post
    It's a mistake to assume that subtitles (AE closed captions) on TV programmes and films are always accurate transcriptions of the dialogue heard on the screen.

    They very often paraphrase the script to save space.

    Rover
    This is a good point, subtitles won't always be helpful. But they very often are and usually there's not much more we learners can do in such situations. It always irritates me when I can't get a phrase or a word and I don't give up easily, but without the help of an English-speaking person there's not much I can do usually.

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