How Theatre Surtitles Help You Learn French

  • April 11, 2016
  • Theatre in Paris exclusives
  • Guest author

We’re always on the lookout for innovative ways to help you learn French and enjoy Paris, so we were really excited to stumble upon the concept of French theatre with English surtitles.

In helping your comprehension of oral French, the surtitles may help you more easily absorb grammar and sentence structure. And the show itself can add to your understanding of French culture, politics, and humour – all of which will certainly help you adjust to life in France.

Theatre Ranelagh
Theatre Edouard VII

We highly recommend reading in French as being fundamental to improving your speaking ability. One of its biggest benefits, of course, is that reading can substantially (and quickly) widen your vocabulary, but more subtly it greatly improves your comprehension of spoken French. But can the same be true if you are watching and listening to something in French whilst reading the translation in English?

If you are a beginner at French this method can certainly help you enjoy one of the great Paris pastimes of going to see a theatre show, whilst being able to completely follow the action and drama may help your French comprehension skills.

Even for more advanced French learners, it’s sometimes challenging after a tiring day to fully concentrate on the show. However, when that show is not in your native language, even if you have an intermediate or higher level of French, it’s often quite a mental challenge to be able to switch concentration levels between the show and all the other things you have going on in your mind.

So whatever your level of French, if you like the idea of fully immersing yourself in Parisian culture and sitting amongst the locals, a trip to the theatre with surtitles is a fun and effortless way to improve!