Best way to Study a Youtube Video? or any video with subt?

I was wondering, what’s the best way to approach, study or learn from a “Youtube” video with subtitles? (imported in LingQ of course).

And in this case, I’m referring to short videos with full text so to learn ALL vocabulary and total auditory comprehension.

For example: reading before the text and search for vocabs and then watching the video… Watching before the video and then reading the text and so on.

Do you know if there is a known best technique to maximize comprehension? Or if this is just subjective?

I would appreciate to know if there is a sort of method (step 1, 2, 3) that is more reliable and researched that give the best results.

Thank you very much.


Hi @davideroccato, you might enjoy Steve’s recent video on this exact subject: Learning Languages with Netflix & YouTube - YouTube

He will often have a tutor write a summary of the video before watching it. Then going through and LingQing the text. And then watching again, once you’ve become familiar with the text.

If you don’t have a tutor or desire to hire a tutor, then simply watching the video once, and then LingQing the text, and then watching is a great strategy. That’s what I do with Youtube videos.

I think the best strategy depends on a combination of

  • your level
  • the level of the video
  • how much time you have
  • what you like to do

If the video is far beyond your level, watching it without a summary or without LingQing the captions first will result in a very low amount of comprehension.

  • I found this to be the case with a Netflix series I tried watching. Without LingQing first, it’s just too difficult.

If the video is far below your level, LingQing first will be boring.

I hope this helps you approach this subject :slight_smile:


Hey Tommy,

Thanks for the link, I’ll definitely watch it.

The idea of a summary before watching the video is interesting but I suppose it could be worth it if the video is too long. I don’t have the ability to watch long videos in German for now because it’s still too difficult. And I totally understand you with TV series or movies.

So, you generally watch the video before reading the text even if you don’t understand much? Do you watch it without subtitles to have an idea of the topic?
Then you read and learn the text and then you rewatch it again, right? Do you rewatch it more than once?

Here is my usual approach (although it’s certainly not a hard rule I stick to):

  • First I watch the video with subtitles. Even if I don’t understand much, I use this as a gauge to see if I understand anything. Sometimes I’ll even write my own summary after watching it (so I can compare it to my summary after studying the text on LingQ).
  • Then I will study the text, creating LingQs for new words.
  • And then I’ll watch it again without subtitles, to practice more pure listening (but having become familiar with the words I previously did not recognize).

Thanks. I’ll definitely have to put myself into it with way more discipline! It’s something I know it’s important but I also find it boring!

Well if you find it boring, then maybe use an approach you enjoy. I enjoy doing this, in particular for videos that a bit beyond my level. It’s satisfying for me to finally comprehend them.

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Well, the fact is that I enjoy the result of speaking different languages but not the “training” to get there. :smiley:

Ciao Davide,

Ti rispondo in italiano, ché mi sembra di non usarlo mai!
Come te, sto studiando tedesco ed ho iniziato con LingQ oramai quasi 17 mesi fa.
La mia routine con un video YouTube è la seguente:

  • Guardo (o ascolto soltanto) il video senza sottotitoli il giorno 1;
  • Studio la trascrizione il giorno 2, possibilmente al mattino e a mente fresca. Dopo aver creato dei LingQ, mi annoto massimo 4-5 parole o frasi che non conosco o voglio rafforzare, e ne faccio Anki Flashcards;
    Se c’è qualche concetto grammaticale che non capisco, cerco su internet o chiedo al mio Tutor su Italki.
  • Se mi avanza tempo, riascolto in maniera libera l’audio il giorno 3, senza soffermarmi troppo su quello che non capisco ma solo prestando attenzione all’essenziale. Se non ho tempo per questo, cerco comunque di guardare nell’arco di un determinato periodo di tempo, video che trattano tematiche simili, così da avere parole che ricorrono e che diventano col tempo familiari.
    Ovviamente questo per me funziona con video che sono poco sopra al mio livello e che riesco a seguire senza fare troppa fatica e a… godermi!

Se hai bisogno o voglia di confrontarti ulteriormente, chiedi pure! Lo stesso dicasi se sei alla ricerca di nuovi canali YouTube/Podcasts con trascrizione.

Un saluto,

Hallo Davide,

ich antworte dir gerne auch auf Deutsch, sodass ich auch ein bisschen meine Schreibfähigkeiten weiterüben kann.

Genauso wie du, lerne ich Deutsch hier auf LingQ, genauer gesagt seit fast 17 Monaten.

Folgend mein Ansatz beim Lernen mit YouToube Videos:

- Am ersten Tag gucke ich (oder höre mir) das Video ohne Untertitel an;
- Am zweiten Tag lerne ich mit dem Transkript am Liebsten am Morgen früh. Ich schreibe 4-5 Wörter oder Sätze nieder, die ich entweder nicht kenne oder verstärken will, und erstelle mir Anki Flashcards damit. Falls es ein grammatischer Begriff gibt, der ich nicht verstehe, schaue ich mal im Netz an oder frage meinen Italki Tutor.
- Wenn ich mehr Zeit habe, höre ich mir das Audio am dritten Tag wieder an, ohne an die Sachen, die ich nicht verstehe, zu denken, sondern fokussiere ich mich auf das Wesentliche. Wenn ich keine Zeit habe, versuche ich trotzdem innerhalb einer bestimmten Zeit eine Reihe von Videos anzuschauen, die sich von gleichen Themen handeln, sodass es, immer Wörter aus der gleichen Familie stammen, gibt.

Das funktioniert natürlich nur mit Videos, die ein bisschen höher sind als mein aktuelles Niveau, aber die trotzdem verständlich sind und Spaß machen!

Wenn du Bock hast, weiter darüber zu sprechen, oder du ein paar Tipps zum Thema YouTube oder Podcasts mit Transkript brauchst, frag mich einfach!

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Ciao Giuseppe, grazie per la risposta. Si, questa sembra essere la forma più classica, la cosa interessante nel tuo caso è che la separi per giorni diversi piuttosto che fare un video più breve e magari fare tutto il procedimento uno dopo l’altro nello stesso giorno.

Può essere un approccio interessante che però andrebbe strutturato in modo più consistente per essere sicuri di ottenere il risultato sperato (in questa situazione specifica).

Ho l’impressione che la ripetizione dello stesso video più e più volte fino ad averne assorbito la totale comprensione auditiva possa essere in realtà più efficace per familiarizzare l’orecchio al tipo di frequenza della lingua. Ma non ho trovato alcuno studio o metodo più efficace di un altro al riguardo.

Grazie per aver scritto anche in tedesco, il mio è decisamente ancora ad un livello inferiore, soprattutto nello scritto :slight_smile:


It probably depends on your level of comprehension. For me, my reading is way stronger than my listening, but for YouTube videos, I still rank listening as the top priority for that resource.

At the end of the day, my strategy is lots of repetition and active recall.

  1. Listen to the video without subtitles and reading and see how much I understand.
  2. Read the subtitles if there are any.
  3. Listen and read at the same time.
  4. Write down and look up words on Google Translate/Yandex/Context Reverso.
  5. I would write short sentences about the conversation/video. This step is pretty mentally taxing and I hardly do it, because I’ve been lazy these days.

Thanks for your input.

The writing part could be indeed important too. I didn’t think about it. It’s a way to go deeply into the topic and develop writing skills as well. Good input, thanks.

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Nice! I’ve also been incorporating your step 5 into my process. Writing short summaries of videos I watch, and really any lesson I do in LingQ. Great use of more active processing, and the Feynman method (short summaries of material just consumed) is one of the best known techniques for accelerated learning.

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I’m glad to know other people know about the Feynmann method!

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I didn’t know that so I looked at it and I have to say it’s even better now. Writing a summary using this method after the last step. Great idea! Thanks.