Let’s read NHK Regular Articles

Would someone like to pick the next article?

You parsed this wrong. Need to start from the 30.

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My previous interpretation was:

:speech_balloon: “The first part is about the quantity of fallen rain over 24 hours maybe over a period of 30 days. I’m not sure about the time period however. Maybe it’s in comparison of a period of 30 days for precipitation”

So you are saying this is incorrect if I understand correctly. Ok, let’s try again:

ⓐ 30日夕方までの24時間に降る雨の量は

:thought_balloon: So I think here 量【りょう】is the topic of the sentence and what precedes it is attributive. More specifically, the amount of fallen water as indicated by 降る雨『の』.

If we keep backtracking, we find out that it’s not just “the amount of fallen water” (precipitation) but precipitation over a period of time as indicated by the 『に』there.

:bulb: Oh, I get it! We are comparing the precipitation of the last 24 hours (24時間) to the 30 days until now, is that it?

I’m fuzzy about 日夕. Should I interpret it as “day and night”?

It’s 30日 (remember when this article was written) and 夕方


The article was written on the 29th of June, which is a day before the 30th mentioned here. Perhaps this is a forecast of some kind then.

夕方: ゆうがた: dusk;

Is it the precipitation forecast for 24 hours until the dusk of the 30th?

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I was thinking about this article about Biden for the next article unless you have something to suggest.

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Well, “qui ne dit mot consent” as they say.

⓪ 米大統領選 民主党 バイデン氏 8月上旬までに副大統領候補決定

米大統領選: president of the USA;
民主党: Democratic Party;
バイデン氏: mister Biden;
副大統領候補: candidate for vice-president;
決定: decision;
8月上旬までに; first 10 days of August;

:speech_balloon: “Mister Biden of the Democratic Party has until the first 10 days of August to make a decision regarding his vice-president regarding the presidency of the USA”

Is that ok?

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It sounds like you’re implying there’s a deadline when you say he “has until.” までに just means “by” and I think it’s his choice when to decide.

There probably is some actual deadline, but I don’t think this is it. Just from following the race I haven’t heard anything about that anyway.


① ⓐ ことし秋のアメリカ大統領選挙で、ⓑ 野党・民主党の候補者指名を確定させているバイデン前副大統領は、ⓒ 女性を選ぶとしている自身の副大統領候補について8月上旬までに決定したい考えを明らかにしました。

:speech_balloon: “This fall’s American presidency election”;

:memo: Vocabulary:
野党: opposition party;
民主党: Democratic Party;
候補者: participant;
指名: nomination, nominating;
副大統領: vice-president;

🙋 based on sentence ⓑ 確定させている, just want to make sure, why is させている used here?

To me 候補者指名を確定している would make it sound like he chose himself to be the candidate, which he didn’t have the power to do unilaterally, whereas 候補者指名を確定させている sounds like he caused it to turn out the way it did.


It looks like every paragraph also happens to be a sentence so that makes it easy to number them. I couldn’t be bothered to look up the actual Biden quote from the press conference so I translated it as an indirect quote instead.

I’ve moved things around a bit because the sentence would have been awkward in English otherwise, but the below should be a translation that doesn’t omit anything from the original without clinging to it too much.

② バイデン氏は6月30日、地元の東部デラウェア州で記者会見を開き、女性を選ぶと明言している自身の副大統領候補について「候補者たちの名前は明かさないが、多くの白人以外の女性がいるし、ラテン系やアジア系もいる」と述べ、多様な候補者の中から選定を行っていることを明らかにしました。

In reference to his statement that he would nominate a female running mate, Mr. Biden noted at a press conference held in the eastern part of his home state of Delaware on June 30 that he wouldn’t reveal any names, but clarified that he would choose from a diverse pool of candidates made up of a number of women of color, including Hispanic and Asian-American women.

記者会見 press conference
明言する to declare
副大統領候補 running mate
候補者 candidate
明かす to reveal
述べる to note
多様 diverse
選定 selection
明らかにする to clarify

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ⓒ 女性を選ぶとしている自身の副大統領候補について8月上旬までに決定したい考えを明らかにしました。

:thought_balloon: Something along the lines that he will disclose if he wants to pick a female vice-president in the first 10 days of August.

女性: female;
選ぶ【えらぶ】to choose;
自身: oneself;
副大統領候補: candidate for vice-presidency;

Is the first 『と』a conditional in the sense of “if he choses a female”?

It’s part of とする, which has many definitions.

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So here it’s “try to decide” I suppose. I thought it was “try to decide for himself” because of 「自身」but I figured I would then need 『で』? I’m not sure about the connection between 自身 and 副大統領候補.

I don’t think you need the “try” nuance. That’s usually only when it’s something like 選ぼうとする. If it’s 選ぶとする then it’s just “decide to choose.” And ている makes it “has decided to choose.”

自身の副大統領候補 is just a way of saying “his vice presidential candidate” using a reflexive pronoun.


Could you (or someone else) detail this further? I read but I don’t understand…

を確定する means をはっきり決める

Basically “to decide,” for the purpose of this discussion.

He didn’t “decide” to make himself the presidential nominee, even though he wanted to be the nominee. The people who voted for him did that. So by using させる it basically means that he brought about the decision (by campaigning and convincing people to vote for him), though he wasn’t the one who directly made it.


This is an interesting topic. Japanese newspaper headlines in particular can seem very confusing at first because they omit verbs (lots of phrases ending in particles) and often contain multiple non-connected parts (denoted by the use of spaces).

Here’s a decent article explaining how to interpret headlines ending in を、に、へ、か and で. In general the question “which verb was omitted?” should help figuring out the meaning. There usually aren’t many option.

One more thing I found strange at first (but very useful now) is that newspaper articles, especially on NHK, almost always seem to repeat themselves. That is because the first paragraph is usually a summary of the article – and typically good enough that you get the gist without reading anything else. This also means that the density of difficult vocabulary is often especially high here. It’s very useful for learners, though, because it means you’ll encounter much of the vocabulary at least twice during the article.

It’s also worth mentioning that newscasters typically speak in the same way or very similar to how the articles are written. That’s why I recommend also watching news from time to time, it helps getting used to the most common expressions and phrases. Like によりますと which is a very news-y expression (による is way more common in other contexts, even in formal contexts according to my experience).


I think I have trouble understanding the causative which recurrently leads me to misunderstand sentences.

Verbs conjugated into the causative form are used to indicate an action that someone makes happen. Like Captain Picard so succinctly puts it, the causative verb means to “make it so”.

(From Tae-Kim)

It’s a concept absent in French and English (as far as I know). From what I understand the causative is expressed by inflicting the verb in Japanese as opposed to using phrases in English/French. It’s a novel concept to me.

I don’t understand the idea of “make it so”. It doesn’t explain anything to me and leaves me confused.

The causative is used when you cause a “verb” to happen, but you don’t do the “verb” yourself.

There is a causative-form in french a bit similar, it’s “faire + verb”.
“J’ai fait construire ma maison” (I had my house built): I’m not the one who built the house, but ultimately I’m the cause of it (probably by hiring a house making company)
“J’ai fait faire du piano a mon fils.” ( I made my son play piano): I’m not the one who play piano, it’s my son, but ultimately I’m the cause of it.

Now in French it sound quite forceful, it sound like I forced my son to play piano. Japanese causative is a bit different, simpler maybe. If I say 息子にピアノを弾かせました, I just state that I caused my son to play piano. Maybe I forced my son to play piano, maybe my son really badly wanted to play piano and I said ok and paid for piano lessons, it doesn’t matter in this sentence, it just matter that I’m somehow the cause of it.

As leebo said, Biden didn’t decide by himself to be the presidential nominee, because he can’t do that, he has to be elected by the people of his political party. However he caused it to happen, by presenting himself and by doing a successful campaign.