NHK easy article attempt to read. THE SEQUEL

So the other day I attempted to read my first nhk article and break it down line by line for me to better understand the Japanese and it worked really well. I have already attempted to read my second article and again I have broken it down sentence by sentence, I know I will have gotten a lot wrong any feedback is most welcome!

Below is the article or you can read it here

中国の人口が前の年より少なくなった

中国は17日、去年12月の中国の人口は14億1175万人だったと発表しました。前の年より85万人少なくなりました。人口が少なくなったのは今まで1960年と1961年だけで、61年ぶりです。

去年生まれた子どもは、前の年より106万人少なくなりました。中国では7年前まで、家族に子どもは1人だけと決まっていました。今は3人までになりましたが、子どもを育てるのにお金がかかるため、結婚しない人や子どもを産まない人が増えています。65歳以上の人口は増えていて、中国はお年寄りが多くて子どもが少ない社会になっています。

中国は今まで、人口が増えて経済が世界で2番の大きな国になりました。しかし、これから人口が少なくなると、経済の成長が続かないかもしれないと専門家は考えています。

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中国は17日、去年12月の中国の人口は14億1175万人だったと発表しました。

  • 17日、去年12月の中国の人口は14億1175万人だった Last year on the 17th of December China’s population was 1,411,750,000. This one was quite an easy sentence with no new vocab or grammar
  • 14億1175万人 1,411,750,000 people
  • Unsure of the usage of と here but I have seen it referenced in places as a quotation so I am going to go with that for now.
  • 発表 is apparently an announcement or statement

Last year on the 17th of December China’s population was 1,411,750,000, said an announcement.

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前の年より85万人少なくなりました。

  • 前の年 previous year
  • より is what is really tripping me up in this sentence. I haven’t studied it before but have skimmed somewhere that it meant more than.
  • 85万人 850,000 people. Japanese counting confuses me.
  • 少なくなりました became fewer

850,000 less people than the previous year.

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人口が少なくなったのは今まで1960年と1961年だけで、61年ぶりです。

  • 人口が少なくなった The population decreased
  • のは not really sure about the combination of these particles?
  • 今まで until now
  • 1960年と1961年 1960 and 1961
  • だけで I litterally have no idea what this is :slightly_frowning_face: I don’t know whether it is だけ で or だけで because I read somehwere that だけ is only and then で could mean in. But i have read somewhere that だけで has other meanings (after a while I decided on the first because it sorta makes sense after sticking with it a while).
  • 61年ぶりです I didn’t know what ぶり meant but a dictionary tell me it means since so… Since 61 years or for 61 years.

The population decreased until now only in 1960 and 1961 it has been 61 years.

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去年生まれた子どもは、前の年より106万人少なくなりました。

  • 去年生まれた子どもは Children born last year as the topic of the sentence.
  • 前の年 previous year
  • より still have no idea of the function of this
  • 106万人 1,600,000 people (or this case babies)
  • 少なくなりました became fewer (but polite :slightly_smiling_face:)

Last year children born was 1,600,000 fewer than the previous year.

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中国では7年前まで、家族に子どもは1人だけと決まっていました。

  • 中国では7年前 In china 7 years ago
  • まで Not studied yet but believe it means until
  • 家族に子ど children in families maybe?
  • 1人だけ 1 person (child in this case) only
  • と unsure about this particle usage here
  • 決まっていました to have been decided

In China, until 7 years ago children in families only 1 it was decided.

(I think my understanding of this sentence is wrong because I know what it wants to say but the way I am reading it it doesn’t match up)

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今は3人までになりましたが、子どもを育てるのにお金がかかるため、結婚しない人や子どもを産まない人が増えています。

  • 今は now
  • 3人 3 children
  • までに no idea how まで and に affect each other
  • が but
  • なりました became (but polite :slightly_smiling_face:)
  • 育てる to raise (children)
  • のに despite (i think??)
  • かかる to take money
  • ため still unsure about how ため is used in general (a quick bunpro glance has let me know it means due to)
  • 結婚しない人や子どもを産まない人 people don’t marry or have children
  • が増えています increasing

Now up to 3 children but, people who are not getting married and having children is increasing due to raising children costs money.

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65歳以上の人口は増えていて、中国はお年寄りが多くて子どもが少ない社会になっています。

  • 65 years old
  • 以上の人口 (not sure what 以上 means and the dictionary isn’t helping so I had to give up and use translate and apparently this is population of over, which makes sense but can someone please explain to me this word 以上.
  • 増えていて (is this a て form paradox) increasing and
  • はお really have no idea what this is
  • 年寄り elderly person
  • 多くて子ども many and children
  • 少ない few
  • 社会 society
  • になっています is becoming

The population of 65’s and over is increasing and China is becoming a society with many elderly people and few children.

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中国は今まで、人口が増えて経済が世界で2番の大きな国になりました。

  • 中国は今まで China until now
  • 人口が増えて経済 population increase and economy
  • 世界で in the world
  • 2番の大きな国 2nd biggest country
  • になりました became

China up to now population is increasing and the economy is the 2nd largest in the world has become.

Or rather

China has become the 2nd largest economy in the world with an increasing population.

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しかし、これから人口が少なくなると、経済の成長が続かないかもしれないと専門家は考えています。

  • しかし however
  • これから from this point (or from now on)
  • 人口が少なくなる population few become (population decreases)
  • と which one is this one again???
  • 経済の成長 economic development
  • 続かない not continue
  • かもしれない might
  • と is this the quote と???
  • 専門家 Specialist
  • 考えています thinks

However, from now the population decreases and economic development may not continue, an expert thinks.

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Here is my final translation of the article made a bit easier to read in english

Last year on the 17th of December China’s population was 1,411,750,000, said an announcement. That’s 850,000 less people than the previous year. The population decreased until now only in 1960 and 1961 it has been 61 years. Children born was 1,600,000 fewer than the previous year.

In China, until 7 years ago families could only have 1 child.It’s now up to 3 children but, the number of people not getting married and having children is increasing due to the costs of raising a child. The population of 65’s and over is increasing and China is becoming a society with many elderly people and few children.

China has become the 2nd largest economy in the world with an increasing population. However, from now the population decreases and economic development may not continue, an expert thinks.

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Hmmm… close!

The sentence is read like this:

中国は17日、[去年12月の中国の人口は14億1175万人だった] と発表しました。

China announced on the 17th (of this month) that […].

Yes, it’s a quotation of what was announced, but the part before the comma is not part of the announcement.

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Not quite. The thing that happened on the 17th (of January; the article is dated the 18th) was the publication of the statistics; the stats themselves are just about December, not specific to a day.

Edit: sniped by @NicoleIsEnough !

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より marks the thing we’re comparing against; so here in “the population was 850,000 less than last year” we’re comparing this year’s figure against last year’s. I think it’s worth looking up the grammar for comparisons – it’s fairly straightforward once you’ve looked at the basic sentence patterns.

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This one’s だけ “only” plus で the copula (i.e. if the sentence stopped here it would be 今まで1960年と1961年だけです).

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の turns the part before it into a noun, in English this would be “the decrease of the population”. は is then the topic marker as you know it.

Here it is “only” + the て-form of the copula だ。

It puts the thing before and after it in a “less than” relation. Now you need to know which side is which, and I remember this by thinking that “the part before より always loses”. In your example:
前の年 - the year before that (i.e. two years ago)
より - less than
106万人少なくなりました - shrank by 1.06 (!) million people
This is a bit nasty because it’s less than a negative thing, but it means that compared to two years before the population shrank by 1.06 million people, like you inferred correctly.

Haha @pm215 maybe we should divide the posts equally among the two of us :rofl:

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After a number it means “NUMBER or more”, eg 6歳以上の子供 “children aged six or above”. There’s a little set of similar words, like 以下 “X or less”, eg 16歳以下 is “16 or younger”. The translations and dictionary entries end up a bit oddly worded because these words include the given number, whereas English more naturally expresses this kind of thing with phrases like “under-16s” which does not include 16 year olds. So to convey the same information as the Japanese the phrasing can end up a little clunky.

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Misparse: は is the topic marker, attaching to the previous noun phrase. お is the honorific/politeness prefix, so お年寄り == the elderly.

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No; it’s the conditional と, so the experts are saying “If the population now starts to decrease, then the economic growth may not continue”.

Edit: whoops, cut-n-pasted the wrong bullet point about と. First one is conditional, second is, yes, quoting.

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Not sure what doesn’t match up to you? The fragments look ok and the concluding sentence as well… Care to elaborate?

Unfortunately this is まで + になりました (it has been decided)

Unfortunately this is “in order to” - this is a very annoying layering of opposite meanings :sweat_smile:

You mean this? 以上 - Jisho.org
Please please please do yourself the favor and stop using Google Translate and instead use a dictionary - it will give you so much more understanding of the words…

This is は + お年寄り (politeness prefix + elderly person)

Uuuh, not sure whether this is equivalent in English but the Japanese really says

人口が増えて the population increased
経済が世界で2番の大きな国になりました the economy became the world’s second largest country

so the て splits two complete sentences.

when - then (strict conclusion)
when the population decreases, then the economy … is what experts think.

But yes, the second と is the quotation (of the experts’ thoughts).

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