NHK Easy News reading group

Screenshot 2020-02-21 at 10.33.25

Welcome to the WK NHK Easy News thread!

This thread is for anyone reading articles from the NHK Easy News site, to post translations, questions, links, tips, or anything related to learning Japanese from the articles.

This main focus of this thread is learning Japanese, not discussing the contents of the articles, but anything that helps with understanding the article is very welcome!


  • Please link to the article you are discussing in your post


Is there a poll to click?

  • No! Join in any time for any article that interests you!

Really? There must be polls!

Currently discussing and translating: あかるい気持きもちでいよう」ホテルのまどひかりでメッセージ (link to original article in post)


reserved post


Mini complaint: I wish the toggle for kanji would float with you as you scroll down.


How do you deal with snags in your reading? This is what I do:

1.I check the monolingual dictionary if I encounter a word I feel I should know, but I can’t recall.
2. If that doesn’t help, I make sure the furigana is toggled off and pop that kanji/word into Jisho.
3. If I understand the words, but not quite how they go together, I run the sentence through Google Translate. It usually helps me figure out the relationship between the words.
4. I pester my coworkers!

  1. pester the good people on this thread!

I’m completely new to reading NHK easy news, it always looked too difficult for me, but I recently watched a couple of Foxumon’s breakdowns and suddenly it seems do-able! Thanks so much for your tips here, I’m sure they’ll be helpful when I actually start reading one by myself! My aim is to read them quite regularly from now on. And hopefully, this thread will be a good place to come for tips like yours, inspiration, and even discussion of the language in specific articles! Thank you!


I have a similar approach. Although new vocab don’t stick as easily, unless I see them in every article. For example, every day there’s at least one about the recent coronavirus epidemic, so coronavirus-related vocab are starting to stick.


I like to read NHK Easy News in an app called TangoRisto (I’m not sure but I think it’s iPhone-only, sorry! which exists for iPhone and Android). It breaks down an article’s words into JLPT-levels and indicates in the main list how many words are from which level. It also allows to activate furigana based on JLPT-level. Finally, I can click on words and get an instant translation. That’s especially handy with these long words that are names of ministries and other official things. Of course sometimes there are misparses, so keep an eye on them, but I found them to occur relatively rarely.

(And if you are fed up with NHK, you can also read a wealth of other sources through this app.)


There’s an extension for Chrome (and other browsers I believe) called Rikaikun. When enabled, it can translate kanji/words on mouseover for things you haven’t learned yet.


くまモンに触れることさえできません。 NEWS WEB EASY|「くまモン」 ウイルスが広がらないように握手やハグをやめる


Thanks for this thread! I usually try to read an article every few days, with TangoRisto like @NicoleIsEnough mentioned already. The ordering by vocab level makes it easier to find articles suited to my level!

Sometimes I find the available content a little bit boring or repetitive if I’ve been reading a lot of it lately, I do wish more of the easy articles would also come from other (non-headline) sections… in those cases the folktales in the same app are nice :slightly_smiling_face:

1 Like

About the setence

First I had to look up some vocab, but I think I slowly got what the sentence is telling, though I’m a bit confused by 大勢の人 where 大勢 means “general trend” according to tangoristo. A person / persons of general trend… ? Maybe this is a kind of idiomatic expression?
If so, I’d crudely translate this sentence to something like:

At the meeting place, people (in general) take pictures and enjoy themselves.

What do you think?


Another meaning of 大勢, according to Jisho, is crowd of people; great number of people.

And thank you @mmm333 for starting the ball rolling with the first question of the thread! Nice one!


Can I ask about a sentence in the same article?


ひな祭り - Hinamatsuri, Dolls Festival, Girls Festival
に - direction particle
は - topic particle
ひな人形を - Hina Dolls + object particle
飾って - to decorate, to display, in て-form
お祝いします - congratulate, celebrate

A couple of questions:

  • The verb is not passive, so I guess the subject of the sentence is not there. I’m getting more used to that these days, and here it must be “we” or “people in Japan” or something like that. If it were included, would it just be a 私たちは at the start?
  • I thought the て-form is like “and”, so this would be “display and celebrate”, but surely a better translation would be “celebrate by displaying” - is that also covered in the use of the て-form?
  • “[we] celebrate Hinamatsuri by displaying Hina Dolls” - is that an okay translation?

Thanks for any help anyone can offer!


I’m Android-only and TangoRisto has always worked great for me on all the phones I’ve gone through–generally Samsung and LG. It also works fine on my ancient 2014 Galaxy Note tablet. Definitely agree with @NicoleIsEnough, this app is great–you can bookmark to read later, and also bookmark vocab you come across.


There is now:

Have you read any articles on NHK Easy yet?

  • Yes
  • I’ve tried
  • Not yet
  • No, and I won’t since it’s too simple for me
  • No, I just don’t plan to
  • Other
0 voters

In this context, “crowd(s) of people” (enjoying taking pictures)

I’d say “Hinamatsuri is celebrated by displaying Hina dolls.”
Translating Japanese to English isn’t always a tidy fit.


Makes sense. Thanks for the response :slight_smile:

I’d probably not approach translating sentences too heavily and trying to fit them into English grammatical concepts. After all Japanese doesn’t really have the concept of subject like English does. Don’t overthink it and let the feel of the language come with time :slight_smile:


Good to know that it also exists for Android! I must have confused it with some other app.

I probably don’t have the academic chops to argue it properly, but after reading Tae Kim and watching the Cure Dolly videos, I personally lean more towards the CD interpretation where it is perfectly fine for the crepe to be the subject of the following sentence:

クレープが 食べたいから

In that, the crepe is “wanting to be eating” and the understood part that is omitted is the “私は”.

I also think the CD analysis that a sentence always has to have a subject even if it is omitted makes more sense to me than TK’s analysis.