NHK Easy News reading group

Hi @marcusp!
I think I can help on this one. The と is the same as in “と言う” or “と思う”.
It represents the “that” in your english translation : “indicate that”


That is brilliant! Thank you so much! :bowing_man:

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That’s the same as the quotes you put around “I’m not infectious”.

Yes, 咳が出る means “to cough” (according to the vocab list in Genki I chapter 12). Unfortunately it’s not on Jisho, though…

This is the causative version of “to know”, which gives the meaning of “to let know” or “to inform”.
So no reason to put it into brackets in your final translation; it’s not contextual but actually contained in the Japanese.


Wonderful! Thanks to your explanation, I understand everything now! Thank you @NicoleRauch! :smile: :+1:


Ooo. Perfect. I actually bought that book a few days ago and am just waiting for it from Japan. Looking forward to giving it a go. =D


Nice one! See you in the bookclub! :smile: :+1:


Four Easy News articles in one great Foxumon video!


☆Notice: this topic bump comes with the approval of @_Marcus.

We asked him/her and he/she thought it would be a good idea to have a reading activity involving the NHK here (as opposed to creating a new thread).

☆ How to participate?

It’s simple really. I have picked a random news article from the News Web Easy website.

Each sentence has been assigned a number:

Copy/Paste of the article as on the NHK webpage:

Click here to reveal





For those who read the article directly on the home page, you might notice a colour code:

Click to reveal

In green you have the names of people (there are none in this article but it’s good to know for other articles).

In orange you have proper names for places such as prefectures, towns, etc…

In blue you have company names and other associations.

Anyone can simply claim a sentence by picking a number of their choice and then putting up their reasoning and translation as a reply.

Since this meant to be a community exercise it’d be better to be light on rules to let people approach the activity on their own personal preferences. This being said, it’s always useful to read explanations as opposed to just a translation as we can learn a lot from the former and less from the latter.

Currently Available: Completed;


Yes indeed. I’m very happy to see some activity in this thread. Thank you so much. I’m not familiar with your method of study, but I’m sure it must make sense as I see you’ve been doing it for a while! Good luck, and though I’m busy tonight, I hope I can join you in reading some articles soon! :+1: :smiley:


Okay, I’ll try sentences (1), (2) & (3). Will edit this post as I go along…


日本政府 - Japanese Government
観光局 - (national) tourist bureau
によると - according to
今年 - this year
4月に - April + に particle
日本へ - to Japan
旅行に - travel, trip + に particle
来た - came
外国人は - non-Japanese + topic particle
2900人だけ - only 2,900 people
でした - was

去年 - last year
4月 - April
より - than
99.9% - 99.9%
少なくなりました - became fewer

旅行に来る外国人が - non Japanese people taking a trip [to Japan] + identifier particle
1か月に - in one month
1万人 - 10,000 people
より - than
少なくなった - became fewer
のは - (not sure about this… explanation particle + topic particle perhaps?)
調査を - survey + object particle
始めた1964年から - since [it] began [in] 1964
今までで - until now + で
初めて - for the first time
です - polite ending

According to the Japan National Tourism Organization, there were only 2,900 non-Japanese people that came to Japan this April.

This was 99.9% fewer than last April.

Until now, since it began in 1964, this is the first time surveys [have shown] the number of non-Japanese people taking a trip to Japan has fallen below 10,000 people.

Editing finished! That was great fun, but I’m a bit shaky on sentence (3), any help much appreciated!


0. 日本にっぽんへ旅行りょこうに来くる外国人がいこくじんがほとんどいなくなった

:speech_balloon: “The foreigners who travel to Japan are nearly gone”

(I’ll do the title to get the ball rolling. Note that is just how I do it because I like to do it that way).

Now of course, people can comment and correct my interpretation.

☆ Vocabulary ☆:

Normally, I would put the reading of each word in between 【 】but since the furigana is provided it would be redundant.

日本: n. Japan;
旅行: n. travel;
来る: v. to come;
外国人: n. foreigner;
ほとんど: adv. n. nearly, mostly, almost
いなくなった: exp. left, gone

Edit: @_Marcus I’ve removed (1) since you’ve claimed it as well as (2) and (3).


I will try 4 and 5 then

Original Explanation
日本の政府は Japanese government
新しいコロナウイルスが広がらないようにするため to make sure that the novel Coronavirus does not spread
今 now, currently
世界の100の国や地域から [people] coming from 100 countries and regions
日本に入ることができない may not enter Japan
ようにしています ようにする = make sure that…, to try to… + している = present continuous
このほかに other than that, furthermore
日本に入る人はみんな all people entering Japan
2週間 [for] two weeks
ホテルなどから from hotel etc.
出ないようにする make sure that [they] can’t leave
ことになっています ことになる = it has been decided that + っている = present continuous

To prevent the spread of the novel Coronavirus, the Japanese government now decides that people from 100 countries and regions may not enter Japan. Furthermore, people entering Japan may not leave their hotel or accomodation for 2 weeks.

Both sentences no. 4 and 5 used the grammar point 「ようにする」 a number of times:ようにする-you-ni-suru/


I’ll claim 6. I’ve edited my op up to date.


6. 旅行りょこうに来くる外国人がいこくじんはこれからも少すくないままになりそうです。

:speech_balloon: “After this, it seems like number of foreigners who come to travel will keep decreasing”

☆ Analysis ☆:

A lot of the vocabulary is the same so again, I won’t put it up again as it would be redundant. This time I’ll praise the sentence in “blocks”:

旅行に来る外国人『は』The foreigners who come and travel [topic];
これから: after this…
『も』inclusive particle although it can also mean “either” or “neither” in a negative sentence.
少ない: few, insufficient;

問題: what is the function of まま『に』here?

My first dictionary (Shirabe Jisho) gives me the following definition:

ⓐ as (e.g. “do as one is told”, “as we age we gain wisdom”), wherever (e.g. “wherever my fancy took me”)

I don’t know how it applies here.

Weblio gives me more definitions:

at times, now and again, now and then, once in a while, from time to time, occasionally, on occasion, oftentimes, oft, frequently

Yet another website gives me the following definition:

This usage of まま (mama) shows that you first do one action , and then while you are in that unchanging state, you perform another action .

From the same website, another definition:

When used in this way, the word まま (mama) in Japanese basically means something along the lines of situation , state , condition , etc. It works as a placeholder word for what is happening at a particular point in time.

And another definition:

In this case, まま means Okay , but with a negative connotation.


My interpretation of まま here is “stays the same/continues the trend”, or in the context of 少ないまま it means “keeps decreasing”. So 少ないままになる means “will keep decreasing” and 少ないままになりそうです means “it looks like it will keep decreasing”.


7. このため、日本にっぽんの経済けいざいはとても厳きびしくなっています。

Japanese PoS English
このため Expression Hence, for that reason;
経済 n. Economy;
厳しい 〜い adj. relentless, tough;
厳しく 〜い→く adv. relentlessly;
なっています v. continuous to become;

Why is 厳しく an adverbial here? Is it to express:

:speech_balloon: “For that reason Japan’s economy is becoming difficult/tough?”

For the next article, I’d like someone else to pick since I’d like the community to decide what is done. I thought it’d be a good idea for participants to pick an article in turn. Since I’ve done the first one, that’d leave @POLLantron or @_Marcus to pick one?


Okay, I have picked another article:

緊急事態宣言 東京都などでやめるか25日に専門家に聞く

Version with furigana

緊急事態宣言きんきゅうじたいせんげん 東京都とうきょうとなどでやめるか25日にちに専門家せんもんかに聞きく




Sentences with numbers:

Title: 緊急事態宣言 東京都などでやめるか25日に専門家に聞く

  1. 政府は、新しいコロナウイルスが広がらないようにするために出した緊急事態宣言を、大阪府、京都府、兵庫県でやめることを21日に決めました。

  2. しかし、東京都、埼玉県、千葉県、神奈川県と北海道では続けることにしました。

  3. 安倍総理大臣は、宣言を続ける所は「ウイルスがうつる人は少なくなって、病院でしっかり治療できるようになって、前よりよくなっている」と言っています。

  4. 政府は31日まで宣言を続ける予定でしたが、25日に専門家に意見を聞いて、もっと早く宣言をやめることもできると言っています。

  5. 政府は、宣言をやめた所でもウイルスがうつらないように、マスクをしたり人と人の間をあけたりして気をつけてほしいと言っています。

  6. そして、ウイルスがうつらないやり方で、生産や買い物など経済の活動をだんだん始めてほしいと考えています。

Currently available: completed


Yes, 厳しい can mean “strict” but it can also mean “harsh”, as in harsh criticism. But also (as in the below Weblio explanation):


② 耐えがたいほど激しい。激烈だ。 「残暑が-・い」 「砂漠地帯の-・い環境」

So for example, harsh late summer heat, harsh desert zone. The same word can be applied to the economy, exercise (workout), etc.


In Chinese, I’d say the best one-word translation for 厳 is ‘severe’, since it carries both the nuance of ‘strict’ and that of ‘harsh’. However, ‘harsh’ is definitely the better word here. I was having a hard time coming up with a way to link ‘strict’ with difficult conditions. :sweat_smile: Hahaha.

For the next article, I’m thinking of taking the first sentence and the title, unless somebody else wants them, so that we can start reading it. EDIT: Gonna start with just the title, since @YanagiPablo has taken the first sentence.


緊急 事態 宣言 東京 都 など で やめる か 25日 に 専門家 に 聞く

urgency state-of-affairs declaration Tōkyō capital something-like [location] stop [question] day-25 [time] specialty-person [aim/target] ask

State of emergency declaration: on the 25th, experts will be asked about ending it in Tokyo Prefecture and other prefectures

緊急事態宣言: quite self-explanatory given the meaning of each word. We might note that it is the 宣言i.e. declaration/announcement that will be ended (宣言をやめる), not the 事態. The reason for this is that the 事態 refers to the actual state of affairs, and not simply what someone like a government says is a ‘state of emergency’. 緊急事態をやめる=‘to end the urgent state of affairs’. The problem with this would be that something one ‘ends/stops’ (やめる) is usually something over which one has control, and which one has been doing up to that point. Hence, the government cannot end the 緊急事態 because it is not the one who started it or who is keeping it up.
都: this is the type of prefecture that Tokyo is. Japan has 47 prefectures: 一都、一道、二符、四十三県. The one 都 is the capital, Tokyo.
など: ‘something like’. It’s added after words like nouns in order to express that other similar things are also being included/considered.
…やめるか: when a question is the object of a verb (in this case, 聞く), it usually isn’t followed by any particle and is left as is. It could potentially be followed by と here, but that might suggest that those are the words that will be used to ask the question. I think と is unnecessary here because the question is a matter of consideration, and not a quote.
専門家: 専門=specialty/area of expertise. 家 is often attached to various other kanji in order to refer to a person related to a certain field or activity, like in 作家(さっか)= writer/author, since 作 is related to the idea of ‘making’ or ‘creating’.
Aに聞く: to ask A (something)
Aから聞く: to hear (something) from A



The government decided on 21st to end, at the Ôsaka, Kyôto and Hyôgo prefectures, the emergency state that was issued to ensure there is no spreading of the new Corona virus

政府 (せいふう) : government; it’s the topic of the sentence
★ 広がる (ひろがる) : to spread (自動詞) (★ : new vocabulary for me; I knew 広い but didn’t know there was also a verb); here in negative 広がらない
(動詞+)ようにする : to ensure that + Verb; then followed by ため, so the aim is to ensure that the new corona virus doesn’t spread.
出す : here, to issue (a decree, etc);
緊急事態 : state of emergency; 緊急(きんきゅう): emergency, urgency; 事態(じたい): situation.
★ 宣言 (せんげん) : declaration, proclamation
…ために出した緊急事態宣言 : the declaration of the state of emergency issued with the aim of …
and that declaration is tagged with を; the object of やめる
The list of prefectures, with で to tag the place of the action ( やめる, to stop); the action of stopping is nominalized with こと and tagged as the object を of 決めました. Note: the suffix for prefecture is 県(けん); but there are some exceptions: 北海道 : no suffix at all; 東京 uses 都 (と), 大阪 and 京都 use 府 (ふ)
決める (きめる) to decide;
the date (にじゅういちにち, 21日) is tagged with に (particle for date of action)
So, on 21st of the month, the government decided, at those prefectures, to stop the 緊急事態宣言 qualified by a subphrase explaining it was issued with a given aim.

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