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Japanese Newspapers Posted by on Mar 17, 2011 in Uncategorized

If you want to read up about the situation in Japan, why not read a Japanese language newspaper to find out? Japanese newspapers use a lot of kanji, which can make it difficult to read for beginner level readers of Japanese.

For example Yomiuri Shimbun (読売新) had a headline like this:

東日本巨大地震死者行方不明者1万2千人超

東日本 = eastern Japan

巨大 = gigantic

地震 = earthquake

死者 = casualties

行方不明者 = missing people

= 10,000

= 1,000

= person(s)

= over, more than

You’ll probably see the kanji for ‘eastern Japan’ in the newspaper in frequent use because that was the part of Japan that was heavily affected by the recent disasters. You may also want to accustom yourself with the kanji for ‘casualties’ and ‘missing people’.

Mainichi Shimbun (毎日新) had a headline like this:

東日本大震災 サポート情報

= big

震災 = earthquake

サポート = support

情報 = information

The kanji for “earthquake” is different from the kanji for “earthquake” in the Yoimuri headline. Just be aware that you may see both of the kanji being used to refer to earthquakes.

Asahi Shimbun (朝日新聞)

東京国際アニメフェアも中止

東京国際 = Tokyo international

アニメフェア = anime fair

= also, too

中止 = discontinued, suspended

Due to the recent catastrophes, lots of events are being canceled, interrupted or rescheduled. Therefore you may see this kanji a lot: 中止

Now that you know the meanings of the kanji, you can probably figure out what the headlines mean in English. Asahi, Yomiuri and Manichi Shimbun are one of the most widely circulated newspapers in Japan. They are also easily accessible online and have articles in English as well. So try it on your own and see if you can understand the titles of various articles.

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