Awesome Tips for Learning Japanese with the News

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A great way to study Japanese is by watching, listening to or reading ニュース(にゅーす), the news.

The news helps you learn important vocabulary and improve your listening and comprehension. Another advantage is that you can know what the heck is going on. All of the studying I did with the news came in really handy during the nuclear meltdown in Fukushima a few years ago. I was very glad I’d done it.

But I have to say that it’s tough at the start. When I first moved to Japan ten years ago, I planted myself in front of the news nearly every night and couldn’t make heads or tails of what anybody was saying. But I stayed the course and I kept studying, along with practicing conversation whenever possible.

Here are some tips that made it easier for me (and will for you too).

Tips for Learning Japanese with the News

1. Become a News Junkie

Consume a lot of news on a regular basis. Of course, the more you practice, the better your comprehension will become. But with news, there are certain phrases and words that are used repeatedly, such as:

について – about, concerning

によって – according to, due to

。。。に注意してください (。。。にちゅういしてください) – please beware of…/be careful with…
詐欺に注意してください。(さぎにちゅういしてください。) – Please beware of fraud.
雷雨に注意してください。(らいうにちゅういしてください。) – Please be careful with the thunderstorm.

政府 (せいふ) – government

問題 (もんだい) – problem, issue, question

事件 (じけん) – affair, case

地震 (じしん) – earthquake

You’ll get used to hearing these words and phrases, and this will boost your comprehension.

2. Let It Wash over You

When you first start studying with the news, don’t try to understand everything that’s being said. That will drive you insane. Instead, take in whatever you can pick out and try to get the gist of what they’re saying. If you find yourself losing the thread of what’s being said, try to start up again with the next story.

3. Remember New Words and Phrases

Whenever you’re able to pick out a new word or phrase, write it down. This will help you remember it the next time you hear it. Before you start your news watching sessions, do a little drilling on your new vocabulary to help it stick so that you’ll be better able to follow your stories.

4. Go Audio

Most of us watch the news on TV, but if you’re studying a language with the news, another option is to listen to the radio or a news podcast. In an audio format, broadcasters tend to talk more slowly and clearly. I noticed this when I discovered the talk radio stations in Tokyo. With podcasts, you can save episodes to go back and listen to them again.

5. Use Your Interests

If you’re not particularly interested in the news, choose a specific field of the news that interests you. If you’re a baseball fan, watch the sports news. If you like cars, find an automotive news podcast. If you’re into music, find some news about the Japanese music scene.

6. Follow a Story

Find a particular story that interests you and follow it. Each day, tune in to news about your story. You’ll remember the vocabulary and have the necessary context to understand the latest broadcast. I remember doing this with a newspaper story about a high school girl murder case. Pretty morbid subject matter, I know, but it was easier to understand than the political bickering and other news.

7. Japanese and English

A cool exercise for learning Japanese with news is to find the same story in both English and Japanese. Watch or read the story in Japanese first, and then use the English story to see if you understood it. This is easiest to do with newspaper articles. Often, a news story will originate with a native English news service and be translated into Japanese. With the internet, it’s relatively easy to find both stories.

8. Not Necessarily for Conversation

Keep in mind that when you learn Japanese with news, you’re not learning everyday conversation. I point this out because you don’t want to talk like a news reporter when you hang out with your friends. I recommend learning with the news as part of an overall study routine that includes colloquial Japanese as well.

Resources for Learning Japanese with the News

All of the resources below are free and most are aimed at Japanese language learners.

  • Japanese News App



Japanese questions frequently asked in interviews

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Japanese questions frequently asked in interviews

A Japanese interview with a Japanese company is something to be expected if you are a Japanese learner. Interviews in your mother tongue are hard enough, let alone in Japanese…

That’s why in this article, LearnJapanesedaily will introduce you to Japanese questions frequently asked in interviews with Japanese companies.

you might be also interested in: Interviews with Japanese companies – 7 gestures to avoid

1. Tell me about yourself

The very first question you are going to be asked in any interview: Tell me about yourself!

“Jikoshoukai wo onegai shimasu” (自己紹介をお願いします/じこしょうかいをおねがいします)

The keywords of this question are 自己紹介 jikoshoukai. Sometimes you might not be able to hear every words clearly, but if you get these keywords, it normally means the interviewer is asking you to introduce yourself.

To not be confused when being interviewed, prepare a brief introduction beforehand and practise it on your own or with a friend over and over again. The introduction should be something about you that is related to the job such as: Name (again), age, academic background (very important to people being interviewed for the first time), work experience… Keep the words formal and polite.

2. What do you know about us?

This question is also asked very frequently, especially in interviews for the higher positons in the company, or highly skilled candidates. They might ask:

“(Name of the company) ni tsuite nani wo shitte imasu ka?” (Name of the company  について何を知っていますか/についてなにをしっていますか).

What do you know about our company (name of the company)?

Or they can go further with questions about their products:

Name of the company ga dono youna seihin wo tsukutteiru ka, donna seihin ni tsukawareteiru ka gozonji desu ka?” name of the company がどの様な製品を作っているか、どんな製品に使われているかご存知ですか/name of the company がどのようなせいひんをつくっているか、どんなせいひんにつかわれているか ごぞんじですか).

To be ready for this question, develop a habit of doing research about the company through their websites… If you can’t find the information, be honest and let them know. But at least, give it a try, this shows your concern with the company and the job itself.

3. Why did you apply for this position?

This question is asked a lot in interviews with Japanese company, the question might be:

oubodouki wo oshiete kudasai” (応募動機を教えて下さい/おうぼどうきをおしえてください).

Instead of using 応募動機, the interviewer may ask :

shiboudouki, oubo shita riyuu,” (志望動機、応募した理由 / しぼうどうき、おうぼしたりゆう), 

ouboshita kikkake” (応募したきっかけ / おうぼしたきっかけ

or “shibouriyuu” (志望理由 / しぼうりゆう)

Prepare your answers ahead of time if you don’t want to look and sound disoriented.

Focus on the reasons on how you would suit the position the best, or just simple as how you have always wanted to work in a Japanese company, or how you like their products and want to take part in the production…

Of course you should also prepare answers to questions that interviewers might have asked when they hear your answers!

4. Others

Besides all the questions mentioned above, you might also receive such questions:

Why would you want to change your job/ why did you quit?

ima no shigoto wo kaetai riyuu ha nan desu ka” (今の仕事を替えたい理由は何ですか/いまのしごとをかえたいりゆうはなんですか).

Tell me about your current job?

genzai no shigoto naiyou wo oshiete kudasai” (現在の仕事内容を教えて下さい/げんざいのしごとないようをおしえてください).

This is a chance for you to show the interviewers your work experience and knowledge that you have garnered from this job.

Tell me about your sales experience!

ima made okonatta seerusu katsudou ni tsuite oshiete kudasai(今まで行ったセールス活動について教えて下さい/いままでおこなったせーるすかつどうについておしえてください).

How do you deal with pressure/stress at work?

puresshaa ni dou taiou shimasu ka, puresshaa ni taisho suru houhou wo oshiete kudasai.” (プレッシャーにどう対応しますか。プレッシャーに対処する方法を教えて下さい/ぷれっしゃーにどうたいおうしますか。ぷれっしゃーにたいしょするほうほうをおしえてください).

Strengths – Weaknesses

長 所と短所を教えてください。Chousho to tanshowo oshiete kudasai. This question is asked a lot in Japanese interviews. You should prepare for it.

Above are Japanese questions frequently asked in interviews with Japanese companies. Go to the interview all prepared! What is better than having all the answers to to every questions?

Be confident and ace your interview!