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Jalup Group Challenge 7: Navigating The News — 23 Comments

  1. I’ve been reading nhk easy news article pretty consistently already so I might make the switch to real native news I’ll try the site examples and find one I like.

    -Level 43~
    -Been reading NHK easy news articles since end of April
    -most lolly livedoor, but I’ll mix and match before the month begins and find the ones I like
    -I’ve developed a semi habit to read nhk easy news articles so now just switch them out with the new news platform

    • Ok so I chose line news as my app but I just realized I am going to be in Los angeles all of next month. So I don’t think I will be able to fully intensively read the news articles and learn the vocab but I will still read them.

  2. Oo, yes, I need this one! So far I’ve failed every challenge presented so far that I’ve taken part of but that doesn’t mean I can’t still try.

    – Don’t know. Haven’t checked in a while. Definitely above 50?
    – When it comes to the news I read three different journals every day in English. I have to remember that it took practice for me to get to this level: to become “an adult”. So I should expect the same to happen in Japanese.
    – Line News
    – Like getting used to the news in English, it’s important to choose the article that you are most interested in so I will do that. Not articles I think I should be reading, but those that interest me, even if it’s just Euro Cup soccer results and not an article about the Brexit. Using Line News will be easiest as those updates come straight to my phone in nice little chunks and I can check them discreetly while I’m at work.

    Only holdback should be the weekends where I tend to not read the news so as to escape reality and adulthood for awhile.

    • I was doing well at the beginning but then work made it to where I work 9 straight hours without breaks so my regular studying/reading time was removed. And in the evenings I just relax and watch stuff online. I have to admit to myself that I’m not in the mood of studying anymore and that with summer I don’t want to read, I just want to go out and socialize. The learning mood should come back eventually but I’m not panicking. I do live in Japan after all and every experience is a learning experience. I do want to get to an even higher level but that time will come.

  3. This type of challenge has actually been on my mind recently. Motivating to know that others out there want to take on this fight, too! I’m in.

    -Last time I checked (about 3-4 months ago) I was around level 45. I’d estimate I’m at 48 or so now.
    -I usually read at least a few times a week. I started updating my Anki decks again this month, but I always struggle to keep up the pace once the words start piling on :'(
    -Mainly NHK because I love the web design aesthetic and the text font they use (easy on the eyes). I also started reading BLOGOS for more editorial material.
    -I’m living in Japan right now (working as an ALT in Tochigi), so I’m constantly surrounded by Japanese media. I’ve been looking up articles related to TV reports I see, learning the vocab through Anki and multiple readings, and then chatting about them with people I meet around my town. (And yay for living in Japan! ^_^)

    Looking forward to taking on this challenge with everyone here! よろしく〜

    • I ended up not finishing this challenge. Made it to 22 out of the required 30. Mainly drew articles from NHK News, with a small handful from opinion sites like Blogos and Huffington Post. The articles I read were a step up from my comfort zone, so I was going through an uphill battle the entire time. Also, midway through the challenge I decided to switch my study focus from reading to listening comprehension, because I’m currently living in Japan and want to make the most of improving my communication skills.

      That being said, this challenge still helped me expand my vocabulary knowledge a lot! I usually couldn’t understand 40-50% of the words in the articles I was reading, but after going back through everything I read I’d say that gap has narrowed down to 10-20%. In addition, I also noticed that my vocab lists for the later articles had downsized quite a bit, since I was cumulatively recognizing previously learned words. In regards to understanding the news on TV, that also improved a bit, since I’m now more informed not only on more vocab, but also current events in general.

      My skim reading abilities also improved a bit. I have a better feel for sentence structure in news articles, so that, for example, I can pick up the gist of a paragraph just by directing my attention to key phrases within it.

      I’ve most enjoyed being able to hop into more interesting conversations with Japanese people now that I’m more informed on current events. I recall getting into a discussion in Japanese about the validity of Trump or Clinton as potential US Presidents with an elderly gentleman at a cafe, and needless to say I was amazed I was actually able to pull that off!

      Overall, I enjoyed taking on this challenge, and despite coming short of the reading quota, I still learned a ton of new vocabulary, upped my skim reading abilities, and opened up more conversation opportunities for myself with Japanese people. Looking forward to taking on the next challenge with everyone! :D

  4. Having done well with the June goals I set myself (so far), I want to try this one!

    I haven’t read much news so far because…I hadn’t done much reading in general. Now, though, I’ve played some of a (looooong, like 50 hours of normal play which means probably 150 for me, playing at snail’s pace as I try to figure out what stuff means) VN and read the first chapter of the Fairy Tail manga, so I think it’s time to tackle the news.

    Oh heck, I have no idea what level I’m at. Somewhere between 20 and 30? I started in an odd way and some of my knowledge is out of order.

    I’m going to use NHK News Web Easy because it’s probably what my limited vocab can handle. I tried reading an article about the EU referendum and it wasn’t like I was able to read fluently but it was pretty accessible with some looking up and reading the word explanations.

  5. – level 40+
    – i used to read nhk web easy but for some reason completely stopped i also follow livedoor on twitter
    – I’ll use nhk web easy as the main source for now just to get me back into reading news again

  6. Level: I have no idea anymore. Above 50 probably.
    Experience: I read gaming news a lot. My homepage has been set to オレ的ゲーム速報 for a long time now.
    Sites: Probably more “adult” news sites, just to get out of the comfort zone.
    Strategy: Just go for it and get it done.

  7. Level: 40+
    Experience: read a lot of jp.ign (don’t pretend like you didn’t hear about its launch from me, Adam!). Also use blog.esuteru, which is kind of a casual news format site where they post all the latest trending news, regardless of topic or industry.

    Also read livedoor as my place of ‘serious’ news, but very rarely read the full articles, just the summarised little version they always provide. Though I tend to read all the tops news headlines/summaries for a given day, though I’ve been skipping live door a lot recently.

    Sites: It would be unfair if I included gaming/blog styled news websites, as I’d been done in the first day or so.
    So I’ll stick to plain old ‘boring’ news websites. Politics, world news, serious business! Not sure what to consider an article. Maybe I’ll just pick the headline I liked most that day and read the ‘full article’ for that. But even the full article length varies, in my experience.

    Strategy: Won’t include my normal news browsing, as it wouldn’t be much of a challenge. Will reserve for full articles that I read on ‘adult’ news sites, for lack of a better term hahah

  8. Perfect timing ! My teacher advised us to read NHK Web Easy articles during the summer for our future translation classes.

    – Your level :
    Level 25 I think, maybe a bit more because I’m currently starting the Intermediate deck and find it quite easy.

    – What’s your experience with news?
    I’ve read some NHK Web Easy articles by the past, but still had to look up two or three words per sentence.

    – What news sites will you use?
    NHK Web Easy, maybe the real article on NHK if I feel confident that day.

    – Briefly explain any game plan/strategy you may have
    Use the J-J definitions of the words as much as possible, but still look up if I don’t understand, because I need to prepare for my translation classes.

    • I’m a bit behind at the moment, but so far it has been a really rewarding experience. I’m not relying on English as much as I thought I would, I understand the J-J definitions just enough to understand the whole article. A minute ago I was reading an article about the UK referendum and understood every sentence. だんだん自信を持てるようになります!(correct me if I’m wrong haha)

    • I got it done on time ! I just read the 5 last articles, and there was only an hour left before midnight haha.

      Overall this was a very good challenge for me. Not too hard, but not too easy either. I pretty much understood everything I read, but I had to look up the definition of at least two or three words per article, which I think is a good ratio. I might carry on with the challenge for the month of August too, just to see where it can get me.

  9. I’ve only read NHK easy news so I don’t know if I can do this one, but I’m gonna try anyway :P

    – Your level

    I’ve just finished JALUP Intermediate so… I don’t know, maybe 26 or something?

    – What’s your experience with news?

    Only NHK easy so far.

    – What news sites will you use?

    Getting some of the examples provided, I’m gonna try IGN Japan since games news are always welcome, and also livedoor.

    – Briefly explain any game plan/strategy you may have

    I’m just gonna try and see how much I can understand each day and only look up words on goo when I get really stuck. It frustrates me to no end when I try to look up lots of words while I’m reading.

    • Managed to read 31+ news articles! yay~

      I ended using different news sites like famitsu for gaming and line news sometimes for practical reasons.Also used a lot of ign and there were some complicated days this month when I used nhk easy news, but all in all it was very challenging indeed.

      I’ve just begun Advanced stage 2 and it was nice to see words from Intermediate/Advanced that I hadn’t seen while reading manga, and it was also very encouraging to realize I could read about elections and the olympics (and more) in japanese. Very good challenge to keep me encouraged while at the same time showing me how far I still have to go.

      Ah I also discovered there is kanji for Nintendo (任天堂), I should have known there was,but got very surprised while reading about Breath of the Wild haha.

  10. – Your level: 76
    – What’s your experience with news?
    I used to listen to NHK at night for a short while but stopped. I also used to have the news as my home page and learned a little bit at that time. However I would like to be able to understand the news much better so that I can actually enjoy it by increasing my vocabulary.
    – What news sites will you use?
    Asahi, IGN, Nikkei, and the WSJ. I am not sure which sites I enjoy reading most but I expect I will have a better idea of that after I start the challenge.
    – Briefly explain any game plan/strategy you may have
    I plan to set one of the sites as my homepage and change it weekly. I will try submitting the text to LingQ in order to quickly view and review any new vocabulary quickly. This will also allow me to see my progress in understanding news articles, which is something very likely to motivate me. I will most likely try to listen to the news as well so that the vocabulary can sink in.

    • So, I have already reached my goal by this time. I signed up for Asahi and I’m reading their articles daily. I usually read at least once a day but sometimes 2 or more articles. There are some articles where I will find 3 or 4 new words but most of the time there weren’t any new words to learn. Also, I noticed that most of the time I could figure out the word from context, so I was learning the words just by encountering them over and over while reading.
      This challenge helped my reading ability a lot. I also realized how easy the news is actually to understand. Sentences are clear and concise, mostly concrete ideas. As opposed to high level literature or 古文 where there is a lot of symbolism and cultural references and sayings. So no one should be intimidated by news in their target language. :)

  11. I’m definitely in!

    Level: not quite sure, give me a sec…
    —- Based on my last attempt at “test your might” 5 minutes ago, probably 60.

    What’s your experience with the news: my experience is mostly limited to reading the articles friends link on FB. Overall, that’s about 1~2 per week in Japanese.

    What news site will you use: a friend recommended Yahoo news recently, so I’ll go with that.

    Game plan: well, I just installed the Yahoo news app, so that I can read during my daily commute.

    • Done! I was able to read at least one article (usually more) per day for the past 31 days.

      I really felt good about it. Not only was I able to keep up with what was going on, but I suddenly had instant conversation topics to interact with my Japanese colleagues (instead of my usual go-to 今日も暑いっすね。).

      Also, I want to say that the Jalup challenges have had a huge impact on my Japanese level. Since the reading challenge back in December, I have been reading books consistently, and now I feel comfortable reading the news (which I always felt was the true last boss of language learning… but now I see I was just holding myself back). So anyway thanks a lot for that. Keep it up! (Maybe this last part should be in the “future of Jalup” feedback section… Sorry for rambling!)

  12. I’m not doing this particular challenge, but I wanted to suggest putting a link to the group challenges (past and present) somewhere prominent, maybe in the “challenge” top-level link? I was just looking for some of the older challenges and it was kind of tough to track them down consistently.

    This would also let people participating in the current challenge quickly find the post so they can update their status and discuss and so on.

    • Thanks for the feedback on this. I’ll figure out a place to put the challenges so it is easy to access.

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