Why Can’t I Understand Japanese News? — 13 Comments

  1. Not that I’d claim to be proficient by any stretch of the imagination, but some of my first immersion listening was having news podcasts on in the background. In addition to weather and international news, some programs have social commentary as well. KBS World Radio News, NHK Radio News, and RKB Radio News “Insight” have been on my playlist since I started study a year ago.

    Also for a simpler way in, NHK has the “NHK Web Easy” sight, with news stories edited down to simpler texts, and then read at a slower pace.

    • Having news in the background is a great idea and really helps you get used to it. And thanks for sharing the link to NHK news.

  2. The news has definitely been something I’ve tried, hadn’t understood “enough” of it, and brushed it off for later. It really has been, “It will probably improve on its own, so why bother with it now?” kind of thought process.

    I think I’m going to try to find a good news podcast/broadcast for my daily commute at the least. Thanks for the push/motivation.

      • I really like the continuous stream feature on that site. Watching the news passively like someone would probably watch the news normally is nice to be able to do. Thanks for the recommendation.


  3. Oh man this is something I’ve needed to read for a while. I keep telling myself I don’t like the news in English so I don’t need to watch it in Japanese either. I was also under the illusion you talked about that if I get good enough at the other things that the news will come naturally. I also encountered this type of thing with a transition from anime to dramas. I watched animes only for so long I was pretty good at 3 star anime but couldn’t watch a 1 star drama. This is good motivation to start watching.

    • I went through the exact same thing. I think it goes along the idea that just because you don’t like the news in English doesn’t mean you can’t or never watch it (as it a necessary part of life).

      There’s no better time than now to get into it!

      • When you click on the home page here (, wait a few seconds for the video to appear, and click on the orange (再生) button. This has all the news run on stream (occasionally there is an error in the stream, but for the most part it works well.)

        • You are a beautiful man.

          As a reward I gift the website with the knowledge of something I’ve been waiting for 2 years.

 has finally launched! Finally a site with western and Japanese gaming, with real unbiased
          (?) review scores. Launched on 8th of April! Enjoy everyone:

  4. This is definitely the quandary I’m facing right now. Anime/vlogs- some unknown words, Jnews- A LOT of unknown words.

    I want to understand jnews, but on the other hand I passionately dislike it.
    So I’ve been planning to conquer this by using subs2srs+ morphman- so that I can conquer this most efficiently, but I have had no luck finding timed Jsubs for news; on the lookout for any business-type japanese media (shows, podcasts) with timed subs. But I have no clue about such forms of media. Any recommendations for such shows,etc.?

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