Easy-to-Read Japanese News:
NHK News Web Easy

This is NHK News Web Easy, which hosts simplified versions of Japanese news articles with furigana, built-in dictionary gloss for certain words, and even an audio recording of the article being read aloud. While I love using manga for learning Japanese, these articles are a great reading supplement.

Front page of NHK News Web Easy

These articles are made by the NHK, which stands for 日本放送協会 (にほん・ほうそう・きょうかい). The English translation of their name is Japanese Broadcasting Corporation. Over the years they have made many educational series for children and foreigners learning Japanese, and this site is one of their best efforts yet. The site is constantly updated with new content and the content is useful without being over-simplified.

While the articles are called "easy" they are still fairly difficult for a beginner. These articles are probably more suited to an intermediate level Japanese learner. You'll need knowledge of kanji, basic grammar, and a fair amount of vocabulary to get started.

About NHK News Web Easy

That said, you can certainly benefit from these articles at any level. Even if you only know the kana, you can attempt to read the articles aloud (purely aiming to test kana recognition and pronunciation) and then test yourself against the recording. You could also take one or two sentences from the article and work to understand them, and then add them to your Anki deck. You could even skip over the grammar for the time being and use the articles to find new vocabulary. Even if you can't understand the entire article, you can still make use of it.

And of course, there is the added benefit of learning from the article content. It's great to learn Japanese and build your understanding of the language, but I've always found it so much more rewarding to learn about something or enjoy a story at the same time. If you're learning Japanese, then you surely have some interest in Japan itself, so now you can get some Japanese news straight from Japan each day.

Example article heading

If you reach a level where the articles become too easy for you, you can then step up to the regular news. Each article on the site has a link at the top for the original, "regular" article. This means that you can read the simplified version first, then switch to the more difficult version and build your understanding from that context. Once you know the main points of an article, your intuition can make better assumptions about the meaning of words or grammar structures that you don't know.

NHK News Web Easy

Click here to visit NHK News Web

Yotsubato! Reading Pack

Contact MeImage CopyrightsSupport Living Japanese