Japanese vocabulary from news articles: #1

Japanese vocabulary from news articles: a magazine (新聞)This is a new series we call “Japanese vocabulary from news articles” were we try to learn from newspapers, online newspaper and other news sources. Thankfully there are many legitimate newspapers to be found online which we mostly are going to use. One that is quite popular in Japan is Yahoo News. We have randomly selected a recent published news article.

Article link: http://headlines.yahoo.co.jp/hl?a=20160423-00050065-yom-sci

This article we’ve picked is about the earthquake that happen in Kumamoto. Let’s take a look and see what essential words we can learn from this. One that should be obvious is earthquake; and along with this word we can expect more that concerning the nature. This is under the theme (can be found under the article): Strong successive earthquakes at Kyūshū. (九州で強い地震相次ぐ).

Step one: Read through the article

First thing you want to do, is try read through the article without stopping, even if you can’t read certain words. Then when finish, read the vocabulary list based on words that can appear difficult.






Step two: Identify the words you couldn’t understand and memorize them

Reading a text without looking up any word or term can make it difficult to understand. We’ve made these words bold (words that seem difficult, and are key words) and listed them below the text.






Locations and names

What seems the most appropriate is to learn the names and locations we are talking about. Next up is the words of things that we believe are the important words in this text. As expected there is a lot of words concerning earthquake such as fault (断層), surface (地表) and more.

Japanese English
布田川 Futagawa
熊本 Kumamoto
阿蘇村 Minamiaso
西原村 Nishihara
俵山 Mount Tawara
阿蘇山 Mount Aso
京都大 Kyoto University
林愛明 Rin Aimin

Word list

Japanese Hiragana Meaning
未知 みち unkown
断層 だんそう fault
活動 かつどう activity
痕跡 こんせき trace
たい zone
地震 じしん earthquake
本震 ほんしん main shock
震源 しんげん epicentre
周辺 しゅうへん area
横ずれ よこずれ strike slip
隆起 りゅうき upheaval
並行して へいこう side by side
倒壊 とうかい destruction
陥没 かんぼつ cave-in
斜面崩壊 しゃめんほうかい slant breakdown
被害 ひがい damage
相次いだ あいついた followed in succession
影響 えいきょう influence
教授 きょうじゅ professor
地表面 ちひょうめん ground surface

Step three: Apply new learned vocabulary and read through again

After gotten the words down, you can try understanding it thoroughly. With the names and words learned there should be less obstacles left in the article text. Note, this is our amateur translation that shouldn’t be taken as the correct one. This is simply to provide a rough quick look on how you would apply this vocabulary in context.

Traces of unknown fault activity, South of the ”Futagawa fault zone”


Professor of Kyoto University Rin Aimin and her group have found traces of unknown fault activity at the hypocenter in south side of Futagawa by the Kumamoto earthquake that hit at the early hours of the 16th. They say that the area of these traces has suffered severe damage, which may have been caused by these unknown faults.


Visible faults were found in the ground surface of Mount Tawara, which stretches from Minamiaso to Nishihara. It is believed that it appeared in connection to the main shock on the 16th, biggest was 2.5 meters diagonally and one-meter upheaval. It is said to stretch over 10 kilo side by side to the same fault zone to the vicinity of Mount Aso. Residence collapses, road cave ins and slope failures damage has successively been in this area.

Source: headlines.yahoo.co.jp
Translator: Japanesegoi