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Practice Foreign Language through Wall Street Journal

January 25, 2015

With the school semester full in session, it is always hard to stay on top of language studies… but I found a way to incorporate daily language learning and school work!

One of my classes at uni require me to read two newspapers – one of them being The Wall Street Journal. While playing around with the website, I found out that there are actually multiple languages available – including Japanese and Korean!

スクリーンショット 2015-01-17 20.49.32

I like to check my understanding after reading the article, by laying both English and Japanese versions side by side

The reason why I think this news source is better than other primary Japanese news sites is because:

  • articles tend to be longer (great for building endurance for long JLPT articles)
  • have multiple languages available for each article  (you can reinforce understanding with your native language or second language)
  • premium articles geared to inform people at higher education level
  • higher quality articles

If I want to remember the structure of a phrase or sentence, I record it in my “sentences” notebook, and record unfamiliar vocabulary in my Japanese app.

I know most of my friends online who are learning Korean do not read news articles – I think this is a great way to start doing so. In my Advanced Japanese Readings class, we read a news article every morning and had to translate another one for homework at least once a week. I think it really helped make reading the news not intimidating. Now, I read read at least three articles every morning while playing calming music, a cartoon episode, or a podcast in the background.

I think reading news articles gives you an extra boost to get out of that “typical” intermediate language learner stage where it is impossible to discuss topics other than hobbies and “diary talk”.

Do you read the news in your target language? If not, why? If so, what news sites do you prefer?

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5 Comments leave one →
  1. January 27, 2015 6:24 am

    This is a great idea indeed! I am always looking for texts in Japanese to translate to English or Spanish, but I can never be 100% sure that my translation is accurate. Thank you for bringing this to my life!

    • January 27, 2015 3:38 pm

      I am so glad that you found this helpful – whoa Spanish is super cool! And thank you so much for the sweet comment 🙂

      PS. I just saw your blog, I am excited to hear about your language journey!

  2. Crystal permalink
    January 27, 2015 11:37 am

    Hmm…I’m learning both Korean (university) and Japanese (self study) and I read news in Korean, though it’s mainly entertainment and lifestyle news. I would love to read the news in Japanese, and believe me I have tried, but kanji is a big pain in the neck. I do like kanji and know the basic ones (passed JLPT N4), its just that I don’t know how to learn all of them enough to read something big as new items. If you don’t mind and if you have time can you please let us know how you learnt so many of them…Thanks!!

    • January 27, 2015 3:59 pm

      Hi Crystal! The only thing I can recommend is to keep reading more materials… I prefer novels! You’ll come across the same kanji over and over again, so you’ll be able to memorize them without even trying. If you are having trouble memorizing characters, it is probably because you are not encountering them enough. Stay away from textbooks that teach you Kanji – they’re horrible in my opinion! I also like to record unfamiliar kanji in my electronic notebook so I can study them later instead of wasting my time on social networking sites when I’m bored.

      I am not sure if you have this option, but I took many Chinese courses during my undergraduate years. It really helped because once I started studying Japanese, kanji did not seem intimidating and was already very easy to deal with.

      • Crystal permalink
        January 30, 2015 10:45 am

        Thank you soooo much for the advice. I’m gonna start on it right away. You are an inspiration, really!!!

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