When you are learning a new language, textbooks and test materials can get dull at some point. It is best to keep your study material fresh and interesting! I mean, how many times can you read an example of a garbage calendar in order to practice for the JLPT test, or read a passage about Ms. Suzuki buying groceries for her family? Thankfully, the world of Japanese reading just got interesting with Buzzfeed Japan!
I’ve long been a fan of Buzzfeed, but I was surprised a few weeks ago when I clicked on my iPhone to find out that Buzzfeed was full on in Nihongo! I’ll admit, it was frustrating at first, as I was used to reading only in English, but hey, reading in Japanese can be fun too! They actually released the full version, not just a few roughly translated bits, but everything! The quizzes, the crazy stories, even the freshest stuff from abroad translated in real time!
Buzzfeed keeps up with the latest goings-on in the various countries where it operates, and the same is true for Japan. News about idols? They have it. News about politics? Look no further. One of my favourite news articles of early 2016, and coincidentally one of the most popular, deals with the break-up or non-break-up of SMAP, a boy band (or man band?) that is a Japanese cultural institution. These days you can also read all about the fall from grace experienced by former baseball star Kazuhiro Kiyohara because of his drug addiction. Now you can read about it in Japanese!
Who doesn’t like a good quiz, provided you are taking a little break from studying for the JLPT or EIKEN tests. This is a great way to pass a few minutes, zone out with some mindless entertainment, or learn a few new Kanji while on a break. I love the color quiz they have: minimal reading, maximum fun!
This section seems to cater to Japanese locals in particular: dogs and cute foods galore, as ‘kawaii’ means ‘cute’ in Japanese. It is a strong addition to the usual tags of LOL (Laugh Out Loud), fail, and WTF (won’t spell out that one). Above you see a picture taken from the wonderful article on foreigners’ Sailor Moon tattoos. Oh, the things people do…
Now, you can keep up with the newest and freshest news there is to be had on the archipelago! There is no need for any other news site, Buzzfeed has you covered. One of my favourite articles that has been featured this week is the comparison of Tokyo to other large cities (in English), the pictures above are taken from that article.
So, if you want to learn how to read Japanese the fun way without becoming bored out of your mind, give Buzzfeed Japan a try. It beats dry textbooks and newspapers any time! Enjoy the learnin’!