As someone who’s Japanese ability is not high enough for native Japanese news it can be sad. Why sad? Because it makes you feel like you can’t read anything nor understand what is written. Plus constantly looking up words can take away the enjoyment. So what can you do? Ta-da! You can go and check out News Web Easy by NHK!
Who is this website aimed for? According to them, it is suitable for Japanese kids who do not know a huge amount of kanji yet, but also for foreigners living in Japan or for people like me and you, who are learning Japanese.
NHKは、人にやさしい放送やサービスをすることを目標にしています。「NEWS WEB EASY」は小学生・中学生の皆さんや、日本に住んでいる外国人の皆さんのために、分かりやすいことばでニュースを伝えるウェブサイトです。 漢字には全部ひらがなで読み方をつけました。 難しいことばには辞書の説明をつけました。 そして、できるだけやさしいことばでニュースを書いています。 やさしいことばで書いたニュースは音で聞くこともできます。
When you go onto the main page you can see that a lot of words will have furigana all over them to aid you in your readings. All of the news are taken from their main news website and simplified, so if you feel like challenging the original article the link is available for them too.
Choose an article to your liking and start reading. When you open it on the top you will see the title. 普通のニュースを読む will lead you to the original article. Sometimes instead of the picture, there will be a video on which you can click. To listen to the simple version of the article all you need to do is click on ニュースを聞く, although I suspect it’s a robot reading it out. On my phone, I had an option to download the recording but for some reason, I can’t see this function on my laptop. What is ことばの色をつける? It’s another great function which can help you out.
You can choose to enable this function which will colour words. The names of countries, prefectures, towns and places will be in blue. The names of people will be in purple, and lastly, company and group names will be in light blue.
You can see on the picture above that the light blue words highlighted are probably names of companies, groups or shops. Also if you click on the underlined words it will give you a simple explanation of it in Japanese.