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Typhoon warning from NHK 'to all foreigners' causes controversy online

104 Comments
By SoraNews24

Japan is currently lying in wait for the arrival of Typhoon Hagibis, which is threatening to be the strongest typhoon of the season. Currently classed as a violent typhoon — the highest classification on the typhoon scale — forecasters are hoping that the storm may weaken slightly as it approaches the mainland, but nobody is taking any chances with its potential to do extensive damage, especially in light of the problems caused by last month’s strong typhoon.

With safety at the forefront of everybody’s minds, news and weather agencies have been sending out updates and alerts to the public on Twitter, and on Wednesday the national broadcaster, NHK, sent out an alert addressed to a specific subset of the public: foreigners.

The tweet (above) reads: “To all foreigners. Typhoon number 19 looks set to approach West to North Japan on 12-13 October. Typhoon number 19 is large and very strong. Please be careful.”

While there’s nothing wrong with the message, which has been sent out in the interests of protecting foreigners in Japan, some people are taking issue with the way the message has been written. Instead of using regular Japanese, which incorporates complex kanji characters, the message has been simplified to be written entirely in hiragana, the fundamental syllabary first learnt at the beginner stage of studying the language.

In its everyday usage, Japanese is generally never written out solely in hiragana, and some took offense to what they felt was a dumbing-down of the language for foreigners. Others mentioned that an all-hiragana message is much more confusing to read and comprehend than kanji, especially as it’s never written out this way.

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Some admonished the public broadcaster for not writing the message in English instead, while others piped up to remind them that not all foreigners speak English, making a simplified Japanese message useful.

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Others commended NHK for providing an easy-to-understand alternative to the many other kanji-filled Japanese messages about the typhoon on the internet.

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Some saw the benefit of simplified Japanese notices, which can even be useful for native-born readers of the language with learning difficulties, but the fact that this message was specifically addressed to gaikokujin (“foreigners”) became a sore point.

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So, given the many different opinions on the topic, why did NHK choose to write their message in hiragana? Well, included in the tweet is a link to a NHK news site called “News Web Easy”, which contains “News written in easy Japanese”. On this site, news articles are published in regular Japanese — with kanji — but they also include kana (hiragana written in smaller font above the kanji) to make it easier to read for beginners.

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Unfortunately, there’s no option to include kana above kanji characters on Twitter, and the limited character space would make writing the kana in brackets after the kanji, which is sometimes done in a class context, more problematic.

While people argued over NHK’s all-hiragana message, there’s actually a valid reason behind their decision to use the simplified language option. “Yasashii Japanese," as it’s known, which translates to “Easy Japanese“, is a means of providing essential information to foreigners in Japan that came about following the Great Hanshin-Awaji Earthquake in 1995. At this time, it became apparent that there needed to be a way to accurately convey information in the event of a disaster or emergency for people who don’t fully understand Japanese and English.

Easy Japanese is also being promoted on the Tokyo Metropolitan Government’s 2020 Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics Multilingual Support Council site. According to the site, this style of communication is “simpler than ordinary Japanese and easy to understand for foreigners“.

The need for simplified Japanese notices became evident after the Ministry of Justice conducted a survey in 2016 that found only 44 percent of foreign residents understand English, but 62.6 percent understand Japanese. With Japanese being the more widely understood language amongst foreign residents, a simpler type of Japanese was adopted to accommodate all levels of Japanese language ability, as a common way of conveying information to foreigners.

In addition to all this, if machine translations are used by people with a basic level of Japanese reading comprehension, the result of the machine translation can then be cross-checked with the easy Japanese version so that the reader can more fully understand what’s being said.

All in all, no matter where you stand on the debate over NHK’s “Easy Japanese” tweet, it’s clearly evident that there are plenty of tweets offering information on Typhoon Hagibis right now in English and ordinary Japanese. For those who don’t speak English but have a grasp of Japanese, however, there may be less information directly available from Japan sources, and that’s largely who NHK’s tweet will likely resonate with.

Still, no matter where you’re from or where you stand in terms of Japanese language ability, the most important thing is that you stay up to date with the progress of the storm and stay safe as Typhoon Hagibis approaches. And whatever you do, don’t be that person who calls up for a pizza in the middle of a typhoon, endangering the lives of pizza delivery drivers like this one who battled Typhoon Jebi in Osaka.

Read more stories from SoraNews24.

-- Typhoon alert goes off on train commuters’ phones, tourists mistake it for Godzilla attack

-- Typhoon Jebi hits Japan, blows away cars, roofs, and building facades 【Pics & Videos】

-- Typhoon Lionrock delays production of Calbee potato chips

© SoraNews24

©2019 GPlusMedia Inc.

104 Comments
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IMO it was much better than what is usually put out, absolutely nothing. Something is better than nothing. Though I would have l liked a bit more information such as, please make preparations, i.e. food, water, batteries, a safe place to stay, please pick up any loose items in patios or yard.

6 ( +8 / -2 )

I don't see it as at all insulting, but I do question its usefulness. If you are a foreigner who can't read any Japanese, its useless. If you are a foreigner who can read Japanese, its more rather than less difficult to read (the comment about all the homonyms is right).

8 ( +11 / -3 )

Well !! Foreigners, you've been warned in foreign-go.

0 ( +6 / -6 )

Finding fault with a warning because of how it was written is the height of boredom,having nothing better to do.

17 ( +23 / -6 )

Japanese is not an OFFICIAL language - it's considered a terminology language - acronyms if you will. Let's not get all worked up about it. Lets be grateful that at least NHK took into account the foreign community and their family's welfare residing here when it comes to these act of nature incidents.

6 ( +11 / -5 )

外国人の皆様へ

台風19号が12日~13日に西日本~北日本お近くに来そうです。

台風19号は大きくて、とても強いです。気をつけてください。

(↓読んでください)

This sentence is written with Chinese characters, a reading Japanese for primary school up 3d grade level.

-8 ( +6 / -14 )

Tempest in a tea bowl.

6 ( +7 / -1 )

I don't think it's insulting, but I don't think it's very useful.

Wouldn't it be better to send several messages in different languages ?

There are certainly more tourists than foreign residents (especially with the rugby world cup), so more people who can't read hiragana as well.

The kanjis for these words are not even that difficult. Anybody living here for a while can encounter them. So this message is really only useful for people who can speak Japanese and know only hiragana... That's not a lot of people.

8 ( +9 / -1 )

You can't do a damn thing without someone complaining.

Are you one of those 'superior' foreigners who continually beats on about how great your Japanese is (as if anyone cares) and offended by the simple language? Well if you are... 'k off. You can understand the warning so job done.

Is your Japanese a bit poor, and like kindergarten/elementary level kids you can read in hiragana but struggle with kanji? You can understand the warning so job done.

Message sent, message received, job done.

@Jenna Wilson in the tweet screenshot... Get over yourself. We don't need Japanese lessons from you, or instructions on what Japanese people would do. We needed a simple warning and a simple warning was sent.

Job done.

13 ( +18 / -5 )

I swear, people became too sensitive nowadays.

17 ( +21 / -4 )

They should just use ordinary Japanese and English, since English is the second language in Japan. Dumbing down the language is not really a big deal, but some people did take offense.

-2 ( +4 / -6 )

外国人の皆様へ

台風19号が12日~13日に西日本~北日本お近くに来そうです。

台風19号は大きくて、とても強いです。気をつけてください。

(↓読んでください)

This sentence is written with Chinese characters, a reading Japanese for primary school up 3d grade level.

What's your point?

I'm sure many people could repost the message in hundreds of languages... In both simple and complex versions.

The broadcaster wanted to post an easy to understand warning accessible to all.

No one cares how good you are at editing Japanese. It adds nothing to the warning except making it less accessible.

1 ( +7 / -6 )

So, this is what they come up with in a country where 80% of the country do ten years of intensive English study through secondary and tertiary education. They can't even write a series of simple four or five word sentences warning people of an approaching typhoon. Bloody marvelous!

They could have just translated it into 25 languages in Google and came up with a much more useful warning.

-5 ( +5 / -10 )

With the internet its very easy to send warnings in every language which happens with my Hyogo disaster warnings. You just select the language you want.

5 ( +6 / -1 )

Goofy? Sure.

Worthy of getting one's undies in a twist over it? Not unless one enjoys getting "offended".

9 ( +10 / -1 )

Can’t see a problem here.

The gaijin who love to post in Japanese may get offended but that is fun.

10 ( +12 / -2 )

I don't have a problem with something written in all kana.

However the address "To all foreigners"... I have a problem with that. It makes me feel like a perfect outsider even though I am a part of my community and pay taxes. "To all residents and travelers" would make more sense, because I am sure even some citizens cannot read kanji well if at all.

They could have even done just like everyone else and just write "Severe weather warning" or something. No need to address it to anyone in particular.

FYI government documents used to be written in all katakana. The Japanese can write their language however they want...reform it even. Some kids books are all kana. Writing in all kana is totally legit.

1 ( +7 / -6 )

Man, some people! NHK actually tried to help people but all these people do is complain.

-1 ( +9 / -10 )

I imagine the situation is very confusing for tourists. On one of the last typhoons I had to race to get a train out of Osaka to Tokyo otherwise would have been stranded an extra night.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

At one time, no warning was put out at all. People just used common sense. Keep an eye on the weather and be careful in a storm.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Simple, just have the message in English

8 ( +8 / -0 )

While I appreciate the effort by NHK, there is no need to address the tweet to Foreigners unless they address similar tweets to Japanese. It would be nice to see a message also in English but one would expect everyone subscribing to the NHK twitter feed to read some kind of Japanese.

6 ( +6 / -0 )

However the address "To all foreigners"... I have a problem with that. It makes me feel like a perfect outsider even though I am a part of my community and pay taxes.

You're foreign. Fact.

You're a foreigner.

"Dear all foreigners, one of you is a fairy and particularly easy to offend"

-9 ( +5 / -14 )

I think that is a good idea and I do not understand why are people complaining. I got no trouble with the hiragana version except for the ”きそう” than I didn't identify and for which the kanji could have helped.

Several kanji in the kanji version are no good for me. I do not see why is that any relevant to refer to kids school level, most of foreigners didn't go to elementary school in Japan. Foreigner are more likely to go around stuff like JLPT in their kanji level and to start by reading child books, manga, ... so using kanji when the word is usually written in hiragana is ...

The only thing which could help more is if they could differentiate the particle of the rest of the word with typo, this way it is easier to understand or not understand and then look in a dictionary.

That is a good reading practice and it allow you to get important information. For me it is better if NHK use easy japanese than normal japanese I will not understand or english that will not help me improve my japanese (and some people can not even understand it as the article say).

0 ( +0 / -0 )

I don't find this insulting one bit! Jesus, do foreigners have to complain about everything?

One other way of sending out a warning in a simpler way of reading is to put the hiragana above the kanji for those who can't read them. They do this for lower elementary school kids.

Also, since it can be quite a dangerous situation, write the message with hiragana on top of the kanji, in English, Chinese, and Korean. Most of these messages are digital anyway so it'd be easy to do.

5 ( +7 / -2 )

Dumbing it down to Hiragana makes no sense, and here’s why.

1) if you’re fluent in Japanese, you can read Kanji and Hiragana would slow you down at best or confuse you.

2) if you’re not fluent in Japanese, chances are high you have access to any sort of software for translation (for example google translate). Machine translation for Japanese is trained on large corpora of standard Japanese text (that is, containing Kanji). Therefore having hiragana would result in a worse, not in a better automatic translation.

it is just a bunch of nonsense. NHK is a service many foreigners are forced to pay: they may as well try and learn English.

0 ( +7 / -7 )

The *they refers to people working for NHK

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Unfortunately, there’s no option to include kana above kanji characters on Twitter, and the limited character space would make writing the kana in brackets after the kanji, which is sometimes done in a class context, more problematic.

solutions:

1) write it next to the kanji

2)write it in photo editing software, micorsoft word or google word then upload a screenshot

3)write it with pen and paper and upload a picture

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Lets be grateful that at least NHK took into account the foreign community and their family's welfare residing here when it comes to these act of nature incidents.

so does this mean I have to pay NHK fees because NHK are giving typhoon warnings to foreigners even if they dont watch NHK!? here's a n idea how about giving the warnings in Hirigana/kanji and English afterall there are 10s thousands of foreign tourist at any given time in Japan majority of those read no hiragana

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Being offended is now a hobby, pastime, and full on occupation for some.

6 ( +7 / -1 )

That bring said, NHK can surely get its warning up in the 5-6 major world languages can’t it? Its not too hard.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

To NHK,

Thank you for the warning. I appreciate it.

A foreigner.

6 ( +8 / -2 )

It's easy enough to understand if you read Japanese, even in hiragana. And the translation of 'foreigner' for 外国人, while accurate, loses the nuance that it's a polite respectable word in Japanese, more akin to 'foreign national' than 'foreigner'.

They should just put out a tweet in English for this situation. The only problem is that the Japanese are notorious for not getting translations done (or at least proofread) by a foreigner, resulting in some real messes at times.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Go here for English and other languages:

https://www3.nhk.or.jp/nhkworld/en/news/

During emergencies like this, on regular tv, if you turn on NHK general, and spend a few minutes viewing, you should see in the constantly cycling notices around the edges, a QR code for English and a notice to search for NHK World for English.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

Good on them for trying. This is Japan, and as a resident foreigner I don't expect the Japanese govt to put anything in my language. Rather, the onus is on me to learn theirs. So nothing to complain about.

Having said that, I do really appreciate this type of thing when I need it. I'd suggest that IF they are going to generously bother to put out such notices to non Japanese reading folks here, they ought to first consult with foreign resident groups regarding the best way to go about it, and to have any translations checked. Purely internal attempts by Japanese organizations to communicate in foreign languages often results on comical translations and confusion.

PS: Google or other on line translators should never be used for such important notices. They are very inaccurate and could cause confusion or danger.

-3 ( +2 / -5 )

To the professionally offended,

Chill.

6 ( +6 / -0 )

NHK no need to say anything more.

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

No way! Another taifu is coming?

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

I remember years ago getting stranded in a rural station due a storm. We were there some hours, but it was one of the best experiences I have ever had in Japan.

We (myself and other Japanese stranded passengers) all shared food and drink, communicated in many ways, and I met such lovely people We even had a sing-song.

I learn't more Japanese that night than a whole term at college.

Nobody moaned.

PS. Love singing Kanashi ne no sayonara.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Here's how I gauge this as potentially being offensive or not: would they make the same message for Japanese? If not, it's a problem. They should simply keep the message as they would write it for native Japanese speakers, then if they REALLY want to address foreigners, have it in several languages. The message is certainly simple enough they could make a standard email/text/tweet and simply change the number (and maybe direction it's coming from/to hit) of the typhoon in said target languages.

It does feel a bit like they are dummying things down, although it is actually harder to read all hiragana than it is regular Japanese (with Kanji in the mix).

-8 ( +1 / -9 )

Agree with RareReason on this one.....You can't do a damn thing without someone complaining.

Those superior Japanophile beings that despite being born in foreign lands can read / understand  native level Kanji completely, getting on their little soapbox to complain that this kind of warning makes it "10x worse"....get off your high horse ffs.....some of us can read the messages with Kanji and others can,t ...for many , the message in kana is easier to read and if it gets through to them , than it fulfilled its purpose.

Im not an NHK fan but appreciate them making the effort.

10 ( +10 / -0 )

Its actually quite amusing if you think about it.

You know English speakers who think people who don't speak English will understand them if they just speak English really slowly?

This is the Japanese written equivalent of that.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Once the taifun arrived there will be different and more severe problems than this useless discussion about hiragana usage. Until then the warning did its job, everybody now knows about the danger.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Maybe write it in English?

Typical NHK arrogance

-7 ( +0 / -7 )

This is what happens when the approaching typhoon keeps posters out of the bars and forces them to go stock up on food and such for the weekend...and use their free time bashing away here. Some good ideas and links, though!

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Its actually quite amusing if you think about it.

You know English speakers who think people who don't speak English will understand them if they just speak English really slowly?

This is the Japanese written equivalent of that.

Not really.

The message is not for people which do not understand japanese at all but for people which do not read kanji and do not understand difficult japanese.

For people missing it :

The need for simplified Japanese notices became evident after the Ministry of Justice conducted a survey in 2016 that found only 44 percent of foreign residents understand English, but 62.6 percent understand Japanese.

There is more people going to understand the simplified japanese version than a english one.

4 ( +7 / -3 )

Sooo... NHK assumed that there were foreigners in Japan who were not aware that a dangerous typhoon is approaching? Those would be foreigners who can at least read hiragana? Must be those few who are shut in, and without access to the news, the internet, newsprint, friends, neighbors, etc.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

But then... how would they receive the message?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

How about just appreciating that someone was trying to be thoughtful? It’s a rare thing in today’s world.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

Tempest in a tea bowl.

haha, sure is. A good old 'ki o tsukete, everyone!' (just to p*** the purists off) would have great!

1 ( +1 / -0 )

let me tell you who gets offended by this : those presumptuous people who are fluent (or almost fluent) in Japanese and are too proud of it (just a language - grow up). they forget that they,re still foreigners in Japan (and will always be) and cannot accept the fact that no matter what they accomplish in the country, Japanese people will still look at them as foreigners / outsiders.

on the other side, we have those who forget that the majority of foreigners in Japan CAN,T speak english. of course it,s easy to think of foreigners as white people. especially among us, readers of JT... yes, we are (mostly) white, yes, we speak english, but we are just a little percentage of the "cake"...

anyway, good for NHK for doing that, i,m pretty sure that many people were able to understand it. it would,ve been better in different languages though...

and stay safe!!

5 ( +6 / -1 )

Maybe write it in English? Typical NHK arrogance

I think I could press all my shirts for the week with that much irony.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

Twitter should not be used for official communication!

0 ( +1 / -1 )

My first reaction was too "why not write it in English", but after reading the explanation, the simplified Japanese makes perfect sense. Seems to me the complainers just want to complain.

6 ( +7 / -1 )

I'm not offended at all, this kind of thing just makes Japanese people look dumb instead

-5 ( +0 / -5 )

If you speak Japanese very slowly to a foreigner, the foreigner will think you think they’re dumb and will be offended.

If you speak English very slowly to a Japanese, they’ll think you’re kind.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

If you say it out loud, what's the difference? We don't use hand signals for spoken kanji, we speak without kanji.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

I think word spaces would be a good idea. Either way, Korean can get by without any hanja (kanji), but some use it anyway. But all speak without physically emoting hanja or kanji.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

This is just another embarrassment on Japan. They could have translated those short sentences into twenty languages in Google in a few minutes. However, instead, they make a useless hiragana statement and expect tourists to be fluent in hiragana. This is a severe typhoon that will have a major impact in Tokyo and cause many disruptions. Is this there idea of warning the one million foreign residents in Japan? What a flipping joke!

-3 ( +2 / -5 )

show us how far apart east and west still and will always be can't make a simple statement without people arguing never the twain shall meet

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Can't please everyone unfortunately. Japan could win the Rugby WC and someone will say the grass on the field was too green. Thanks for the option of being able to express my feelings here on this website, but how unfortunate that I can't can't use a different Font style or color, LOL.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

I can’t believe so many people are defending this malarkey. This is a very severe storm and the best they can do is a brief statement in hiragana? Seriously?

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Lots of butt-hurt going on tonight.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Not a terrible try, but not a great one either. Could have take a bit of time to send bilingual notices in at least the 5 main foreign languages.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

As virtually all the foreigners you see in Japan are walking around glued to Smartphones, for directions, information, photography, Snapchat, Twitter, Instagram and Facebook updates every few minutes, it would be hard to miss news of the typhoon. Still at least nhk tried, maybe they'll learn something from this, maybe not?

0 ( +1 / -1 )

So, I used Google Translate on the message above. It is unintelligible to me.

"Taifuu 19 is great and very good. Please be careful."

In Japan, I would expect a warning meant for non-native speakers to be simple, but using normal Japanese and perhaps 1-2 lines in English and the same in Chinese.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

It is unintelligible to me

Exactly, the audience is pretty much nonexistent.

"Dear foreigners,

We know you are too stupid to be able to use a dictionary or even copy and paste text into Google translate.

So, because Japanese are so kind and considerate, we've decided with other Japanese people to give you a dumbed down version of a very important message so as not to confuse your little brains. That's why we didn't consult any foreigners either, you lot can't understand what you really need. Japanese people will decide for you.

Aren't we nice?

NHK"

License money we'll spent lol glad I don't even bother owning a TV

-1 ( +3 / -4 )

Don't have Twitter, so didn't receive it.

I've seen very little in the way of Emergency information so far in English.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

@theFu

Google translate is not good with hiragana since not used to it.

If you are on your computer with Firefox, I will recommend you something like rikachan. It translate word by word when passing your cursor on top of it. Pretty convenient if you already have some knowledge. As juminRhee wrote, reading these message out loud can help if you are used to speak japanese.

They posted a new message using the same system,

https://mobile.twitter.com/NHK_news

if you click on the pic link, you have translation in different language provided and illustrative pictures. And people around trying to help.

https://mobile.twitter.com/nhk_news/status/1182619233856970752?p=v

I like the idea and hope they will stick to it. We can not expect every foreigner in Japan to speak english or speak japanese like a native.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Look at me! (I’m offended)

1 ( +1 / -0 )

As much as the intention might be good, how useless it is.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

@Flute

Can you really use Rikaichan with Firefox?

I heard you needed to download Waterfox.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

If you live here you should have a disaster app on your phone. I get alerts on my iPhone.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

My mistake, I had Rikaichan but it was not updated anymore so now I have Rikaichamp.

More or less the same stuff.

Another one is Yomichan but never used it, so do not know the worth.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

I have been getting English updates all day.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Learn the language before visiting. Don't be like a welfare person burdening others. Ha.

-5 ( +1 / -6 )

If you all want some REAL fun, read the message through Google Translate :)

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Why is everyone offended by literally everything these days? Smh.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

Romaji would probably be understandable by a greater number of people.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

What a tempest in a teapot...you try to help some people and then get abuse .

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Why is everyone offended by literally everythingthese days? Smh.

It sounds like that offends you.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

The hiragana only message seems to be strictly a hakujin problem ...

0 ( +0 / -0 )

There are always complains.

As mentioned there are not only English people in Japan. Yes NHK could issue also in other main languages but the gesture is good.

But some saying this is offending is rediculous. Also if all in kanji than people will complain because it would be to difficult.

Just accept and move on with your daily life. At least it is a good gesture which is not offending anyone at all.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Lol, NHK got that totally wrong. English, Chinese, Spanish would suffice

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

What’s the problem?

Still won’t endure me to paying for the NHK subscription though...

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

It should have been at least three separate tweets in the most common foreign languages - English, Chinese, and Korean. That is typically what you will see posted on public signage, and heard in public announcements.

However, it's not like there's a limit on how many tweets they are allowed. They could have easily also tweeted in Vietnamese, Lao, Tagalog, and other Southeast Asian languages; French, Spanish, Italian, German, Russian, and other European languages:, as well as Arabic, Hindi, and any other pertinent-to-Japan languages I have overlooked.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Lol, NHK got that totally wrong. English, Chinese, Spanish would suffice

This isn't California or New York. English, Chinese, and Korean are typically the three foreign languages used for messaging in Japan.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

@zichi - which app do you prefer for up-to-date/real-time disaster alerts ?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

mmwkdw

@zichi - which app do you prefer for up-to-date/real-time disaster alerts ?

I subscribe by email to info@bosai.net which sends emails for disaster alerts

http://bosai.net/emergency/selectLanguage.do?info=28746&id=1

That one I think is just for Hyogo.

I also have their app on my iPhone which can be set to other areas.

ひょうご防災ネット that translates into Hyogo Disaster Net.

That app sends me alerts by the hour in English plus links to other useful info.

I also have the NHK app with notifications turned on which sends alerts.

Maybe look around the iPhone apps or search online for your area. I'm sure there must be one for you.

App on the phone is better so even when you are out and about.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

mmwkdw

something like Google search

iPhone disaster alert app Tokyo brings up many links.

Also check out your own city they may have one too.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

@zichi, yes there are many choices and some, are just duds, which was why I was asking which one(s) you're using. May not be appropriate to the area - though if the developer produces others for a different area, then it may be good too.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

mmwkdw

you should check your own city website to see if they have one.

The ones I have are really helpful.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

I bet that the foreigners who are complaining can't even read Kanjis. I can't read a thing be it in kanji or Hiragana but I am thankful for the NHK warning...

Now I can understand why Japanese don't like us...pffff

Stay safe everybody.

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

So many people being offended by people who are offended.

What a wonderful country that its national broadcaster makes an effort to inform its guests.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Learn the language before visiting. Don't be like a welfare person burdening others. Ha.

And leave your prejudices at home. Hatred is a massive burden. Typhoons don't discriminate.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

Mem fer , or whatever it is .. Learn the language !

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

NHK has 10,333 full-time employees and nobody speaks fluent English?

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

NHK has 10,333 full-time employees and nobody speaks fluent English?

NHK has a whole section (NHK World) dedicated to programmes in English. The staff are all pretty fluent.

Yesterday's NHK broadcasts (Which of course people on JT don't watch because they don't want to pay the license fee, right? Or do they make an exception for disasters?) continually pointed people towards NHK World for info in English, and urged Japanese viewers to inform non-Japanese speakers where they could get info in English. And there was a QT code in the corner of the screen that people could use to link to the English service.

Moaners still gonna moan.

Invalid CSRF

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Typhoon number 19 is large and very strong. Please be careful.

The problem I have with "warnings" to foreigners is that they always seem so ambiguous. Like the English warning announcements on the trains...."the train may suddenly stop without notice...so please be careful" like its implied its the foreigners fault. What does "please be careful" mean? dont fall down? hold on to the luggage rails?

I recently heard an announcement in a train station that went something like...(in English) "if you see a foreigner in need, please assist them"

Why is the announcement in English, if its directed at foreigners, who cant speak Japanese?

Typhoon # 19 is very strong, so please be careful....ok, and what is being careful? staying indoors? staying tuned in to NHK? no driving?

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

instead of NHK dumbing down to us gaijin, why dont they level up, and learn how to communicate in English like the rest of the developed world does.

Also, the translators on NHK seem to have this...I call it the gaijin clown complex, like there is a handler, that is directing how they speak English, it doesnt seem natural.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

A normal common sense approach would of been to use the same language and instruction that was used for the native population.

"Foreign residents in Japan, please listen to public announcements and this channel for instructions and updates on the storm condition. A list of community safe areas can be found on this (insert) website. As water levels are expected to rise, it is advisable to....."

You know, something that people could actually use, instead of the diminutive hiragana post that did absolutely nothing for anybody.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

I agree that it’s harder to read without kanji. The kanji required for this message are all low level too. Also seems kind of stupid because for people who can’t read Japanese because if you put it into a translate website it would get confused by the lack of kanji too.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

I am seeing progress in Japan, with train conductors announcing the next stop in English. They are making efforts but sometimes it feels like the individual is just practicing their English.

I really like countries where I am just treated as a human, not above or below, anybody else. I think that is all anybody really wants.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

The next time there is an emergency, why not transmit it in English? I am sure by cellular boroadcasting companies in Japan have the technology to transmit a J-Alert in mulitple languages. Why not use it?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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