NHK News Web Easy is a website for interesting reading practice. (Well, I guess interesting is in the eye of the beholder, but I like it.) (And there is an NHK News Web hard, even though that isn’t what it’s called.)
Anyway, using my tablet, instead of visiting the website, I use an app. There are a ton of them, but the one I use is the aptly named Sync for NHK Easy News. I haven’t any kind of rigorous search of apps, so I’m not saying that this is the best there is, since I have no idea whether it’s the best there is or not, but I like it.
Here’s how it looks:
Of course, you can get all this on the main site, which loads fine on my tablet. On both the app and the main site you can make place names have a different color font (which is handy so you don’t waste time trying to look them up) and you can turn furigana on and off and you can listen to audio of the stories.
So, why the app?
It will give you a translation for certain words, which can either save you the trouble of looking them up or turn you into a lazy nonspeaker of Japanese because you look stuff up too often instead of trying to figure it out from context kind of person, depending on your will power.
The thing I like about the app, however, is that it is easy to turn the furigana off for individual words. I like that feature a lot. I can leave it on for words that I have never seen it before, but I am gradually getting it turned off for words I know.
The thing is, if furigana are there, my eye is drawn to them. It’s annoying. I tend to look at the furigana even for words that are old friends, and that won’t get me anything. Furigana are crutches. You can use them when you need to, but your goal should be to stop using them when you can.
I generally try to read an article a day. My goal is to read it a time or two and then listen to it. (Or, sometimes, the other way around.) Hey, I might as well get reading and listening practice, right?
By the way, I’m always looking for new websites or apps to add to the list. We’re all in this together, so let’s help each other out.