“Carpool Karaoke” made singing in cars a thing. For a few days in one city in Finland, you could sing in taxis instead of paying, says this short article from Japan Times Alpha (a good place to get some reading practice in English, this site has Japanese translations of the articles to help you understand and improve vocabulary). This article is labeled in the “easy” to read category. Read it to find out why the company did it.
The English: “Finnish karaoke taxi lets passengers pay for their rides by singing”
The Japanese: 「フィンランドの音楽フェス、シャトル運賃の支払いは「歌」で」
About the “wind telephone” in northeastern Japan, where you can “talk” to loved ones you have lost:
1. A short article from Atlas Obscura
2. Audio (with transcript) and video from Spotlight English
3. A more challenging audio (with transcript) from This American Life
nippon.com is a great source of bilingual input for language learners, and many of the articles also have translations in Chinese, French, Spanish, Arabic, and Russian.
One of today’s stories was funny:
The English headline: Holding On for Victory: Japan Fans Save Bathroom Breaks for After Final Whistle
(which is a very good translation because it’s not a “direct translation” but has the meaning and spirt of the Japanese plus an English pun)
The Japanese headline: 勝利の瞬間までトイレは我慢？：サッカーW杯コロンビア戦、試合中の水使用量
This is an article from Aeon Magazine about what “intelligence” means when it comes to robots. They need to be able to have emotions to have true “intelligence”, the author argues.
You can listen to the article being read (by a human). It’s about 6:30 in length (1000 words).
One line I liked:
“… perception is not a passive process that merely reflects the external world. Rather, it involves picking up on the significance of objects, and determines how they are processed. Vision is never neutral, it is always laden with affective meaning.”