If you are following the news on Japan in Japanese and having difficulty, don’t worry, I am sure that you are not alone! Thanks to Japan Newbie (Harvey), help is on the way. He writes:

“Here’s a quick and dirty list of earthquake related Japanese vocabulary and their translations that often appear in the news. This is a work in progress. I will be adding more as I well, read more.

Hopefully this will help those people who want to keep up with what the Japanese media is saying about this incredible disaster.”

You can download a zip file containing MP3 audio for most of the terms here. Thanks to the team at The Japan Shop.com for doing the recording!

Here is an example of the vocabulary available:

Rescue and damage

万人単位 まんにんたんい numbering in the ten thousands (people) Link
孤立 こりつ to be isolated Link
安否確認 あんぴかくにん confirmation of safety Link
安否不明 あんぴふめい unknown whether (they are) safe or not
安否確認が進まず あんぴかくにんがすすまず making no progress in regards to confirming the safety of…
炉心溶融 ろしんようゆう core meltdown Link
除染 / 除染する じょせん / じょせんする decontamination / decontaminate
爆発 ばくはつ explosion
爆発音 ばくはつおん sound of an explosion
水素爆発 すいそばくはつ hydrogen explosion
壊滅的な被害 かいめつてきなひがい devastating damage
救助ヘリコプター きゅうじょヘリコプター rescue helicopter
救助を待っている きゅうじょをまっている waiting to be rescued
被災者 ひさいしゃ victims/sufferers
被災地 ひさいち hisaichi disaster area
死者 ししゃ casualties
死者数 ししゃすう number of casualties
被害 ひがい damage
不明 ふめい unclear (missing people) 死者・不明1400人超 (more than 1,400 dead or missing)
行方不明者 ゆくえふめいしゃ missing persons

If you would like to learn more about Japan Newbie, and his apps, be sure to check out the Black Tokyo’s interview of Japan Newbie (3 part series) here.