This is another post in my Read & Answer series of articles where I give a short passage in Japanese followed by one or more questions to test your understanding. You can see more about this series here, and a list of the other articles in it here.
This will be Level 1, which is the second easiest level and targets those who have studied Japanese one year or less.
I’ve given a list of Kanji words with their definitions below the answer choices, so you only need to be able to read hiragana and katakana for this exercise.
For more advanced students, I suggest trying to answer the questions without looking at the word readings and meanings.
What is the topic of the first sentence?
Answer Choices 1
a) A baby
c) Waking up
d) A red thing
What does 泣き出しました mean here?
Answer Choices 2
a) Put out an arm or a leg
b) Stopped crying
c) Began to cry
d) Lost something
What does the word それ refer to in the 3rd sentence?
Answer Choices 3
a) An alarm clock
b) The sound of the baby crying
c) The mother’s snoring
d) Father’s car in the driveway
Where is the mother in the beginning of the story?
Answer Choices 4
a) Together with the baby in the same room
b) Sleeping in the same bed with the baby
c) In a room next to where the baby is
d) It is not specified and cannot be inferred from the text
The word いっぱい is used in the passage twice. What does it mean in these two instances?
Answer Choices 5
a) “one cup” and “full”
b) “a lot” and “empty”
c) “a lot” and “full”
d) “often” and “full”
How many characters appear in the story?
Answer Choices 6
How would you best describe the baby at the end of the passage?
Answer Choices 7
Bonus problem: There is one Kanji mistake in the passage, what is it?
Word readings and meanings
赤ちゃん: akachan (baby)
朝: asa (morning)
出す: dasu (to put out, to take out, to expose, etc. Also can be used after a verb in the pre-masu form to mean beginning an action)
目が覚める: me ga sameru (to wake up)
お腹: onaka (stomach)
泣く: naku (to cry)
隣: tonari (next to, adjacent to)
部屋: heya (room)
お母さん: okaasan (mother)
聞く: kiku (to hear or listen)
寝る: neru (to sleep)
直す: naosu (to fix, also used in after a verb in the pre-masm to mean to do that action again)
牛乳: gyuunyuu (cow’s milk)
Note: In Japan is not not typical to give cows’ milk to babies, so here it would probably be better to say “ミルク”, which means powdered milk.
Q6: b [the baby and the mother]
Bonus: 冷める should be 覚める since the phrase used is 目が覚める (to wake up). 冷める means ‘to cool off’.
If you enjoyed this exercise, please comment or like this post so I know to continue writing these. Also, please let me know if you want more or less difficult passages.