Japanese Read & Answer: #2 [Level 1]

By | January 31, 2018

Over two years ago I started a series of articles where I give a short dialog in Japanese followed by one or more questions to test your understanding. However, due to an apparent lack of interest (measured by likes and page hits), I decided to shelve the series after one installment.

Recently I got some feedback that this was helpful to someone (and a request for me), so I thought I would write at least one more installment and see if there is any interest now. (Note: you can see all articles in this series here).

This will be Level 1, which is the easiest level and targets those who have only studied Japanese a few months to a year or so. Having said that, some of the vocabulary words (or Kanji) I use may not be words commonly learned in the first few months. Because of that I’ve given a list of Kanji words and some of the non-Kanji words with their definitions below the answer choices, so you only need to be able to read hiragana and katakana for this exercise.



Question 1

Who said the teacher is sick?

Answer Choices 1

a) あなた

b) 先生

c) ジョンさん

d) みんな

Question 2

Who hopes the teacher will get better?

Answer Choices 2

a) ジョンさん

b) 先生

c) いぬ

d) 話し手

Word readings and meanings

先生:sensei (teacher)

病気:byouki (sick)

みたい: mitai (seems like)

言う:iu (to say)

言いました: iimashita (past, polite -masu form of “to say”)

元気:genki (healthy, energetic)

なる: naru (to become)

〜といい:  ~to ii (literally, “would be good if”. Expression that means one hopes something will happen)

話し手: hanashite (“speaker”, the person who is speaking. Note: this word should to be confused with 話して, the te-form of 話す, “to speak”)

Correct answers

Q1:  c) ジョンさん (John)

Q2: d) 話し手 (the person who is speaking)


From context, you can infer that the passage is dialog being said (or written) by someone. The word “そう” in the 2nd sentence refers to the first sentence, namely that the teacher seems sick.

The speaker is not “John” because you don’t use “さん” (san) for your own name, and it is also uncommon to use your own name when referring to yourself (except in certain circumstances).


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4 thoughts on “Japanese Read & Answer: #2 [Level 1]

  1. kotoni

    This is great, and please keep doing them… though I didn’t see the answer for number 2 as I was like ‘ones self’ or the author 😛 Thank you!

  2. Michael

    How would you use 話し手 in a sentence. Reading your description of the word i cant seem to think of how to use.

    1. locksleyu Post author


      “The speaker of this sentence is John”

      You can think of 話し手 as simply meaning “話してる人”.


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