A Multilingual, Multicultural Space in JapanNHK WORLD
Japan’s international radio broadcasting began 80 years ago. In ever-changing media environments, it has been transmitting information to the world by shortwave, medium wave, FM and satellite, and now over the Internet. For people from abroad living in Japan, Radio Japan offers services through smartphone apps, and in some languages on NHK’s domestic channel Radio 2.
Outline of Services ＞ NHK WORLD RADIO JAPAN(1)
NHK WORLD RADIO JAPAN
- International radio broadcasting for Japanese and foreign nationals abroad.
- Broadcasting by shortwave, medium wave, FM and satellite.
- For radio and NHK WORLD ONLINE.
■Languages in Service:
- 18, including Japanese and English.
- For Japanese abroad, Radio Japan broadcasts programs on NHK’s domestic channel Radio 1 as they air in Japan. It also broadcasts news compiled by the NHK WORLD team three times a day and overseas safety information. For foreign listeners, it airs news (10~15 minutes) and other programs (15~30 minutes) in 17 languages to target regions two to six times a day.
Evolving International Radio Broadcasting
In the 21st century, shortwave is no longer the only medium for international radio broadcasting. Radio can reach far and wide via satellite. Tying up with overseas broadcasters, it can be relayed by medium wave or FM. And now, thanks to the Internet and social networking services, radio is evolving into a completely new medium.
Challenging New Possibilities
Radio Japan offers new types of programs in addition to its traditional lineup featuring business trends, the latest topics and the charms of various areas. Among them is “Japanese Pop Culture Magazine,” which introduces pop culture, a source of fascination for young people the world over. “We Love Japanese Songs!” is an international version of the popular domestic program “NHK Amateur Singing Contest.” It links karaoke fans around the world on the web. “Let’s Cook Japanese,” which started in 2011, is a challenge to feature on radio. One listener wrote to Radio Japan, “I did it! I cooked a Japanese dish!” Many similar reactions are coming in.
In fiscal 2015, Radio Japan renewed “Easy Japanese” in its 80th anniversary year. Linking radio and the Internet, it aims at making the program easy to understand and exciting.
New programs include “The Magic of Japanese Masterpieces.” It introduces enchanting stories behind the fine arts that represent Japan. On “Making It in Japan,” a Radio Japan reporter visits people from abroad who are actively pursuing careers in Japan and are successful.
Listening to Radio by Television
Diana Salame lives in Damascus, the capital of Syria. She listens to Radio Japan’s Arabic broadcasting on her TV through so-called satellite radio broadcasting known as RadioVision. As radio programs are aired, related text and still images stream on the screen. Radio Japan began this service in March 2011 for the Middle East and North Africa, where almost all households have access to satellite broadcasting. It then began to get many letters from people in Gulf nations.
In the past, Radio Japan’s service was limited to shortwave. Now, tying up with overseas broadcasters, it uses middle wave, FM and satellite. This has made Radio Japan available to about 300 million more people. It can be heard in Japan, too, on personal computers and smartphones.
HOW IS A PROGRAM MADE? ~A Case from the Arabic Service~
Radio Japan’s production unit is on the sixth floor of the main building of NHK Broadcasting Center. More than 50 employees and about 200 foreign translators and announcers work there. It’s a unique space in the center where 18 languages are spoken in a room that’s just about 400 square meters in size.
1. Planning and Covering
A director makes a program plan. A staffer covers a story for the program and sometimes conducts interviews in Arabic.
2. Making a Script (in Japanese)
The staffer transcribes recorded material, re-examines the program structure and writes a script in Japanese on a PC. The desk editor often orders revisions.
3. Translation: Japanese to English, then Arabic
The script is first translated into English, then into Arabic.
4. Reading the Script Together
Announcers and the director read the script together using a stopwatch. They carefully check whether the translation is easy for listeners to understand.
7. Going on the Air!
The program is made into a digital audio file (DAF) and goes on the air automatically.
For foreign listeners (in 17 languages), Radio Japan airs news on the latest developments in Japan and other parts of the world one to six times a day. It also offers background and analyses on “Insight.” In its Japanese service, Radio Japan broadcasts regular news programs on NHK’s domestic channel, Radio 1, as they air. It also offers NHK WORLD news programs three times a day.
A Japanese language course for beginners. In a new series in fiscal 2015, the main character is Anna, a foreign student from Thailand. Listeners can learn Japanese customs and culture with her.
Let’s Cook Japanese
Giving tips on Japanese home cooking. If pork or beef can’t be used in target regions, alternative ingredients are introduced.
Welcome to Amazing Japan!
A foreign reporter from Radio Japan visits various places in Japan and introduces their charms.
The Reading Room
Translating Japan’s excellent short stories, especially those adopted in junior and senior high school textbooks, into various languages and reading them on the air.