05m 00s

"Farmer Uses Ducklings to Grow Rice Without Chemicals"

Learn Japanese from the News

Broadcast on July 10, 2023 Available until July 9, 2024

Welcome to "Learn Japanese from the News." In this program we learn Japanese and more about Japan from news stories presented in simple Japanese. Today's headline is "Farmer Uses Ducklings to Grow Rice Without Chemicals" which was published on NEWS WEB EASY's website on May 17, 2023. Keywords include「農家(のうか)nooka」"farmer" and「田んぼ(たんぼ)tanbo」"paddy field."



"Farmer Uses Ducklings to Grow Rice Without Chemicals"

Welcome to "Learn Japanese from the News."
Join us as we learn Japanese and about the country through Japanese news stories.
Today's headline is…

"Farmer Uses Ducklings to Grow Rice Without Chemicals"
This news story was published on NEWS WEB EASY's website on May 17th.
Now let's go over some vocab words that will help us understand what's going on.
aigamo duck, which is a cross between a mallard and a domestic duck.
paddy field
Let's keep these words in mind as we listen.
「島根県(しまねけん)飯南町(いいなんちょう)の農家(のうか)の宇山智明(うやま ちあき)さんは、薬(くすり)を使(つか)わないで米(こめ)を作(つく)っています。薬(くすり)を使(つか)わないと、米(こめ)を作(つく)るのに邪魔(じゃま)な草(くさ)や虫(むし)が増(ふ)えます。このため、アイガモという鳥(とり)を田(た)んぼに入(い)れて、草(くさ)などを食(た)べてもらいます。
This story is about a farmer in Shimane Prefecture who recently released 100 aigamo ducklings into his rice fields. The ducklings eat weeds and pesky bugs, which allows him to grow rice without using pesticides or other chemicals.

Now we'll break down a few sentences from the story that contain helpful expressions and keywords.
Let's start with the following sentence:

"When you don't use chemicals, you get more weeds and pests that interfere with rice production."
We just heard the phrase 薬(くすり)を使(つか)わないと. The と here is the conditional と. In Japanese we use conjunctions such as 「と」 「ば」 「たら」 and 「なら」 to make a conditional sentence.
We use と to say that a certain event or action will always result in a specific consequence.
In the phrase 薬(くすり)を使(つか)わないと, と is preceded by the negative form. So it's saying that when you don't do a certain action, it will inevitably lead to a specific result. 薬(くすり)を使(つか)わないと草(くさ)や虫(むし)が増(ふ)えます means that if you don't use chemicals, you will get weeds and pesky bugs that will make it difficult to grow rice.
Another example would be 急(いそ)がないと会議(かいぎ)に遅(おく)れます, "If we don't hurry, we'll be late for the meeting."
OK, let's move on to our next sentence.
"The ducklings seemed to be enjoying a pleasant swim on the paddies, and could occasionally be seen eating weeds and other things."
The key phrase here is 気持(きも)ちよさそうに, which combines the adjective 気持(きも)ちいい with そう.
We use this phrasing when we want to speculate based on what we can see, or something we've heard. So the idea here is that the ducklings look like they're enjoying themselves. Of course, you'd have to ask the ducks to know for sure.
Right. Generally speaking when using そう with an adjective that ends in い, you drop the い and add そう. So the phrase 値段(ねだん)が高(たか)い "that's expensive" becomes 値段(ねだん)が高(たか)そう "that looks expensive."
But there are special cases, like いい in 気持(きも)ちいい. You change いい to よさ, then add そう. So it's 気持(きも)ちよさそう.
And that's all we have for today. A big shout out to all the aigamo out there helping protect rice fields from insects so that we can enjoy delicious rice at home.
Yes, their work is much appreciated. Some companies have developed a solar-powered robot that helps farmers keep weeds out of their paddies like the aigamo do. It's great to see more and more farmers committing to eco-friendly practices.
Absolutely. Be sure to tune in next time for more!

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