Asahi WebUD

The popular left-leaning Japanese newspaper Asahi has an excellent service provided on their webpage. WebUD provides an audio reading of any article on asahi.com as well as the ability to turn furigana on and off. It is a computerized voice reading the articles, but it’s actually not too bad. The program allows you to adjust the speed of the reading. The hiragana function gives you the choice of adding furigana for all kanji or just those above a certain level (elementary school through junior high school in four steps). You can also choose to have furigana displayed above the kanji, to have hiragana simply replace the kanji, or to place hiragana in parenthesis after each kanji word.

After installation, running the program will open the Asahi site in the WebUD window. Highlight the text that you’d like it to start reading, and press the 読み上げ button. It will start by reading that text and continue down the page until you press the stop button. It’s important to highlight the text in the article that you want to read because if you don’t, it will start by reading the date and subject headings at the top of the page. [Tokyo Tsure Zure Gusa annotation]

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