Language | COMMUNICATION CUES

'Supermoon' puts on a show

Sample newspaper article

満月が非常に明るく最も大きく見える「スーパームーン」が11月14日、68年ぶりに天体観測者たちを楽しませた。国立天文台によると、満月は地球に最も近づき、今年最も小さかった満月に比べて直径が1.14倍、面積は3割ほど大きくなった。月は地球の周りを楕円軌道で回っており、スーパームーンは、月が地球に近づく日と満月のタイミングが重なるために起きる。地球と月の距離は平均38万4400キロメートルだが、14日には約35万6500キロメートルまで近づいた。その距離は、太陽の重力により毎年変わるが、今年は1948年1月26日以来、最も近い距離になった。次回、月が地球にこの距離に近づくのは2034年になる。 (Nov. 15)

Words and phrases

満月 (mangetsu) the full moon; 非常に明るく (hijō-aka-) extra bright; 最も大きく (motto-ō-) the largest; スーパームーン (sūpāmūn) supermoon; 68年ぶり (rokujū-hachinen-) in 68 years; 天体観測者たち (tentai kansokusha-) skygazers; 楽しませた (tano-) treated; 国立天文台 (Kokuritsu Tenmondai) National Astronomical Observatory of Japan; 地球 (chikyū) the Earth; 最も近づき (chika-) got closest; 今年 (kotoshi) this year; 最も小さかった (motto-chii-) the smallest; 直径 (chokkei) diameter; 倍 (bai) times; 面積 (menseki) area; 3割 (sanwari) 30 percent; 楕円軌道 (daen kidō) elliptical obit; 起きる (o-) caused; 距離 (kyori) distance; 平均 (heikin) on average; 約 (yaku) about; 太陽の (taiyō-) the sun’s; 重力 (jūryoku) gravity; 毎年 (maitoshi) from years to years; 変わる (ka-) changes; 以来 (irai) since; 最も近い (motto-chika-) the shortest; 次回 (jikai) next time

Sample radio or television report

Mangetsu-ga hijō-ni akaruku mottomo ōkiku mieru ‘sūpāmūn’-ga 11-gatsu jūyokka, rokujū-hachinen-buri-ni tentai kansokushatachi-o tanoshimasemashita. Kokuritsu Tenmondai-ni yorimasu-to, mangetsu-wa chikyū-ni motto-mo chikazuki, kotoshi motto-mo chiisakatta mangetsu-ni kurabete chokkei-ga 1.14-bai, menseki-wa sanwari-hodo ōkiku-narimashita. Tsuki-wa chikyū-no mawari-o daen kidō-de mawatte-ori, sūpāmūn-wa, tsuki-ga chikazuku-hi-to mangetsu-no taimingu-ga kasanaru-tame-ni okorimasu. Chikyū-to tsuki-no kyori-wa heikin sanjū-hachiman-yonsen yonhyaku kiromētoru desu-ga, jūyokka-ni-wa yaku sanjū-goman-rokusen gohyaku kiromētoru-made chikazukimashita. Sono kyori-wa, taiyō-no jūryoku-ni-yori maitoshi kawarimasu-ga, kotoshi-wa 1948-nen 1-gatsu nijūroku-nichi irai, motto-mo chikai kyori-ni narimashita. Jikai tsuki-ga chikyū-ni kono kyori-ni chikazuku-no-wa, 2034-nen-ni narimasu.

Translation

Skygazers were treated to an extra-bright “supermoon” on Nov. 14, the largest moon in 68 years. According to the National Astronomical Observatory of Japan, the full moon got closest to the Earth this year on Nov. 14. The moon’s diameter was 1.14 times what it was at its smallest point this year, and 30 percent bigger in area. Supermoons are caused by the shortening of the moon’s distance to Earth, due to its elliptical orbit, coinciding with a full moon. The distance between the moon and Earth is 384,400 kilometers on average but it narrowed to about 356,500 km on Nov. 14. Such a distance changes from year to year depending on the sun’s gravity, but this year’s was the shortest since Jan. 26, 1948. The next time the moon will get this close to Earth will be in 2034.

Conversation between acquaintances

A: Sekaijū-no tentai kansokushatachi-ga 11-gatsu jūyokka-ni sūpāmūn-o tanoshinda yō-desu-ne.

(It seems that skygazers around the world were delighted by the “supermoon” on Nov. 14.)

B: Mangetsu-ga motto-mo-chikyū-ni chikazuita-no-wa rokujū-hachinen-buri-da sō-desu-yo.

(I heard that the full moon was closer to the Earth than it has been for 68 years.)

Conversation between husband and wife

H: Kotoshi-wa ame-de sūpāmūn-o miru-koto-ga dekinakatta-no-wa zannen-datta.

(I was disappointed that I couldn’t see the “supermoon” this year because of the rain.)

W: Jikai-wa 2034-nen-ni mirareru sō-yo.

(The next time we’ll be able to see it is 2034.)

(No. 1334)