Regarding videos made by some Taiwanese organisations about the plight of the people of 福島県:

In the videos we are hearing/ have heard stories, after the accident, from a person who has again become able to live in the town she once lived in, and from an old lady whose husband died in the tsunami.

The full text may be helpful here.

I'm confused about either the meaning or the conjugation of 聞く in this sentence and who the subject of the verb is. I would expect it to translate as either "You/one will hear... " or "You/one can hear...", where the implied subject is the reader of the article, but that would be either 話を聞きます or 話を聞くことができます wouldn't it? Neither "You are hearing" nor "You have heard" really seem to fit the sentence well at all.

1 Answer 1


An insightful question, this is (and you know I do not say that very often).

First, the implied subject. It is the people who have produced this video; It is not the viewers.

So, in English, it would be "they" as it is the news reporter that is speaking here. It is not "you" the audience.

Moving on to the tense and the meaning...

The meaning of the expression 「話{はなし}を聞{き}く」 in its dictionary form is "to listen to someone's story", "to listen to what someone has to say", "to interview someone", etc.

Finally, the tense of 「聞いています」. It is the equivalent of "(they) have interviewed".

It is not the same tense (present progressive) as in 「今{いま}、ラジオを聴{き}いています。」("Someone is listening to the radio now.")

Context is everything in Japanese.

EDIT: You yourself answered a question regarding the very same tense here:

Difference between "verb(past) + こと + ある" and "verb + ている"

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