Quotations on NHK Easy

I’m having trouble figuring out why some quotes use と言 and others use と話.

Examples from recent articles:



What am I missing?


When I read your example sentences, I got the impression that ~と言う was a direct quote from beginning to end and that ~と話す was referring to some things [amongst others] that the person said. Almost like “his story included…”
That’s just my interpretation and I’m not a native speaker so I’m probably wrong haha


Thanks, that at least makes some kind of sense. :slight_smile:

To add something from googling about the nuance, one of the things that keeps coming up is that 言うis simply about expressing something in words.It can be a one sided message like 礼を言う(to thank) or doesn’t even require a conversational partner like in 寝言(sleeptalk), 独り言(talking to oneself) . Where as 話す generally requires that you’re trying to express something understandably to someone else like in “日本語が話せる” no one assumes if you say someone can speak japanese that you mean they can speak it to themself. Even something of an exception like 言い合う is translated as “to exchange, to quarrel, to say to each other(insults etc)” it has a confrontational nuance, whereas 話し合う is “to discuss, to talk together” it has much more mutual meaning. So in this case it’s possible the president was giving a speech and the athlete an interview.


@Qberry22 @matt_in_mito @Qberry22
There is also another nuance, 話す has also meaning of “to state/explain”. In other words, while と言う is likely a quotation, while と話す is not necessarily word-to-word, likely the reporter just conveys the meaning of what has been said modified so that it is easier to understand for the reader.

I hope it helps,