How natural does Kanji reading become in 日本語?

Jace *\(^o^)/*
Asked 8 years ago

I just want to say, I really love this language. I devote as much time outside of my 60 work week as I can to learning new words and Kanji, albeit forgetting half of them and coming back to learn them again, but I eventually get it down, and it feels amazing to hear or see something in Nihongo on tv and immediatly understand it without even giving a thought, as if the language were my own! :) ! It's been about two years since I started, and I haven't lost interest in this at all. The more I learn, the more I want to learn. It's like a good book you keep coming back to no matter how hard life tries to pull your attention away!

Anyways, I've started to make ground in understanding the Kanji, but I wonder if it will ever be them same as the Kana. I can read Kana just as easily as English. It feels perfectly natural. I frequently write in Kana whenever I have to take notes while at work(get some weird looks when I do that). I try to incorperate Kanji into just general writing, but I find it much more difficult even with the Kanji I am very familiar with. There are so many readings, it forces me to stop and contextualize, and with the detail and stroke order involved it can sometimes take more time to write the Kanji than to complete the entire sentence in all Kana. Is this something that goes away with time and practice? When you read a wall of Kanji, is it familiar, as easy as if it were in Kana? With enough time and study, will I be able to ready Kanji that way?

I'm not the right person to answer this question, However, I think that with enough exposure to it, you'll be able to feel completely comfortable. It might take 4 or 5 years but you'll eventually find the combination (the so called Kanji wall) of Kanji more understandable. but that's completely up to you. How much are you willing to spend of your time? questions of that sort.

Commented 8 years ago

Know someone who might be able to answer this question?

1 Answer


Hi Jace-san,

You always ask an interesting question.  I love it!

As a native speaker of Japanese, I would say that I can read kanji as natural as I do with Kana.  Actually, the sentences written only in Hiragana or Katakana can be more difficult for me to read and understand.  But, you know, I feel comfortable with Kanji because I have used them for decades!

I had a chance to talk about your question with a person who has passed the JLPT Level 1.  The person says that he feels comfortable with frequently used kanji (you know, JOYO Kanji?).  But he still has trouble in reading kanji for names (person's or place's).   That's totally understandable!

So, as ロジャーさん says, it is POSSIBLE that you will be able to feel completely comfortable with kanji by time.  You're doing great!  がんばって!

Answered 8 years ago


Jace *\(^o^)/*
Commented 8 years ago