I was just typing a similar response! Well said. To build on that,
Meanings don’t translate directly, they embody their own concept. That is why the definition of a kanji in a dictionary usually has many many english equivalents - there is no inherent connection between english and japanese in the way that our languages connect the universe to words. So while there is a direct translation for obvious concepts and objects like big/ small/ water etc, it becomes much more difficult to translate stuff as you get more abstract. I recommend thinking of kanji as concepts.
For example, 生 means life, natural, genuine, birth, new … etc. We use many words in english to try to get at the meaning of the kanji, but in a japanese mind it embodies a single concept. 生 is 生.
Kanji can be building blocks for other words too.
大学 (DAI - GAKU) could be considered “big learn” but we translate it as College.
大学生 (DAI - GAKU - SEI) could be considered “big learn new/life” or something like that, but we translate it as college student.