I feel like I am not really connecting the sounds to meaning

What I mean is, I do know how to say certain Kanji and Vocabulary, but I do not think I would recognize them when heard. But I guess that is only a practice question. I need to get into immersion more


Welcome to the forums!

This sounds like you mostly need some listening practice indeed. Hard to say what - do you do anything besides WaniKani for learning? How’s your Japanese in general?


This is normal. WaniKani only tests kanji/vocab → sound and kanji/vocab → meaning. It doesn’t give you any practice with sound → meaning. You’ll need listening practice for that.


Thanks :grin:
I also do Anki and Duolingo like a bit. Basically I’ve been learning for about 45 days now. I started with Kana and well as soon as I knew that basically started with WaniKani learning about Kanji. I’ve got Core 2k/6k Deck and the JLPT Tango N5 deck on Anki as well.

I haven’t gotten into grammar that much yet, just watched a few videos on it.
Other than that I have just started listening to a couple of podcasts and I try to build random sentences with words I learned, when bored for example.

So yeah. 私の日本語は下手です。But I am slowly getting better.

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Yeah I am trying to build up enough vocab to be able to listen to some youtubers and stuff without not understanding anything :slight_smile:


Some basic grammar and vocab under your belt will open up a whole host of possibilities. Once you have that going you’ll be able to pick out a lot of the basic sentence structure while listening, and just being aware of things like word boundaries will help immensely with recognition while listening.

It’s still gonna come down to practice, but a bit of a foundation makes things a lot easier.


Yes, I am hoping for that. But I think at some point I will still have to jump into the cold water :joy:

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As an intermediate step it could help to watch Japanese content with Japanese subs to bridge the gap. It might also help to use an app like Language Reactor so you can look things up as you go along.

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Oh yes, that is a nice idea. AI just installed yomiwa so i can draw unknown kanji to get it translated.

I completely empathise with you about this - Wanikani doesn’t teach listening very well (though it’s hardly designed to do so). The best remedy within Wanikani, I find, is to always do lessons and reviews with sound on (and preferably a pair of headphones). Also make sure you turn on the option to play the audio for a word when you get it correct (I don’t think it’s on by default). This really helped me with matching sounds to kanji and meanings.

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Glad to hear I am not alone with this :wink: I will try turning on the sound feedback.

So it’s not a perfect solution but I found my brain connected the meaning and reading significantly better when I switched to 1x1 mode using the ultimate reorder script. Basically that means my reviews are sorted so that every time a kanji or word comes up it asks for the reading first and then the next item is always that items meaning. In “real life” you’ll never just need to think about the reading of a word and not the meaning or vice versa, so to me this is extremely helpful. Before I had a lot of trouble connecting the two, but now they come simoltaneously even when I see vocab outside of WaniKani. I highly recommed at least trying it if you haven’t before, it’s easy to turn off if you end up not liking it. It also has the nice bonus of speeding up the time it takes to do reviews because you’re not jumping all over the place for different items multiple times.


Are you trying to picture a Kanji in your head when you hear Japanese spoken?

No of course not. But I connect the meaning to the kanji and not to the sound. I don’t think you should listen to spoken japanese by imagining the kanji for each word

Uhh that also sounds interesting. How do you use these scripts?

“I feel like I am not really connecting the sounds to meaning”

Thank you for this topic name, finally I know how to explain what’s my problem with learning Japanese all these years :joy: :joy: :joy:

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Here is the specific script I was talking about. I use several different ones as well, if you poke around the API and third party apps category here on the forums you can see if you want to try any others.

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:joy::joy::joy: well. Glad I could help. I really randomly thought of that after doing some reviews and I was really tired and well that’s what came out for my first post :see_no_evil:

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有難うございます😁 I will look into it

Unfortunately that does not change over time I think. Maybe it’s better to accept that initially studying a new word in Japanese is a bit abstract and much later in time the meaning and sound gets connected in the brain, at least for me. For a really short time I tried to study a bit of Chinese but gave it up quickly because for me the time delay took even longer…

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