Improving Kana reading fluency?

Hey so I was wondering what the mental process is of reading Kana for people at different levels of ability.

It feels very much like I’m still individually translating each kana to a syllable (I guess I’m translating to romaji in my head?) and then constructing the word from that – it’s slightly faster for words I recognise but overall it seems like this is a sticking point.

If I’m not able to get the phonics from just the kana, and I have that extra mental step of romaji-ing the kana to get the phonetics am I going to slow myself down, or is this part of the standard learning curve from coming into English?


just keep doing the thing that is japanese, you’ll see か and read ka, same goes for kanji, you won’t read it as fast as you just read this, but still you won’t have to think too much about it


I’d suggest joining the reading clubs here in the community, what you need is practice, I’m still not as fast as I should be myself, but I noted a very high increase in my reading speed within the last month only because of heavy reading…don’t push yourself too much though :grin:

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Just keep studying and reading Japanese and eventually it won’t even look like Japanese anymore and you will be surprised how easy it is to read


I think it’s something where you get better at it the more you practice, but it might help to practice associating the kana with the sounds they represent, rather than the roman letters. If you quiz yourself on them, say the sound out loud instead of typing it. While at first you have to think about what sound each one makes, eventually you should be able to get to the point where you associate them with the sounds themselves; that will take out the middle step.


Thanks! that makes a lot of sense, I think this is the thing I was overthinking, that by typing and reading the roman letters I would be constantly training my brain have to do that two step process and never develop a ‘one step’ translation for kana or kanji.

Thank you to all the other replies too, I’ll keep at it, I need to learn some more kana words so I can try reading passages of text instead of just phrases.

I kinda do that too but i didn’t worry about it. Since i can’t read most of the stuff even for the kanji i recognize the meaning of. I think you will get better at it when you start learning vocabulary.

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