I just wanted to start by thanking you all for the wonderful feedback and advice on my first post. I had no clue (and 0 expectation) that I would get so many people to support me and clear up some confusion I had.
It seems however, I am back with more to complain/seek advice about…
I’m talking about words and kanji with multiple meanings, and also multiple different words with the same meaning yet other meanings that are unique to that individual word or kanji…
To start, I find myself really confused now when I read certain things that have multiple meanings. Even if similar, it can be hard for me to tell what is the “right” meaning to choose.
Let’s start with a simple example: 左右 which seems to mean “left and right”.
This can also apparently mean “both ways” (makes sense…), but it can also mean “influence” or “control” (WTF???).
So in my head now when I see the kanji 左右 I default to thinking “both ways” or “left and right” but I honestly forgot that it could also mean “influence” or “control”. Not all of the WaniKani lessons will directly teach you all of the meanings (which makes sense… I understand why) but like I am having to try and remember multiple meanings which is extremely difficult…
Another one that really got me today was 心 “heart”. It can also mean “mind”, or “feeling”… I can maybe kind of understand “mind” but “feeling”??? Now when I see this kanji instead of thinking that it is related to a heart, I have to try and remember that it could also mean “mind” or “feeling”… It feels so overwhelming! Maybe I’m just whining… What do you folks think about this?
Is this one of those things that, with time, will become far less of a problem as I could perhaps pick out words between this kanji and be able to make an educated guess given context of the sentence?
For example let’s say I understood every word but “心” in the sentence : おもわず心の中でさけんでしまった。
“I couldn’t help shouting in my mind.”
Shouting my heart… doesn’t make much sense. Shouting my feeling sorta makes sense ignoring grammar, and shouting my mind sounds a lot like shouting my feeling(s). I could probably guess that it would NOT be heart, but mind or feeling.
(Side note: The meaning of 中 in this sentence is an example for my next topic on this post.)
Now the next problem I face is words and kanji (I think it mostly pertains to words though) that share a meaning, but also have different unique meanings as well… Like the words 内 and 中. Both of these (in a vocabulary context) mean “inside”.
However as I am sure you’re quite well aware, 中 can also mean “center” or “middle” while 内 only has 1 other meaning which is unique to it which would be “within”.
Why was the primary learning emphasis (in WaniKani) of 中 “inside” and not “center”? My guess is maybe because the most common meaning of it is indeed “inside”? But then why even have 中 and 内?!? It’s so confusing… Well not THAT confusing but kind of confusing and also kind of “extra” if you will.
Oh, and don’t get even me started on 女の人, 少女, 女の子, and 女子…
So many words, so many similar yet also different meanings.
Sorry for the big rant. I suppose I’m asking once again if this is another hurdle that is normal, and with my continued practice and studying here on WaniKani, could eventually become something I look back on and laugh at.
For now these problems seem to plague me but I will keep persevering!
I will end things off on an unrelated but positive note. I made a JP twitter account (I’m not an existing twitter user so this is new to me) to follow random JP artists for anime that I enjoy and I have actually been able to not only guess (and do so correctly even!) some of the words in their posts, but even the context of their posts (short ones usually). Even if I can’t remember how to pronounce the word all the time, it’s cool to actually see my studying efforts in action!!