This is my first post, I would like the chance to introduce myself and post a question in the hopes it'll save everyone aggravation and trouble later on, so here we go: I am a 19 year old male in New York who has wanted to learn Japanese for a while, but never got the chance to until college. Now that I have started to on my own, before taking a full class, I have learned 99% of hiragana and katakana. (In both, small tsus and shi's sometimes confuse me; I am still not 100% certain of the difference when I see shi and tsu in katakana, and even sometimes so and n get me handwritten. Other than that, mostly everything I get.) I have delved into Kanji and was immediately infuriated, but mostly confused. As I opened my college's Japanese teacher's semester's book, I noticed that the first Kanji were 1-10. Sure, this was easy. And then I noticed this, shortly after: 人 had three words next to it: JIN, NIN, HITO. And this is where the problems started. Then I looked back and saw that 1-10 had them as well, itchi - hito, ni - futu(tsu), futa-...and I was just completely lost. I still don't understand. So I committed my second mistake and just went on. There were compounds of words being formed. All of which I got horribly, horribly wrong. For example: 四月 would, by me extremely incorrectly, be labeled as "yontsuki". As if to slap me in the face, it was of course, shigatsu. April. Well. Perhaps people will consider me unintelligent as I no doubt am, but still... So now my question boils down to something so broad I would be surprised and grateful beyond belief if were answered so I would rarely be confused anymore: How do I know what to use? When? I'll give you another example with my favorite "JIN NIN HITO". 日本人. Ni. Hon. Jin. No way it can be anything else. Clear, cut, NI HON JIN. Well, I thought, how can it be Jin. Maybe if it's at the end, it's JIN. So I went on. 互人: goNIN. Hm. What? Let's...go...on...月(o)(miru)人. This time, it's HITO at the end.Now, I've had it. I have absolutely no idea when to use what. I talked to a native Japanese speaker and she said it had something to do with ideas before the class was over, unfortunately I don't see her until next Wednesday. I mean, I'm not an impatient person most of the time, but I can't continue learning if I continuously get everything wrong. I may as well pose another question: In scrolling through Wikipedia's list of Joyo Kanji, I typed in Ken and hit find. At least five results came up. How would you ever differentiate them, though conversation, since they're all different? For my example: 木 is what, moku and boku and ki, right? This would mean tree. 目 means eye, and has the same. exact. moku boku, but this time me. So...in conversation, would you have to look into it to assume, kind of like an english "i must read the paper tonight" against the "you should clean your instrument reed" ? I'm sorry if this is very long and I'm probably a weird person, but you know what? I'm just trying to learn! I'll end off with an Arigato Gozaimasu.