Introduction to Jalup NEXT

Jalup NEXT is the new Japanese learning web application developed by Japanese Level Up, that was released in early 2017. Many new and old users have been switching over to it, or wanting to try it out, so I thought I would create a proper introduction of what it is all about.


At the end of 2013 on Japanese Level Up, I started a textbook series built through electronic flash cards, using the popular memory app Anki. These flash cards were separated into decks, and taught you everything from how to read and write the characters of Japanese, all the way up to advanced vocabulary and grammar. They were split up into the following decks:

Kana Conqueror: Learn how to read/write/pronounce kana (hiragana and katakana), the 2 Japanese alphabets.

Kanji Kingdom: Learn how to remember the meanings of kanji: the major Japanese writing system.

Jalup Beginner: Learn vocabulary and grammar (with a focus on grammar), to get you speaking real Japanese now.

Jalup Intermediate: Learn Japanese through Japanese (moving the focus more towards vocabulary)

Jalup Advanced: Learn more Japanese through Japanese (direct continuation of Intermediate)

Jalup Expert: Learn even more Japanese through Japanese (direct continuation of Advanced)

Jalup Immersion: Learn the Japanese needed to enjoy your favorite manga (direct continuation off of Expert)

That’s 232 kana cards, 2300 kanji cards, and 5,500 Japanese sentence cards, for a total of 8032 cards (and growing).

While created in flash card format, the material introduced to you is the same you’d find in any textbook series. I purposely made it in flash card format, because it is easier to take in, easier to know how much to learn and how often to review, and it simplifies the entire process for you.

Anki to Jalup NEXT

Anki is an excellent app. And for over 3 years, I sold my Japanese textbook series in Anki format through its flashcard system.

However, over time I realized a lot of problem areas Japanese learners had, and that couldn’t be solved by using the Anki platform alone. I didn’t create Anki. It covers a wide range of general learning (besides just Japanese), and couldn’t be the place I wanted to run free with my Japanese learning ideas. It can be intimidating for beginners, and learning how to use the app can take some time.

The solution?

Create my own app, that allows me to specifically tailor it to Japanese learners, and continually develop it to meet and exceed your every Japanese need (or at least try…)

What is Jalup NEXT?

Jalup NEXT, at its core, takes the entire Japanese Level Up flash card learner series, and adds all new ways to improve the learning process and make the experience more efficient and enjoyable.

It has a SRS (spaced repetition system) similar to Anki.

1. You learn cards.
2. You review cards.
3. Based on whether you understood or didn’t understand those reviewed cards, they are put on timed intervals, either requiring you to review them again soon, or again later.

Of course, I didn’t just stop it there. Otherwise there would have been no reason to create it. Currently it has the following:

1. Full, fun interactive tutorial system: based on your Japanese level it guides you to what you should start with, how to start with it, what you are actually doing and why. It actually takes you through learning/reviewing the first several cards of each deck.

2. Card linking: the Japanese Level Up flashcard learner series is based upon building one small part on the previous thing you learned (aka i+1). The biggest hurdle to this is that if you forget previous information you learned, you have to search through old cards to find it. With Jalup NEXT, every single Japanese word in a sentence/definition is clickable. When you click on it, it brings up the card where you learned it. This becomes invaluable as you proceed towards Japanese-only (where English is removed).

3. The ability to review by deck or all decks combined.

4. See your review sessions (daily): how many cards you reviewed, how many correct, how many incorrect, your correct streak, and compare it with sitewide users.

5. Goal setting: decide how long you want to take to finish a deck, and the system automatically divides that into small daily tasks for you to accomplish.

6. Gamification: levels, experience points, and bonuses to make you feel like this is a game.

7. Explore: as you gain experience points, you acquire flags, which allow you to slowly explore all of Japan (work together with other users to gain reign over the entire country).

8. Timed Study: Set an amount of time you want to study for. While you are learning or reviewing cards, the timer clock counts down.

And more (really).

The app is still in its infancy, with new features and ideas continually in development. As of right now, it is only a web app (mobile optimized), but we are moving forward towards making it a native mobile app (with offline usage and syncing available).

Also, the decks are being linked one at a time, and we are currently up to linking Jalup Expert (it isn’t available on Jalup NEXT yet).

Who should use Jalup NEXT?

You, if you want to learn Japanese. It covers everything for basic beginners to advanced masters. You’ll find something worthwhile whatever level you are at.

If you are a brand new user to Japanese Level Up, and have never heard of the Anki decks, I recommend starting with NEXT. It is designed for the new user in mind.

If you are a current user of the Anki deck series, you have 2 options. Either convert your progress from the Anki decks to Jalup NEXT progress (through the convert feature in account settings), or start over on Jalup NEXT. If you have already purchased Anki decks in the past, you can get those decks uploaded to your account on NEXT for free. You just need to e-mail me at adshap (at) japaneselevelup (dot) com, attaching your purchase receipts and requesting what decks to be uploaded.

“But I like Anki!”

Good. Keep using it. Nobody is forcing you to use NEXT. While that’s the new thing here, anyone who has or wants to use the Jalup Anki series is free to continue doing so. The decks will not be taken down, and will remain in the store. They will also continue to receive updates and development (currently on Jalup Immersion stages). Jalup NEXT is meant to be a brand new option. However, it is still just an option. You won’t hurt my feelings (much) if you stick with Anki.

Getting Started

Go to, register a free account, verify your e-mail address, and begin. The tutorial system will take you through the rest of how to use it. Master Japanese, and all will be well.

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Founder of Jalup. Spends most of his time absorbing and spreading thrilling information about learning Japanese.


Introduction to Jalup NEXT — 14 Comments

  1. I’m a longtime J-learner, and I vastly prefer Next to Anki. A problem I had with the Anki version of JALUP decks wasn’t just forgetting words I had learned in earlier cards, it was also with some particle usage that is just plain slippery–don’t get me started on と! The card linking feature is a real game changer, especially in the definition field of J-J cards. I can honestly say that my J-J comprehension has increased dramatically, thanks to Next.

  2. I’m one of those people who was completely intimidated by Anki and avoided it. I started JalupNext as a total beginner, purely out of curiosity because it looked easy. Now I’m hooked!

    I love the clickable card linking (I sure use it a lot). It’s so much fun, now I’m dreaming every night in Japanese. I don’t even spend that much time learning with it (20 minutes 3 X a day, after every meal), but my progress is beyond what I thought I could ever do.

  3. I’m about 2/3 of the way through the beginner deck, and I have to say this is much nicer than my previous (failed) attempts to make decks in Anki. I think the part about Anki that caused me problems was the linking between cards – I was putting too much new information on each card, and not referencing back enough to older cards. I never would have made several cards with the different inflections of the same verb, for instance! I also think there is a huge issue in Anki that the initial recurrence intervals are way too long. If you are just learning a new card, the options are basically “fail” and “three days later”, then “six days later”, etc. With Jalup Next it has shorter intervals at the start before pushing it too far away.

    That said, I was practicing the sentences around my fiancee (who is Japanese). She thought that some of the phrasing is not how a real Japanese person would say things, and perhaps way too pessimistic and negative. As an example, card 598, where the person is a bit scared of getting married, he says 怖い, but apparently this type of scary only refers to being scared of ghosts. She say 心配 is a better word to use. I guess the goal is to learn grammar, though, so maybe this is a nitpick.

    Keep up the great work, I will be purchasing further decks. I’m hoping to be good enough to hold a conversation by the end of the year!

    • I’m glad to hear you are enjoying NEXT.

      Some amount of Japanese found in Jalup Beginner is spoken Japanese. The type you hear in conversations. Because they are separated one sentence at a time, without being connected to others, it may sometimes feel out of context (as there is no previous/after context). Then on top of this, in the very beginning, the vocabulary I can use is limited. So I have no choice to work with some words (when I would rather use others). This disappears the further you go. But trust me, sounds way better than the 私の名前は____です you find in some textbooks.

      However, 怖い is not just used for scary things like ghosts. It is used for feelings of uncertainty and worry (and especially used more so like this in spoken Japanese).

      From the dictionary:
      2 悪い結果がでるのではないかと不安で避けたい気持ちである。「かけ事は―・いからしない」「あとが―・い」

      As for there being a pessimistic or negative sentence, life can’t always be positive, and people worry, especially when they talk :)

      But always feel free to e-mail me about any issues you might be having or problems you might find with a sentence.

  4. My understanding of the series is that the focus is on input, listening and reading. Output comes through exposure to the language through immersion. Each sentence in the series is just one example of how a word may be used. Immersion is where it all comes together, you learn how words are used in native speech/writing. With enough exposure, you are then able to produce natural sounding sentences yourself.

    Oh and I love the occasional negativeness/pessimism! This world is real…

    • It focuses on input, but there is output as long as you read the sentences out loud. However, this won’t make you a conversation master, it will just improve your ability to say words and sentences. As you said, immersion is what takes full stage for that.

      And this world needs to be real haha.

  5. This seems pretty cool. Is there any planned time frame for when the Advanced/Expert decks will appear on NEXT or is it a case of when-it’s-done?

    • Advanced is about 90% finished. It should be out in the next week or so as long as there are no major delays with the next update.

      Expert will be started as soon as this next update comes out. It’s 2,000 cards, so I don’t have any time-estimate just yet.

  6. Wooo! This looks quite interesting. This is just the thing to get my Japanese back on track. I’ll check it out.

  7. Ok I’ve been trying it out the past few days. All I can say is: addicting! I’m here to stay. Thanks for making this!
    A quick question:
    Should I still be using XP Navi with this, or is it more or less unnecessary now that we have a built in level system with JALUP NEXT?
    Or does that come down to personal preference? :p

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