Why Jalup Has 65 Levels To Fluency

The level guide here on Jalup was one of the first things that was created when this website came into existence, and has been at the core of the site up till today. It has been reworked over the years, with many supplements available to figure out how to pinpoint where you stand. But is all of this merely aesthetic to carry forth the video game theme?

Why Jalup Uses Levels 1

Levels mean something

People who first visit this site don’t know their levels according to the level guide I’ve promoted here. So when someone asks them what their ability is like, they’ll go to the classic defaults of beginner, intermediate, advanced, or some slight variation of the 3. This is the way it is almost everywhere.

Here, you get a specific number. 

Numbers give you clear goals. These goals become the foundation of your motivation. With numbers, you can measure yourself inching closer to them. Every step of the way you feel a sense of accomplishment. Why do you think video games use detailed levels and stats for everything about your character. How fun would it be to see your video game character progress be described as “okay, good, and great.” Look out, a level okay enemy is coming to attack you!

Why Jalup Uses Levels 2

A number breaks down your goal into something smaller you can use. Think about the above 3 standard categories of beginner, intermediate, and advanced. Those are only 3 categories that cover a time span of years. Even if you add a low or high (ex. low intermediate) to each one, that still is only 9. The level to reach fluency here is 65. That is 65 points of breaking down your progress.

For example, when you are stuck in the mid-level blues, only knowing that you are intermediate level may make it feel like it will continue for months. But knowing that you are level 25, and just need to reach level 30 to get past this phase, can feel empowering.

Finally, numbers allow you to express your ability to others. When you say you are level 15, people on this site have an instant image of what that means. This makes it easier to offer you advice, provide recommendations, and engage with you in simpler Japanese.

But levels are just made up, right?

Why Jalup Uses Levels 3

Of course they are. In the end, you decide what level you are and when you level up. The tests and guidelines on this site are designed to measure your level, but they are only estimations. However, the estimations don’t need to be 100% accurate with some impossibly detailed analysis of your language ability. All it needs to do is provide you a general location of where you are and where you are going. And since everyone else is using the same system of estimation, the numbers can do what they were intended to do.

How have you used the levels?

Have you kept track of your level on Jalup? How has it helped you in your studying?

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


Why Jalup Has 65 Levels To Fluency — 11 Comments

  1. I’ve been keeping track of my level by my card count of the jalup decks (which may or may not be a good way) it helped me in two ways: knowing how far I’ve come, and what media I can tackle

  2. I’ve been keeping track of my level ever since I first found this site, using the Test Your Might and power tests. I like structure and concrete goals to shoot for, and so Jalup levels been a really convenient tool for measuring my abilities and progress in the past year. I think I first discovered Jalup at about level 15, and I’m about 40 right now. That’s definitely better than saying I was a beginner a year ago and now I’m intermediate-ish haha. In addition, intermediate, advanced, and beginner can be subjective words, so having a definite level system in place that everyone follows is super useful.

    • For people that don’t use levels, I think “intermediate” can feel like it lasts for months (or years). Because it means you’re not bad, but you’re not great. Which encompasses a long period of time.

  3. From the beginning I’ve kept track of the “exact” day I leveled up. It really shows progress or lack there of. Like I can see what level I was when I watched a show or read a book and I can think of that experience in the context of that level. It’s great when I think of my failures in the past and then think, “Oh wait, that was 15 levels back when I did that, I’d do way better now.”

  4. Hey Adam, I really like the videogame theme on Jalup, I also love the leveling system, it’s very motivating. I had the idea of making an online tool for checking one’s level, with milestones, motivational quotes, immersion media recommendations and such, but I wanted to ask you first, are you OK with it?

  5. Thank you so much for the leveling system you made. It has really helped me take an objective look at my abilities and progress, instead of just letting myself listen to the 上手s from people I talk to and my own intense perfectionist internal monologue, which can get really confusing!

    It was also a revelation to see the level you recommended for when someone might be able to start translating. I’ve had a sense in my head of what that level might look like, but it’s so hard to measure against other people’s recommendations since it’s so subjective. The numerical system really helps create a more concrete idea of what the level looks like.

    • I’m happy to hear it has helped, and I’m looking forward to hearing how your foray into translation goes.

      I could totally see a level system based on how many 上手ですね’s you’ve gotten haha. I’m 上手ですねx500!

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