Jalup Stories – Beginner

Jalup Stories Beginner Icon 4

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Finished Jalup Beginner? Congratulations. That’s 1000 pieces of Japanese knowledge you now have at your grasp. It’s an impressive achievement and one you should be proud of.

But everything was in Anki, and while you learned this vast expanse of material, it may not feel yet like you “know” Japanese. You know it when you read it in Anki, but outside of Anki? Not so much.

You may be considering going onto Jalup Intermediate, or something else, but you would like to really “feel” the progress and what it has done for you. You pull out a manga or anime, and there is still way too much you don’t know to enjoy it, or to test yourself on where you are. It can make you feel like what you learned in Beginner was just a start, and you don’t have anything to show for it yet.

Well I’m here to provide you something to show for it!

Enter Jalup Stories

Jalup Stories is a new tool here that is designed to take the knowledge that you have obtained in an isolated format, and give you a way to use it in an enjoyable way, for review and for pleasure, and to show you that you are much farther ahead than you realize.

Jalup Beginner Stories are five original fictional short stories written by me, that 99% only use the words, grammar, and structure found in the Jalup Beginner series. This means you can enjoy real Japanese, in an entertaining way, without the need for any outside sources. You can focus on fun and reviewing everything you’ve learned up until now in an easy and playful environment. Review what you know, in new shapes and form, to give you greater control and make it easier to move forward.

The set up:

1. I wrote 5 entertaining short stories using Jalup Beginner

These are not boring dialogues you’d find in a textbook. These are regular stories that have excitement and wonder. I have a silly imagination (you didn’t know?!), and made sure that even with the limited vocabulary I have to work with, I would try to bring a smile to your face.

These 5 stories are fairly short (3-4 pages each) to keep them easily accessible and not overwhelming, as this may be the first time you are reading real Japanese outside of Anki.

2. In order to be able to slightly expand on what I could write, I introduce some new words not found in Jalup Beginner to each story

Mostly these are just character names and a few key words needed to make each story work. There are a total of 35 new words for all stories combined.

Because of this, I’m providing a J-J version (defining these new words only using the Japanese found in Jalup Beginner) and a J-E version (English definitions). The J-J version is really simple and you should have no problem using it, but I’m including a separate J-E version just in case.

I introduce most of the new words before the beginning of each story. However there will occasionally a few new words introduced at the end. The reason for this is the keyword is the punchline or end plot reveal and reading this first would ruin the suspense of the story. So when you come across this word, just look at the end. These words usually appear at the end of the story anyway, so they’ll be right there waiting for you.

3. As always, all my work is edited by a native Japanese speaker

High quality is always a top priority.

4. You can ask questions to the creator of this series (me – Adam)

I want these stories to be as useful as possible, so as always, if you have any questions about a word or sentence, ask me by email. I will personally answer.

What about people who’ve never done the Jalup Beginner series?

As long as you’ve finished a few standard beginner textbooks you should be fine, and be able to use and enjoy this (similar to going straight to Intermediate without having done Beginner).

What’s inside?

– 20 page PDF (J-E Version)
– 20 page PDF (J-J Version)

The 5 stories

1. 幸せになる方法
2. 見えない人
3. 嘘が好き
4. 犬の日
5. 何もしたくない


A child way ahead of his age pursues the meaning of happiness. A girl gains the power of invisibility but realizes it turns out to be more than she bargained for. A girl has a strange obsession with being lied to. A pet dog has the uncanny ability to play video games. And one man is ready to give up after being fired.

Jalup Stories Continuation

This is a trial series. If people like this, there is definitely a possibility of either expanding the Beginner Stories, or going on to Intermediate and Advanced stories (which would allow for much more complexity with the expanded vocabulary found in those decks).

Buy Now

● Buy Jalup Stories Beginner: $9.99


Didn’t find it to be of use? Not quite what you thought you needed? No worries. Send an e-mail to adshap (at) japaneselevelup (dot) com within 30 days after your purchase date to ask for a 100% refund, no questions asked.

Start reading!

And never stop once you start.

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


Jalup Stories – Beginner — 42 Comments

  1. Instabought. This does exactly what I hoped it would. I’m about a quarter of the way through Jalup Intermediate. My continued Jalup Beginner reviews go smoothly, but I feel that I have learned the specific sentences rather than the language in general, and I have been conditioned to understand them specifically in Anki.

    These stories are a great way to build on the Anki reviews. I could read some bits pretty smoothly, which feels great. It’s the first time I’ve read extended pieces in Japanese. It is a lot of fun because you enjoy the story as well as the Japanese. Definite sense of achievement and reminder of progress.

    The bits that weren’t so smooth were also great because they bring back the sense of challenge I felt when first doing Beginner. There are some quite long and complicated sentences. There are familiar words and conjugations but used together in unfamiliar ways.

    In a story you get massive context and a degree of emotional engagement. This helps really cement the feeling of what words mean. This resource is a very powerful review tool for Beginner material.

    11/10 would buy next one.

    Suggestion: If you are advanced level and stepping into Production for the first time, why not try writing a story as an exercise? Try to stick with language in Beginner/Intermediate/Advanced packs with a handful of new words. Send it in to Adam for proof-reading. This could be a useful exercise for you and a help to your younger siblings.

  2. A brilliant idea having some leveled reading using only words that everyone knows form JALUP 1000 Beginner. Do you have any plans to add stories for upper levels?

  3. Decided to buy it just to see what the fuss is about.

    Not that this should be a surprise to anyone who’s worked through one of Adam’s sentence decks, but these are very well done. Entertaining and clever stories despite the limited vocabulary pool available. This would make for great reading practice and a solid confidence boost for anyone in the Beginner-Intermediate range, IMO =)

  4. I was wondering what I was gonna do with that $10 bucks, thanks for solving that problem for me! Oh, and thanks for the stories too ^^

  5. Bought! Thank you so much Adam, I think this is one of your best ideas yet. The Anki > real world stumbling block is a big issue, and this seems like an ideal solution. And now my motivation to finish RTK so I can go back to adding Beginner sentences is even stronger! I can already make out quite a bit of the stories with what I have under my belt, so I am excited for more!

    I would love to have an audio read-along for these stories, if that’s something you would consider for the future. Then I could stick it on my immersion ipod, too, and enjoy listening! But I don’t know if that’s something that would add value for a lot of people or be feasible for you.

    Thank you again! This is great!

    • I had originally considered the possibility of audio, and actually tried both recording it myself and with the Japanese person who did Jalup Beginner. It turned out to be a lot bigger task than we thought, due to the complexity (you can’t just read it through once completely smooth and error-free, and you need the proper balance of emotion and narration). The few rough recordings we came up with we were unsatisfied with.

      So I want to see how well the stories do on their own before deciding if it is worth the time commitment to either get a professional voice actor or really flesh out the entire thing myself.

      • Thanks for your reply! That makes total sense; I have some experience with the perils of recording decent audio narration. I will keep my fingers crossed that the stories do well enough to merit the required effort for good audio, but I think they are a wonderful resource just as they are.

  6. Fantastic Idea, as always. I’ll be purchasing with my next paycheck. And I second Jen’s suggestion regarding an audio read-along. Much like the idea of using immersion material that you’ve watched before, this would be immersion material that you’ve READ before, and will continue to read. Very valuable indeed, IMHO. Thanks again!

  7. I’m almost finished with White Rabbit ‘s graded reader series. It’s s been so awesome actually being able to read and understand something in Japanese. I was wondering what I was going to read next. Looks like I have my answer.

    I do have one suggestion/request: would you consider making epub/mobi format versions for people’s Kindle/iPad/nooks? Though I don’t think nooks can actually support Japanese texts…

    • Can I ask at what level you attempted each of the books? I have it on my bookshelf but I have only looked at the very very easy ones so far. I thought the advanced ones were pitched at near native level?

      • My level or the level of the books? As for my level, I’m a couple hundred cards deep into JALUP Intermediate, so hardly that advanced. I’ve finished off the Level 2 books and had no trouble with those. I haven’t attempted the Level 3’s yet, but I can’t imagine they’d be all that much worse. I don’t know if there are higher levels because I’m just going based on the iPad apps, which cap out at Level 3.

    • Don’t know much about how to do this, but will look into it. Is it as simple as using a program, uploading the Word file, and then clicking convert?

      • This is actually very easily done with Calibre (http://calibre-ebook.com/). Add the pdf and select Convert Books. You may have to play with the output settings a bit to get the formatting to your liking, but I found that with the default settings, the resulting file is perfectly readable.

  8. Now I’m really motivated to finish the beginner deck so I can read these stories :D looking forward to it.

    • I have no clue why I didn’t buy these immediately after finishing Jalup Beginner! I was so excited back then, but must have forgot completely about it by the time I finished Jalup Beginner 6 months later… Oh well, better late than never!

      I just read the first story and must say I love it! :D It is definitely a bit more difficult than Graded Readers level 0, partly due to having no help from images, and also using somewhat longer sentences. Even the better feeling when I was done though. When I scrolled back and realized I read almost 3 pages of Japanese text I was like: _o/ \o/ \o_ … \o/ yay!

      • 読んでくれてありがとう!

        And thanks for the review. I’ve been playing around with the idea of moving on to Intermediate stories next, but haven’t made a decision just yet.

  9. Thank you for creating these stories. I have just finished JALUP beginner and intermediate, but sadly I cannot afford to buy the advanced package at this time. Was wondering what I should do next now that I do not have those great decks to keep me on track. At least I can enjoy the stories until I figure out what to focus on next.

    • How about trying to continue with J-J cards on your own? With the branch Annihilator (that you already have), and all the J-J creation posts on this site, you should be in good shape to try to tackle card creation on your own.

      • Will have a look into that, thanks. I have to admit that I do not have a lot of time available a day for creating cards (the reviews suck up all my time at the moment). I will likely look for other premade decks as well. Hope to be able to purchase the remaining JALUP decks in the future, hate to leave things half finished.

      • As Jesper mentions below, just register an image with gravatar (takes less than a minute), and then use the same email in the comment field on this site.

        I’ll add a note about this in the intro section of this site so future users who are interested can find this info.

  10. Whenever there is audio please let us know! Reading is one thing, hearing it spoken in natural speech is another and if anything should be the biggest test (assuming one’s goal is to communicate and not just read). I’ll look forward to it

  11. I made a mistake when i bought this and accidentally typed hotmail instead of gmail so ive paid for it but cant recieve the confirmation email, is there anyway to fix this?

  12. This is absolutely perfect and totally provided the answer to my quandary “what if I’m just remembering my anki sentences instead of actively understanding them in native material”. I tried reading some manga having finished the beginner deck and was completely stumped and demotivated.
    I’m quarter way through the intermediate now and these stories are actually quite difficult for me however when you get through a paragraph without having to browse your deck it’s a real sense of accomplishment.
    You’ve raised the bar again pal!

  13. Just read through them and enjoyed it! Because I slacked off on jalup beginner reviews, theres a few thigns that I didnt get, but I still managed to get most of it, and the general idea of the stories, so it was really motivating! Do you know of any other reading material that is designed for people of this approximate level? I tried reading some manga but I didnt know any of the words haha

      • Second this! I’m planning on buying the Japanese Graded Readers Level 1 soon. I’m looking forward to seeing the difference between level 0 and level 1. Level 0 is definitely enjoyable if you have been through Jalup Beginner. One of the things I loved about them is that each story is short. It took me about 10-30 minutes to read one book, giving you a quick sense of accomplishment. Each volume comes with 6 small stories each in their own book. What I thought a little odd though is that the first 2 books of volume 1 were actually more difficult than most of the rest, since they are about a specific topic going a bit into the depth about the topic covering a lot of words a beginner would probably not know. Whereas a lot of the rest of the books (vol 1, 2 and 3) are more slice-of-life like, with vocabulary you are likely to know most of already.

      • I bought levels 0, 1 and 2 when I started out and can highly recommend them. I would recommend transitioning to native materials after that, though, as they get boring after a while.

      • Thanks! I dont really have money to spare right now… but it’s good to know ;) seems like others have enjoyed them too!

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