You Don’t Need To Listen To Anything I Say Here
If you have come to Jalup more than once, you most likely (hopefully) find something of value. I explain a variety of study methods, techniques, tricks, and try to provide everything you would want to master Japanese. But let’s assume you didn’t like any of it. None of it worked for you. You want to try something completely different. Maybe even the exact opposite.
Good news: your study method can be in the minority and still succeed.
The internet is great for providing endless information on how to do everything with anything. This leads to websites that become “authorities” on how to do it, based on how many people are successfully doing it using those websites. Learning Japanese is no exception. Japanese websites often claim “this is the way to do it,” everyone starts following it, and then everyone starts saying you have to do this if you want to succeed, or else.
Even here, I occasionally speak in extremes somewhat. You must banish subtitles! You must remove English!
You could be the only one to do a specific method and still kick ass.
I’m thrilled about everyone on this site who finds my advice helpful, and has taken the study methods and tools provided here and absolutely dominated. However, at Jalup we’re just a small group (originally just me) of people sharing our experience and observations. If you ignore 99% of it and came here because you like the font colors, that’s fine.
Do what works for you.
If you find a way to study in a way that no one else is, and people say is wrong, yet you feel you are doing right, keep it up. You may doubt your own method when you hear no one else is doing it, or even worse, when you hear what you are doing is completely wrong.
It’s when you try your minority method and it doesn’t work that you can/should start to rethink things. I suggest trying methods that I or others have said works, and see how it works for you. But the second you rework it into something completely different, see what happens. People learn and gain motivation differently.
Regardless of what method you choose, or even if you have chosen to follow everything on the Jalup Walkthrough word by word, I guarantee that you will start to branch your method off into something new. No two people study the same, even with the same strategy guide. For example, two people who both do Jalup Beginner in Anki will differ in the way they review, the time they review, and how they connect it to native materials.
Determine your own path
The message is this: hear what others have to say, but decide for yourself.
Founder of Jalup. iOS Software Engineer. Former attorney, translator, and interpreter. Still watching 月曜から夜ふかし weekly since 2013.
This… this is what makes Jalup such a pleasant place to frequent. You never come across as someone who thinks he knows better than everybody else. You continuously seek new knowledge and perspective on things and that also makes you come through with more authority than most people. Keep it up :)
Thanks! I think the idea that there is always more to learn/discover is the best stance to have. And sometimes I learn more from you guys than you do from me!
I love the humbleness of the article and how you believe you can still succeed without Jalup. Wouldn’t it be a bit boring following the exact jalup method? It’s like following the exact game play guide to a game.
Exactly. The game is fun because of the different gameplay styles.
Just writing this to agree with the above comments. Japanese learners couldn’t ask for a better senpai.
Thanks! And I couldn’t have asked for a better group of people to adventure together with me through this site.
It’s funny, I was initially pretty skeptical of almost all of the methods you outline here on Jalup. I didn’t “get” RTK. I didn’t see the value of passive immersion. J-J seemed crazy to me. The idea of buying Jalup pre-made decks seemed silly. And so on.
Now, almost two years after first finding this site (?!), my own study methods have almost entirely converged with the Jalup methods. Not necessarily because “that’s what Adam said to do,” but more because they really are the most effective (for me). If I were to give advice to a new learner, I would absolutely point them here and tell them to follow your guide(s). I would also tell them that if I could go back and do it over again, I would follow Jalup to the letter and probably have gotten twice as far in this same amount of time :D
That said, it’s amazing that you encourage folks to find their own paths as well. I agree with everyone else here that that kind of attitude is one of the unique and wonderful things about this site (and its community).
Anyway, thank you!
A lot of people start off skeptical (especially when it’s different from what many other places say), but I’m happy that people give it a chance. Of course not everything here will work for everyone, but even if you can just take take one thing that will give you new power, that makes it all worthwhile.
I hope Jalup will continue to grow with the help of everyone who supports and contributes to it.
After all, how else am I going to raise an army of fluent Japanese speakers to take on the world? :P
I think this is the most appropriate place to post this question, so here goes:
I’ve recently upped my immersion a LOT. I’ve done…some…but it was a little discouraging listening to things I barely understood. Now I’m always with a drama CD or something in my ears because I understand about half of the words and can get the gist of what’s happening/some of the jokes.
I’m also finding it really mentally tiring? I’m not sure how else to explain. Sometimes if I’m tired I *can’t* put on Japanese in the background because my tired brain trying to parse it will give me a slight tension headache. Is this usual? I know of course it will likely get better so I’m not giving up, I’ve just never heard of anyone else with this problem.
I am learning a *lot* right now, so I wonder if it’s just information overload for my poor brain.
Thank you for this article, too. I cheerfully try lots of methods and throw out the ones I don’t like, but lots of the ones that have stuck have been from this website. Largely, I think, because the method contains lots of flexibility. It’s a better method for it.
Yes, this is normal. Immersion starts off very mentally tiring. I’ll try to write a future post on this topic, as I used to get a lot of headaches early immersion (they went away).
I used to get those headaches as well. It’s a combination of being overwhelmed mentally and physically by immersion that will cause fatigue and headaches. With time those should go away.
I used to get headaches all the time too. They stopped, but I still get mentally drained.
Thanks folks, nice to know it’s not just me. Looking forward to your post about it Adam :)