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.
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).
*Jalup Next only includes from Beginner to Advanced. For the continuing higher levels (expert and immersion), use the Anki versions.
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.
“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 able 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.
*Anki decks and Jalup NEXT decks require separate purchases and cannot be carried over from one to the other.
Go to jalupnext.com, 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.