The Jalup App, released in 2018, is hopefully helping you power through all of your Japanese studying. As it grows and becomes more complex, I realized it would be useful to have a full guide on this site to assist you in navigating the app, revealing some features you may not have noticed, and giving you some bonus tips on how to make the most out of it.
Since the iOS version was released 6 months earlier than the Android version, there is a lengthy game of “catch up” being played. If a feature says “iOS,” it doesn’t mean it is an exclusive feature, it just means that it will be added in the future as I continue development.
There is a lot planned over the coming months and years, so expect frequent updates on this guide. If you have any questions, suggestions, or feature ideas, leave them in the comments section below.
- Store (Purchase & Restore)
- (iOS) Search
- Backup & Data Control
- Levels, Experience, and (iOS) User Stats
- (iOS) Goal Setting
- Learn, Review, Listen and (iOS) Speak Tabs
Learn & Review
- The SRS (Spaced Repetition System)
- (iOS) Card Peeking
- (iOS) Review Monster
- (iOS) Checkmark Accuracy
- (iOS) Card Tools
- (iOS) User Notes
- (iOS) Card Rank
- Reset your Progress: Maybe you want to start over? Maybe you want to test some stuff out and then revert everything. You can reset your progress on a per deck (iOS) or total decks basis.
- Interval Timing: adjust how far cards are pushed back into the future when marked as correct. Normal→1x, Short→0.66x, Long→1.33x, Very Long→2.5x.
- Auto-Play: set your card audio to automatic or manual.
- (iOS) Reviews Due: Some people like to get their reviews to zero for the day, and not see them slowly start to reappear as they become due. Set your reviews to come in only once per day, or trickle in when due.
- (iOS) Vacation ModeThis was originally intended for people who wanted to take a Japanese break and not come back to tons of reviews building up while they were gone. The length of your vacation gets adding on to the due dates of all your cards when you get back. The effect: everything becomes frozen in time. Many people use this for more than vacations (even daily). That’s fine. It’s a way to slow down reviews, or give yourself time to catch up on a large pile of growing reviews. For example:
- Put it in vacation mode until you are ready to review
- When ready to review, turn off vacation mode
- Do your reviews
- Turn vacation mode back on
- Repeat until you get to 0 reviews.
- (iOS) Review monster: a friendly pet that “motivates” you in a playful way to keep your review number down. Choose between a cat, alien or a dragon.
- (iOS) Kanji Kingdom Display: as you progress through Kanji Kingdom, the way you study it will probably change. Here you can change the amount and type of info displayed.
Jalup includes 100 free cards from every single deck for you to try out, and see if you actually like the app. After that you will need to purchase decks, which contain the rest of the cards from each level. Or you can purchase the Maximum package, which not only provides the greatest value, but also gives you the ability to upgrade it for free any time a new deck is released on the app.
Depending on the deck size, it may take some time for the app to download and load all the cards. Give it time to work. If for some reason it freezes after several minutes of waiting, you can always turn the app on and off to do it again. If you still have problems, send me an e-mail.
The amount of time it takes the average user to learn an entire deck:
Kana Conqueror: 1-2 weeks
Kanji Kingdom: 6-9 months
Jalup Beginner: 2-6 months
Jalup Intermediate: 3-7 months
Jalup Advanced: 2-4 months
Jalup Expert: 2-4 months
These are only averages, and your mileage may vary significantly. There is nothing wrong with going significantly faster or slower.
Your deck purchases are tied to your Apple or Google Play account. If you log in with the same account on multiple devices, you are able to use your purchases across them. The restore button allows you to load purchases onto a new device.
If you bought an earlier deck (ex. Jalup Beginner), you can still buy Maximum, to add the remaining decks to your account and get the free upgrade feature. Just purchase the Maximum package normally and the app will do the rest. No discount is applied to Maximum even if you already bought a previous deck. Please keep this in mind when deciding your long term Japanese study plan.
Do all kinds of advanced searches to find your cards and what you’ve learned. When you do a search, the word you search for will be highlighted in red, and will show up as a hit, whether it appears in the sentence or the definition. This makes it easy to see examples of how the word (or part of the word) is used in all your cards. If you tap on a card, it will play the audio from the card (except for Kanji Kingdom – since there is no audio).
By default, searching will go through all the cards you own. You can narrow down your searches by specific deck and/or whether you have already learned those cards.
You can also narrow down searches based on whether you have starred or frozen a card.
And finally, from any search, you can mark (or un-mark) a card as frozen or starred, by swiping left on the row that the card is in.
*Note: You can’t star and freeze a card at the same time.
You work hard, so you want to make sure you have your months and years of progress securely saved outside the app in case your mobile dies. You have the ability to export and import your progress into a .csv file (which is a basic spreadsheet you can open in Google Sheets or Excel). It takes a second to do, and frequent backups are recommended.
There is no automatic online syncing, so you are responsible for keeping your own backups. However, depending on your mobile device and settings, usually automatic backups of your app data are taken periodically. Even if you forgot to take a manual backup, there is a chance that your device has taken a backup of the data. However, I can’t guarantee or control that, which is why manual backups are encouraged.
With backups, you can:
- Easily move data between devices.
- Restore your progress when you delete or reinstall.
- Reset and test things out, and then return your data to the way it was.
The real power of the backups comes with the ability to edit your data, all at once, in the exact way you want. When you export the .csv, you can open it in Google Sheets to edit it. It will look something like below:
Some useful techniques:
- Push back a group of cards very far into the future (maybe you don’t want to deal with them now). Change their due dates all to 2023 in column C
- Don’t want to physically learn the cards? Mark them all as review in Column L (they are originally classified as learn)
- Freeze or star a large group of cards (even an entire deck), by changing column K to 1 or 2.
- Add 100s or 1000s of User Notes to all your cards instantly
The possibilities of what you can do with your own progress is endless. After you finish editing, export it back to a .csv file, and then import it back to the app.
Avoiding an import error
- Google Sheets works perfectly when editing, but Microsoft Excel sometimes adds or removes an extra row at the end, which will cause the below problem. If you can, use Google Sheets for editing.
- Make sure that the due date hasn’t changed formats (ex. AM or PM should not be present)
- The amount of rows in your Sheet must match up exactly to the amount of rows in your app, otherwise you will not be able to import it. For example:
Your export includes 600 rows from sample cards + 900 rows from a Jalup Beginner purchase, for a total of 1500 rows. You then decide to buy Jalup Intermediate, giving you an additional 900 rows on your app. If you try to use your backup of 1,500 rows, on your app which now has 2400 rows, you will get an error. You usually can avoid this error by just taking a new backup after you make a new purchase. But if for some reason the timing doesn’t work out well, do the following (for the above example):
- Export a new backup (which will have 2400 rows).
- Copy and paste all the relevant rows from the old backup (with 1,500 rows) onto the new backup.
- Save this as a .csv, and import this new backup.
There are 99 levels, and as you level up, your icon starts to train and get stronger. There are 40 icons in total and you get an upgrade every few levels.
The levels on the Jalup app do not follow the levels on this post. It’s too complex (and inaccurate) to measure levels like this through the app, so consider this more of a fun way to keep track of how far you have come. If I was forced to make a comparison, I would say that maybe the app levels go 2-3x as fast as the levels on the blog. Ex. If you are level 20 on the app, you might be level 7-10 according to the original level guide. It’s not exact though.
You currently gain experience through:
- Learning cards
- Reviewing cards
- Listening to cards
How much experience you gain is determined by whether you mark a card as correct or incorrect, your current level, and how the card has been marked in the past. As of right now, your level doesn’t actually do anything (besides keeping track of things for fun), but eventually there may be level-restricted “dungeons.”
(iOS) When you tap on the level and experience row, you are shown a bunch of a user stats, including the cards you learned and reviewed for the day. You can copy and paste sentences by tapping on individual rows.
From the Learn screen, swipe left on a deck to set a goal.
Choose when you want to finish this deck. Depending on how many cards remain, and the total days remaining until your goal due date, it will calculate a daily learn pace for you to meet your goal.
When you have daily cards to learn for the day (in order to meet your goal), the deck will be highlighted in green. If you swipe left on the deck, it will show you how many cards you need to complete for the day. Once you complete them, it will revert the deck back to blue. If you miss a day’s goal, it will recalculate the missed cards back into your total count. Your daily learn goal is figured every day to make sure it meets the pace for the goal you set.
If you fail the goal (the date you set), the deck will turn red. You can set a new goal or a delete a current goal any time.
iOS has the different locations of the home screen split into tabs at the bottom. Android has things more compact requiring a tap on a deck to choose what you want to do.
Learn & Review
- Total learned/Total Remaining
- Reviews due (per deck and combined)
(iOS) Your review monster and status will be displayed if turned on from the settings (the above screenshot has it turned off).
Access the immersion player for specific decks, combined decks, or Jalup Stories & Situations. You can only listen to the cards you’ve already learned.
There are currently 5 speaking missions, with each mission covering around 50 Jalup Beginner cards (in order). You must complete previous missions to move to the next one. The first 2 are samples, and the remaining 3 are included with a Jalup Beginner purchase.
Learn: Experience new cards for the first time
Review: What you do with all those learned cards, for the months and years to come.
(iOS) The in-app tutorial tutorial provides a very in depth explanation about how to learn and review with Jalup, so if you are confused, follow it carefully.
The most important feature, which you will use to death, is known as card linking. This is the ability to tap on parts of a sentence to have it bring up the original card(s) where you learned that Japanese.
Spaced repetition is simple. After you learn something, if you review it over increasingly growing timed intervals, you will retain it longer. That is the heart of the Jalup app.
Generally, your intervals are affected by:
- How long it takes you to learn/review a card (up to a maximum amount of time)
- Whether you press the correct (green) or incorrect (red) button
- Whether you looked at card links
- How many times you’ve already marked the card correct/incorrect
A lot of other small things go into it to make sure that cards are set for review at the perfect time. However, you can adjust the intervals from the User Settings on the home screen.
Card peeking is the ability to go back and forth between cards, without actually learning or reviewing them. This is useful if you:
- Made a mistake and tapped learn or review too fast
- Want to see what you’ve learned already in your current study session
- Want a sneak preview of what is to come.
Card peeking can be used on both Learn and Review mode.
For example, assume you are learning card JB2.
If you swipe left or right, you will get to peek at the cards before and after it (you can do this repeatedly).
On card peeks, you can use card links, activate card stats, and star cards. The only thing you can’t do on a peek is freeze a card.
The review monster is a friendly way to pressure you into completing your reviews. Keep your review monster happy by getting the count to zero. Or watch as it becomes increasingly agitated.
While in review mode, you can see as your review monster transforms (changing icons and getting highlighted with a yellow box). This is a useful way to see how far your reviews have gone down visually, rather than have a number in your face bogging you down.
*Note: this can all be turned off from the settings.
An easy way to glance at your card accuracy is to note the color of the checkmark in the top right of the screen. If it is green, your accuracy is above 75%. If it is white, below 75%. Cards that have not yet been reviewed have no accuracy, so always appear white. When you tap on the accuracy checkmark, you open up Card Tools.
Tapping on the accuracy checkmark opens up Card Tools. This allows you to freeze, star or view the stats of a card.
- Freeze a card: prevent a card from appearing in learn, review, and listen. This will not affect its due date (use Vacation Mode instead for this)
- Star: mark a card so you can return to it later
- Stats: See how well you’ve reviewed a card (its rank)
- Note: Add your own note to a card (html allowed)
Remind yourself of something important, list little discoveries that you make on subsequent reviews, add outside example sentences, or add memory mnemonics. Editing can be done in or outside app.
By using the backup sheet you can make big changes all at once to your notes.
The User Note field is also HTML enabled. With a little creativity, you can do anything you want. Embed pictures (make sure you host them), YouTube videos, or even websites from right inside a card. For example, if I added the following code into a note:
<div align = “center”><img src=”https://japaneselevelup.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/08/Logo-5.png” style = “width:85%”> </div>
*For those who use both iOS and Android (with imports and exports to sync progress): Android can’t handle notes yet in your backup sheet. Your notes will not be included on an Android import (or a subsequent export from Android).
See your card accuracy, time spent reviewing the card, and how many times you’ve marked the card correct or incorrect. A card has 6 ranks, and every time you review it with the green or red button, it will increase or decrease that card’s rank by 1.
Ever wanted your own immersion player in your pocket, that could play all the sounds of what you’ve been learning?
Choose a deck (or combined decks), to listen to all the cards that you’ve already learned. Each sentence will be read aloud one at a time, and appears at the top of the screen. They are in order, but if you want to change this, tap the random button at the far right. You can also turn a sentence on eternal repeat with the repeat button, or adjust the in-app volume (iOS).
One of the most unique and powerful features of the immersion player is the shadow timer, which at default is set to 0 seconds. This is the amount of time in between tracks, and gives you time to shadow (mimic out loud) a sentence you just heard. You can set it between 1 to 5 seconds depending on your level and how much time you need.
The immersion player is fully available with the lock screen (iOS), or the screen completely off with the phone in your pocket.
It actually even works on Car Play, with the sentences appearing on screen. However, this is a side effect of the title of each track being the actual sentence. Unless you are the passenger, do not look at sentences while driving. This is dangerous. Listening practice is good enough.
(iOS) You can also access Stories and Situations through the immersion player. Using a scrollable script, you get much longer and in depth Japanese to practice, that uses only the language you’ve learned from the respective Jalup decks.
This is a very experimental feature, utilizing the microphone and speech recognition of your mobile device. It engages you in situations where you must say the right thing to further a conversation along. It tests your pronunciation and your ability to figure out what to say. There are plenty of hints along the way and multiple correct ways of saying things. If you get stuck, eventually you are given the answer(s).
Ex. you would be given the following, and after pressing the start button you begin speaking.
I said the phrase Konnichiwa into the mic. The speech recognition picked up the phrase I said, and marked it as correct, allowing me to proceed. If it was incorrect, you can press stop followed by start to clear what you said, and then try again.
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