Jalup Expert — 162 Comments

  1. Alright, I just jumped in—hopefully there are enough of us to keep the Expert deck series alive. :D

    Thanks, Adam!

  2. Order submitted. I’m super excited for this.

    My only suggestion is that the pre-orders may go more smoothly if the model can be shifted to that of a down-payment (like video games). Locking up $50 for a period of 1-2 months on a pre-order is a big deal, especially for those on a tight budget.

    For example, suppose the Stage 2 pre-order was $10 down, and then on release day you could pay the balance ($40) to claim your product (perhaps via a personal single-use discount code?). I imagine this would be an easier amount for people to set aside in advance. This might be technically challenging, though, so no worries if it’s not feasible.

    EDIT: I got a second email with a “download link” for Expert (that just leads back to the order details of course). It’s a minor issue, but I figured I’d mention it in case it’s fixable.

    • I think the idea would be a bit technically complex to handle, and with my time being split among so many things on Jalup right now, I’d like to keep it simple.

      The two alternatives are:

      1) I could drop 60 day time limit down to 30 days, which would drop money being held for half the time. However, I chose 60 because I want to try to give Expert the best chance possible to succeed. Maybe 45 is a good balance?

      2) If having money tied up is an issue, that person could just wait until the pre-order number reaches 10 or 11, and then buy it at the end. This would drop any additional waiting period (and would leave it around 3-4 weeks).

      I’ll look into the order e-mail issue. Not sure what might be causing that, but I’ll see if it is fixable.

      • No worries, I figured it might be a pain to implement. I’m glad you’re making the time to try to do this for us at all =)

        Failing an actual down-payment option, the way you have it now is probably ideal.

        Also, +1 on the new sword looking *awesome*.

  3. Pre-ordered!

    Thank you so much, Adam. Your kindness and responsiveness to your users is unmatched! I look forward to seeing Jalup evolve into something even greater than before.

  4. Preordered ! I think that takes us up to 5!
    Perhaps purchases after the decks release can function as preorders for the next stage. Not that I won’t preorder straight away, just might keep the flow of the decks moving. Then again, I don’t know if any will sell outside of the preorders so that might not even make a difference.

    Man I hope we keep the numbers up!

    If you’re not up to this stage and wish to continue onto it one day, I urge you to help us keep this series going. There mightn’t be a deck to purchase if you don’t get it in advance. Every person makes a massive difference.

    Thanks for everyone that’s put their hard earned dollars down. This series wouldn’t be possible without the cooperation of the community with Adshap, that makes it pretty special.

  5. Thanks as always James!

    Assuming the series progresses smoothly, I may take into consideration the people that buy the earlier decks at a later time, as there is a probability that they will eventually continue to the most recent deck. At this point it is hard to tell what will happen, so I’ll figure that out when we get there.

  6. Definitely liking the black sword. Everyone knows the darker the blade the stronger the weilder. Except for Adam’s 帝具 the one deck.

  7. If you beat advanced, have you reached the payoff stage? I’ll pre-order this in a few days for sure

    • I have done advanced and I can certainly see huge progress. I can read just about any manga that had furigana and get enough to enjoy it and watch anime with at least getting the plot, but the payoff point is probably different for everyone. Mine will be when I can watch anime and fully comprehend it.

    • I’d say no, but it brings you somewhere close to it. Supposedly the payoff stage is around the level 40 mark. I’d say that deck brings you to around level 30-35. I’m 500 cards into solo j-j and I still don’t feel I’ve hit it. If that helps you at all.

    • I think it depends on your definition of “payoff”. IMO, it’s less of a stage and more a set of experiences you have along your entire journey (that become increasingly common as you improve).

      I’d consider any time you’re engaging with Japanese “in the wild” and actually having fun a part of the “payoff”. The more your skills develop, the more often that will happen. And the Advanced certainly offers a lot of valuable help in that regard – as I’m sure the Expert set will, too =)

  8. I just want to say as much as I want to support this, I don’t think it would be worth investing my money into something that I’m not at the level to use yet. Just remember there are still beginners out there who would love to continue to have great products like this to look forward to. :)

    • That’s completely understandable. I wouldn’t expect people who aren’t able to use it fairly soon to pre-order.

  9. I’m nearing completion of the beginner series and already know that I will be eager to utilise expert when the time comes, so I wholeheartedly support the project and have just placed my pre order.

  10. I know many if not all of the people would like to see this deck come out as soon as possible including myself so if enough people would do this with me, at this point two more people, or enough people will say that they’ll put down the 50 dollars if they’re assured of its release, I will give another 50 so that this process can be sped up.

    • That’s pretty awesome of you =)

      As for me, I’d consider going halfsies with someone on a second order to move things forward. Throwing in another 50 by myself would feel kinda steep. If it’s not funded by March I’d probably still do it to save the project, but otherwise I’d much rather wait for others to hop on board (especially for the sake of long-term sustainability).

      • I’m still a beginner with about 8% unseen cards in the Jalup beginner deck, but ordered the intermediate and advanced deck packages once I realized how quickly my abilities increased after working with the beginner deck for about two weeks. I soon recognized the value of the decks, and the care that had gone into crafting them—I’ve tried other premade decks (that were also more expensive), decks I made myself, a semester in college-level Japanese classes, etc. I’m not really a beginner, but the Jalup beginner deck exposed huge holes in my knowledge and the methods I had started out with.

        When the Expert pre-order phase was announced, I pre-ordered immediately to support the project, and Adam’s vision of designing a quicker, more efficient way to achieve fluency. If you haven’t tried them yet, I urge you to do so. Chances are, you will realize what’s at stake here with this project. I want to thank all my pre-order comrades (:D) for coming together as a community to support this.

        Okay, enough of my preaching—even though I’m a broke #ss college student, count me in for the other half ($25) of the deck, Matt V.

    • I really appreciate the enthusiasm and support, but I kind of feel it’s unfair to you guys if only a few of you are paying 1.5x or 2x what everyone else is, especially since I’ve advertised it at $49.99.

      I also want to make this work, and sooner rather than later, so how about this:

      – For stage 1, I’ll go with the 9 pre-orders that signed up, instead of requiring 12.
      – The first 30 cards of Expert Stage 1 have to be those cards found in Legends (otherwise there would be a gap in knowledge, and those are perfectly good cards continued from Advanced). I was unsure if I was going to just make Stage 1 some odd number like 280 cards to compensate for that, but instead let’s keep it at 250. This affects a few people who are in both, but hopefully only going with 9 people, and starting immediately will make up for it.
      – Hopefully by stage 2 pre-orders, some people will catch up. As I mentioned to James in an above comment, if people start to catch up (for example around pre-order time for stage 2, X people buy stage 1, I will start forward counting those numbers towards later stages). If this doesn’t happen, then we can figure out if a different approach to Expert is needed.
      – I have a good amount of free time this weekend, so I will start immediately. I should be able to finish in about 2 weeks for this first stage.

  11. Great news, it’s going to be awesome and hopefully more people have caught up by the start of part two. Thanks Adam!
    Since completing Advanced I’m noticing a significant improvement in understanding the new cards from The One Deck. I imagine the Expert series could be placed somewhere after Advanced and perhaps a fair way into The One Deck, in terms of difficulty. So the transition should go pretty smooth for anybody who follows the series into The One Deck.

    • If you follow the original level guide then fluency is 9000 cards and there’s already 3000 cards from the other three series so with that math it’d be 24 stages to get to 9000, but of course fluency depends on a lot more than Anki cards so it would vary greatly person to person.

      • The trouble with the 9000 figure, is that it’s a rough estimate based on the assumption that you’re consistently making cards and adding them to your deck when you learn new words. If you’re not doing that, then your numbers will look a lot different.

        As it stands now, I’d estimate that only ~60% of my passive vocabulary is represented in the cards I’ve reviewed from the JALUP decks. I pick up well over ~1/3 of new vocab organically. I’m not going to be anywhere near 5k cards by the time I’m level 40.

        Assuming you’re doing a healthy amount of “fun” stuff and picking things up on your own alongside Adshap’s decks, then I’d imagine the # of expert stages to fluency would be closer to 12 than 24.

        • I agree with this, that’s why I was saying that it really depends on the person and study methods so it’s really impossible to gauge your level by stages either because it doesn’t factor in, like you said, the many other outside sources.

  12. Wow, I just glanced through the Stage 1 PDF. There’s some really great stuff in there. I won’t be finished with the Advanced ’til sometime in March, but I’m very much looking forward to starting the Expert set.

    Will be putting in a pre-order for Stage 2 shortly! =)

  13. Let’s do this, I just ordered! 「五人揃って五レインジャー!!」
    I’m really liking the Expert part 1 so far btw.

  14. I’ve been meaning to ask this for awhile, but how do you choose what words go into the deck? Just curious.

    (Sorry if this has been before)

    • I read through standard level manga or novels, and pick out the most common words you need to read them. Then I I go backwards trying to get all the words you need to know to get to understanding the target words chosen from the material.

      Which is why on the branches, usually the final word before the topic changes is the original word I wasn’t trying to include. Occasionally I get lucky and can add words that don’t require any branching at all.

      However, one major factor that guides everything is going in the order of possibility and taking the path of least resistance. To get 1000 words, I had to go through 5000+ words and figure out what was possible and easiest at the current point I was at.

    • Stage 4 pre-ordered!

      Thanks Adam for your continued hard work, and to everyone else who’s helping fund the project. I finally got started on Expert Stage 1 this past week, and it’s been awesome so far. Looking forward to the rest of it =)

  15. I’ve preordered too. Thanks for supporting this so far everyone! Let’s keep it going though :)

  16. I never purchased any Jalup product yet, but will definitely get the maxed out package once the Jalup Expert bundle (was this ever confirmed?) gets added. After reaching level 50 on WaniKani and nearing completion of “A Dictionary of Intermediate Japanese Grammar’s” anki deck, my life will soon have room for more practice material.

    I know that saying this is kind of irresponsible, but I hope this gets funded. To Sir Adam and the lovely pioneers who have made this package possible with their funds, you have my thanks!

    • Haven’t quite decided yet about how it’s going to work with the maxed out package. A lot of it depends on whether Expert makes it to stage 4 and whether it goes beyond that.

    • I’m a bit worried about this deck because we only have 6 people so far. I’m hoping it’s just because the regular buyers haven’t seen it yet? Maybe Adam can put it on the front page fixed for a while.

      I really really really want this to keep going. But I’m only one person so I can only hope the others pull through like theyv been doing. But I am very grateful for even getting this far

      • I agree! I hope at least Stage 4 makes it, since that would make a nice, neat little bundle like Beginner & Intermediate. Of course I’d rather it keep going forever, but…

      • We’ve managed to hit the target pretty quickly thus far, so I imagine we’ll still hit it even if it takes a bit longer this time. /fingers crossed

        • You’re probably right Matt. I always get a bit nervous when these preorders go up ! Doesn’t help that this one is selling slower than last time. But I saw the deadline isn’t till well into April so we should hopefully hit that target

          • How do you like expert so far? I loved advanced, but the cost of expert is a little bit too high for me, so I’m wondering if I should get it or not. Does it make a huge difference?

            • It’s as good as advanced (plus a little bit better because Adam has improved with his definitons over time, somehow !).

              I think this deck is amazing for my needs. The big advantage of this deck is the same reason people used the intermediate and advanced. Obviously those reasons are lesser in some areas as your Japanese improves and straight dictionary branching done by yourself becomes more viable. I think a lot of people here are combining this series with self study, which is really the best way.

              I personally do 10 from here and 10 from one deck a day. This allows me to have 10 easy yet just as useful J-J cards. obviously I’d like all of them to be from expert series if I could, but adam is only one guy and can only get them out as fast as he can make them.

              My advice is to try making your own cards or using another premade like the one deck/tanuki ultima. If you still find those way too daunting then you can always come back to this series. I tried to make the switch when expert wasn’t announced and it was so much harder for me than the JALUP series. Now with about 1000 cards in on J-J cards from the one deck and self made, I must say this process has gotten easier. HOWEVER, i still much prefer the convenience of the JALUP expert.

              JALUP expert isn’t just great because the cards are made for you, they only have one unknown, are cleverly defined so that they cater towards common western knowledge and often understood first look as you get better at them. Sometimes I introduce 10 cards from Adshap’s decks and understand every word way more often than I do with one deck. Plus there’s no branching required (big time sink) and you have the peace of mind that you can just keep failing cards and not have to worry because you’ll eventually understand them in the not too distant future.

              Just remember that there are plenty of words in both these decks that you’re not going to get exact meanings of first go, or 50th, but that’s fine. The JALUP series of decks are much better at getting me to a concrete understanding than One deck cards that’s for sure.

              The only downside to JALUP series is the cost. For me, that’s negligible. I know not everyone is in the same situation, for that reason i can say it’s only a must-buy for myself. If you have money to blow, without question buy these decks. You’ll be saving yourself a lot of time and frustration in the long run.

      • Everyone who has been continuing with Expert gets an email when the new one comes out (as it coincides with their preorder), and I don’t want to continually keep it on the first page (since it is irrelevant to most people on the site).

        Not sure the exact reason for this one going slowly but I would assume it’s due to reasons such as decision to go off on one’s own, pace is slower than 250 cards every month, suddenly busy, or cost getting in the way, etc.

        Not sure what I’ll do yet if it doesn’t make it.

  17. Although I understand completely why Adam had to up the price for the expert series, at this higher unbundled price it just isn’t possible for an unemployed student like me to keep up with. That’s why I’d like to extend my deepest gratitude to all of you early supporters who are the ones able to make this project possible to continue and be feasible for Adam to put time into. Hopefully if this 4-pack is completed Adam will be able to release a bundled price for people like me who aren’t currently able to support this. But again, that wouldn’t even be a possibility without you early supporters funding these projects, so thank you so much!

    • Hopefully the bundle sales can contribute towards the continuation of the decks. I doubt Adam would let those contributions go unnoticed.

  18. Just confirming: if I buy Expert 1, does that bump up the order count? I’m miles away from these decks, but sure they’re the kind of thing I’ll want eventually.

  19. Is the “9000 to fluency” idea based on 9000 unique words, or 9000 definitions like in Jalup? Often we learn 3 or 4 uses of the same word, does each use count?

  20. It’s a bummer that it’s over for now, but I’m very grateful you decided to do it in the first place. If you ever feel like starting again you can count on me for support!

  21. Adam, I have no right to be sad. Yet the profound effect these decks have had on my Japanese learning experience… words cannot fully express.This website and this series of decks have changed my life.




    Regardless of the future of not only this series, but this site, thank you so so much. From the bottom of my heart.

    Sincerely, James Kyprianos.

    ps. Sorry if my Japanese writing isn’t very clear, I’m still extremely new to speaking.

    • Wow, James, you put it better than I could have; I feel the same way about the Jalup decks and website. I really appreciate the positive, supportive atmosphere of Jalup, traits that seem hard to come by in the online language learning community.

      This is a very well deserved break (or retirement) from the series—I imagine keeping up that pace was exhausting—thanks so much for your hard work, Adam!

  22. I have just purchased the expert pack as well. I’m nowhere near expert level, yet, but I wanted to show my appreciation and encourage you to continue with it.

    JALUP has allowed me to finally make significant progress in my Japanese studies, and I am really grateful for that. Thank you!

    • mwahaha, with enough bundle purchases he’ll come crawlinggggggggggg back, right? Right??!!

      • I’m crossing my fingers at least :)

        …but even if Adam leaves things as they are, I am still really happy with what we have! Thank you!

  23. I know jalup beginner-intermediate covers ~600-650 kanji but around how many kanji does jalup beginner-expert cover? just curious

    • A quick analysis I have run on the sentences shows that there are approximately 830 kanji used. I don’t know how many of those are repeated from the 3 earlier levels.

  24. A bit of an update. I’ve been working on stage 5 a little at a time now (at a more leisurely pace). This has taken some of the pressure off.

    Assuming I continue to 250, I will probably try releasing stage 5 without the pre-order system we used for stages 1-4.

    I’ll keep you guys further updated as I progress.

  25. With the release of stage 5, does this mean more decks will slowly be released? If so that’s amazing news! It makes Anki take half of the time compared to 30 new One Deck cards a day.

    • so true. You might want to consider using morphman on your one deck. It won’t fix the problem but it’ll definitely make it faster.

      • Hear that everyone. Adam said ‘guaranteed’ continuation of the series. Spread the word and start the celebrations. You heard it from Adam himself.

        • Yes! The day has finally come! I assume with the guarantee that the preorders will restart as well…

          • lol you guys (poor Adam).

            If this isn’t a sign of the quality of Adam’s products I don’t know what is.

          • Hah, max level trolling XD

            In all seriousness, though, we appreciate all the effort you’ve been able to put in as your schedule allows :)

            • Interest isn’t really the issue. The pre-order quota was always met.

              It’s just a really time-consuming process and not having a fixed release date allows Adam to have a better work/life balance and not get burned out. I think we can all appreciate that =)

            • I know, but that’s what he told me. He took a break from it due to lack of interest. Think he should bring pre-orders back.

            • I really hope this series continues…
              As for interest,many are still in Intermediate-Advanced phase. But I doubt they’d want to stop there.

            • It’s a combination of the two.

              When I dropped the pre-order system for stage 5, the quota suddenly wasn’t close to being met and even 2 months later still isn’t.

              It is a massively time consuming process and really burns me out.

              I may try pre-orders again one day. Just haven’t decided if I can commit to it (there are a few other ideas I’ve been exploring here)

            • I’m still keen to reinvest in a preorder system. I think it would be awesome to carry this series out to a smooth 5000. But thanks for everything thus far. Awesome product :)
              The retention of these decks versus straight dictionary definitions is noticeable. For many reasons I’ve realised this is the case all cards act on prior knowledge, which really reinforces freshly learnt material. Leads to much less frustration and error in reviewing. But yeah, I understand it comes at a high cost to creator. So understandable if it’s too taxing to continue.

            • I would definitely reinvest in the preorder system as well. I’m about 100 cards away from finishing up Advanced Stage 2 and have found the Jalup decks to be the best thing since the Japanese language itself. :)

              Is there a possibility that the series could be extended as a group project?

  26. There is another method. Although you will be learning “dumbed” down definitions, its still better than nothing if Expert doesn’t make the cut [hope it does].

    Go to this site : and read the news. Its designed for Japanese kids, so nearly every word “tough” word has a FURIGANA and MEANING in JAPANESE with FURAGANA in an easy to understand (so far) language that requires almost no branching [I completed RTK+Jalup Advanced and am on Expert.]. The downside is YOU CANT COPY STUFF. So if you want to make Anki cards, although it will take lesser time than branching,it takes much more time than i+1 Jalup decks. Also this is a KID’S site, I repeat, the definitions are dumbed down.

    Example: 発表 has definition as:
    In NHK:多くの人に広く知らせること

    In GOO:世間一般に知らせること

    Well this is subjective, but I find the second definition easier to understand.

    Another: 翼
    In NHK :1)(空を飛ぶための)鳥の羽。2)飛行機のはね

    In GOO :1)鳥類の空中を飛ぶための器官。前肢が変形したもので、先端から初列風切り羽が10枚ほど、次列風切り羽が6~30枚並び、その上面に雨覆い羽が並ぶ 2)飛行機の左右に突き出た翼 (よく) 。また、飛行機

    If you have done series up to EXPERT and have RTK knowledge, I think it serves as a good beginner’s dictionary.

    I personally would not prefer this to JalUp cards because its a really time consuming effort.

    • thanks for the info. Does anyone know if there are dictionaries available online like goo dictionary? Would be a nice last resort rather than using English. Paperback are pretty useless imo -.-

      • I used to use this as a very last resort:

        It’s nowhere near as comprehensive a resource as something like Yahoo or weblio, and often the definitions lack depth, but it serves its purpose in times of need.

  27. See “update” in this post for information about bringing back pre-orders and trying a continuation.

    • Oh my god!! Adam, you are awesome!! :)
      Thanks so much for doing this for us.
      I’ve jumped in for #6 and plan on staying in for the long haul.

    • the pre-order period is just 10 days though :o

      would really like it if it was at least 20. I really hope it does reach it in time though.

  28. 頑張れ、アダムさん! These decks have really changed the way I study, in fact- I find it wrong to study with any English involved now.

    I’m buying the decks as I progress through them, hopefully this makes it and I can get it once money is less tight :)

      • I’m pretty sure the stages never went as fast as getting 16 pre orders under 10 days. Wish I could throw a pre order in, but I didn’t expert there to be such a small time frame. Still massive props to adam for them up to now though, it changed my game.

    • I’m still debating picking up this latest one. I’ll probably just go ahead and jump in if it’s close.

      We’ll see what happens over the next week =)

      • . Just pre-ordered Expert 6, though I have yet to get very far into Beginner! From the little I’ve seen, these sets look very well done, and matches closely the approach I’m using for my primary language learning. (Actually, I think the JALUP approach is more stretching/better than the approach I’m using for my primary language.)

        I see huge value in having pre-made, sequenced decks; I’d be ecstatic if something like “expert” existed in my target language. So…trying to keep my options open for a far-future point on my Japanese journey. :-)

      • Ahh what the heck, I’m in. 4500 is just a nicer number than 4250, you know?

        Having finished that first 4250, I’m feeling pretty confident about setting out on my own now, but I’m sure I’d still benefit from another Expert installment. Not to mention the benefits for everyone else who’s chipped in, and all the lucky people who will stumble across these decks in the future =)

        • To Matt and all those who have completed Expert (Jalup 4000),

          I am nearing the end of Expert series and am a little confused on what to do after expert? I am thinking of reading the 日本語文型辞典. Any precautions/reviews?

          Are you making your own J-J cards? How many solo J-J cards are you in right now? Is it worth it?

          Are you using the One Deck (with morphman) after completing expert? How is the transition from JalUp deck? Is it fairly i+1 or do you have to leave your ANKI to search for something new and add it in the deck?


          • Each option has its own advantages and disadvantages. I’ll share my own thoughts, and would love to hear others chime in as well, since I might learn something =)

            -One Deck w/ Morphman-
            The biggest draw is that you can continue fast-paced exposure to new vocabulary. The downside is that mass vocab exposure via Anki has diminishing returns. You start to learn a lot of synonyms that it can be hard to keep straight, or pick up a lot of words that you’ve never seen outside Anki and it becomes harder to remember them. It’s also a lot harder to work through the One Deck, as even with Morphman it’s not really i+1 and there’s not much rhyme or reason to the sets of words you’ll be learning. Expect lots of branching.
            Personally it wasn’t for me, but I know of at least a few people on this site who have been doing it successfully for a while now. They could probably speak to it in more detail.

            -Self Made Cards-
            This option is MUCH slower and more time consuming than the One Deck, but the retention is fantastic. Different people have different approaches to this, but my personal one is:
            -Do whatever immersion I feel like (usually video games)
            -Keep an eye out for words that I’d like to learn. Quickly write down the sentences containing them (I use a notepad app on my phone) and move on.
            -Once a week, usually on a Saturday when I don’t have work, I spend a couple hours taking all the example sentences I gathered up and turning them into cards, which I then mark Easy for the first day to push them out a bit, then review as normal going forward.
            I’ve only been doing it for a few weeks now, but I’m getting better at it, and over the next month I expect to average 15 cards/week with roughly 2-3 words/card. In other words, I get about 35 new words on cards each week, which is roughly half my pace with JALUP decks (10 cards/day).
            Retention for these cards is easy, as they come from my own first-hand experiences. I can still picture the scenes they came from and much of the surrounding context when the cards come up, which is awesome.
            I do need to emphasize once again though that it’s a LOT slower. I imagine this process will get easier and faster with time (much as it already has), but if you go this route be prepared for your pace to take a significant hit in the short term.

            • Thanks Matt! for the info and warnings.
              In short-
              1.Each one of us is exposed to different kinds of media according to our interests…so some “useless” words would be there in the One Deck.(I would love to hear James’ thoughts on this).

              2.It seems enticing, but since I do ~45 cards/day this would slow me down by 90%.

              3.I can also apply morphman to, number and suspend the cards from One Deck, unsuspending the branches for the words I need to know.
              Example: 彼に満足する
              If I come across the word 満足 in a manga. I’ll NOT use the sentence for 満足 that’s already there in the One Deck (I’ll use my own from the manga and copy the definition) but I’ll unsuspend the “branches” that lead to it. I hope that knowledge of 4000 words is enough to prevent the branches from getting too out of control. I just want to minimize the effort.
              What do you think? Anyone tried/trying this?

            • (I forgot the most important part)

              4. I can also use Rikai Sama with Sanseido. Process:
              Read a lot online. Newspapers, stories, blogs etc.. Auto import definitions you can understand. Leave definitions you can’t understand for another day.Repeat.
              The “What do you think? Anyone tried/trying this?” was for this method, not 3. :P.


          • I’ve used the morphman’ed one deck for over 3000 cards, and I think it’s a viable option continuing on from expert series. The biggest advantage is reduced card creation, but obviously some branching will still be required, as there is an information gap between Adam and us.

            I think card creation retention will vary based on whether you are creating cards that require a lot of branching. If you make 1 card that requires 10 dictionary definitions+example sentences, you’re going to run into the same problems as using the one deck. I think if I was to create my own cards, it would be done exclusively from words I understood immediately from context, or from one look at the definition (or 1-2 cards branching). You’ll also find if you are immersing a lot outside your anki studies, you encounter these words in natural environments, and they’ll stick better when reviewing.

            The biggest problem with the one deck is that you add words that you might not encounter ever or for a long time, thus making retention a little bit longer. This can make reviews a bit more frustrating, but I’ve counteracted this with being a bit more flexible with my reviews, and increasing intervals for words I rarely see.

            Don’t forget you can do a combination of everything. Add 5 cards from one deck, make 10 cards yourself, use 5 from expert, etc. I actually think this is a really good approach, so for those days when you don’t have enough time to create your own, you can just add from the one deck. Like you said with your 満足 example, you can even use adam’s branches in the one deck when creating your own cards, which really helps when words have multiple definitions and you’re not sure which to add.

            My advice pertaining to card creation: I’d either use a) Epwing to anki with a downloaded J-J dictionary with rikaisama. I don’t think I’d ever type out anki cards, too slow compared to one deck. Only add words you understand on your first encounter, with minimal to no branching. Reviews should smoother as nearly every card will have context and you won’t be dealing with dictionary examples very often.

            My second piece of advice would be to use the kindle app with an android or iOS device, or a pc with ebooks and that anki add-on (yomichan) that let’s you pull sentences straight to cards with a kokugo jisho. For the kindle side of things, you can highlight all your unknown words with corresponding sentences straight from books. You can then export these from your amazon account straight to anki cards, for a very quick card creation process. The reason I don’t like branching too often is because it slows down the card creation, which means you’re going to be adding smaller volumes of cards a day.

            If you decide to go pure one deck, my advice is to voraciously suspend until you find cards that you understand, or have little to no branching. Firstly search those unknown definition words in the one deck itself, then or some other monolingual dictionary. If the branches are too hard, drop the word. There are 13,000 words, you can afford to be picky.
            With this method, cards are going to be harder to remember, so you can afford to be looser with your marking. Try to make up for this with a lot of immersion. If you need to add a large quantity of cards a day, and your time is limited, this is a good main source of cards.

            Personally, I think the One deck isn’t as fun as making your own cards. But the raw speed it provides, as well as the extra time for straight immersion balances it out. If you are going to card create, make sure you do it in a way that doesn’t pull you away from your immersion.

            One last alternative is subs2srs, watch the anime with subs and run it through the app. Though I don’t have much experience with this, it’s automatic card creation, and it’s probably possible to get the monodic definitions added automatically as well. Important that you’ve seen the show with subs before even attempting to add cards from your show. Some shows are added already on ankishared, if you’re too lazy to generate the cards yourself.

            Ultimately, try everything you can think of. And whichever is the least painless and effective for you, use it. You’re not tied to anything, so just switch or combine if you’re not enjoying what you’re doing.

            • Thank You! James for the advice
              (btw, your masters in making section was awesome!)

  29. Okay, I hate to do this ‘cause I’m a broke student, but I just placed my second pre-order. Hopefully, we’ll have enough to keep this series alive.

  30. +1
    I thought long and hard about this. If Adam is getting burned out it would be best for him to take a break.
    But I know there are people who value this and as a service to the community I wouldn’t want Expert to be scrapped prematurely.
    Besides, 4250 is such an awkward number :)

  31. Completed Stages 1-4, here is a small review of the whole series.

    -There are many erro…wait, there are no errors in the deck. Some words ar…no that’s not it. Hmmm. Gotta find a con…got it!
    -It’s too enjoyable. J-J was all about pain and sweat before and then came JalUp decks made the transitioning a cake walk. I mean what kind of person would do such a thing?
    -I will not recommend this deck to anyone. My friends look up to me when I show them that I know Japanese. If they ever find this site, and especially these decks, I would loose all my credit because they might be able to understand anime and manga within an year and pass JLPT ~N3 (or more) with just some extra bit of study. That thought scares me. The price does nothing to help. That brings me to…
    -It’s relatively cheap. Everybody knows Price=Quality 100% of the time. I mean, others are charging $100s with excellent (read:mediocre) results at best. That implies this is “inferior” to everything out there in the market.
    -An alternative to this is Rosetta Stone [] some of Rosetta Stone’s “breakthrough” features are that you will:
    a. Not be able to understand anime and manga
    b. Waste your hard earned money
    c. Waste your time
    d. Barely Pass ~N5 (which is lower than ~N3)
    e. Listen to pathetically slow Japanese listening lines
    f. Be able to see pretty pictures instead of plain old sentences in a specially designed SRS program
    g. Be able to brag to your friend that you are going to buy a $550 program. When your well-wisher tries to convince you otherwise, say that you want an “effortless” study method and that he should buy Rosetta too, because its “professional”.

    If it’s not obvious by now, this is a joke. I have to make this distinction as I’ve had an *unpleasant* experience on the internet in the past.

  32. A missed opportunity… d. could have been better worded as
    d. Barely Pass ~N5 (Everybody knows 5>3. Hence N5>N3. Rosetta>Jalup. Maths B*tch!)

  33. I really missed the JALUP series during the gap between 5 and 6. As fun as it is making my own cards, Adam’s are still way better =)

    Count me in for Stage 7!

  34. It will be a while till I need this, but it would be such a shame if the series stopped, so I’m in :)

  35. I just finished advanced recently and have been adding cards from the one deck but am planning to get the expert bundle soon. These decks have helped my studies tremendously and it would be a shame if they stopped. Let’s make it to 5000!

  36. I don’t understand why Adam wants to pull the plug if he doesn’t get enough orders in just ten days. Why not take a break for a few months, let a few more guys come through the programme, and then have another crack?

    • Yeah, the pre-order time used to be 30~+ days. I assume he’s not enjoying the process and wants to be done with it faster?

    • Adam has stated that creating these decks is quite draining for him, so I think that is why. Although I would personally love to see the series continue, I fully understand if Adam is not as enthusiastic about it as we are.

      • I’m seeing lots of comments from people doing intermediate and advanced. Think those people will get here soon and want the decks. 16 pre-orders in 10 days is kinda a stretch though. How about 20 days.. for the #5000 dream?

        • After making ~250 cards, I can say that it is:
          1. Very easy to make cards for your own self.

          2. Very very tough to make cards for somebody else and ensuring that he or she understands it. It’s a pretty drainig process too.

    • The 10 day time limit was made because the original 30 day time limit didn’t work out well. I did originally take a break for a few months and then had trouble getting back into doing it. At the same time people also began repeatedly asking when the next one was coming out, and no one wanted to wait.

      It’s not that I don’t enjoy it. It’s worthwhile to me and I take pride in creating something that brings such value to people. But it’s very hard to do the work over long periods of extended time with start and stops. Picture studying Japanese hard, and then taking a break a few months, and then getting back into it, repeatedly. It feels like that. Doing one after the other makes the process so much smoother, and thus more enjoyable to make.

      This isn’t meant to be a negative reply or anything but just some of the reasoning behind it.

      However! Stage 7 is being started.

      • Awesome news that we made it! I’m also glad to hear that it is not all pain for you to make them. I really appreciate all the effort you put into creating these decks.

  37. Well now we’re at the rather uneven number of 4750. We can’t very well leave it like that when we’re one Stage short of 5000 =)

  38. Wow! You finished that well ahead of schedule. Although now I wish I had waited just a little longer to buy the expert package >.< Is it possible to upgrade from the old to the new expert package and pay the difference or something? Anyways, thank you! お疲れ様でした!

  39. I came here to see if there were any comments about whether completing Expert before beginning my branching journey was wise. It does appear from some of the comments I read above that branching after reaching this point will make it easier, but not easy. I can accept this. Furthermore, I learned the One Deck is difficult without creating one’s own branching sequences for some of the words and that retention is not that great, but suspension of the cards that are too hard is wise in the mean time. I think I am going to take the approach that has been suggested before, to use The One Deck as a deck to be mined. I guess that would mean I have a separate sentence deck and I pull cards from TOD and add them to this deck as well as any cards that I need to complete the tree. From what I understand, this will also be time consuming but will lead to a deeper understanding of the Japanese language as a whole, ultimately leading to being able to just read a J-J definition and add the sentence to my deck. So what I am struggling with, is that a year from now, when I am done with Expert, I will have to make the time to create theses branches. The upshot is that I will have no other decks taking up my time. I will just be doing reviews and creating sentences, adding cards from my branching deck as I continue to immerse myself in the language. I think I will stop here, because I tend to think too much. But, something that I am curious about is once I come to understand a word through the branch process, would it not be wise to create a sequence of sentences with definitions the are written in my own words? I guess in this way it would be a way of cutting sentences out of my reviews and consolidating my understanding of the word. Or what if I was able to consolidate my understanding of the whole branch by creating a series of sentences that incorporated all of the vocabulary in the tree from the root word? And what if I could instead of creating a whole bunch of cards, create just one card that had a list of links that pointed to the definitions of each word in the branch and before I hit “Good” or “Hard” or “Again” I read each and every word until I felt like I understood what I was reading? This would mean I would have a custom card that could fit as many as 30 links or so or something like that. I would start at the bottom and work my way up. Let’s say that I had a personal server at home and it was like a personal website. This personal website keeps track of the branches. I click on the link in Anki and it takes me to the bottom of the branch. A second tab opens in my browser, the website with the definition and example sentences. When I am done reading this one, I return to my website’s tab. I click on the next button. I traverse the tree in a specific order that eventually returns me to the root word. In this way, I review all the cards in one fell swoop without having to take the time to create the cards in the first place. Ultimately I have a document or app that I copy and paste the links into which generates these webpages. I think the app would start with the root word and it would ask for a link. If you need to add a branch, you click on an icon connected to the root, which would be represented in a GUI as a clickable node. Every new branch would have its own node. Once done adding branches and nodes, the user clicks on, “Create Web” which generates a link one can insert into their anki card, highlighting the word/s that need to be learned with each respective link. This would be a great feat to accomplish. I don’t think I will have the time to invest in this idea any time soon, but I don’t plan on beginning my branching journey for another year so perhaps I will make this my summer project for next year when I am in Japan and share it with others. If I end up acting on this I will update this comment and perhaps invite other programmers to join in on the project. Anyways, this was a freestyle post. Really long. I doubt anyone read this far, but if you did and you think this could be a good app/tool, please share your thoughts so it might become more realistic and inspire me to actually act on it.

    • I was feeling quite vacuous when I wrote this long comment. It was late. I think I have a better outlook on this now that I have read more of the comment sections from the other decks. I also installed the morphan plugin for anki. I experimented by adding the tag mm_alreadyKnown to the Jalup 5000 and it collected about 650 words as already comprehended based on the analysis and found about 6000 words where there was only one word missing. This means that the only branching I will have to do with these 6000 words will have to do with the unknown words in the definitions. I might be able to mine The one deck for sentences containing words from the defintions as well and when this fails just do a little branching on my own until I am able to understand the original sentence. Well anyways, I just wanted to follow up on this. I will most definitely not be programming the above idea. I have better things to do, lol.

  40. You know, it really makes me sad that all these comments in Expert are from like 2015/2016. JALUP has been absolutely amazing. I’ve finished Beginner-Advanced, and the Kanji Kingdom, and am on my way to finishing Expert. JALUP has solely been the only formal “textbook” that I’ve stuck with long-term (it’s been about a year and a half now with JALUP). Of course, immersion is IMPORTANT, but thanks to JALUP, I now can consume a good amount of kid’s shows and light novels without having to look up so much (sometimes I don’t need to look anything up at all). For me, these are the Pros and Cons (I’ll try to be as unbiased as I can):

    1) Wonderful J-J transition. I never even imagined using monolingual dictionaries, but JALUP really made it smooth.

    2) GREAT vocabulary/grammar selections! Having grammar for the beginner deck was a brilliant idea. By the time I finished advanced, I had a good grasp of foundational grammar topics and it was a lot easier to build up from that. Also, a lot of the vocabulary I’ve run into really reflects day-to-day conversation and what I see in dictionaries. Great choice! There are some repeats in the deck, but it’s very, very few.

    3) High-quality audio. This REALLY helps with shadowing. While I can’t record my voice, I’ve had many natives compliment me on my accent and pronunciation (and yes, it is past the “あっ、日本語上手!”)

    4) Specific goals already made for you. It reminds me of the Chinese Anki deck “Spoonfed Chinese” because it really is spoonfed. I really needed this because my life got busy and it would take me years to make my own deck like this.


    1). Your conversational skills will have to be improved elsewhere. I’m using JALUP Anki, so I’m unsure if the JALUP app helps with this or not. But if your goal is to be able to SPEAK, while I still do recommend JALUP for its vocabulary and grammar, you’ll have to supplement this skill somewhere else (I recommend with tutoring or language exchange).

    2). Again, your listening might need to be supplemented elsewhere. This really where immersion comes in. It’s naturally like this, but I have to list the cons.

    3). Some minor mistakes in the Anki (more advanced) decks, which I’m sure have probably been fixed in the App, I just REALLY like Anki. Either way, because it’s in the more advanced decks, you’ll be able to spot the mistake easily (for example, sometimes it’s the wrong audio).

    4). This does NOT align with JLPT. If passing the JLPT is your goal, you’ll need to get some JLPT-aligned material. Granted, if you finish all 7,000 JALUP cards, I have no doubt your level will be high (at the very least N2), but again, this deck is not aligned with it.

    —————–Overall Score——————-

    I give this deck an 8/10, it truly is an amazing deck and the owner worked HARD to make this deck! I didn’t rate it a 10 because the only real “perfect” deck in a sense is one that you make yourself. And, I’m absolutely sad that this deck has not gone up to 10,000. While I do understand the reasons, I daresay this deck would’ve blown the core 10K out of the water. Then again, it’s already miles better than the core 6K.

    If anyone is afraid that this might be a “scam”, it’s NOT. You’ll still need to work hard, but this deck is literally like going from training wheels to be being a mountain biker. I hope you get my point! If you fully finish this deck and take the time to UNDERSTAND the material, you’ll be able to not just survive in Japanese material, but thrive!

    Thank you so much for making this great deck. I’m so appreciative and this will probably be one of the best decks I’ll ever have throughout my language learning. I wish you all the best!

  41. Hello post covid world! (I caught covid for the first time this week).
    When I started Jalup in 2020 my requirements were: it reviews old stuff (a must if you wanna study for more than 6 months), Pay once for ever(a must if you wanna study more than 2 years), includes sentences with audio(a must).
    I ended up choosing Jalup.

    And I’m glad I did. The i+1 means you are learning in a sensable order. I never get choice peralysis on what to do next.

    wanikani and bunpro ask you to type your answer. picking between 200 understanding reviews or 50 writing reviews – I picked the 200 understanding.

    He has listening cards “Jalup Situations” which inspired me to make listening versions for all Jalup cards.

    The words and grammer are casual. It’s the same kind of Japanese I hear my coworkers using – but sometimes there is a double standered like “You hear me say どうしよう almost everyday, but it isn’t proper to include it in a textbook cause it isn’t correct grammer” so be careful which sentences your Japanese senpai’s hear.
    Or read out loud in Japan (looking at you 映画館で騒ぐ奴は死ね!)
    I bought Jalup 3 years ago next week. I have studied 1069 days, averaging 44 minutes a day. There is so much Jalup. I average maybe 2 minutes of Japanese immersion a day (oops).
    If you don’t use Jalup intermediate is so difficult to get past. switching from learning apps to immersion, JJ and making your own cards all at the same time feels insurmountable. Now in intermediate – you switch to JJ.

    once you have gotten this far (expert) Jalup gives you enough practice with japanese sentencts and definitions to read watch or listen to Japanese with only a Japanese dictionary to help you.
    Otherwise you are trapped reading Genki with Mary for 10 years (Which I did from 2009-2019).
    I just finished part one of Jalup Expert.

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