Japanese-Japanese. Going monolingual. Using only Japanese to learn Japanese. This is a defining moment in any Japanese learner’s path and is what will either propel you into the elite, or leave you stuck and struggling to fight never ending losing battles. It’s challenging, time consuming, and often seemingly futile.
The methods on this site go into incredible detail on how to handle the situation through branching, or a way of wading through Japanese-only definitions. The Branch Annihilator further refines the multitude of techniques you have in your arsenal to fight with.
Branching still remains hard, no matter how many clever analogies I can provide. The first 500-1000 cards can really push you to the edge. You have to get used to Japanese definitions, see how words define each other, get used to the definition words, and learning how branches actually interact with each other. All at once.
But what if there was a better way?
I originally started the Jalup Beginner 1000 deck because the more I worked with beginners, the more issues I noticed in creating your own deck. Providing the 1000 J-E cards for the start of your study (hopefully) solved most of these problems. It wasn’t providing an easy cheat or shortcut. It was giving you a trainer from the start, preventing you from wasting your time on things that were unnecessary and would get in the way, making sure your form and technique were right, and making your training regiment as efficient as possible.
After multiple requests/wishing that the Jalup Beginner 1000 extended into J-J and branching, I figured that it was worth it to at least see if anything could be done. I try very hard to not be the teacher who is so far removed from the learner due to the length of time since he was the learner. I’m still always learning new Japanese, but my struggle with branches is many years behind me.
So I decided to try out a few branches, allowing myself only to use the vocabulary, grammar, and phrases from the Jalup Beginner 1000. No outside knowledge that I had was allowed.
And then it came back to me and what made J-J branching so difficult:
1. Time fruitlessly spent and never-ending expansive branches
You start a branch looking for only one unknown word. But to get to that word, the branches get longer and longer and longer, and you still can’t complete a set to get to that original one word.
2. Definition circles
You look up a word. It gives you a definition to another word, which gives you a definition to another word, which gives you a definition of another word, which gives you the definition of the first word. These 4 definitions will all define each other, with each other, but not actually go outside themselves.
3. Finding good branches to start
Finding sentences to add, with only one unknown is easy. But even the simplest of words often have long and painful definitions. It can be hard to choose which words to add. You want easy branches. But a lot of time is spent starting a branch, and then after looking up a number of words deciding it is too hard and dropping it.
4. Multiple definitions
One definition gives you a lot of meanings. Choosing which meaning is correct can be confusing, especially when you don’t actually understand any of the definitions unless you branch further.
5. Unnecessary information
Definitions often have a lot of unnecessary information, symbols you don’t know, and clutter that gets in the way of the simple thing you want.
6. Efficient time failure
There is a lot of time spent on struggling with all of these and the results may seem lackluster. Inefficient time is the biggest motivation killer. Nothing feels worse than sitting down for a few hours to do branching, to have only gone around in circles, spinning your wheels, and ended up in a few tentative additions.
So these memories all came flowing back to me. I still stand firm at the power of J-J branching (as I know what it has done for me and countless others here). But I’m in the business of problem solving, and there has to be a better way to get through this.
What if I could just simply eliminate the need for branching, yet provide the same J-J results?
What if you finished the Jalup Beginner (your 1000 J-E sentences), and you could seamlessly flow into J-J sentences. Without even a change of pace. Without requiring you to come to a near halt. Just smooth transition, all the way through. And you continue at the same fast pace of the Jalup Beginner.
And so comes Jalup Intermediate 1000, with the ultimate goal to solve every problem here. After endless days, weeks, and months, of trying to accomplish the above…
I’ve finally managed to eliminate the need for branching.
Here’s what I’ve been able to do, hopefully making your life a whole lot easier:
1. You don’t branch, you just move forward
Similar to the Jalup Beginner, every sentence builds off one another. I’m only using what you already know to expand your knowledge. So right from sentence one, the only thing you have to do is understand that one specific sentence. And the definition will only contain words and knowledge you already have. Every single card’s definition will be understandable based on your current ability.
2. I’m doing all the incredibly complex work so you don’t have to
To take away the need to branch, a lot has to go into what, how, and when things are added. I have:
– Gone through thousands and thousands of sentences and definitions to be able to go directly from the Jalup beginner to here.
– Manually checked to make sure every word is found in the Jalup Beginner.
– Started countless branches only to cancel them because they lead to dead ends that didn’t allow me to work with what I had.
– Reversed every branch to create the proper order of always knowing each card by itself without relying on something after that card.
– Made it look easy. Trust me, you’ll wonder why anyone thinks J-J and branching is difficult.
Normally, you start off with something you don’t know, and branch through more stuff you don’t know, until you find stuff you know, that allows you to understand what you originally didn’t know.
Simply put it looks like this: Unknown > Unknown > Unknown > Unknown > Kinda know > Kinda know > Kinda know > Know
Until you finally get to know, you often don’t understand any of the “Unknowns” or “Kinda knows.” Reaching the “Know” allows you to work backward to understand the “Kinda knows” which allows you to work backwards to understand the “Unknowns.”
In doing branches normally on your own, this is the order you have to take. However, once a successful branch is finished, it is easy to flip the order. You start off with the Know. Since you have the Know already, the Kinda Knows are transformed into knows. Which allows you to transform the Unknowns into Knows.
Since I am looking at this from the outside, I am able to reverse the branches. Which means that every card builds off each other, in the exact way it did for the Jalup Beginner 1000.
3. I can slightly alter definitions to make them easier
Definitions in dictionaries try to use the “best” and most efficient words to provide meanings. However, just because it is the most best and efficient, doesn’t mean it is the only way to define a word. Words can be defined in many ways and sometimes less precise and efficient is just as good and gives you the same meaning you are looking for.
This allow me to make minor adjustments when there is an unknown definition word that would result in more endless branching. I can use a synonym. Or a description of that word in terms you already know. Or define it through an example that is easy to understand. Same meaning expressed, just a different way to do it that you already know. Say goodbye definition circles.
4. No more conjugations getting in your way
Verbs and adjectives in many natural sentences often appear in conjugated use. This can be a pain to look up because you can’t just enter them into the J-J dictionary and get the definition. It has to be entered in its original (casual or dictionary) form. And you may not know its original form just by looking it. All definitions in the Jalup Intermediate will appear in dictionary form. So if the sentence card has 走らせる, the definition will have 走る. And if you don’t remember what conjugation this was, you can go to the Jalup Beginner to check conjugation patterns.
5. I can cover slang, abbreviations, slurs, and modern talk easily
If you came across the word できん in a sentence and looked it up, you would find 0 results. However, I can easily make a definition letting you know that できん is slang for できない (which is a fairly simple word covered in Jalup Beginner). You’d be surprised on how much common language won’t appear in a standard J-J dictionary (especially if you are watching a lot of anime or reading manga), yet you would easily be able to learn it.
6. I can use my fluent knowledge of Japanese to make the right choices
What definitions are easy? Which are more difficult? Which definition is correct when there is a long list? Which words are common? Is it worth the time to learn this word? To go on this branch? I am able to answer and incorporate this through massive experience.
7. I do not make you rely on pictures
A technique you can use to easily get through certain types of words is Google Images, or any kind of pictures. This can be useful for physical nouns, and sometimes other words as well. But this isn’t really J-J. Technically you could do this in the J-E phase as well. I don’t discourage this at all, and definitely think it’s a great support method to use. But I feel I would be cheating you out of the J-J process if I included this technique, so I don’t use any picture reliance in this deck.
8. Edited by native Japanese
I know you trust me. But it is nice to know that there was a second pair of eyes on this (note: Jalup Beginner also had a native editor).
9. You can ask questions to the creator of this textbook (me – Adam)
How often if you have a problem or question with a textbook can you ask its creator?
I want it to be as clear and easy to use as possible. So if you have a question about a word or sentence, ask me by email. I will answer.
10. Yes, there is audio! Every single sentence is read by a real Japanese native speaker.
Get some extra listening practice. Who is reading the sentences? Our very own Japanese native writer here on Jalup: Yuki
Keep in mind
1. The Jalup Intermediate requires completion of the Jalup Beginner. However, as you may not remember every single word in all 1000 sentences you just finished, you are not only allowed, but highly encouraged to make full use of searching through Jalup Beginner.
If you don’t know a word in a sentence, or a definition, look it up in the Jalup Beginner (it will be there). This isn’t cheating by using English. This is using your knowledge base that you already have (where you were allowed to use English). This need for searches through your old deck will fade away though soon.
Important search tip: when you do a search for words in the Jalup Beginner, make sure to enter the root of the word, not the word as it appears in your new J-J sentence or definition.
Example: the word 食べなかった appears in your new sentence. The word 食べなかった may not necessarily appear in that form in the Jalup Beginner. Just enter the kanji 食 (or possibly with an additional hiragana 食べ), so that you can find the meaning of words that were taught to you in a different conjugation.
2. While I’m aiming for perfection, people are different, people understand slightly differently, and some things take a little longer to click depending on the person. Most sentences you will catch on immediately. Others will take a little thinking time to put it all together. Some you’ll get, but won’t have that full grasp.
But this is normal. As you see the words used over and over again in other unrelated sentences (branches) and in real media, they become clearer, without any required work. This is a natural process. The worst case scenario where for some reason you absolutely just can’t figure out the meaning at all, despite knowing everything, is to give yourself some leniency with the J-E-J boost for the first 500 cards. This is okay.
Finish Jalup Intermediate and then what?
How far will this take you? Probably close to Proficient Level (level 30). So what will you do after this?
Continue to your next round of training with the Jalup Advanced 1000.
What’s inside each stage?
1,000 Japanese Level Up original J-J cards, split up into stages.
What if you want to do the Jalup Intermediate 1000, but haven’t done the Jalup Beginner 1000?
I know there are plenty of people here that would love to be able to eliminate branching, but used other beginner textbooks/resources instead of the Jalup Beginner 1000.
You have a few options:
1. Buy and complete the Jalup Beginner 1000. Review never hurts. Solidify your basics. You’ll discover a lot of simple building blocks you missed or may have gotten wrong.
2. Buy the Jalup Beginner 1000 and use it as your source to look up words for when you don’t know a word in the Jalup Intermediate. This will limit the English words you are allowed to use, and make sure that you are actually getting into full J-J experience.
3. Just try the Jalup Intermediate without anything else. The Jalup Beginner covers the same core grammar and vocabulary that many regular beginner textbooks cover. Which means that even never having touched any part of the Jalup Beginner, you may still be able to get by mostly fine (with maybe slightly more reliance on the J-E-J method required.)
*See comments below for users who have experience of skipping the Jalup Beginner.
Want to give it a try first before buying?
– Jalup Mobile App (Sample free inside the app) – iOS or Android
– Anki Version (Download)
Continue your leveling!
No more excuses. No more delays. Moving forward at record speed has never been easier. Let your legend enter the next world.
Founder of Jalup. iOS Software Engineer. Former attorney, translator, and interpreter. Still watching 月曜から夜ふかし weekly since 2013.
Does this deck focus more on vocabulary, more on grammar or is it a mix of everything?
I’d say a mix (with maybe leaning more towards vocabulary for stage 1, as I need more vocabulary to explain more complex grammar points).
The branching (that I did) started off with real sentences from various sources (manga, anime, novels, TV, etc.), and then I went where the branching took me.
Wow thank you for the amazing work you did!
I was about starting J-E sentences because I could not figured out with my J-J Branching.
Finally the Jalup Intermediate 1000 is here just on time and it works very well!
Thank you again!
I aim for perfect timing!
Man, I was excited for this the minute I saw it in the sidebar. Definitely getting this as soon as possible.
I’m glad people are getting excited about this. I really feel like it is trying something completely different. To be honest, I didn’t think it was going be possible. But the further I got the more I realized, wow this might just work.
I didn’t do the Jalup Beginner but I’m gonna give this a try. Keep up the great work Adshap!
*Cough* Do the Jalup beginner *Cough*
But as I said in the post, I still think anyone whose been through other beginner textbooks should be mostly okay.
You have no idea how much I love you right now. I was so frustrated last night trying to understand J-J cards that I ended up trying to look for alternatives, then I wake up and find this. I will definitely be buying all four stages of this. Keep up the good work, and thank you so much.
In creating it, I really started to remember the frustration everyone faces. Brought back memories haha. Hopefully, my frustration will prevent everyone else’s frustration!
I’ll be finishing Beginner 1000 this weekend. This couldn’t have popped up at a better time :)
It shall be a good weekend.
Amazing, can’t wait to get my hands on this.
I still havent started Jalup beginner (I need to take care of some things in my life before I start working on extra things), but this sounds like a great way to reduce the stress of going into J-J!
Things happen, but when you are ready, it will be there waiting for you.
Just to make sure I understand, there could be up to 1000 intermediate sentences? And the next logical step is to move onto The One Deck? This is exactly what I’ve been looking for. I just set up The Two Year Japanese Challenge (http://www.mattsjourney.com/p/the-two-year-japanese-challenge.html), and didn’t figure branching into it, as I didn’t really understand it, yet. If I could incorporate the intermediate deck into the Challenge, instead, then it would solve a lot of problems. Not sure if you’d be able to make them all available in time, but I’ll pick them all up.
Yes, there may be up to 1000 sentences. And yes, once finished with this, the One Deck will be wayyyyyyy easier.
Good luck with your two-year challenge!
Awesome! I completed the beginner deck and am about 300 cards in for J-E-J, and the concerns you brought up were exactly what I was experiencing trying to stick as much with the Japanese definitions as possible. This looks like a great tool, thank you very much!
It should be a perfect transition for you where you are at in J-E-J.
Ah man I’m so excited for this, I’m literally just finishing up J-E so this couldn’t have came at a better time! I’ll definitely buy all 4, hopefully there’s enough interest (I’m sure there will be) to make it worthwhile completing all 4 :)
Thanks for the support. So far there seems to be interest now. Hopefully after people finish the deck there still is as well!
I have the best timing with this stuff I swear. It’s keeping up with the pace of my jp learning. Everytime I finish one of your premade decks a new one is ready! So happy.
Before this was announced, this is exactly what I was thinking would be awesome. Needless to say, I’m purchasing this immediately.
Just got the cheekiest little grin on my face figuring out the word (SPOILER) antonym using this deck. Very rewarding.
Yeah, I have to be a little creative/clever with some definitions. Wait till you get to body parts haha.
I think it’s a sign that you were meant to speak awesome Japanese.
Just read through the post! Please don’t stop at deck 1! I’ll be absolutely devastated. This stuff is more valuable to me than any $100+ text book so money isn’t an issue. But looking at the comments here I don’t think interest is going to be a problem. But, if it is a concern, make sure you let us know early so the people that do care can do something about it.
I definitely want to try to continue it (I say that now until I angrily stare at a definition circle that just won’t stop being so irritating haha).
This is my fourth year of learning Japanese. I am solid intermediate now and starting to reap a lot of benefits of my labor. However, J-J anki has never been something I have been able to do. I have tired and come up short 3 times. I was just thinking about giving it another whack, when I saw this. I have not done the JALUP beginner deck, but my J-E stands at 1436 and all of those sentences are N3-N2 level. I will give this deck a shot and maybe this time I will break through.
This time you will break through.
Just reached 940 J-E sentences today (though not using the JALUP deck) and was dreading the transition, so snapped this up as soon as I saw it. Do you have any idea when the next part might be out (assuming demand is high)? I’m doing 20 new J-E cards each day, so I’m kind of worried I’m going to get through these 250 J-J cards rather quickly and not be ready to start my own branching yet.
It’s really hard to give a good answer to this, but I am working on it.
Hmm, ok. Maybe I’ll just keep doing J-E cards until you finish the intermediate deck, I guess in the short term it might slow down my progress, but it seems like using your deck will greatly ease the transition, so it seems worthwhile waiting for it.
This is awesome! But… any plans to add audio to the intermediate deck as well?
I didn’t really think at this stage people still wanted (or needed) audio in their Anki sentences. Also I know many people when they get out of the beginner stage start listening to something else in the background (Japanese music, TV, etc) while using Anki to maintain immersion.
At least at this point in my studies, which is very new, the thought of having audio to ensure that I am pronouncing a new word correctly is comforting. However I would I also imagine that by the time the beginner 1k is finished that would not be an issue.
Also, thank you for this. I’m looking forward to picking it up when the time comes and very glad to have another tool in the arsenal to take this challenge head on. I picked up the previous maxed out equipment package and received notification the other day of an update and upgrade to some of the beginner material. It gives me great faith moving forward knowing you are still looking over all the details, even in the original tool kits.
Yeah, I figure there are always ways to make these tools better, and I want these beginner decks to be as effective as possible.
If you’re worried, you can always look at the Anki GoogleTTS guide: http://japaneselevelup.com/boosting-ankis-power-with-media-enhancements-2-audio/
Thank you NaG, that’s very helpful.
For now I want to focus on creating the intermediate decks. However I won’t rule out the possibility of adding audio in the future.
One possibility there could be to add your own voice to the sentences by using the recording feature in Anki, which would be quick and efficient, and then we could all benefit from and be motivated by hearing your badass Japanese ^^
Thanks, Adam & everyone for the comments. I guess you are right. By the intermediate stage one would have the phonetic part well covered. I am just moving on from the beginner level to the intermediate and (since I was always pretty particular about having audio with the sentences) this is one of the crutches I have to learn to let go :)
Thanks for all your hard work. I’ve just bought the Jalup Maxed Out Equipment Package. I’ve been self studying Japanese since January now but I haven’t branched out to J-J yet. Quite frankly, it makes me nervous. I’ve been going through the beginner deck just now and I’ve done about 250 cards so far. It’s been pretty good revision. After I’ve done the beginner deck and this intermediate deck I’ll try the One Deck. I had a look at some of the cards and it looked really hard xD I’ll try my best to get to that level soon! I’m learning Kanji through Wanikani rather than Remembering the Kanji though. Should I try Remembering the Kanji as well?
Do remembering the Kanji… it took me a lot longer than it should have, but it was worth it in the end. The value is kinda hard to put into words, but you’ll understand once you’ve finished how valuable a tool it is. There is no way I’d be enjoying reading at this level as much as I am without having learnt it first! Good luck.
Thanks for the support!
The Jalup intermediate was made for the purpose of making the One Deck way less intimidating, and to make the whole J-J experience as smooth as possible. So once you get finished with it, hopefully everything will feel a lot easier.
I have a post coming up about people who don’t want to use RTK, or have tried it and hated it, so hopefully that will answer this question.
Thanks for your replies~
I look forward to that post. I think I will give RTK a go. I did buy the first book at the beginning of the year so I might as well use it lol.
This sounds amazing. I wish it had existed when I was at that stage.
Damn, I’ve been pacing myself at 10 cards a day. Did not think it would be out this fast :P None the less, buying it now!
Lately I’ve been trying to dedicate a near full-time effort towards this. I’m hoping to continue at a somewhat fast pace.
Buying this tomorrow for sure.
Thanks again for your hard work. I’m still pumping through the beginner deck at the moment, haha. I do about 50 cards a day though, so I should be up to intermediate soon. Will get this as soon as I finish the beginner deck~
Impressive pace. Should be finished in no time!
I’m definitely gonna buy the entire intermediate deck and go through it, as soon as I’m done cleaning up my own mess of a deck. Do you recommend going through the basic deck first, or can an intermediate learner go straight for the intermediate deck? (I did RTK + additional kanji, GenkI+II+IAIJ, almost done with Core2k, plus a couple of thousand words in a separate vocab deck)
You might have missed this, but check out the options section on the first post of the Japanese Intermediate covering “What if you want to do the Jalup Intermediate 1000, but haven’t done the Jalup Beginner 1000.”
For the most part I think you’ll be okay with what you have. Though it’s hard to say, because I am creating the deck as if my vocabulary/grammar covered every single word in the Beginner. Even words that you might think wouldn’t have much extension, I can use to explain other words that would normally be very difficult. For example, I can use the word “moon” from Jalup Beginner to somewhat easily explain in J-J the words for “sun,” “Earth,” “planet” and so on.
If anyone is just going straight into the Intermediate without doing the Beginner, it would be great if you could leave feedback as to if there was any kind of struggle, or if things were just very smooth.
Ah, thanks, I missed that one. Anyway, I guess it doesn’t hurt getting the basic one as well if the intermediate deck builds on the basic deck. Are you planning on selling a complete basic+intermediate pack when you’re done with the intermediate deck?
Also, really good work! You’re an inspiration.
he will! I can read adshap like a book ;) haha.
I’ve been read. Haha, that predictable?
As James said, there should be a combined version available once everything is finished.
And thanks! It makes me happy knowing I can make a difference to Japanese learners out there.
You’ve definitely helped me more than you know, that’s for sure! I only wished I’d found your site and followed through with this method of studying sooner. I study Japanese at university and I was starting from scratch this year, however I’ve pretty much failed and will be repeating the year, which is actually sadly quite common on my course, and those who are successful had either just scraped through or had studied for a long time prior to the course. They just rely on rote memorization and drilling kanji and grammar into you, and very poor speaking lessons.
The bright side is, I’ve found your site, I’ve finished the RTK mod deck (50-125 cards per day), and I’ve just finished the JALUP beginner deck (50 cards per day) and I’ve been completely immersing myself in Japanese with no gaps in listening. I was going through the one deck, but now I’ve started this and will go back to the one deck later with ease I’m sure. I have no commitments right now so I’m power levelling until I go back to uni in September. The goal is to get as good as I can in within these 4 months, and I want to go back and blow everyone away with my improvement. I’ve learnt more than I did at uni and I actually look back at my uni work and think how did I find that difficult.
I’m now feeling confident that when I return to uni, I’ll achieve a good grade in the first year which will lead to me studying at a good university in Japan for 1 year in the 3rd year.
I can honestly say, if you had never created this site and these decks, I’d have probably gave up and left my Japanese dream behind. I really can now see the clear road ahead.
So I thank you for all of your hard work Adshap :)
Thanks! Wishing you the best of luck this coming year. With your current pace and strategy I’m sure you’ll blow them away in September.
I bought this deck on sort of a whim, but I’m glad I did and have been enjoying it so far.
Since I’ve already learned thousands of vocab words from other sources (4700 matured in Anki), the vocab is generally under my level, so far at least, but this is the first J-J experience I’ve really pursued and so it’s helping me see the words I already “know” from a different perspective. It’s also making me more comfortable thinking in Japanese.
It’s challenging to go from J-E decks and J-E studying to full J-J… you would think. But this deck makes it painless. The definitions that I’ve seen have been perfect length: not too long to feel intimidating, and many of them tackle defining the word from different angles to give the clearest picture. And you can be sure that the definition you’re reading is the relevant one and not one relevant for an alternate usage of the word. That inspires confidence and makes it fun.
On top of all of that, I had an experience with the deck that reinforced the benefits J-J really has. I came across a word I thought I knew but the reading appeared wrong to me. I thought it might have been a typo. So I looked it up in my usual dictionary (J-E of course) and didn’t see it there, so I assumed it WAS a typo and emailed Adam about it.
He informed me that it was actually its own word–though synonymous–just similar to the one I was familiar with enough to confuse me. (取り除ける and 取り除く) So I decided to do another check and looked it up in a J-J dictionary this time. Sure enough, it was there. So if I had used J-J from the start, I wouldn’t have been lost.
And, in perfect fashion, this deck IS teaching me how to handle a J-J dictionary environment, so I’m sold on its benefits and am looking forward to continuing the entire series. And replacing my J-E dictionary bookmark with the J-J one. ;)
But yeah. In summary, this deck is great for people like me who haven’t followed the JALUP method from the start but want to… well, learn how to learn in Japanese. It’s a perfect place to start.
Just thought I’d pitch in that I’m planning on picking these up once I finish the Beginner decks (currently at ~500). Thanks for your hard work! :)
You’re the best adshap. Will be buying this soon.
This will make branching the one deck (and anything you want to branch) much easier right? After reading branch annihilator it doesn’t seem that hard to me, just requires serious dedication. Like a pretty difficult game.
Also, is Yahoo still the best J-J dictionary?
Yes, it will be much easier. You are increasing your vocabulary, grammar, usage of dictionary description words, and familiarity with J-J and Japanese definitions. All of this will make The One Deck, or any J-J you do on your own afterwards a much smoother experience.
The Yahoo dictionary was replaced with kotobank.jp (they now link directly to that). Kotobank.jp is a fine dictionary. However, I prefer using the goo dictionary, which is a clone of the original Yahoo one.
Goo looks quite different from Yahoo to me. Where can you find sample sentences in Goo? (my japanese isn’t good yet lol). If you could update branch annihilator to use with Goo, or make a article guide like this one: http://japaneselevelup.com/the-j-e-to-j-j-dictionary-leap-of-faith-3-approaching-the-other-side/
that would be really appreciated. <3
The layout around the relevant areas and colors are a little different and more modern, but the engine, search, and results are fairly similar (if not identical)
1. Click on the 国語 (J-J) radio tab (Where you see these options: 辞書すべて 国語 類語 英和 和英 中日 日中)
2. Input your desired word.
3. Click 辞書検索
4. Results come up.
5. Sample sentences follow the definitions in brackets 「 」
Just a warning though that the smartphone version of the site looks very different than the desktop version.
Hope this helps!
Oh that’s right, thanks. Clicking on 例文 will get you more sample sentences right?
I would avoid the 例文 panel. Most of those sentences are from works of literature, and are very complex. If you want additional sentences, I would just use something like Twitter to find simpler, shorter ones.
Bought! Just one day after my birthday too.
All part of the plan!
I managed to power through a big RTK backlog and I’ve started working on the Intermediate Stage 1 deck now. I like it a lot so far! I will get stage 2 and 3 soon.
I know that you started the Intermediate Stage 1 without going through the Jalup Beginner (but having done other beginner textbooks like Genki). So it has been a fairly smooth experience with mostly familiar words?
Glad to hear you are enjoying it!
I never did a beginning textbook I just did the Core 2000 deck (2000 J-E sentences). In maybe half of the sentences there’s a word I don’t know (almost always the “keyword”) so it’s pretty smooth going so far. With the words I don’t know I read your definition and I can usually get it that way. If I don’t, then I cheat a bit and look it up on jisho.org ;)
HI Adam, thanks for this! I recently bought the JALUP maxed-out equipment package (up to Jalup Intermediate Stage 2) a few days ago and started with Jalup Beginner levels already. Any way for me to get stage 3 and the next one at a discount/free/upgrade pack? Great set of cards, useful and well organized and kina makes me want to do more practice drills with my Anki deck every day. Thanks!
I’m really happy to hear that it actually makes you want to do Anki daily. I just e-mailed you directly regarding your above question.
Still working my way through deck 2, really enjoying these so far. Finished よつばと and now I’m reading ハンターｘハンター。The jump is a bit bigger than I expected, going from understanding about 80% of what Yotsuba says to very little of Hunter X Hunter. I’m also watching 月曜からよるふかし and なるほどAKB48, both quite above my level I think, but they are quite visual at times and I’m still picking up stuff from it. I’m also almost finished watching the JDrama グレートティーチャーオニヅカ which has been really enjoyable, though I’m watching the remake and not the original series.
I’m going somewhere with this haha, give me a second. Day after day I can feel just a little bit more understanding for every new sentence I introduce. The improvements are subtle at times, but when you think back to how you were a couple of weeks ago, you can’t help but smile. My biggest complaint about this series of decks is knowing that they are going to end! They make the whole J-J process comparatively effortless. I guess the training wheels have to come off the bike someday *tear*.
I’ll give some advice to those that are new to the deck. The most important tool (besides the deck itself) is your immersion. When I was really struggling with some of the deck at the start I got frustrated and couldn’t understand why I was struggling. It was then I realised that reading and absorbing other native media is ridiculously beneficial. If you haven’t started already with the J-E deck (I was only reading towards the end), START NOW. I’m actively watching/reading about 3-5 hours actively a day. Which is probably extreme for some with less time, but the world cup is on and there are huge gaps between games and half time haha. During the games I’m muting the television and replaying the audio from those dramas, variety shows, podcasts, movies, animes, etc. Even as I type this, I’m listening to a JDrama’s audio in the background.
I think the most explainable gain from this is it gets you thinking in Japanese. This was a big problem I had at the start of the decks, trying to convert everything (consciously or unconsciously into English). Sometimes, this can’t be helped (etc, 人間、人、人類、人物）。In my opinion, it should happen automatically and not forced out just so you can attach a single English term to a definition. Instead, try and think of the definition as a whole in Japanese, not English. English isn’t Japanese, it isn’t always as easy as: 1 English word = 1 Japanese word. You’ll most likely figure this out on your own, it’s pretty obvious in hindsight. Though I guess it could save you some frustration early on if you incorporate these principles from the start. Anyway, these are my perceptions and may not completely align with Adam’s. But they have definitely helped me in some regard. The main point is to try and eliminate actively thinking about English, it’s a bad habit. And when you get rid of it, suddenly understanding definitions becomes a much simpler task. And immersion! Please don’t underestimate its importance and think ‘I’ll leave it till I’m a higher level’.
Thanks James for your story and progress update! Sounds like things are going well.
Thought I’d give a quick update on how this deck has been helping me. I had completed the Jalup beginner 1000 and was about 250 cards into J-E-J when the first set came out. Doing J-E-J I was very dependent upon the English to understand, my main strategy was picking words that I already pretty much knew the meaning from context or using the RTK sample words that corresponded with the Kanji meaning.
I finished the second set of 250 from the intermediate deck a few days before this third one came out, so I decided to go back to adding cards on my own to fill the space between. I can tell that it has made a big difference! Although I may not understand all the words in a definition, oftentimes I’m able to pick up enough to get a general sense of the word. I’m also more confident in doing so having had to struggle with some of the definitions in the intermediate deck, not being able to come up with a direct translation but learning to trust that if I sort of get it now, that understanding will become reinforced as I see the word again and again in different contexts. Oftentimes in reviewing I’ll come back to a sentence and a word will have become clearer, saying to myself “Oh, that’s what that means!” The speed with which I am able to add cards has also greatly improved, which makes the task much easier and enjoyable. With that speed I’m able to, if I don’t understand a crucial word in the definition, look that up and have a much better sense as to whether or not I’m headed somewhere or if I should just drop it and leave it for later.
My strategy for right now is to try and keep adding new sentences on my own each day, while also having the intermediate deck to fill in the rest of my set amount of new cards for the day. I hope that will get me back in the habit and rhythm of adding sentences while also having a source to fill in the gaps and keep building a foundation of especially the common words in the dictionary definitions.
Thanks so much Adshap, this has been a great resource, your hard work on this is very much appreciated!!!
Thanks for the feedback. It sounds like you have a good strategy and are moving forward at a great pace.
Fantastic, I really appreciate how quickly you’re getting these out. Will there eventually be an Intermediate Package with Levels 1-4? Thank you!
I figure it’s the summer and there are a lot of students that have free time. So I wanted to get out all 4 somewhere by the beginning/middle of this summer.
Yes, the intermediate package will eventually combine all 4 stages.
I bought this deck a while ago but just started using it a week ago because I decided to go back and do the beginner deck (I’d already done 1000 J-E cards, but I found my grammar was lacking). But I’m not sure if I’m using this deck right. I’m about 100 cards in now and I’m finding it a lot harder than I expected. I didn’t expect the transition to be quite so rough, I know going J-J is supposed to be hard, but I thought it wouldn’t be too bad with this deck.
I find a a lot of the time I don’t really understand the definitions even if I understand all the words in it. Then that tends to mean I don’t understand a bunch of words in branch that depend on that word. Also I feel like I have often have a vague intuition of the meaning of a word and I can recall that vague idea when I see the card, but does that mean I should mark it as correct? Like “oh, that has something to do with being lacking or dissatisfied or something”. I feel if I mark it wrong then half the cards are going to be marked as leeches before I have a chance to fully understand them.
Any advice? Anyone else feel the same way when they started on the deck, but managed to get past it?
I’ve certainly had this experience as well, having a sense of the word without grasping it fully. Generally when I come across words like that while reviewing I’ll mark them as “hard” so as to give a little time before it comes up again. Sometimes when I come back a few days later it will start to click after giving it a fresh look.
One of the things I’ve found to be most helpful in getting a better grasp on those words is to come across them in other media where I have a better sense of what’s going on according to context (i.e. anime, manga, etc.). I always get pretty excited when I have that lightbulb moment and realize “hey, I recognize that word!” and having that context often helps to fill out the definition from the card (I suppose this is the same with English or any native language, often a dictionary definition by itself can’t give the nuance or clear usage of the word just by itself). I haven’t gone about doing that actively (i.e. doing a search on for example a site to find alternative sentence sources), but that might be helpful at times.
There seems to be a leap that starts to take place between understanding words by themselves, and then understanding phrases and sentences altogether. I still struggle with the latter; sometimes I can read a sentence through to the end and pick up all the words pretty well while reading, but then I have to go back and try and fit all the pieces together to get what the whole thing means, which isn’t always clear. I suppose this is probably something that just comes with time and exposure, but if anyone has any thoughts or other advise I’d be glad to hear it.
A lot of this comes down to playing a puzzle game. You have all the clues (words), now you just need to put them together to solve the puzzle (the sentence). You have easy and difficult puzzles. Some puzzles are for now better left with just a general understanding (without completely solving them). And when you see similar information in later puzzles, you may be able to use that information to fully solve the earlier puzzles.
This comparison too vague?
I’ve had a few people say that the Jalup Intermediate really feels like a game in this aspect, which is one of the reasons that they enjoy it. Unlike in J-E, you aren’t just fed the information. You have to take that information, digest it, sit on it, use your imagination and deductive skills, and bring it all together to win each round. While this makes it much more challenging, this back and forth with each sentence will make you stronger and is what really solidifies that information within you.
First, when coming across a new J-J card that is confusing, make sure you use the Anki search function to see if looking up the old words clears up any lacking information.
Assuming you are doing this and still having the trouble, you may need to change your approach of what you consider to yourself as understanding. A few points to consider:
1. Some people have said before that they are trying to come to what the English word would mean for each card, even though they are in J-J. You don’t want to do this. Yes, a cat is 猫 and having that 1 to 1 may be easy, but many words don’t work like that. Chasing after the exact meaning can just end up in frustration. In J-E, you go through a sentence, understand the new word, are satisfied, and move on. In J-J, the name of the game has changed, and the way you go through it will not be exactly the same as in J-E.
2. Once you accept point 1, you have to start accepting that you are going to need to rely on intuition a bit. You have an idea about the card, but are not really sure if that is what the word means. This is your first time not using English. Without English, you have no defined goal of that specific word. You can’t just expect to come to the meaning “cat” and feel you got it. You are developing the meaning of the Japanese which is completely foreign to you right now. So this feeling of uncertainty is completely normal in the beginning.
3. Your example of having the intuition of “oh, that has something to do with being lacking or dissatisfied,” is perfect. You can’t match it to an exact word you know. That’s fine. But you know what the feeling of that word is. When you start to see this word in other sentences, in other outside examples, you slowly start to solidify that feeling. Not into an English counterpart, but into the full feeling of the Japanese word.
4. Some of the sentences you will click with immediately. Others you will have a bit of that vague sense of understanding. This is the way it is meant to work. As mentioned in point 3, as you move forward you will see those words in different settings, and every different setting fills in a piece of that original understanding.
5. I don’t like the leech function for this type of deck where every card relies on the previous one. Some cards will be easy. Others hard. Others even harder. They are still all necessary. I would either mark the leech threshold incredibly high or disable it all together.
Hope this helps!
This an article worthy comment. I saved it to my computer. Though it was more of a confirmation of what I figured out through trial and error, but could be useful for those beginning the intermediate deck as to not get disheartened. Not everyone is as blindly as persistent haha!
I have to agree with James, this comment is really good. I am sure I will read it again and again during my epic journey to Mount Doom ..err I mean to the end of J-J 1000.
These decks are great. Stage 4 please! <3
It should hopefully be out in about a week.
I’m really glad this series was completed; I’m not sure I’d be making much J-J progress without it. I’m interested in the prospect of an Advanced 1000, but I’m also somewhat eager to start making my own cards from native materials.
Nice to see you finished part 4! :) I have 20 cards left on part 1 and I’ve really been enjoying working through the deck. I think the way you teach synonyms together in groups works really well. I’m looking forward to getting to part 2 and the rest soon.
Awesome! I’m at 750/1000 J-E, and I’m excited to dive into these at the end of this month. Will definitely be buying the whole set.
Thanks for all your hard work and infectious enthusiasm :)
It is completely thanks to these decks that I was able to overcome the Anki rut I was in. I hit a wall in my studies a year ago. Being overwhelmed/ discouraged I regrettably stopped and have forgotten so much. Realizing that that was a huge mistake, I’ve recently had renewed motivation to restart my quest and really hit it home this time. However the pace I was going at trying to get started again from scratch was completely demotivating, and I was completely disorganized with materials (and what bits and pieces I remembered). These cards are an intuitive breeze to get through, especially with the order of things like synonyms being grouped together like an above user was saying. I don’t know if it was this useful for everybody but honestly I owe my renewed confidence to continue study on my own and even make my own cards again to these decks. I don’t think I’ll be stopping again any time soon. :)
I part with my final Anki thoughts via Robert Frost:
Whose words these are I think I know
Their Country is an island though;
A foreign place too far from here
To see words in natural flow.
My Anki app must think it queer
To learn without the language near.
Lost and forgotten words, forsaked;
Not once reviewed for a whole year.
Though it’s true I may be a flake,
My interest was no mistake.
Though the learning curve may be steep,
There’s movies, books, and friends at stake.
Though Manga’s lovely, dark and deep,
I must review this massive heap.
There’s decks to go before I sleep
And decks to go before I reap.
Just finished the J-E 1000 last night so perfect timing. I cant wait to get stuck into this! J-J was always something that I knew I should do but was too scared to do, with out the creation of this deck I probably would have been stuck in J-E forever. Thanks!
As for the Advanced J-J 1000 I really hope this will happen sometime in the future.
This is super exciting. With these decks, I am sure the J-J experience will be possible. Now that the JLPT is done and gone. I am gonna blast through the first deck and keeping working up. I will send lots of comments afterwards! Thanks for all the work AdShap!
You’re an absolute champion Adam! Thank you so much for all your effort towards making these decks for us. It has made the transition from English to pure Japanese an absolute breeze in comparison. Not only that, every passing day sees me enjoying native media that much more.
It’s sad to see these decks end, but I can’t think of anything else that would have me more prepared for venturing off alone into study. That said, if you decide to release any further decks you’ve got my purchase day one!
I am still skeptical that J-J can be accomplished with so few sentences. After failing J-J 3 or 4 times, I have no choice but to follow you on this path. I know that J-E will only take you so far. Things do get lost in translation. I know I will not get the subtle nuances of the language if I stick with J-E. I hope this works!!
PS – Is it possible to buy all 4 intermediate stages in one transaction. Thanks!
I mean I can’t guarantee anything, but I created this with the sole goal of being able to go right from the Jalup Beginner (J-E deck) to this (J-J). And I only continued the four parts of this deck to the finish because people were finding it to be very useful (otherwise I would’ve stopped after stage 1).
But it’s up to you. Other people have told their stories throughout these 4 posts. If you buy it, and hate it, you can just ask for a refund.
You can buy the 4 intermediate parts under the Jalup intermediate/advanced package, or you can buy the full beginner/intermediate decks together under the Maxed Out Equipment here: http://japaneselevelup.com/item-store/. The deck was meant to be completed after finishing the Jalup Beginner, but people skipping it with an already beginner/intermediate background have said they have still found it fairly smooth.
I am already an intermediate Japanese learner trying to break into the J-J. I did not do the JALUP 1000 beginner. I am trying just to use all the 1000 JALUP intermediate. So I should know most but probably not all of the vocabulary from the JALUP beginner decks.
Now I have a question about failing cards. Let`s say that on a certain card I can read and understand the sentence on the front, but there is a part of the definition on the back that either I do not understand or cannot remember the reading. Should I fail the card?
If you don’t understand a word in the definition and it’s inhibiting you from understanding the target word then you should mark it as incorrect. I tend to mark it correct when i don’t remember the reading for a word in a definition but understand its meaning. I sometimes check the reading by copying and pasting into the ‘add’ card function’s expression field. If I understand the target word from the rest of definition I’ll mark it as correct. The unknown word of the definition has always fixed itself up anyway in the long run regardless.
James has it spot on. Understanding the sentence is the point to focus on. If you forget a definition word meaning or reading, it will be caught up later on another card or encounter with it.
To add a little to this (and as the perspective of someone who has recently reached the 10000 J-J card mark rather than someone currently going through this deck), failing cards for not understanding something in the back of the card is something you should not do.
In fact, if you manage to understand the sentence in the first place there’s no reason to even look at the back unless you happen to be unsure about something, in which case you would look at the definitions in the back merely to see if they confirm your understanding or not.
And on a general note, while it’s probably fine to have fairly strict criteria for what it means to “pass a card” while dealing with a deck like this one where you can be confident that all cards were built so that they can be figured out from the previous ones, you’ll probably find it better to give yourself some leeway (i.e. allowing yourself to pass a card even though something about it is unclear) once you transition into using cards found “in the wild”.
I have just started J-J a few days ago (using the Jalup intermediate 1000), so I am still getting used to the whole “think of a general meaning or feeling and then associate it with a Japanese word” concept.
I don’t have too much trouble when it’s a stand alone word I am trying to define, but I find it especially hard when I encounter 2-3 synonyms in a row. (Or the definition of the synonym uses a synonym to describe it.)
Usually the ‘meaning or felling’ in my head that I have associated with a word is very broad and general in nature, so it covers all the synonyms with the same general meaning. How can I differentiate the slight nuance between them?
Should I just keep thinking of them as meaning the same thing for now and then with more exposure to different sentences the nuances will become clearer by them selves?
Also I find it difficult once my brain has associated a ‘meaning or feeling’ to the Japanese word, to not subconsciously assign a English equivalent to it.
It’s like my brain reads the Japanese definition and the goes “oh, that means ‘X’ in English.”
At the moment I have to translate the Japanese definition into English in my head to discover the missing words ‘general meaning’ to then read the question in Japanese.
Has anyone had similar experiences? Any advice or tips?
“How can I differentiate the slight nuance between them?’ read, watch and listen to native media my friend! Also, as long as it isn’t defined by one word (sometimes they are), the differences are in the definition, even if they don’t stick out to you.
I know this is going to sound pretty ridiculous, but just keep doing what you’re doing. Introduce your set amount of cards, read them, try and understand them and keep moving. What you might find is that no matter how long you spend learning a card it just won’t ever make sense, even when you search through each individual word and remind yourself of the definition. Don’t dwell on it for too long, just click “good” both times and when you review it, keep failing it until you get it. That might sound pretty dumb, but with this deck especially, it’ll just make sense eventually. Like myself, just don’t overthink it. The reason this happens is because that word you don’t get, the other words you don’t understand properly. Until you’ve reviewed and seen the definition words in multiple contexts through immersion your new sentence unknown isn’t going to make sense. So sitting there bashing your head on the table wondering why you ‘can’t get it’ and spending 20 minutes on one new card is just a waste of your time. Trust me, I found it out the hard way.
I think if you’re subconciously doing it, it’s fine. It’s gonna happen, especially for common nouns like 犬 or 椅子. It’s when you’re actively trying to jam english into words like 状態
or 理解 that you’re going to run into problems. Where there is no 1 for 1 english-japanese
Don’t actively translate the words to english in the definition. The sentences won’t make sense sometimes because Japanese just isn’t English. I tend to just keep moving through a sentence before my mind could ever translate to English and that way I only saw it as a Japanese word, because my brain doesn’t have enough time to convert the word as the next word is already being read. I guess what I’m saying is don’t read WORDS read SENTENCES that way you won’t convert as much (and yes, I was very much guilty of converting words at the start of those decks).
The short of it, spend more time with media, bare essentials for Anki. You’ll find these problems tend to sort themselves.
What you said. Here’s an example:
I found (Though I’m still in the early stages of J-E) that when I see native material, the nuance does come to me.
「死ね」is literally a command to die, but it’s usually shown as a retort for something that offends or angers you.
You: [Your] mom is a bitch!
Me: (literal translation) Die.
Me: (liberal interpretation) F— you.
If anything, it sounds more like the bottom translation, but it’s much more severe and never playful (as F— you is in some contexts).
That said, if you just saw 「死ね」 and its literal translation, you wouldn’t really know its use in that situation, though you may learn said nuance if you saw it in media/real life.
Thanks for the great answer! Ill try to be less analytical and just go with my gut feeling more. This will probably get better with more cards anyhow.
I’ve started this deck and I’m not too far in it yet, but I wanted to share my experience. The JALUP J-E 1000 was pretty much a cakewalk (I finished in less than a month) since you have English as a handicap and you just build the next sentence on top of the previous ones.
For the JALUP J-J 1000, however, it was a different story. I started out thinking that it was going to be harder than the J-E cards, but still manageable. And don’t get me wrong it is, but at first it hits you hard that you’re pretty much like a young kid who just removed his floaties in the swimming pool and you feel like you’re drowning. I felt like this for 2 weeks and only got through 70 cards. It was tough and I dreaded doing new ones, but today I decided to just do 50 and see what happens no matter what.
I realized that once I passed the 100 card mark that it started to get a lot easier. I know that it will become a cakewalk again around 700-1000 J-J cards, but for those who are doing this deck or are about to start it, don’t be discouraged from the beginning cards, they are tough, but you are getting used to the transition still. I still am getting used to it, but I just wanted to share that it gets a lot easier if you stick with it.
Yeah, there are a lot of ups and downs when you first dive in. But the more you get the hang of how the definitions work, the more things that were once confusing start to come into focus. It’s pretty cool :)
Hi everyone, a quick question: do you guys keep all your sentences in the same deck, or keep separated decks for J-E and J-J. I’m about to finish the Beginner 1000, but I’m not that familiar with Anki to know what would work best.
I made a master deck called ‘Japanese’. Inside that deck is another parent deck called ‘JALUP beginner’ with the 4 stages of Jalup beginner in it
Then I have a second parent deck within the ‘Japanese’ master deck called ‘Jalup Intermediate with the 4 stages in it.
I also have My RTK deck in there, and will be making an advanced JALUP deck today.
That way when you click browse on anki, you can tap ‘enter’ button and search the current deck, which would be all your JALUP decks inside the master ‘Japanese deck’.
Thanks for the advice!
BTW I’ve done ~20 cards of this deck and… it’s so hard! But so rewarding when I manage to more or less understand an unknown word with just Japanese :)
Just bought this one ^.^
I’ll prob stick to doing 10 cards a day only though. So I’ll be back in a month to buy part 4~~
Thanks! Everyone goes at a different pace at this, so go with what you feel comfortable with.
Just bought this deck~~
Got 20 cards left in the previous one so thought I’d buy this now. Set 3 took me a lottt quicker than expected to get through because I already knew the majority of the words, lol. Hopefully this one has more I don’t know xD
I’ll be back to buy the advanced decks once all four are released. They’ll be available as a bundle, I presume?
Your speed maybe just means you are getting that good.
Yes, once the final Advanced deck is released it will be bundled together.
Haha, I hope that’s the case.
Thanks, I look forward to the advanced deck bundle~~
Do you need to have mastered every Jalup beginner sentence by 100% to be able to do this? It looks rather difficult.
I’m almost done with Beginner. I know all sentences I’ve done so far by 95% at least.
Nah. It’s OK if there are still things in the Beginner you don’t quite “get” when you move on to Intermediate. You’ll find that the Intermediate is actually a huge help in building your understanding of the Beginner concepts.
And don’t let the intimidation factor scare you off. It’s true that you’ll experience doubts and frustration for a few weeks. But if you keep at it, it *will* start to fall into place and when that happens it’s pretty magical :)
That’s reassuring. Much thanks.
A friend bought this recently and I took a look because the concept piqued my interest. I have to complement the author because clearly a lot of thought and effort went into these decks. The definitions do a very good job of communicating the concepts in simple but effective ways without all the unnecessary detail that proper dictionary definitions have. This detail is nice when you’re higher level, but when you’re a beginner it can be overwhelming to have a complex definition followed by five synonyms. I wish this had been around when I was first getting into Japanese.
I’m in a little bit of an awkward position where I’ve just gotten to the end of my Beginner 1000 deck but am only about 1/3 through RTK. I’m wondering whether I’d be better off just going to maintenance mode on sentences for the next few months while devoting most of my time to finishing RTK, before starting the Intermediate deck. Any thoughts?
I had a similar problem. I was only 50% done with RTK when I reached the Intermediate deck. I went ahead with it, and I don’t think it slowed me down too terribly (In fact, I’m just now starting the Advanced deck and I’m *still* only 80% done with RTK). I imagine you’ll be fine. Don’t be afraid to look up the RTK keyword of unknown kanji if you’re stuck on a word, as that’s knowledge you would’ve had anyway if you’d already finished RTK.
I will say that the further you get in RTK, the easier time you’ll have with the Intermediate. Any bonus RTK progress you can sneak in will certainly help =)
Thanks, good to know it can be done. I think I’ll still try to invest a chunk of time in RTK-heavy mode before moving on to J-I-1000.
Should I understand the sentences or the definitions? Or both?
The goal is to understand the sentences. The definitions are just there to help you do that =)
When reviewing old cards, I usually only read the definition if I still need help understanding a word (or if I just want a little extra practice).
There’s a great discussion on this in one of the comment threads higher up-
Has anyone tried starting the Intermediate deck while still working through the Beginner? I’m at about 73% seen on the Beginner, and need to move fast in the next month for an upcoming trip to Japan.
If you’re concerned with speed I would just do more cards from the beginner deck per day. Especially because intermediate is J-J so you’re going to want to have all the vocab from beginner to understand the definitions.
How much vocabulary is taught in the intermediate decks? 1000 words? I’m very interested but still deciding.
Yes, in the full intermediate deck there are 1000 J-J words, all in a nice branched order. Since you’re still deciding I can tell you about my experience with the Intermediate deck having just finished it a few days ago.
At first, it was challenging. At the same time though, some words seemed pretty easy with no English needed. If you’re new to J-J, I’d recommend considering the J-E-J technique on the more difficult cards though, hopefully using less and less of this technique as you go along. (I haven’t needed it at all in Advanced and definitely don’t plan on using it anymore).
The results have been amazing. I just realized the other day how quickly I am able to read through these cards and how much easier it has gotten to understand the J-J definitions. I think it really starts to get easier also with my entire vocabulary expanding each day. My progress would have definitely come at a much slower pace without this great pre-made deck.
As a random person on the internet, I’d like to say that I definitely recommend this deck! =D
Thanks for the reply. I got the deck although I do think it’s a little pricey I am really into studying Japanese. I’m not finding it at all difficult to use the Japanese definitions – mostly because I know all the words already. Except for the ones the deck is teaching and so it works out very well. My only concern is that I’ll get through this deck too fast and have to spend $90 again really soon. Otherwise I like the deck. In terms of my Japanese level I failed the N2 by 5 points last December ;/. I’m getting the impression I’m more advanced than the average person doing this deck but at the same time I’ve never done J-J so it’s a new experience. Well I tried J-J briefly using Sanseido via Rikai-sama but only understood the definitions about half the time, maybe less, and that wasn’t acceptable to me.
Out of concern for finishing the deck too quickly I got the One deck. It’s much harder lol. I can kind of fumble through it but I also copied and pasted a couple words into my J-E dictionary to make sure I wasn’t misunderstanding stuff. I’m not sure if I would go to the One deck from this deck or not but it would be cheaper to do so.
Well, I’ve never used the One deck personally (yet), but I have heard how it can be pretty difficult at times since it doesn’t really have a structure like the newer Jalup decks. I’m using Advanced right now and really benefiting from it, but I think you could definitely just use the One deck after getting used to some J-J through Intermediate. It might be a little tougher without doing the Advanced deck, but you could definitely just suspend cards that are too hard for the time being and/or do some J-J branching on a card where there are multiple unknowns.
Or maybe you’ll have a better idea what you want to do after getting through Intermediate. 頑張れ！
Every card teaches something new. The vast majority is new vocabulary, but it also covers some new grammar points, as well as different uses/alternate meanings of some things you already know.
I’m a huge fan of this deck and would definitely recommend giving it a try. Not so much for any specific bit of information it contains, but rather for the profound effect it will have on your way of thinking about the language.
Hope that helps! :)
I am struggling with this deck. I think the definitions are very clever and I can generally understand them. I’ve been allowing myself to check the definition in English (J-E-J) which I believe is allowed for the first 200 or so. I find that I am always close to the mark, even if I don’t feel confident.
I can understand the definitions, and remember the meanings pretty well.
But for some reason I am really struggling to remember the readings of the Kanji. I’ve been going over and over the same cards with Anki. I understand the sentences easily. But I just can’t recall the readings. It’s like there is something wrong with my brain. But I don’t remember having this problem with Jalup Beginner at all.
Has anyone else had this? Any tips?
This is really depressing me. I’ve stopped adding new cards because I am failing every single card every day. Progress has stalled. I just don’t understand why my brain is letting me down like this :(
Have you done rtk? It really helps. Every time you are exposed to or get a word with kanji incorrect search it up on your rtk deck. Even if you haven’t done rtk you can add the deck to your anki and look up the keywords
My other advice is just to keep failing them until they sink in, eventually they’ll sink, if you can persevere and keep moving. I really recommend you don’t do j-e for this deck at all as you’ve spent money on these cards and the point is to eliminate English. Do j-e 2-500 with dictionary definitions not the jALUP decks so you get the most out of these one of kind custom j-j cards. You’ll never get his opportunity again! Trust me
Thank you for your kind advice. I have done RTK.
I will eliminate English. It was a confidence booster to check that I had understood. Since I seem to understand I don’t really need it.
I still struggle with the readings.
Interesting observation: I just got back home from a church service in Tokyo and we were singing some songs. I naturally picked up the reading of some kanji from this. And yet in the Jalup deck it just isn’t sinking in.
Should I write out the sentences the first time or something?
I don’t but maybe just writing out the target word would help. Are you reading anything in your free time? Try manga that come with furigana as its the absolute best way to reinforce readings when coupled with anki cards.
Also you’ve only started j-j so it’s mich harder at the start. If you are still having these problems a 1000 card in while reading Japanese books I’ll be shocked.
I recommend yotsubato, it’s not too challenging and uses a lot of the words for Jalup series of decks
I’m going through the same thing right now with this deck. I’m at like less than 5 new cards per day and my failed card bucket is usually between like 10 and 40 cards. I try not to worry about it though, after a while these new cards really do sink in if you leave them in the failed bucket long enough. I’m also very careful to not mark them as correct until I’m confident it will stick in my head for a few days. I’ve also experienced where I don’t know a word in my anki deck, but I see it in the wild and I instantly know what it is? I don’t understand that at all, but I don’t really care because I’d rather recognize a word in the wild then in my anki deck anyway. Learning is learning, just keep pushing.
The other trick I’ve learned is not to think about the number of cards at all, just tell yourself that you must study for x hours per day. I actually wake up at 5 am now so I have enough time to study before work, then I squeeze in a few minutes of anki at work, then I come home from work and finish off my study.
It sounds like you live in Tokyo? I’ve lived overseas as well, and let me tell you it’s soooo easy to make yourself an English bubble. I don’t know your situation but it’s something you should try to be aware of. At our level, we should be trying to read manga and watch tv shows without subtitles. Sometimes I get so caught up in anki I forget I gotta actually try to use this stuff as well.
I think when people hit this deck is when they realize what they got themselves into. I have a feeling most don’t go beyond this deck. The amount of effort required to master this deck is astronomical. However, all you have to do is study, time does all the rest.
As James and Kevin suggested, seeing them “in the wild” in books, games, etc is great for reinforcement. Definitely recommend it.
Another extremely helpful thing you can do, if you’re not already, is reading the sentences out loud as you do your reviews. Preferably with a hint of appropriate emotion based on the context. This helps build connections that reinforce the readings.
Say you have something like 「虫を殺さないで！」. Don’t just read it flat – pretend you’re chastising a kid for doing something bad, and read it based on that emotion. I found the readings stick a lot better for me when I do that sort of thing, and it makes reviews more fun too =)
I wanted to say read out loud too! But my comment wouldn’t edit. Also read your manga aloud too. I even read my definitions aloud but I’m pedantic. Great advice Matt.
Also by doing. So few cards a month and not reading elsewhere means you’re barely even seeing this words. You can’t blame yourself for not remembering something youve hardly seen. You’ll find that those problem words appear in other anki sentences and definjtojns. Not to mention inside of spoken and written native material.
How much time have you been working on Intermediate? A lot of people underestimate the amount of time it takes to memorize 1000 new readings.
And just because you are getting readings wrong doesn’t mean you aren’t progressing. Every time you get a reading wrong, you are reviewing it again, and strengthening that memory. Some readings require less strengthening. Some much more. As you see these readings over and over again in new ways and settings they are also being strengthened.
Try not to get frustrated, and just continue with the flow forward. Your massive incorrect count will go down, and things will get better.
1 month, 81 cards. This seems very slow – far far slower than Beginner pace. I stopped adding cards after two weeks because I couldn’t even remember these cards.
I don’t live in Tokyo, I’m just here for a few days before heading back to jolly old England. However it’s been amazing – with RTK + Jalup grammar + Jpod phrases I can understand an enormous amount of written things – most signs are entirely intelligible given time. I’ve been able to have several simple conversations in Japanese. The best are with people who have terrible English. Between their broken English and my Japanese we can communicate quite well. The ones with no English I can’t talk to enough and the ones with good English just keep pushing me into English.
I’ve made many friends here and I really want to improve so I can talk to them more.
I will try to read Yotsubata – I have a copy at home. When I reach words I don’t know do I just skip and carry on? I never understood the ‘just read Japanese stuff’ concept when you have low coverage of the vocab. Is it like audio immersion where the payoff is more about increasing comprehension rather than enjoying the story?
On pace: the walkthrough suggests 6-10 months for 1000 sentences + 2000 Kanji. I’ve done it in 4.
It then suggests 2-4 months for 2000 J-J sentences which seems like a real step up in pace.
But the level guide suggests more like 10 months:
81 in a month is a bit on the slow end. Are you overthinking the cards? There are some people people that get caught up in not moving forward until they feel like they know the card in the same way they do in English (which won’t be possible in the beginning).
Regardless of the pace of the first few hundred cards (which is definitely slower than Jalup Beginner), it does pick up.
So the walkthrough lists going from level 25 to level 30 in 2-4 months. It doesn’t suggest 2000 cards in this time frame, which would be quite difficult.
And the level guide, says level 20 to 30 in around 9 months, at around 1500 J-J cards.
I’ve recently raised up the time slightly on the level guide because it reflects a better reality for the average person, rather than the heavy studier.
But don’t let level numbers drag you down. They are just numbers.
As for Yotsuba you can do a mix of both. Look up words or read straight through.
Fish oil (omega 3) is the best thing you can eat for improving your memory, and it also has lots of other health benefits. I take 2 caps every day. And be sure to get enough sleep.
Thanks a lot for this comment (and the one to スタースプルング) ; these people asked exactly what my problems are and you explained them quite well. I was stuck with thinking “approximate meanings” was bad, when as of right now, that’s actually what I want, generally speaking. AND I also have trouble remembering the readings, even when I do remember the meaning, but as you say, it’s normal that I wont remember them all right away. I just have to keep going and after a while of always marking them wrong, they will start to stick (some already have, too!)
James – I’ve scrapped looking up the English definition. It’s pure J-J now. Paradoxically I am enjoying it more. I feel more like an explorer in unknown territory.
Kevin – following your comment I’ve transitioned to studying for a set time rather than to a set goal. This has taken the pressure off a lot. I’ve been getting up at 6 to do a couple of hours before work, half an hour at lunch, and around an hour in the evening. (Not all this time is going on Jalup intermediate).
Rai – I’ve taken your advice and started downing the fish oil. I’m also being more disciplined about sleep. Abandoning a target quota and going for hours worked means I’m no longer staying up until 3am like I used to and actually getting enough sleep.
Adam gave me some good advice here and by email. I was overthinking these cards. Now I just satisfy myself with understanding the gist and trust that the nuance will emerge over time.
Bottom line is that my brain seems to be working again, retention has improved, and I’ve pulled out of the stall and am making forward progress.
Thank you everyone!
yay! Sounds like you’re problems are all solved. I think your current strategy is spot on. Adam’s advice is very important, there’s a good article on it that he might have linked you to already.
“J-J is like solving a puzzle”. Don’t look for those exact meanings and you’ll be much happier in the long run. If you want an example why just look in your own native languages dictionary and you’ll see words are normally defined by other words (plural), and not just one. Humans store words as feelings long term, not exact meanings. It takes time in another to build those feelings, though as frustrating as it can be. Especially considering the instantly gratifying nature of J-E.
J-E can be damaging to the mindset of J-J attempt. Unfortunately, as it stands now, it’s a necessary evil. The best thing you can do is to expect completely different results and problems from the both of them, you’ll be a lot happier with your derived ‘meanings’ that way.
Is there an easy way to get Anki to order these cards in the right branching order? I could manually add a ‘branch’ field but I’m guessing I’m missing something as doing them in the branch order is pretty much the point.
The cards are organised in i+1
I suggest you leave them like that as Adam has designed them in a way that they built off each other. in fact these branches are already are reversed to have the simplest word in a branch first so you really don’t need to touch anything ! Enjoy .
Thanks James, I worked it out. Somehow I or Anki managed to effectively order the cards randomly then make them due effectively randomly. I can’t really say ‘I’ fixed it, but happily once I created a new sort field that was empty, and sorted by the empty field, the list spontaneously ordered properly and I was able to use the ‘reposition’ function. Phew.
wow that sounds really annoying. I wonder how that happened. Seems like you’ve got things working now. One way to check if they are in the right order now is to go to browse and sort by ‘created date’. If they are being introduced in that exact order you have fixed the problem! hope it’s all worked out for you now :)
I had the same problem–I did an Anki update and suddenly things got much harder, there were multiple unfamiliar words per card, I was getting really frustrated. I saw this thread and did a sort by date created, and やった！ that fixed the problem (and I’m finally getting the definitions of words I was struggling with when it was out of order).
I am loving this deck. Aside from that, a small tip that works for me (might not for you),
Try to visualize the words when possible and don’t try to translate. I am not a native English speaker, and I used this technique.
Example for 足りない I imagine a small glass of water which is about 3/4th full. For 補う、 I take that glass of water and add water to make it full [足りないところを満たす」。This way you will not translate stuff, but still have a solid understanding of the words. And like RTK, these visual cue’s fade away, and the only “feeling” of the word remains.
I just finished Jalup Beginner a few days ago and am now moving into J-J land with Jalup Intermediate. This has led to a bit of an unexpected crisis, so I think I need a bit of input to get me past this.
My problem is that the new vocabulary is just not sticking fast enough. Some of the cards are easy enough, but when I start Anki again the following day, a lot of the cards are gone and will have to be relearned. This is just Anki, and they will definitely stick eventually, so no problem so far. The problem is that Jalup Intermediate immediately starts using the new words in definitions before I can even remember them. This means that most of the new cards are now impossible to understand without looking all the words up again. Day 3 comes around and now I have forgotten a few of the words, but even worse, some of them I never actually learned. The new cards then just compound the problem.
So here are a few of my own thoughts on my predicament:
* This is not about motivation. I study several hours every day and I really want this.
* J-J in itself is not the problem. I fully understand why it is the correct way to learn a language. English is not my native language, but I haven’t touched a bilingual dictionary since the 90s. You don’t learn the subtleties of a language when you translate.
* I’m powerleveling. I added a minimum of 20 new cards a day in Jalup Beginner and finished it in about 40 days. I have started out at the same pace of 20 cards a day with Jalup Intermediate. Maybe this is too fast?
* I believe I have a good understanding of the content in Jalup Beginner. I have been studying the grammar rules in the deck on the side to reinforce and better understand the cards in the deck.
* I have not immersed much, yet. I have been watching/listening to a lot of Japanese YouTube videos and similar to get a good feel for the sound of the language, but have only done very limited reading outside of the Jalup world so far. Perhaps I need to do level appropriate reading concurrently to help things sink in.
* It is both the meaning and readings I struggle with. Readings I don’t consider a problem, as I am sure I will get them eventually, and not remembering them does not interfere with understanding new cards. However, I do wonder if this is normal? I find it very difficult to remember them, but this could just be that I have no context to fall back on like when learning Western languages. Meanings are somewhat easier to remember, but I frequently forget them and this is what is hitting hard with Jalup Intermediate now.
* I’m slowly building a bit of a love/hate relationship with Anki. I am very much a perfectionist and the more I learn about how I prefer to study, the more it feels like Anki is restraining me. I don’t find Anki very enjoyable. To be honest, at this stage I think the main reason I am still using it, is because of how great I find the Jalup decks. That and sheer willpower. I have seriously been considering using it through the Browse screen only to take back control of my studying.
* I like rules. I like grammar. I love both about Japanese. I really enjoy reading through Tae Kim and my Basic Dictionary of Japanese Grammar. This is probably my one gripe with the Jalup decks – they tend to teach grammar mainly through examples. I find that frustrating and personally prefer to learn the rules as well. I have found that studying these using other sources works great for me, and I have really enjoyed this process with Jalup Beginner. I understand that other people dislike grammar rules, so I understand why the decks are the way they are, and this method I feel is a good compromise. I must also admit that I have picked up lots of small grammar details just by seeing them on a card, so it does work.
I could really use a few tips from the rest of you on this. Did you have the same experience at this point? What did you do to get past it? Is there anything in the above that you would suggest I change. Any input is appreciated even if it is just a pat on the back and a “I know how you feel”.
I think you should definitely consider doing passive immersion a lot more often, it really reinforces what you are learning and it takes no effort (you can do it while on the toilet, on the shower, cooking, cleaning, travelling etc). On top of that, don’t expect to enjoy the first 500 or so (the transitioning phase) of the J-J 500. In my opinion just keep adding and reviewing every day and ignore your doubts. Just read the cards and quickly move through your reviews and stop worrying whether you know every single word properly in the sentence and or definition. What’s important is that you get a feeling that you roughly understand, not to translate or get an exact meaning. You are used to getting a 1-1 answer and those days are behind you. Get used to a vague and approximate meaning of a word, and you will be much more satisfied with your results.
Originally when I did the J-J transition I was very harsh on myself and used to fail everything. I won’t lie and say that wasn’t extremely effective, but it was also very frustrating and demotivating. Thanks to another user here (matt v) I am now using ‘hard’ as my go to fail button. I think you’ll find anki and the J-J transition more enjoyable with that change. For me, in some ways it has helped my retention, even if it spaces it out a little more.
You are almost definitely overthinking and spending too much time on new cards/reviews. You need to give in to instinct, and forget about ‘getting’ a card. Just keep reviewing and adding, I promise you this problem will fix itself. Don’t dwell on cards and you’ll be much less frustrated, and come into these J-J cards with a fresh perspective. Lastly, make sure you are immersing as much as you can in your free time, active and passively.
In reading the bit about you ‘loving grammar’ rules makes me think you could be overanalysing things. The point of J-J is for you to get the ‘feel’ of Japanese.
Define the word ‘is’ for me. I know I find that very difficult to do. Learning Japanese is supposed to get you feel how to use words in Japanese, not to get an exact English definition.
Free yourself from the shackles of English exactness and accept that you don’t need to have anything you can express to prove that you know what a word means (especially at the start of j-j).
Once you can rely on your instinct to complete reviews and introduce words in anki, rather than trying to get an ‘answer’ you will find your review speeds increase and your frustrations disappear. I promise you this. STOP DWELLING ON CARDS AND KEEP MOVING. Keep moving, just don’t stop.
And don’t forget to immerse! It’s the most enjoyable part about learning Japanese. I recommend reading level appropriate manga or anime/drama with japanese subtitles as a good place to start. You might find novels a little too challenging at this level (though they are really good for your Japanese). You can use that media that you have watched with subtitles as your passive immersion (best thing you’ll ever do).
Good luck! Don’t give up the good fight. I promise you just keep adding and moving quickly through reviews and get to the fun stuff, don’t overthink or overanalyse.
Sounds like what you are experiencing is pretty normal; I was where you are about a year ago, having gone through the beginner deck and just starting J-J. Although the JALUP decks make that transition much smoother, it is still a really difficult and substantial change to make (but one that you recognize will be greatly beneficial long run). Here would be a couple of my suggestions:
Don’t worry about knowing each word perfectly; as mentioned above, usually (even with the definition) you’ll usually have a general sense or feeling of what the word means without having a translation to fall back on – that’s okay. You’ll come to understand it better as you progress and as you see it used in other contexts. I remember (and still have) those moments where I hear a word I’ve been trying to learn in a show or another anki sentence and it finally clicks, “Oh, that’s what that means!” You mentioned you haven’t done much immersion yet, this might be helpful in that regard. I think the key is not to get stuck here but give yourself some leeway – when you don’t remember a word during a review, look it up once, see if it becomes clearer, and then move on. Oftentimes a few days later it will make more sense (sometimes it won’t, but that’s okay – it will eventually get there) – just keep moving forward and it will work itself out. That’s a benefit of Anki, that words you didn’t quite get will be repeated and you’ll have another chance to understand them.
From another post you mentioned that you have gone through RTK, which is great. This is now a good point at which that knowledge will be very beneficial. I found it very helpful (and again, still do) to look up the kanji in the new words introduced to check their meaning. That often gives additional clues to the meaning of the word, and helps with that general sense or feeling. You did all that work to get through RTK; now’s the time to let that knowledge work for you!
You’re at one of the toughest hurdles but you sound like you have the motivation and self-reflection necessary to do it, so my main advice would be to just keep moving forward. Best of luck, you can do it!
Sounds like what I went through. I cruised through beginner deck, then I hit intermediate like a brick wall. Not really sure what to say since I’m still struggling, but it is completely normal. My pace has slowed but the further I get the less fuzzy things become. If you haven’t started already, now is the time to start manga (this is going to be another shock but keep going) and crank up that listening. I’ve settled on watching a drama episode on the weekend with subs, ripping the audio and listening to the drama on the way to work and the way home from work (40 minutes total). I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard words I’ve been studying and they suddenly become less fuzzy with all the context from the drama.
Good luck and keep up the good work ^^
Hi, there! So, I’m not at intermediate yet, but I have been through everything you described. I just hit it right out the gates at Beginner. Here’s what I did:
-Stopped using Anki. Screw Anki. I hate Anki. It’s exhausting for me to review that much, and it turned out, I didn’t even need to be. I have a really great memory, and it does not work at the pace of Anki algorithms. What I use now is an OpenOffice Calc sheet. I put in the sentences exactly as they are, write the kanji on my hand while straight out looking at them, and say the sentence out loud. It’s working wonders so far.
-Found other source material. I’d been trying to use Genki. >.< Genki is fine, but Tae Kim is freaking awesome. My progress went to light speed after the switch.
-Let myself take breaks. I know that everyone loves to do the everyday thing, but it kills me. My brain can't do it. And like with Anki, it turned out, I didn't even have to. A couple hours every other day or every few days is more than enough.
-Got more exercise and sun. It's silly how effective it is.
-Turned OFF any attempt at immersion. I can only speak for my level, but trying to do it all at once was just too much. I'd learn a couple things from 5 different places and nothing would stick.
I think the most important thing is to acknowledge what your brain is trying to tell you about how YOU study. All of the great ideas out there are just things that have worked for OTHER people. If you really want to learn Japanese, then you will. But that's the goal. NOT finishing a sentence pack, or doing so many reps in Anki, or immersing for so many hours. The goal is Japanese. So do whatever you need to do to reach that goal. (And if you find any interesting methods, share them with the rest of us!)
Good luck! I'm rooting for you! Let us know how it goes!
Yeah, that’s totally normal. This will likely be the most difficult, but also most rewarding, period of your studies.
1: The first few hundred are the hardest. This is when your brain is building the necessary circuitry to really deal with these definitions properly. Over time, your study efficiency will ramp back up to where it was in J-E, including retention. Getting a broader feel for Kanji readings will be a huge help, too. After a while, you’ll find that you’re correctly guessing the reading (and/or meaning) of some new words before you even flip the card over.
2: Going off the above, don’t be afraid to utilize the J-E-J approach to ease yourself in early on. (If you’re stuck on a word, look it up once in English, then rely on the JP definition for subsequent reviews and lookups). Google Image search is also *really* helpful if you want to get a clue without spoiling it outright. It can also be quite fun – try looking up pictures for 一致 sometime =)
3: Keep in mind that some words are simply synonyms or extremely similar words with nuanced differences. For example, don’t stress over the difference between やり遂げる and 成し遂げる right now. As long as you have a ballpark idea of what they mean, you’ll be able to pick up the finer points through immersion.
4: As others have said, the sooner you start using this stuff “in the wild” the better. There’s a lot of native content that you’ll be able to understand well enough to enjoy at this point, and you’ll be seeing that early JALUP Intermediate vocab *constantly* within it. My personal recommendation is to replay one of your favorite video games in Japanese. I can’t stress enough how effective that is for cementing huge piles of vocab with context and repetition. If you’re not into games, a good alternative is a 日常 type of manga, anime, or drama.
And I guess the last thing is, consider slowing your pace temporarily. You can then ramp back up as you get more comfortable. As I mentioned above, your brain is *literally* growing and changing to adapt to these challenges. That biological process takes time and persistence, and cannot be rushed. After a month or two you’ll really start to notice the difference =)
Thank you all for your encouragement and advice. This was exactly what I needed to get me back in gear. It is quite reassuring to hear that my experiences are completely normal. I know that many others have made it past this point before, so this was a nice moral boost to get me remotivated.
Based on your feedback I will make two major changes to the way I study.
First of all, I need to get my immersion going in a much higher gear. You all more or less unanimously agreed that I don’t do this enough. I kind of knew this already, but it was great to hear that this was something that could specifically help me past my problems. I already have some material lined up that I will get started with, but will also be paying a visit to Amazon JP this afternoon to buy my shopping cart that has been starring at me for the past month :)
Secondly, thanks for being tough on me about overthinking the cards. Obviously, I am fighting my instincts here, but it is becoming clear to me that I need to have more faith in the method and trust that understanding will come later. I actually gave this a shot last night. I decided that I would only worry about what I understood on each card and just ignore what I didn’t. If that meant I didn’t understand the overall card or the new word, then so be it. I will get another chance to understand it later. And… it worked!!! The frustration was gone and instead suddenly Anki was pleasant. I am really surprised to honest. This shifted focus actually made it a lot easier to see all the things I was learning instead of focusing on what I had trouble with. “Oh yeah, that card made no sense yesterday. Now I get it.” This changed approached also makes reviewing much faster… and I need that so I can get time for immersion.
I am also considering reducing my new card count temporarily to make more time for other forms of study, but I think for now I will try to continue at my current pace while I try out the changes above. I believe it should be possible to find enough time for immersion without changing my pace.
Once again, thank you all for your input. This is what I love about the Jalup community. I would never have learned at the pace I have without this great site (thanks Adam! You are awesome!) and you guys!
Another tactic you might want to give a try is, figure out how many hours per day you want to do of anki, and forget about how many new cards you do per day. That way, you won’t overwhelm yourself with tons of new cards, it will just kind of work itself out depending on how fast you learn the new cards.
Almost forgot, if you do this, you might want to change your default settings to see new cards only after you’ve reviewed all your other cards. So, lets say you set your min time for 1 hour and you finish all your reviews in 30 minutes, great now you have 30 minutes to learn new cards. Next day it takes you one hour to do all your reviews, no new cards, but you still studied for your one hour. And when you get tired of that, just go back to # of new cards per day, just be flexible and use diff strategies to get you through ^^
I have been considering doing exactly that for a while. Have you tried this approach yourself? I am a little unsure how well Anki works like this in practice. My concern is that the new cards would get squeezed together a bit too much at the end, but maybe that’s just me overthinking things.
The main reason I have not done this, yet, is that so far I have been disciplined enough to always finish my daily quotas of both reviews and new cards.
Yes, I’m using this tactic right now. It kind of evolved naturally over time. I was basically really struggling with all these new cards that got thrown right in the middle of my reviews and I kept thinking “god just let me finish my darn reviews before I get slammed with all these new cards” and I would just end up failing the new cards as fast as possible to get them out of the way then paying attention to them at the end. I remembered a few anki versions ago (while I was studying Chinese simplified Hanzi (I failed)) I could just add new cards at the end, so I changed the setting to review only at the end. Then I started having my own crisis of why the heck didn’t I know anything and I just got really angry with my progress and took an honest assessment of my study methods. I came to the conclusion I wasn’t putting in the effort and decided to set a min time limit for anki everyday. The downside of this x hours per day, is that you might develop a tendency to watch the clock and then it becomes “oh my god is my hour up yet?”. This started happening to me recently so I knew I had to make another adjustment. One trick I learned from Shirobon (a master, pay attention to this guy’s advice) was hand placement for anki. I completely removed the mouse from the equation and used a combo of the space bar and 1 and 3 keys. It sounds really silly, but just this one tiny adjustment helped me get over a mini-slump I was having. And that’s the key, watch out for those mini-slumps and be ready with adjustments to get past them.
Obviously, please take my advice (and everyone’s advice) with a grain of salt. Prove it to yourself what works. I’m still in the very early intermediate stages (early level 20’s).
(crap, I keep forgetting to hit reply instead of making a new thread, sorry).
It sounds like something that could work for me as well. I see several potential advantages to doing reviews first, so I think I need to play around with these settings a bit. Thanks for the suggestion :)
It sounds like I am more or less at the same place as you. I found I had retention problems too – far worse than Jalup Beginner. I think it’s because in Beginner there is a lot of grammar but in Intermediate there is a lot of vocab. Readings I really struggle with. Meaning, less so.
I have to use Anki search a lot to figure out new cards. I do all my reviews and then add new cards at the end of the session in a batch. (I set new cards to zero, do reviews, then set new cards to a target number). I’ve also found studying for a fixed time rather than a fixed number of cards works well.
I found it useful to really slow down. I even stopped adding new cards for a bit to let the existing material solidify. Adam recommends that if you are power levelling (I’m not) that you slow down with the J-J transition: http://japaneselevelup.com/power-leveling-1-speed-learning-japanese-in-record-time/
Something I haven’t tried, but intend to, is doing a Custom Study session in the evening to go over again what I learned in the morning.
I can’t add anything to the great advice already posted. I can say that this experience seems to be very common, it sounds like you are on the right track, and it does get better. I feel I am beginning to get the hang of it, and the material is sticking a lot better than it did at first.
The setting to change the order you see new cards is from the Tools menu, then go to Preferences at the bottom. It should be on the first tab, there are 3 options in a dropdown menu the one I have set right now is ‘Show new cards after reviews’. Basically it only shows me new cards when I have 0 reviews and no failed card reviews due. Then it will start mixing new cards with my failed card pile, but nothing from the review pile.
I remember the first series of branches got really really nasty. I’m about 329 in and things are much easier than those first branches. A lot of the words from those first branches are almost the same, so a fuzzy idea is good enough in the beginning anyway as someone already mentioned ^^
a fuzzy idea is the perfect grasp to have of j-j cards when you introduce any term (though this will be less the case as you advance).
I recommend that beginners advance at a solid yet sustainable pace, they might have to dial back the speed a little bit. But the point is not too slow down too much. The reason you want to avoid slowing down is because you actually stay in a rut that makes J-J seem a lot worse than it is, the faster you can get past that beginning J-J hurdle the more chance you’ll have at sticking with it.
My best tips for success: don’t overanalyse cards, you should be spending mere seconds on each card. It’s better to speed through your reviews (slow enough to be able to process though). Think of it as reading through your notes rather than sitting there trying to figure things out. Most of these concepts (especially abstract ones) need time and mass exposure. The point of anki is not for you to be able to stare at 1 card for 10 minutes, beat your head and spend another 30 in the browse menu going through old cards. The most efficient way is to zoom through them and to let anki fill in those gaps in knowledge over time. The quicker you are done with anki, the faster you can get to immersion where this material has a much higher chance of being understood, anki just gives you the framing necessary.
Long and short, less time reviewing and more time for immersion. You’ll find immersion and just adding new cards every day solves all your problems a lot better than dwelling on cards. Please don’t get frustrated over your hazy definitions, they are perfect to be refined through immersion! And please do not try to express these definitions as english translations or even force out a japanese translation. If any kind of answer is going to happen to these cards, it’ll be automatic and instant, you don’t need to rack your brains for answers. That’s not the point.
I finished Japanese Level Up Intermediate 3 days ago. Took about 25 days.
The first 250 cards were painful. After that everything just became smooth.
A small review (I am a little bit critical here, and because these decks don’t have much cons, I am going to be a big baby.):-
1.There are two (very minor) instances where the cards broke i+1 order. Eg:- 異常 and 異状 are used interchangeably without any prior warning. And some grammatical concept problem. NOTHING MAJOR. Apply some common sense and these would not be a problem.
2.Do not dive into this deck directly after beginner, if you want you journey to be smooth. I really think the cards require knowledge of grammar up to N4, because there MUST be a solid grammar foundation, I don’t really think Beginner Deck provides that kind of “practice”.
1. This (and the Advanced) are THE decks to make transition to J-J.
2. It seems you are only doing 1000 sentences, right? Actually you are doing 1000 sentences + 1000 phrases, because definitions are also in Japanese. You might not be reviewing them, but simply reading and understanding them does the job.
3. Your Japanese comprehension will skyrocket. Why? Because you actually are trying to understand the meaning of the definitions. Research shows, that between a plain old sentence and a more complex sentence (for which you will scratch your head, make associations, solve THE PUZZLE), the latter is more beneficial to acquire vocabulary. The major benefits I received were not only the 1000 vocabulary words here,but also the ability to comprehend Japanese sentences more smoothly, and at much faster rate.
4. If you have completed Beginner’s Deck and grammar till N4, this is your best bet for a complex (but not hard), efficient (and the fastest) and most importantly, FUN (a little bit of lie…hehe) ride into Japanese.
I would complete a whole year of learning Japanese in November. If this keeps on, I might really become fluent in Japanese (no speaking/writing) by November 2016! [Even if its a lie, this is what keeps me going. I have already cracked the 20-80 limit, now. Now to push towards the 60-85]
Your Con point 2 is resonating with me at the moment. I’m 600 in to Jalup Intermediate. Too often I am fairly happy with all the words in a sentence or definition but still struggle to understand the sentence as a whole.
What activities or resources would be useful to improve grammar and understanding of sentences. I don’t want to emphasize expanding vocabulary, but rather using existing vocabulary competently with strong grammar.
Or is this just what happens with Jalup Intermediate and it clears up on its own? Rather than taking a break to look at grammar, is the most efficient thing just to plough on through the muddle?
I’ve taken the ‘plough on through the muddle’ approach. I’m about 700 in at this point. I’ve decided that I really don’t need 100% understanding for each sentence. My plan right now is to finish this intermediate deck, then start grading super hard, take time to thoroughly learn them, and give time to let them sink in while I focus on finishing RTK. I’ll probably take about 2 or 3 weeks after I finish intermediate before I start advanced.
Let me begin by saying that there would always be “confusion” and “muddle” and many times you will misunderstand the meaning of the word. That’s normal, and will be corrected by immersion.
But if you have trouble understanding the grammar, and why the word is the way it is, I’d suggest learning grammar.In my experience, you need at-least N4 level [About Genki 2] of Text-Book understanding of Japanese grammar.
Keep in mind that if you are serious about Japanese, you WILL eventually be able to understand it no matter what method, or what initial understanding of grammar you have. It will just take more time. No path is wrong, but many paths are more efficient than others.
That said, I highly recommend Tae Kim’s Guide [Basic, Essential , Special and ONLY Formal Expressions from Advanced].
Quick question with this deck. I was/am having trouble with this for several cards in beginner too, but in intermediate it is substantially worse. There are so many new vocab words that I am really struggling to remember the readings even on the front of the cards even if I know the meanings. Actually the majority of my “again”s are because of the reading of the new word. Does anyone have tips for getting readings down quicker, or do i just fail them every day until it sticks?
Relax, it’s normal. You will fail a lot in the beginning, don’t let that get you down. Just like Jesper said, focus on meanings..but…
1.Be strict with your reviews. Why? because Anki has an inbuilt “Review Forgotten Cards” feature in “Custom study”. When I was doing Intermediate (~35 cards/day), I used this feature a LOT (at least 2 times/day). I recommend you use it. After a week (~150 cards), readings will stick, and you can go back to normal reviewing. If you are lenient and use say hard for a card, you will NOT be able to use this feature on that card.
2. If you have to use the search feature, schedule that card for “0 days” i.e. reset that card.
These extreme conditions will force the brain to learn better. Atleast in my case it did.
You also can start learning readings beforehand. I had already memorized many readings (~30% of all the Kanji in the JalUp decks) before starting intermediate using wikias. This made the job a bit easier for the future.
I would recommend that you focus on meaning and don’t worry as much about readings. You will pick those up soon enough. What you will find as you get further into the deck is that the same readings are used again and again for many different words, so you will have no problem picking them up over time. I currently use the following approach:
1. If I don’t understand the main word/concept: Fail the card
2. If I don’t know the reading the of the main word/concept: Hard (except if that would mature the card = 21+ days, then I fail it)
3. If I know the main word and reading: Good (even if there are other words or readings on the card that I don’t get, although I still try to understand and read them for practice).
This obviously means that I pick up the readings a little slower than the meanings, but I pick them all up eventually. Most importantly this approach doesn’t negatively affect my ability to understand the J-J definitions on the cards.
I have *not* done the beginner deck but am thinking of going through this one — figure I can probably fill in the blanks myself, hopefully?
I do have one question though: say you want to add a card for a word you run into in a manga or something. You search, and find a card for that word already in the Jalup deck. Do you just move that card to the beginning and study it that way? And if so, doesn’t that screw up the careful n+1 ordering?
I imagine it wouldn’t matter that much, maybe you could just fill in the blanks yourself or move up some associated cards too… but what do you guys think?
Beginner mostly emphasizes Grammar rather than Vocab, so you shouldn’t have too many problems going right into Intermediate as long as you’re solid on grammar. I think the only really essential things in Beginner you may have potentially missed are 物 and 事.
I wouldn’t recommend changing the order of the cards at all. IMO it’s best to keep your JALUP cards separate from other cards until you’re really comfortable with them. It not only makes progression smoother, but also makes using the Search feature easier when you get stuck.
If you do a search and find that it’s already in the deck, then you really don’t have to do anything. The card will come up on its own, and you’ll more than likely recognize it from your earlier encounter, even several months later =)
Oh cool, good to know beginner is mostly grammar focused. I feel pretty okay grammar-wise, having added all the Genki I, Genki II, and IJ sentences, as well as anything from Tae Kim that I didn’t already pick up from those sources.
I mostly want to just be exposed to a wealth of vocab and sentences, and it seems like this is a great way to get that. I actually really like making my own cards, but it’s just… so… time… consuming. I got a taste of the pre-made goodness with the RTK mod deck, hard to go back now.
> If you do a search and find that it’s already in the deck, then you really don’t have to do anything. The card will come up on its own, and you’ll more than likely recognize it from your earlier encounter, even several months later =)
That… that is an excellent point :D
I’m not great at patience, but I think I could make that work, hehe. Thanks for the advice!
From my experience:
1. Do NOT change the order of,overwrite or delete the cards. Forget about the unknown words you encounter in the wild and focus primarily on making the transition to J-J. After 3000 J-J cards, it would all become clear to you and you’d be the best judge on what to do with the cards.
1.I’d say try the last stage of beginner. I was in the same situation. I had already completed half of core 2000 and all of The Kim’s guide…
But I had already bought the full battle package, so I tried beginner. I finished it in 3 hours by suspending any cards that are too easy. There were 125 cards I kept either because I did not know them, or they made me go “holy cr*p, I never thought of it this way”.
> 1.I’d say try the last stage of beginner. I was in the same situation. I had already completed half of core 2000 and all of The Kim’s guide…
Good idea! I think I’ll pick up the last stage of Beginner and the first stage of Intermediate and just poke through ’em a bit, see how it feels. Somehow I doubt I’ll regret it…
Wanted to get people’s thoughts on using the Heisig keyword to try to memorize the reading when I have only a vague idea of the definition.
I’m around 1163 in the intermediate deck and stopped looking up the English definitions after 100. I found the prior 10 or so definitions difficult and google image search doesn’t work well for some of them so I sometimes only get a vague sense of even whether this is a positive or negative word.
For 1163 I found the 勝る definition difficult as I don’t know the other words well think it’s something to do with compared to something else having the spirit or energy being higher. I was using the Heisig keyword victory to memorize the まさる reading and to push forward with the cards as it seems to vaguely fit.
Is this a good approach or should I suspend adding new cards for a few days until I have a better handle on the previous day’s cards? Thanks. The next few were much easier to read (and easy to confirm with google image search) so I’m inclined to try to keep pushing forward.
I’m sure this must have been asked before but I couldn’t see it. After somewhat of a hiatus, I completely re did the bigger deck (so that’s twice I’ve completed it) and have begun intermediate.
Now this is a real struggle. Sometimes I simply cannot guess the new vocabulary word, at all. I’ll go back and fourth through my anki deck, figuring out the explanation, but you really just have to make an educated guess right? And how do you know you’re right? Must I still use a J-J dictionary? I rather hoped this deck negated that purpose. So I’ve had to use J-E dictionaries to be certain I’m learning the vocabulary word correctly, which sounds almost certainly wrong.
I’m definitely hitting those mid level blues!
There are 5 steps to make a smoother transition:
1. Have a strong base. For reference, you must know everything upto Tae Kim Advanced lesson 1 である.
2. For the first 30 cards, print the English as well as Japanese definitions. Yeah. Print them. Or keep them so that you can see them side by side.
3. Look at English meaning of the word. Now look at Japanese definition. Analyze the definition. How does the grammar connect to the words? MAKE THE JAPANESE DEFINITION FIT THE ENGLISH MEANING. Do this again and again. After 30 cards you should get a hang of this. This post illustrates the analysis part:
4. For the next 30 cards, look at Japanese definition first and try to come up with your own English word. Then compare it with the English meaning provided. Do this again and again.
Note: You should try to stop translating Japanese to English after you cross the 60 card mark.
5. You should be all set now. Keep in mind that this is not an easy task. Some sentences are abstract. Imagining a situation where the sentence may be spoken might help a bit. After 100 cards, you should probably get a hang of stuff.
I was rather hoping that having completed the beginner deck (twice) I would have all the grammatical understanding I needed to attempt the intermediate? Especially as the intermediate builds from the grammar and vocab found in the beginner deck?
I have had to resort to using the J-E dictionary but will force myself to put an end to that after cards 50-60.
Thanks for your advice and support, much appreciated!
To be clear, the Beginner deck does cover everything you need to know to get into Intermediate. No outside materials are required to proceed. However, some people find it helpful to review additional grammar resources if they’re still struggling. This is especially true for folks who “power-leveled” through Beginner, because it can take time and multiple reviews for understanding of those basic grammar points to really set in.
That said, a couple of things to keep in mind:
-It takes time to get used to J-J. Different people acclimate at different rates, so don’t feel bad if you can’t make the switch cold turkey. It’s OK to gradually reduce your English lookup rate over time as you get more and more confident in your ability to grasp J-J definitions.
-Try and distance yourself from the need to think of an English word that matches the Japanese word you’re trying to understand. In many cases there simply isn’t one. You can use techniques like Google Image Search to help prop up your up your understanding if you’re having a hard time. Active immersion will help a lot with this as well.
-You won’t get everything the first time you see it. Sometimes you just need to keep moving forward and let the review cycle work its magic. It’s not uncommon to have an “ah ha” moment the 3rd,4th,5th (etc) time you see a card, and suddenly have it click when previously it didn’t make sense.
You can do this. Good luck! =)
Thanks for the words of encouragement my friend. I’m about 300 deep now and although my english look up rate has dwindled, there are some words I simply cannot grasp, no matter how hard I try. Also I’m still finding I’m having to re-look up many of the words in the definitions.
It sure is a slow process but I guess nothing ventured nothing gained. I really hope that by 500 I no longer have to see another English word!
Anyone else have a serious struggle with the transition? I don’t wanna feel like the only one haha.
Yes. I found it incredibly tough. This is by no means an unusual experience. Stick at it. It does come together.
Pretty much everyone goes through the exact same thing. It feels a bit like hitting a brick wall, but then it gets gradually better until you start wondering why there was ever a problem.
That’s really all I need to hear haha. I don’t know why I didn’t use it sooner but the “review forgotten cards” option really helped.
I am doing the Expert Deck, and even then once in a while I look up the English definition of a word to help me understand the sentence as a whole better. I find that it can also help with connecting it to the Japanese definitions on the cards. This is especially true for abstract words such as 都合 or maybe 具合。I definitely had to look up the definition of those words in English before I actually understood what the Japanese definition was trying to portray.
I’m on my second serious attempt at Japanese. This time around, I have around 2300 cards started in iknow.jp, about 900 kanji learned on skritter, and thousands of hours of immersion under my belt. So I considered myself an intermediate, but things just weren’t clicking for me. My comprehension was still very low, even when I knew all the words in something I was reading.
There are a number of problems with iknow which only become obvious after one has gotten about 2000 cards in. I won’t go into details unless people are curious, but I’d been thinking for a while I’d be better off using anki, also, I really wanted to go J-J. What I didn’t want to do was struggle through making cards myself. I’d much prefer to use my non-review time actually doing Japanese. So finding this deck was a godsend. After reading through the description and comments, I decided that my Japanese would be strong enough to tackle this deck, despite not having done JALUP Beginner.
I knew the transition to J-J was going to be difficult, however, after doing about 80 cards at a mind-numbingly slow pace, failing things over and over and over and over again, I began to think there were serious gaps in my knowledge which this deck assumed (since it was intended to build on JALUP beginner). I ended up looking things up in a J-E dictionary far too often, and even so I often still could not understand the sentences and definitions.
So, just a little over a month ago, I purchased and began working through the beginner deck. I breezed through the first 400 or 500 cards, but the second half was a goldmine of unfamiliar grammar points and usages for me. I finished my last beginner card today. I’ve already seen great gains in my reading and listening comprehension.
Since I had some down time tonight, I went ahead and began adding new cards from this intermediate deck and it was much more comfortable. I am 100% certain I can manage this deck now. I don’t know if I’ll keep up the quite rapid pace at which I flew through JALUP beginner, but I should still be able to make quick progress.
So my advice to anyone who has an intermediate vocabulary but hasn’t done JALUP beginner: just do it. Since you’ll know all the vocabulary, you’ll be able to power-level through it rapidly, and it can only help cement your knowledge. Your experience with the intermediate deck will then go so much more smoothly.
Adam, thanks so much for making these decks. I’m loving them.
Realizing recently that this deck was front-loaded with some of the most ambigious and hard to nail down words (状態, 事柄, 事態, 状況) because they show up so often in every other definition. Dunno a way to improve this, but I can only say that later words (after about the first 500) seem much less vague. Some of this is probably just getting used to J-J definitions, but I think much can be attributed to the words themselves. So power-through.
those are the ones that mess with me and all I know is that they all basically have the same definition, just not sure what exactly they mean.
First thing I’d recommend is not try and one for one the words with English. Literally an instinct, something like a ‘women’s intuition’ is more than enough to hit ‘good’ on these cards. They’ll be cemented over the months and years of reading and listening. The idea is not to learn abstract terms like that in your Anki deck, but to get enough of a feeling to guide you in native media. These more complicated definitions will takes years to refine, so honestly, the best strategy is to not think about it. Exposing yourself to these words without any conscious thought is more than enough. Language learning is almost entirely an automatic process, you merely need to expose yourself to the information. Give your brain some credit!
You shouldn’t worry too much about these words for now beyond the vague understanding that you already have. You probably understand that they all represent something like state/situation and that’s good enough. The definition will not teach you how and when to use each of them. You will learn this from seeing them used repeatedly in context.
Totally agree with James and Jesper. Power through these and don’t worry about having anything but the vaguest sense of what they mean, it definitely gets easier afterwards. There is a front-load of these extremely abstract words, and only time and exposure will nail down their meanings.
One thing I’ve done, because I kept confusing the readings of some of these, was whenever I marked one wrong for it’s reading, I’d go make a card for it in my person deck that just quizzed me on the reading of it. Was very helpful.
Just checking in to say I completed the Intermediate 1000 today–やった！It took me longer than expected, mainly because a) I was concentrating on finishing RTK for the first several months, and b) I got held up during a period where my deck somehow changed the order of the new cards, defeating the one-new-thing-per-card design. But I can wholeheartedly endorse this package for anyone on the fence. Just do it!
次：Advanced 1000 へ行こうよ！
That’s a fantastic accomplishment. おめでとう！(^^)
Just think, now you have 2000 sentences under your arsenal, that’s level 20! What media do you view/listen to?
いいえ、まだまだです！ I’ve been watching 純と愛 (the NHK 朝ドラ from a couple years back) every day, plus a livestream of the early morning news from Tokyo (and/or various variety shows & documentaries from the reddit r/jtv group), and reading よつばと!, plus watching a variety of old 時代劇 movies & anime (although I confess I haven’t forced myself to give up subtitles on those yet–I tend to get lost with scifi terms, archaic language and names).
あら！ I should also mention the other thing that’s been a huge help–once a week I do 会話練習 with a native Japanese speaker who wants to improve her English (we do a half hour Japanese, then a half hour English, and offer suggestions to each other for improvement). Sometimes it’s painful, but being forced to make conversation for a half hour is a big stimulus to improvement. (Also: it has helped me develop better workarounds for when I don’t know a particular word, e.g., describing something I don’t know using 事、物、状態、etc.)
Well done, pay off is approaching!
Congrats Ian! And good luck with advanced.
おかげさまで、 thanks for your great work on these decks！
I’m currently trying the 50 cards sample, and I find that it’s wayyyyy easier than I thought J-J cards were. Is it because it’s the first 50 cards, and it does get harder after a while, or just that you have done such a great work of easing into the J-J world ? As soon as I get my summer job paycheck, I’m going to purchase the whole deck :D
It’s actually the opposite. J-J is at its most difficult during the first few hundred cards, and gets continually easier the more you do it. However, I personally think Adam did such a great job with this deck that it makes the transition dramatically less painful =)
It depends a bit on what knowledge you are coming into the deck with. As Matt said, most people find the beginning most difficult, as you slowly get used to it and build up the required vocabulary. But hey, if you are able to get through the beginning with ease, more power to you!
Do people use a grammar textbook as a companion while going through this deck? I found Tae Kim’s guide essential during beginner, but realised ive never heard anyone refer to using an intermediate grammar book here.
Intermediate has more focus on vocabulary. Beginner builds a pretty solid foundation of grammar so intermediate doesn’t introduce that much new grammar stuff. I kept referring to Tae Kim’s guide during Intermediate, but way less than for Beginner.
Sweet as! I’ll keep doing what I’m doing then. Ta.
Hey Adam. I really do appreciate all the hard work and effort your team does.
My question is that everyone has their own goals for language learning. My goal in Japanese is to be reading books and understanding them fluently and not necessarily speaking. If I do all of your sentences packs + all the other necessary steps and reading appropriate level books like crazy, with this help me achieve my goal? Do you have any suggestions for someone who just wants to read?
I’m not Adam and I’m sure Adam will come flying in shortly to answer, however I would like to give my input as a learner focusing on reading.
Put a little harshly: All Jalup decks will teach you is reading. The cards are all Q: Sentence, A: Definition of unknown, which means that at the very least you will be reading tons of sentences just by doing Anki every day. The beginner deck also has audio, which is nice, but you can do the cards without listening to the audio and from Intermediate and on there is no audio, which makes the cards even more reading focused.
That’s not to say Jalup isn’t good if you focus on something besides reading. Reading you cards out loud help you start speaking for instance. However if your focus is elsewhere that focus will mostly come from things you do besides Jalup. With reading you will of course also need to do things besides the Jalup decks. As you mention yourself read appropriate level books like crazy.
Good luck with achieving your goal! :) 頑張って!
Yes, absolutely. That’s what the decks are there for!
If you are only focusing on reading, you don’t need to read the cards out loud, and you can spend more time on reading manga/books and less time on watching TV.
Silwing has some great advice above as well.
Wow, it took me 2 hours to read these comments, but I am grateful for it. I tip my hat off to all of you for all the input that is available here. Thank you.
I am 350 cards away from starting JJ. I am studying 15 cards a day of JE and could be going faster, but I like the slow and steady approach. I will attempt the same pace with JJ and anticipate that it will take at least 50% longer to get through the same amount of cards a day. 100% longer would be a little painful, but I think I could still handle that with a few adjustments to my study schedule. It seems at every stage of my Japanese studies I have to sacrifice something. I have one last thing I can sacrifice, a grammar deck I built from Rita M. Lampkin’s Essentials of Japanese Grammar. It has a lot of J to English in it. so it is probably best to let it go once I begin my JJ adventure. I am also considering abandoning my minor in Japanese because until the 400 level classes it will all be JE and I will be well into my JJ before even the end of this semester and I am taking 100 level classes. Also the director of the Japanese program didn’t seem to be very welcoming to the idea of me jumping to the 400 level next Fall and that is incredibly demoralizing considering the 400 level is at the stage I will be ready for in just 3 short weeks… Any ways my ramblings is over. Thanks in advanced for sharing any similar experiences or for any input you might have in whether it is better to drop the minor or not.
I just completed the first 100 JJ cards yesturday. Some of the definitions made me want to pull my hair out, but really, just a handful. Most of them were understandable. I did end up looking up the difficult ones in the J-E PDF, but now that I am past the first 100, I don’t have this option and it doesn’t seem like I should worry too much. I spent a little too long on one definition today. If only I would have pushed past it instead of lingering on it for as long as I did because it was used in another definition right after it with contrasting similar definitions that made it “click” what it meant. I guess the best advice I could give is don’t spend more than a minute on a card and less if you can help it because it starts to eat up a lot of time, you know doubting your understanding or staring at the definition while tearing your hair out.
As far as the above comment is concerned, I decided to drop the minor, and focus on immersion instead of forced conversations every morning. Forced conversation equals terrible neurosis on my part, nerves and what-not. But that isn’t really the reason. If something doesn’t just fall into place, sometimes it isn’t worth pushing for and I want to graduate sooner than later so yeah.
I’m not finished with this deck yet (I restarted it after reaching 875 cards in) but I think I have reaped enough rewards from it to talk about them. What are the rewards you ask? These are the contents of my review!
First, I really have gotten used to Japanese definitions. They aren’t scary anymore. This first reward is really the overarching reward that allows me to talk about the other rewards. That is to say the other rewards follow from my no longer being scared of Japanese definitions, allowing me to approach them more confidently/with less doubt.
Second, now I can look up definitions of words not covered in the Jalup series and many times I can make out, if not the entire definition (which actually happens and feels amazing!), at least part of the definition which allows me to get an idea of the word.
Third, now, because of One and Two, I no longer need to be afraid of creating my own sentences, especially if I am not attached to the meaning of the sentence that likely pertains to the sentence I came across in immersion. I can just choose the definition I understand the most, choose its example sentence instead of the immersion sentence and branch from there.
So these three things are what I have gained from Jalup Intermediate and I now completely understand why this deck is so prized by so many of the members of the Jalup community. I really do feel like I can confidently start my own immersive journey from here on out without even needing to complete the entire Jalup series. (I’m not going to not complete them because this is an awesome series, but the point is that Jalup Intermediate delivers what it says it delivers: a true transition into mono-lingual learning that makes it much easier to begin your immersive journey.)
I literally just finished this deck (YAY) so I’ll make a quick review.
This deck probably took me 2.5 to 3 months. The first month, I went through about 300 cards and then I rage quit, after falling behind on reviews and having an awful retention rate. I then took about 1.5 months to go through everything again from the beginning.
This deck will push your limits. At the beginning I was getting headaches, having trouble reviewing and understanding definitions, and couldn’t remember readings for the life of me. This is HARD. I would not rush the first 100-300 cards just because of how difficult it is. The turning point for me, like many others, was around 700-800 cards in. Things get easier, and while I had trouble with cards 850-950, it wasn’t as bad as it was in the beginning.
By the end you will have the tools you need to make your own J-J cards. I’ve been making my own cards recently and it’s amazing how much I can understand and what vocab I’m able to learn now J-J. It’s still hard, but not headache-inducing with endless and/or circular branches.
My personal tips:
* Add more definitions to cards when needed. Sometimes I have trouble with a vocab word in multiple cards, so I’ll copy that problematic definition into all the cards it appears in. Helps avoid spending too much time cross-referencing definitions.
* If you’re having a lot of trouble with a definition (or want to check your understanding), look up the word on http://www.sanseido.net/. The definitions are completely different than the modified Goo ones Adam is using, which gives you another chance at understanding the word.
* Read cards aloud. Just do it.
* Don’t procrastinate on reviews, do them early in the day!
Enjoy! I’m off to my next quest, Advanced :)
Awesome job pushing through this. Doing the Intermediate deck was probably the single biggest push my japanese has ever gotten at one time. Keep up the hard work!
Congrats on getting through it and keep kicking ass!
After having tried those 50 test cards, all I want is the full pack of the ultimate intermeduate deck. The problem is that I am only 15 years old and have no paypal whatsoever. Might it be possible to find an alternative payment option? Like paying the price straight to your bank account or something?
Sry for the bad English
You can also pay by credit card for the decks. What most younger learners have done on Jalup is convince their parents that they really want to learn Japanese and how it important it is to their lives. Then they ask to use their parent’s credit card for the purchase.
thank you very much for your quick answer. :D I will convince my parents and then buy the decks. So to purchase with credit card, should I send you an e-mail or how do I do that?
Just click on the blue Buy Now button on this page. It will take you to the PayPal page, but at the bottom it will say (Pay with Debit or Credit Card). Once you click there, you just enter your credit card information like a normal transaction.
Thank you very much :D
Hi Adam, I have a few questions about Jalup Intermediate.
1. Does it cover all (or at least most) of the JLPT N3 grammar?
2. I’m currently working though WaniKani. Is it bad to do J-E and J-J at the same time? Should I choose to only focus on one?
1. Check out this post for my comparison of the decks here to JLPT material (as well as the comment section for other people’s experience).
2. That’s a tough question. Usually yes, doing J-E and J-J at the same time defeats the purpose of J-J. However, Wanikani’s focus is on kanji (though I know it includes vocab), and there are plenty of people who do an E-J kanji deck (like RTK or Kanji Kingdom) at the same time as J-J.
If anyone here on the site has done Wanikani at the same time as J-J, please leave a reply!
I’ve been wondering about this, myself. If I’m already going through the modified RTK deck, would going through WaniKani be pretty much the same thing that I’m already doing? I’m just dreading learning all those readings without the help of mnemonics. =_=
Speaking from a fellow mnemonic lover, now that the jalup app has a note field, I make my own mnemonic for just about every card.
I used both RTK and WaniKani for a while, but eventually dropped the latter; they’re similar enough. I did copy some WaniKani mnemonics over to Anki, but I find mnemonics aren’t as important for learning to read as for learning to write–which isn’t part of WaniKani anyway.
I love the Jalup series and I fully intend to take it all the way, but I’m massively stuck at about 150-250 on Intermediate. The J-J definitions aren’t too bad, the problem is that the readings will. not. stick. Words like 容器、重要、空間、発端、and 要求 have been lapsing pretty much constantly for the last two months. I can look back at them five minutes later and already have forgotten their readings.
The way I see it, I have three options: go slow and really hammer them in, go fast and hope they start coming up in other sentences, and immersion. Unfortunately when I go slow, I still don’t remember them. When I go fast, I don’t remember them *and* I have a huge pile of reviews every day for other words that I don’t remember. I am immersing but these words don’t seem to come up in anything I read or watch. I’m wondering if my material (mostly manga, some anime and a little bit of light novels) is deficient somehow.
So what should I do? And do you know what kind of immersion material Intermediate 150-250 draws its vocabulary from? (News/manga/novels/nonfiction/dictionaries etc.)
Thanks very much for your help!
I’d say it’s better to just move forward than try to slow yourself down. Especially if it is more of an issue with pronunciation than it is of meaning.
I know it can feel like “if I don’t get it now, things will snowball out of control” but sometimes readings of certain words just take more time to stick than others. What happens later on is you start learning words with similar kanji compounds, which helps the earlier words start to stick better.
The words from the first 150-250 words in Jalup Intermediate are pretty much general vocabulary that you’d find in general manga, anime, novels, etc.
Good to hear, that has basically how I have been handling my cards as well. If I know what the word means and how it is being used I usually pass it. If it starts getting to 1-2 months out and I still don’t remember how to say it I might X it so I see it more often, but not being super strict.
I have experienced 100% what you are describing. As you get to know similar kanji compounds you get to know the reading better and old ones suddenly click.
@Harry – One thing that does help me stick the pronunciation specifically is coming up with some mental mnemonic. Sometimes one doesn’t come naturally or I forget it. But when it sticks its amazing how fast I remember the word and pronunciation. An example is 信じて. I once worked with a guy Shinji that seemed reliable. So now I think about him whenever I see the word. Once you remember the word with mnemonic once or twice the mnemonic drops away and you pretty much just remember the word.
Also you are in the hardest spot there is in Jalup in my mind. Getting through the first 250, maybe even 750 j-j cards is the toughest. Once you come out the other side it starts feeling way easier. I am at 750 in advanced now and advance just feels so so much easier than intermediate. I wondered if it was just easier definitions but the reality I think is I am just used to reading Japanese definitions and feel comfortable with a little ambiguity. 頑張って
Thank you both so much for your advice! I can imagine that old readings come more easily once you have a chance to spot the patterns. @laddr, I’ve found that mnemonics do help if you find one that sticks, so I’ll try doing that more for the extra-tricky ones.
I’ve also taken some advice I saw further up the thread and made a separate Anki deck for readings. If I can’t remember a reading, then I copy the compound in that deck (compound on the front, furigana on the back). I don’t think about meaning or grammar at all with those cards, and because there’s no sentence they’re much quicker to review (6s on average) and to cram forgotten cards. It seems to help, but I’ve only been doing it a few days. I’ll keep you updated!
Jalup Android, Intermediate JI98 – there is no brach on the last word (超)
Thank you. Going forward, it is easier for me to have incorrect card links reported to me by e-mail. I keep a running list as I get reports from people and release periodic updates on them.
Question for Adam or anyone that has completed this deck or higher:
In the intro for the beginner deck, Adam said he focused on bare bones vocab, only introducing the number “one” instead of all numbers, for example. Do we eventually fill in the gaps in vocab with the later decks? I’ve been looking into the Tango Vocab decks (similar to the Core6k/10k) and I wanted to ask if the vocab decks plus Jalup would be overkill or would they be a good supplement?
Any info would be appreciated! (Also I have purchased Jalup maximum, so I will eventually be seeing all the Jalup cards, if that makes any difference.)
Yes the later decks fill in the number gap and other gaps as well. In my opinion the vocab decks on top of jalup is overkill. If you have that kind of bandwidth just do more jalup. Some people do both though.
I’m wondering at what point in the intermediate deck should I start sentence mining/looking up words using Japanese definitions. Or, does that come later on, like while I’m doing the advanced decks?
You can look up words using Japanese definitions whenever you want, but for creating your own J-J cards, I usually recommend waiting till at least Expert. Some people start earlier, others wait till they finish the final deck (Champion). But the whole point of the Jalup decks is to save you the frustration from having to do sentence mining yourself :)
But if there is some manga you are dying to use a J-J dictionary with, don’t let this advice stop you.
Thank you for your fast response,
I have started using Jalup beginner and I already feel like I have learned so much. It also is much more enjoyable than reading a grammar book. I’m very glad you decided to create these decks (and the website). Thanks again