Sacrificing Results Now for Results Later
Everyone wants results fast. If you had a choice between seeing those results sooner or later, you know which you would choose. But if you had the choice to have amazing results later at the sacrifice of good results now, which would you choose?
That’s what this website is all about.
Most methods focus on front-loaded learning. You start conversations immediately. You acquire a wide range of vocabulary instantly. You can proudly brag to people that you know Japanese.
There is merit to front-loading your results. It is motivating to feel you can actually use Japanese. With this ability from the early stages, you prove to yourself that learning Japanese actually has value.
But what about the opposite – the back-loaded method?
Why save the results for later?
I don’t hide the fact that Jalup is for serious learners who are thinking long term, and if that’s not you, you probably aren’t going to like it. There’s no get “Japanese rich” scheme here.
With this in mind, focusing on better results later makes the most sense. I’m fully aware that I am the only Japanese course that teaches you only 2 numbers, and one day of the week for several months. Two of the most vital types of vocabulary you need, sacrificed early on. Sacrificed so I can do everything possible to prepare you for Japanese-only, which in the long run will provide you great results.
I do this because I know you are in it for the long game.
If you were learning a sport, you could immediately start matches. You’d be able to show that you can actually play. Or you could save those matches for later, and focus on your form, technique, and the fundamentals of the sport, without much to show.
The upside – The downside
Without early results it is easy to doubt your progress. The biggest complaint I get here is:
I’ve been studying for 6 months. I just had my first conversation and couldn’t understand or say anything I wanted to.
Conversations in the beginning are naturally easy to fail. Combine that with a back-loaded method and things get even worse.
There’s a lot in Japanese that if focused on first, will have higher payouts later. If you’ve been around this site, you know the drill: grammar, extensive listening, Japanese-only. In exchange for immediate conversation skills, you’ll gain much more in understanding skills. This will eventually translate into powerful conversation skills, later.
The patience game
No one likes to hear this, but Japanese is all about patience. If you don’t learn how to be patient, expect swift defeat. With front-loaded learning, while you see faster results early on, those results will plateau. This is when you finally see the long, long road ahead of you. Have you developed the patience to handle such a road? Maybe. But you would have had that patience if you needed it right from the start.
Japanese isn’t a speedy game. Patience wins.
Founder of Jalup. iOS Software Engineer. Former attorney, translator, and interpreter. Still watching 月曜から夜ふかし weekly since 2013.
So, I learned a reasonable amount of beginner vocabulary by listening to japanesepod101.com, which meant I came in to JALUP beginner knowing most of th vocabulary already, but also knowing all the numbers and days of the week
(I still couldn’t have conversations, though).
The thing is…learning those things by themselves from a vocabulary list is SO DULL. “And this week we’re going to learn how to go to a restaurant and order!” Right, yes, but I’m not going to understand most of what’s said to me, so it’s not really a conversation, and memorising a list of food vocabulary is unbelievably boring.
Enter JALUP beginner. Since starting this method I’ve picked up a huge number of words for food without having to sit down with a vocabulary list, and I *actually care about them* because I learned them by reading a book I was enjoying. One of the benefits to JALUP is how much sooner, compared to traditional methods, you can start reading. Now that I’m reading books my enjoyment is up 1000% and my learning speed has increased too. I feel like reading is so important for language learning, especially in japanese, because you’ll never remember the kanji if you don’t read them regularly.
You can blast through JALUP beginner and Kanji Kindgom’s first few parts in a few months, and if you’re picking up some vocab through immersion then it’s not long until you’re far enough into Intermediate to start reading, which is absurdly fast and so worth it.
I suppose I have the benefit of having learned french previously – even when I was very good by traditional method standards I still couldn’t have conversations until I started reading french stories online and actually went to france and fumbled my way through a bunch of conversations with patient french children at the beach. So I know how important reading is (REALLY REALLY IMPORTANT, GUYS, READ BOOKS) and knowing that, despite how awesome it might look/feel to be able to rattle off a bunch of [language] in your oral exams, you still can’t communicate for sh*t outside of that setting.
There’s a big difference between seeing a Japanese word and learning what it means in English, and seeing a Japanese word and learning what it means in Japanese. Obviously you need some kind of foundation to stand on before you can switch to JJ (Jalup Beginner) and yes, it does take a while to get to JJ, but it is worth it.
From my experience JJ is extremely powerful and really helps with going from Japanese to understanding, instead of Japanese to English to understanding. I would much rather learn vocabulary in Japanese.
Yes, I do worry that the methods described here will never work as I’m in the middle of it and haven’t gotten any real payoffs with conversation. It was disappointing going to Japan last month and not being able to speak much more than after my introductory Japanese course. However, there were some cool experiences as well like being able to read a sign written entirely in Kanji that make me hope that the japanese level up method will eventually pay off. I’m sticking with it as I don’t have any opportunities to take classes and hope in 1-2 years I’ll be one of those posting back how great the method is. :) I will go back now to continuing to struggle through new J-J cards.
The thing is, what you need for conversation is vocabulary. Which you don’t really have enough of until, say, the end of JALUP Intermediate.
In the meantime doing shadowing will help, chatting to your furniture or the dog or whatever, and if you really want to get conversation going ASAP you could start listening to japanesepod podcasts *while* doing the JALUP method. That’s how I started and I kept it going for a good while, just because I was enjoying them. There’s no rule that says you can’t combine methods.
Still, my progress is definitely much faster now I’ve switched my focus to native japanese immersion and JALUP cards. Also – if it helps – for the first 200 cards or so of J-J I kept having crises of faith as I grappled with how new and difficult it was and how I felt like I wasn’t learning anything and my japanese wasn’t improving at all…
It does click, though, and the J-J cards come faster and easier, and you stop feeling quite so useless.
2.5 years in and it works with a bigger pay off than I ever thought was possible in that time. Just keep cracking at it!