It’s been almost a year since I’ve written the last post on Jalup. What a long break… but as some of you might have started to suspect, I’ve decided to close down Japanese Level Up.
2 years ago, I initially talked about why I decided to take a break from the blog section of the site. I thought I might get inspiration to write again. But it never came. I had considered applying some of my new “journey to become a programmer” knowledge to learning Japanese, but it never felt right, and I decided to keep that story private.
I had big dreams to grow Jalup. Expansion plans for all aspects of the blog and app. I planned on increasing content across decks, stories, situations, and adding in a whole bunch of cool new features on the app, redesigning the UI, etc. But it just never worked out. From the transition from the original Anki decks to the native Jalup app, my blood, sweat, and tears increased 5x. Unfortunately, growth remained about the same.
Motivation slowly died. Jalup has been around for over 11 years, and I feel like I’ve taken it as far as I can.
Sometimes I hear directly (or indirectly) “You fool! If only you did X!!” Maybe things would have been different. But I’m only human. I make mistakes. I made decisions with the knowledge I had at the time. I made decisions based on what I wanted the site to represent.
On a more personal note: I want to have more time to spend with my son. I want to have more time to spend with my wife. I want to enjoy just having more free time to take whatever new adventures come my way.
Keeping up Jalup, even without any updates throughout the past year, took up too much time and just wasn’t worth it to me anymore.
Sooooo, what’s going to happen?
*** All dates subject to change. Please check updates provided here for any changes. ***
Phase 1 – Possibly Sell or License?
Dates: April 4th to April 25th, 2022
First, I wanted to see if anyone (or organization) was interested in purchasing or licensing Japanese Level Up (or just its intellectual property assets)
This could include:
1. The blog
2. All anki content
3. All audio recordings
4. iOS and Android apps, codebase, git repository, etc.
5. All artwork
6. Anything else I’m forgetting, that is Jalup related
Send me an email with your thoughts, your price, and maybe we can have a chat. I will only entertain this conversation up until 4/25/2022. Serious inquiries/offers only. I may not respond to everyone who emails me about it.
If I decide not to sell, or nothing turns up out of these conversations, then we go to phase 2. If Jalup is sold, you can ignore the rest of this article.
Phase 2 – Transition period
Dates: April 26th to September 1st 2022 (with possible extension to end of year)
1. There will be no more Jalup Blog posts
2. There will be no more updates to Anki or the Jalup app (iOS and Android)
3. Some people still want to purchase the Jalup app, keeping it on an old device, and keep it as long as possible. I won’t discourage this – just be aware of the risks. If you want to purchase the app, and then also receive the Anki decks, that’s fine. Contact me to request this.
4. Selling of the Anki decks here will also continue as normal. Even if Jalup closes down, user purchased content will stay with the user.
What about people who are using the native Jalup app?
The current plan is to keep the apps available on the app store/Google play until September 1st. Possibly until the end of this year. That’s anywhere between 5-8 months from now. After this transition period, the Jalup app will be removed from the app store and Google play. If you plan to continue using it once Jalup closes, it is recommended that you keep a copy of the app on an old, extra device. A device that you don’t plan on updating.
Without maintenance updates, the Jalup app could break at a major OS update, making it partly or totally unusable. The Jalup app currently works from iOS11 to iOS15, and Android 5-12. There are no guarantees for anything after that. There is also a possibility that an update to Android/iOS breaks the app before this transition period ends.
I do not plan on any further updates to the apps during the transition period, even if it stops working due the previous mentioned changes. So please plan early.
Once phase 2 begins, anyone who has purchased the Jalup app on iOS or Android can email me with their purchase receipt to receive a free Anki version of the app. This will allow anyone who doesn’t want to keep it on a device a way to continue using the content for the very long term. There is probably a way to convert progress from Jalup to Anki (so if someone wants to create that guide, they can go ahead).
Phase 3 – The end
Date: September 1st, 2022 (with possible extension to the end of the year)
1. Jalup, the site will be deleted, and all data removed.
2. Jalup, the apps will be removed from the app store.
3. The Jalup email address will be disabled.
4. The current discord channel… I’m leaving up to the moderators to decide what they want to do with the channel. They were the ones who created it, so I’m leaving it up to their decision. Jalup (which won’t exist) will no longer officially be affiliated with it. I will no longer be participating in it.
Apologies and Gratitude
I apologize to anyone who has depended on Jalup, and is in the middle of their Japanese journey. There is still the lengthy transition period, so you can still use the native apps on your devices (especially if you keep it around on an older device), and you will have access to the Anki decks. But I know it isn’t a great feeling to have bought/used a service for a long time to find out it is closing down. I am very sorry for this.
I also want to take the time to thank everyone who has ever visited Jalup over the past 11 years. Too many people to name individually, but without all of you that have contributed along the way, Jalup would never have come this far. It’s been an absolute honor working with you all! I also want thank my wife Yuki, the “voice” of Jalup. Her endless support really helped make Jalup possible.
I wish everyone the best of luck with learning Japanese, and I hope every last one of you achieves your dreams of fluency!
Founder of Jalup. iOS Software Engineer. Former attorney, translator, and interpreter. Still watching 月曜から夜ふかし weekly since 2013.