The End of Jalup
See updates following this announcement. See current status.
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.
Hi Adam. I’m somewhat new to Jalup – I purchased Jalup maximum on the iOS app around November of last year. While I am sad to see you write this and to see the Jalup universe be seemingly going away when it’s still so new to me (on card 900 of beginner), obviously you must put your health and happiness first, and so at the same time, I’m very glad for you.
I just wanted to let you know, in my short time using Jalup it’s helped me as much as any resource out there (shoutout to Cure Dolly who was also immensely helpful and also has stopped all content production 😪) and I am sad I didn’t start my Japanese journey earlier so I could have joined this community a while ago.
Your hard work and dedication was obvious from interacting with the app, and I’m sure the legacy of Jalup will live on in some form for a long time thanks to you.
Good luck in your future endeavors, and thanks for everything!
Rather than talking about how I will miss having jalup (although I will), I want to celebrate it. The jalup decks are among the most remarkable learning tools ever, and your thoughtfulness of design and passion of execution shone through (thanks for the heads up so I can buy more :) ). I look forward to hearing of your next endeavor, which I am sure will be great.
Thank you for all the hard work you’ve done! What a great journey it’s been <3
I kinda hope the material stays available for new learners in one form or the other (from hopefully the buyer you find), just because I find it so valuable. Fingers crossed! I think any offers I'd put would be kinda laughable for the value, so here's me just hoping you'll find someone making a decent deal.
I wish you all the best for the future!
I understand all your reasoning for for not wanting to continue. Most language learners get sucked up by flashy resources that require little commitment. This site was always most attractive to the niche of people who would do whatever it takes for fluency. Maybe doing this or that thing might have attracted more attention, but it is what it is.
Regardless, what it was was great. You inspired me and many others. Brought together a great community. I likely would have given up without you, and I couldn’t imagine my life today without Japanese. I still feel honored to have been able to write articles for this site. (Writing articles is surprisingly difficult by the way, I don’t know how you did it all those years, but I guess it’s only natural that you run out of ideas eventually.)
I suppose it’s a shame that when this site is successful, people come, learn to become fluent, and go. Myself included. But that’s as it should be. Hey, most of us like anime. Any good 卒業 scene will get you emotional if the journey was important. I learned a lot more than Japanese along my journey.
Best of luck to everyone! May the lessons we learned here carry us through the next phase. Never stop leveling up.
Have you thought about open sourcing the app if it doesn’t sell? Then at least someone who is passionate about the app could update it.
After such a long break on the blog I thought this may eventually come. Congrats on what you built and sad if at the end it goes away in such a permanent way. I guess I wasn’t expecting such a hard shutdown. I use Anki and jalup app daily still and love many things about the app over Anki. I’m sure I’ll figure out a way to move over to Anki fully though.
Hope it ends in some way other than a hard shutdown. But wish you and all my other jalup learners the best in the future.
I spent some time today trying to figure out how I may go about getting my progress out of the app and into anki. I have the anki decks for the app cards, I have my export from the app but it is very intimidating figuring out what I need to do next.
I really was hoping/expecting a better off ramp if Jalup ever shut down, kind of like how you handled the Jalup NEXT shutdown. I hope you consider/reconsider pointing us a bit more in the right direction Adam, if after 4/25 if this really does shut down, how we can go about getting off the app and onto anki and keeping our progress from the app.
In the meantime I will keep experimenting and let you all know if I come up with something. Thanks for the consideration.
Just wanted to say I followed the instructions Adam linked to up top and it worked! I am 100% in anki now. Best of luck all.
Aww this is sad to hear. I wondered if this would happen, though. I’ve been using the Jalup app daily for about 21 months now and I will definitely reach out to get an Anki version to make the transition to Anki. If anyone knows how we could transfer over our progress please let me know in the replies! I’ll try and figure it out myself too and post back if I find a way to do so.
Jalup is single-handedly the greatest decision I ever made for my Japanese. Now that I’m on the Advanced deck and almost done with Kanji, I’m sad to see it go. I hope someone else picks it up and keeps it running! Otherwise I’ll have to go and save copies of my favorite blog posts too to look back on for motivation. Thank you for everything and best of luck in your future endeavors!
So long, and thanks for all the taiyaki!
With the site/app closing down, do you recommend purchasing the Anki decks and going from there? I’m still at the beginning and have learned so much. thanks for all you’ve done.
The blog on this site was a great source of inspiration and motivation for me on my first few years of learning Japanese. Sorry to see it go but thanks for all the great resources.
I would like to echo this, it would be nice if this information could be accessible even after the site is gone, if that is somehow possible.
Adam, you know how much I love this app and the system, and I will be sad to see it end if that happens.
However, as I said a year ago, it’s understandable, and you put so much love and effort into it for all these years, we can only be thankful that you did.
It’s been a great journey reading your posts and using your anki deck in the early years of my Japanese journey. Thank you for being a part of it and I wish you the best in family life and other dreams.
Is there no way to follow you after everything has been deleted? Like a twitter, instagram, or something? I’m really grateful for all the work you’ve done.
I’m happy you are finding new places for Jalup. I joined to this party when it was officially finishing, but I hope your content (specially decks and blog, as the app’s fate seems sealed) will stay with us for a long time.
Just wanted to say thank you. I think for many of us JALUP genuinely provided the bridge between beginner level and advanced. And although there is still a long way to go after finishing the decks, they, plus the immersion advice, 100% give you the know-how and the tools to study on your own and transition into learning solely from native material. For those who didn’t know where to begin or how to make progress at a good pace, JALUP was a godsend. I definitely would not be where I am had it not been for JALUP.
For those of you who happened to find this site a little late, I can promise that the decks are worth it. Just make sure you immerse a hell of a lot too (I always underestimated how important this was at the beginning, as so many of us do. You’ll go much faster if you don’t make this mistake), and start making your own cards sooner rather than later. Helping you get used to the Japanese definitions is the real gamechanger with JALUP. Once you have that under your belt you will really begin to feel that fluency isn’t a matter of if but when.
On that note, my favorite post on this blog is “Reaching the Japanese Payoff Point”. During my intermediate phase I would read that article again and again when seeking motivation, and the post itself, as well some of the comments attesting to the truth of this seemingly magical payoff, always helped me to keep going. If anybody currently struggling through that intermediate phase happens to read this, I highly recommend reading that post and the comments, and I would also like to add my own voice to those saying that yes, it really does payoff, and one day watching shows and reading books in Japanese really will feel seamless. I still remember how impossible it felt, and how much the doubt gnawed at me and sometimes made me feel like giving up, and the only thing that would comfort me during those times was those assurances that you really can get over that wall. And you can. I promise from the bottom of my gut that you can. Be consistent, do what you can each day, and whether it takes a year and a half, two years, three years, whatever, you do get to the other side. Good luck, and just keep going.
Anyway, I realize I might be shouting into the void with that now, but I never posted here back when I was actively reading this site and going through the JALUP decks, and I do feel like I ought to say something, given how much it helped me. So, one last time, thank you to the many strangers who made up this community and unknowingly helped me a tremendous deal with your comments, and thank you especially Adam, for this site and for the decks. I hope you realize you have helped many, many people achieve something that means a lot to them.
Maybe this gives new ideas. As a customer of this page and regular visitor I would love to see this page stay online to help other language learners. I know different webpages who stay alive through donations. I could see this work on with this webpage, too. There are always people visiting and commenting. Maybe there are enough of them to donate a few dollars a month to cover the server costs for the webpage together with anki sales.
It’s just an idea. I would love jalup to stay online. There are many helpful resources on here. Maybe it would even be possible to find somebody with a server who would be willing to keep the blog online. to reduce costs or something.
I’ve always lurked around this site and haven’t really used the jalup service itself, but I just wanted to say that these blog posts changed my experience with Japanese. I don’t know of I ever would have learned about anki, RTK, tips on how to not have a miserable time, but above all—well needed reassurance. I hope that all these blog posts aren’t lost to time, because they’ve really helped people like me. Thank you for your wise words and collaboration with those in the comments.
I haven’t commented in a LONG time, but want to say THANK YOU for everything! I started learning Japanese 8 years ago – and started JALUP 7 years ago. I just moved back from A 3.5 year stay in Japan, which included 2 years of working a normal office job in the language. I have been amazed about how far I came and a lot of it is due to your hard work on these flash cards, and the motivation your blog brought me.
I now live in the states and continue my career that I kind of fell into in Japan as an electronic parts buyer. I don’t speak Japanese at this job but my life has benefited immensely from deciding to learn Japanese. It brought about new experiences that I’m glad I have.
Just like you, I have to move on with my life and not be as crazy about my studying but, it will still be there.
I am wishing you all the best in life as well as the best with your growing family! Thanks for for everything!
And I am glad you have the strength to officially retire, rather than just go off and disappear without a word. It’s nice to have closure. You didn’t have to do it, but you did.
May you and your family have long, happy and blessed lives.
I’m sad for future generations of Japanese learners: they’ll never experience the power that was JALUP. Your flash cards were so perfectly developed and executed using i+1, stripping the necessary nuts and bolts of grammar and vocabulary from boring textbooks and making the journey fun and exciting instead of a dull, endless, academic chore, the way it felt in my Japanese classes in college. You changed the game even further by adding native pronunciation audio clips to the cards. And then, you completely knocked it out of the park by dreaming up and implementing the awesome card linking feature. Legendary! Then there were your media recommendations, motivational articles-you even answered our questions when we posted them. You worked tirelessly for so long. Your passion for learning and exploring was palpable and contagious.You have earned your place among the great rouge educators who have challenged conventional teaching methods and replaced it with something much more efficient, effective, enjoyable, and valuable. Thank you for everything, Adam–you’ll always be a hero to us.
Wow…all I can say is I’ll never forget my time with Jalup and the community. Learning aside, I got to chat with fun people back in the day line chat was active, and I’ll always remember those times fondly. Good luck with whatever comes next!
Adam, I’m so sorry to hear that Jalup is shutting down, but I feel honored that I got to learn Japanese with you and this wonderful community. I’m glad that you’re doing what’s best for you and your family and that your work will live on in the Nihongo app! I wish you all the best.
As an old fan, I’m really sad about this, although I fully understand. I really hope you will keep the site up in the end! Even now I still go back and re-read some articles here and there, especially the media recommendations, or the “rev up your reading rampage” type of posts when in need of motivation!
Thanks for everything, Adam!
Jalup formed the core of my Japanese learning when I was a high school student fired up about studying Japanese. I graduated college a little more than a year ago, and still remember Jalup very fondly. The principles I learned here nearly a decade ago—the importance of J-J definitions, i+1 flashcards, immersion as a key to robust understanding, and so much more—continue to drive my Japanese journey forward. I loved participating in monthly challenges and goalsetting—as a high school student who knew no Japanese learners or speakers in real life, Jalup was the community I needed to stay not just accountable, but excited and curious about studying Japanese. This community has always been full of not just excellent resources for Japanese learning, but precisely that: community.
I am so grateful for everything this site has been, and my relationship to the Japanese language will be forever shaped by it. Thank you Adam for the special place you have fostered, and thank you to the Jalup community. I will always look back on the time I spent here with fondness and gratitude. さようなら、JALUP!
Wondering if someone here knows of a way to transfer User Notes (not progress) from the app to Anki ?
I am saddened to hear that this site will be shutting down, but I completely understand. The site has been a great resource, and I appreciate the advice you have provided. I don’t think I would be at the level I am at now without it. All the best, Adam!
Is there some way to download an archive of all the articles?
It’s not exactle what you wanted, but the wayback machine has pretty complete archives of the blog content eg: https://web.archive.org/web/20220531192408/https://japaneselevelup.com/blog/
I feel like this will become the sad pivotal point in my character development story..
When I’m facing tough Japanese battles, I will think back about how my mentor-blog one day disappeared and I’m working hard to reach those heights of proficiency I looked up to.
Thanks for everything!
End of the website tomorrow? Or is it being extended to the end of the year?
Refer to newest update at the top :)
I never actually used the Jalup decks/cards (sorry!) but your blog posts provided a lot of insight and motivation to me when I was starting out learning Japanese 4-5 years ago. I haven’t been on here in a while but I was reminded of this site ’cause it was cited in my Communications class textbook lol. Wishing you well on whatever adventures lie ahead of you.
I’ve been a big fan of your work… even if the whole “level” thing was a bit sus. Best of luck to you, Adam.
Has anyone archived the blog posts on the Internet Archive aka Wayback Machine? It would be a shame to lose this wonderful resource.
Hey all, sorry for the radio silence. I promise I’m still hard at work on the Jalup integration with Nihongo. I just posted a quick update on the Nihongo blog: https://blog.nihongo-app.com/quick-update-on-jalup-integration-2/
Very happy to see that even now the site is still up and Adam is even (gasp) working on a solution to the restore bug on iOS 16. I know the site and everything jalup is closing and Adam is moving on, but even seeing this little bit of life left in the project is comforting. Still using the App daily! (Have the Anki decks for backup).
Hi everyone, I stumbled upon wakarukana.com just now, which seems to be down, and reached this post while looking for an alternative. Does anyone know if the site was archived anywhere? Thanks
This makes me happy and motivated to buy more jalup levels on Android. Thanks for sticking around…for now anyway.