Ever feel lost on what a sentence means from Jalup Beginner? I purposely made it challenging by leaving out all translations, and a lot of thought went into this process. But when you are stuck, you’re stuck and some people don’t like the unsettling feeling of not understanding something 100%, yet still moving forward. So they either ask someone for a translation, or they throw it into Google Translate.
I’ve gotten many “Adam! What does this sentence mean?!” emails over the years. I usually respond with “what do you think it means?” and 9 out of 10 times the person is correct. I don’t like just giving out translations. Learning how to piece together a Japanese sentence is essential and too many resources rob you of that experience by giving you an English translation.
It has been a long-term dilemma for me as to what to do. Do I continually press my beginner sentence philosophy? Or do I give in to the people that want answers now? How about both? That is what this new highly experimental product is going to try to do.
Who Did What To Whom (WDWTW)?
Learning Japanese sentences as a beginner is mainly tough because of the different sentence structure found in Japanese sentences vs. English sentences. The longer the sentence and the more moving parts it has, the worse it gets. This leads to the “I understand all the words but not the sentence” phenomenon.
Answering the question of “who did what to whom?” is at the center of confusion. My plan is to answer that without English translations. How? With Japanese that is given English structure and occasional English booster words. Consider them like training wheels.
Original Japanese sentences in Jalup Beginner
Who Did What To Whom Restructuring
The point is to read them like you can in English, without English. Another example:
Original Japanese sentences in Jalup Beginner
Who Did What To Whom Sentences
Is this a good idea?
The greatest thing I’ve learned from Jalup is that people study Japanese in very different ways. I’ve talked with people that were spending way too much time seeking out English translations. At the very least I thought I could give them the Japanese they already know and keep the English to an absolute minimal. This was the best middle-ground I could find.
You might be thinking “won’t this give me bad habits since it is not real Japanese sentence structure?” I don’t think so, because all your learning and reviews are the actual sentences. This is just a one-time quick peek to understand troubling sentences. I believe constantly looking at English translations will give you much worse habits. Kanji Kingdom created English sentences out of Japanese kanji in a similar Japanese-English collaboration without any problems.
However, I could be completely wrong about this approach, which is why I mention that this is experimental. I only created stage 1 and am not yet committed to all 1,000 cards. If people find this useful, support and buy it, I will absolutely continue through the rest of the 1,000 cards. If it sounded like a good idea in my head, but turns out to be useless in practice, I’ll stop, and no hard feelings.
This definitely isn’t and shouldn’t be for everyone.
How to use this?
This is a companion guide. To make use out of it, you need to have purchased Jalup Beginner Stage 1. It is meant to be a reference when you have trouble organizing a sentence in your head, and to prevent you from searching for an English translation.
You could add these as an extra field to your current Jalup Beginner cards. I’m not sure if I recommend this, as this would cause over-reliance. But at this point, if you are interested in trying this, you also have to experiment with how you want to use it.
What’s inside Stage 1?
- PDF File with Jalup Beginner Stage 1 restructured sentences
- Excel File with Jalup Beginner Stage 1 restructured sentences
- Word File with Jalup Beginner Stage 1 restructured sentences
The first stage of WDWTW does not have 250 sentences, like Jalup Beginner Stage 1 does. This is because there are a lot of simple cards in Stage 1 (especially in the beginning) that don’t need restructuring. The focus is on sentences where there is a person and an action. For this first stage, there are probably around 125 restructured sentences. For later stages, this will increase significantly.
● Buy WDWTW : Stage 1 – $5.99
Didn’t like it? Send an e-mail within 30 days after purchasing and ask for a 100% refund.
Founder of Jalup. iOS Software Engineer. Former attorney, translator, and interpreter. Still watching 月曜から夜ふかし weekly since 2013.