You’ve Finished Jalup – Now What?
7,000 sentence cards. You’ve done it. You made it to the finish line. First – you rock. This is not an easy task. If you made it this far, not only are you super dedicated, but your Japanese skill should be on fire.
But what’s next?
1. Decide how you want to continue
There is no must-do from here on out. By this time you should know how you like to study and what you want. But this is a great place to reflect.
Some people are happy with their high skill, and don’t want to continue with flash cards and the “learning” route. Instead, they focus more on continuing immersion, and just an upkeep of reviews. They go for a more natural style. They look up words when they feel like it, but the focus is 100% on just enjoying real Japanese.
Other people want to continue the flash card route that was set up for them in Jalup, and do everything they have been doing all along.
Whichever you choose, remember: even if you stop adding new flash cards, please continue reviewing them at least for the near future. The time commitment will grow increasingly lower as the rewards go increasingly higher.
2. Continuing flash cards
If you’ve made it to 7,000, there is a good chance you want to go to 10,000+. This is a magic number people love. But since everything has been pre-made up until now, going off on your own can be confusing.
Luckily, starting your own J-J cards from 7,000 means you already have a ton of experience points, and is much easier than what a beginner would have to do. Jalup has had guides since the beginning on how to create your own J-J cards. There is an entire page of dozens of articles dedicated to solo learning. And the structure really hasn’t changed. You might need to find a new, more recent dictionary or useful app, but all the basics are there.
Since Jalup Master and Champion were all about going through manga and finding new words and grammar, you might want to continue that. Or maybe try something like novels on Kindle Japan, making use of its super convenient built in J-J dictionary. This allows for near instant creation of flash cards from the sentences and definitions found within.
If you are dying for more pre-made J-J cards, you could technically use “The One Deck.” This was the deck I made for myself from 2007-2012 and contains 12,000 cards. While I don’t necessarily recommend this one way or the other, it is important to note that this is not a continuation of the Jalup decks. The One Deck is raw and wild, has duplicate content from Jalup, and is not i+1. People that use it post-Jalup have to filter out the parts they want.
Keep this going. Keep your passive immersion. Keep your active immersion. This is so important for growing your Japanese over time with minimal effort. And it is natural growth.
4. Enjoy Japanese
Remember, you studied Japanese to enjoy it. Not just to reach fluency. Whatever you love, make sure you keep doing. If you can’t get enough anime and manga, then keep doing that.
A lot of people still don’t do shadowing because it can be a combination of hard, boring, and tiring. But make it a habit, and you’ll find it much easier. It becomes second-nature and can even be meditative (taking you away from the rest of the busy world). It is what will continually improve your Japanese for years to come.
Trust me, shadowing is not to be underestimated.
6. Real Conversations
No matter how much immersion and shadowing you do, if you want to be a conversation master, you need to talk to real people. There are skills you develop from real conversations that can only be gained from actually talking to another human being in a non-classroom setting.
Go out and make Japanese friends. Make friends with other non-Japanese that speak Japanese. Travel to Japan. Join local Japanese groups. Get out there and talk, no matter how shy you are.
7. Make it an irreplaceable part of your life
If you’ve come this far, Jalup and studying Japanese has been a daily part of your life. But when you officially stop or change your studying, the most important thing is that Japanese is always a part of you. People get busy. People change dreams. People develop new passions. But always leave room for something Japanese, and it will never leave you.
For those of you have finished Jalup – what did you do after it?
Motivate some soon-to-finish graduates with your sagely advice in the comments section :) I guarantee that a few words of wisdom will mean a lot to them!
Founder of Jalup. iOS Software Engineer. Former attorney, translator, and interpreter. Still watching 月曜から夜ふかし weekly since 2013.
Another excellent post. I agree that shadowing can be meditative. Something cool I’ve discovered about shadowing is that it can also serve as a great “break” between all the other things we need to do to move toward mastery (learning and reviewing cards, reading, active immersion, etc.)–it requires less energy and allows me to recharge a bit. I like to interleave my daily studying routine with a few 2-5 minute shadowing breaks per day. It helps a lot. And yes, shadowing is powerful!
That’s a great point. Since it is a different type of studying, you may be tired of doing X, Y, and Z, but still have the energy left to do something like shadowing.
Seems silly to say this, but I haven’t considered shadowing in such small doses.
I think it’s because when I first heard of shadowing, I was told to do something “active” (e.g. walking) whilst doing it. I’ve also found that when I do shadowing, it takes a few minutes to relax into it… but that could be because I don’t do it often.
I’ll try out this “interleaving” method with other study, fits well with “tomato-timer” study.
Thanks Toddg :)
I hope you find this helpful! :D
Okay, I just finished a 5 minute round of shadowing and noticed that it used to take me longer to relax into it, but just now I was flowing right away (probably a positive result of frequency of practice). I also forgot to mention that I’m the kind of person who paces around when I talk on the phone, and I do the same when I shadow. If I’m at home, I pace around in my bedroom while I shadow. If I’m outside, I walk when I do it. In fact, I do a lot of my studying (adding and reviewing cards, active listening, etc.) up on my feet pacing around. I find it helps keep my energy and concentration levels up–something I’m sensitive to because I’m an old guy. Try pacing around, Gareth. :)
I certainly will try that, with shadowing and reviews, all sounds like sage advice :)
Not sure if you will see this but I just wanted to thank you for the advice.
I didn’t pick up shadowing again until recently but I thought I’d share what really works for me.
I’m going through the “Shadowing Nihongo o Hanasou” recommended by Iaddr and what works the best for me is doing something active, beyond walking.
I’ve found that washing up is the perfect amount of time to do 10-15 mins of shadowing. I know that I’m in tune with it when I automatically start talking when I hear the audio :)
I can totally now understand what you mean about getting into it quicker. If I do it daily, it is almost instant now.
Oh, and noise cancelling headphones are worth their wait in gold for shadowing, glad I invested :)
Adam, thanks so much for this article. I am nearing the end so this is really helpful for me as I start figuring out what my transition plan looks like. I know I will revisit this article a bunch of times as I figure this out.
The one piece of guidance though that I would love to have someone(s) weigh in on is a good pace of adding/creating new cards post Jalup on the march to 10,000+. I get there is no right answer but I would love to hear what worked for people. I think this will happen somewhat naturally as I hit words I want to make cards for but I want to benchmark my pace and see if I am adding too many or too few in the battle for progress.
Other than that my plans for what is next is mostly falling in place.
No problem. Glad I could provide the extra guidance that I hadn’t really summed up till now.
One thing I have seen about card adding pace is that the beginning will definitely be slower. So it will take you some time to see how many cards you can add comfortably. Ex. It might take you an hour to add 5 cards initially. But then later maybe 10 minutes for the same amount.
How much would you say branching is a thing after finishing the 7000? From the few times I dabbled into this I noticed huge differences between being around ~1500 and around ~2500 cards so I imagine this will be even better this high. Can one expect this mostly being “i+1” this far in, or is there another realm of language opening up at first which one has to cover?
Very little is required for normal card adding. However, if you go after the difficult (completely out of your realm) words, that is another story. But even there, it will still be pretty decreased.
Ye, that’s about what I expected but its good to have it reassured :-)
Its still quite a bit away from me but lately I think a lot about this phase. The added power of remembering a self-made card is just to strong to ignore :-D
I have been giving this some more thought. I know there isn’t anything so magical about the 10,000 number but I am just trying to figure out some long term goals. Would you say 10,000 sentence/words and then the kanji (2-3k) are on top of that? Or do you see kanji usually being included in the 10,000 number.
I would say the kanji would be seperate. The benefit of sentence cards isn’t just the unknown word, but seeing it in context and also seeing sentence structures.
That is what I figured, just wanted to be sure. Thanks for the quick response!
As Andrew said – the 10k number that people like doesn’t include the kanji cards.
Adam, are you planning on continuing the series someday?
I won’t say definitely no, but the probability is low. I tried to get support for a continuation several months ago, but there just wasn’t enough.
It’s the problem with creating very high level content. The user base is just too small.
Will you still continue the feature port for the android app?
As far as I’m concerned I would definitely buy upcoming packs although I have already bought the max pack because I find them very useful.
All the features have been ported from iOS, except for Speaking Missions, Goal Setting, and Review Monster. As of right now, I don’t plan on adding these.
That’s sad to hear ?
I would have loved those features but I guess you have much to do currently and I can understand that there was already lot of work in this app
Off topic, but I notice that no update has been released for almost two months. Everything OK?
There’s an iOS update coming out soon that addresses some Dark Mode issues.
But otherwise, I’m pretty happy with most of the current app functionality. Still in consideration of possible future features that I might add.
Will you add the two remaining anki decks into jalup android and iPhone?
Yeah, I had the same question… and also the additional equipments.
Currently there is no plan for that (though it hasn’t been entirely ruled out). This was also included in the fundraiser questionnaire from several months ago that didn’t meet its goal.
*The additional equipment is already available on both apps.