What do you think of JALUP?

Hi everyone ! :smile:

I am interested in JALUP https://japaneselevelup.com/, it seems a very cool tool for learning japanese easily.

But, it is quite expensive, and I would like to have some advice on it. I saw a few topics on the forum, but they are a bit old…

So, have you tried Jalup ? What are the pros and cons ? Would you recommend it ?

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Well, I haven’t used any of their paid content, but the Jalup approach (especially how to make J-J anki cards) has really helped me reach N1. In particular, making the cards has been a huge help, so I see no reason going for premade stuff :sweat_smile:

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JALUP beginner deck is great. It was good for review, includes n+1 cards, taught me some phrases. Cards have native audio.
Since it was my first J-J deck, I had to go through 1500 cards (Intermediate, Advanced), before I could start creating my own J-J deck for my favourite novel. I finished Jalup Expert, and that’s it. I thought that (Hero, Master) generic decks are not useful for me anymore, and I had to create my own deck, since I still couldn’t read native materials, hundreds of words were missing from my vocab (mostly from JLPT1 and above).

If you want to read Japanese, I don’t recommend JALUP. It teaches you how to read Japanese monolingual dictionary. And it does that really well. I was struggling for years how to read monolingual dictionary, and with the help of these decks and lots of free time, after three months I can read shorter definitions, I can figure out how to simplify phrases and make my own J-J deck. The decks were useful for me, but I didn’t have high expectations.

JALUP Intermediate provides Japanese definitions for unknown vocab, only the Beginner deck has English translation. I think the definitions in deck are too concise, online free dictionaries ( dictionary.infoseek.ne.jp, weblio.jp, ejje.weblio.jp ) are simply better. But I couldn’t read online dictionaries before, it was too big step for me. JALUP deck is a stepping stone, not a complete package to learn Japanese.

It claims it teaches grammar, but forget about that. I’ve the DOJG deck for Anki (with 600 cards), if you’re looking for replacement with audio, JALUP is not an alternative. DOJG deck:

JALUP puzzle approach can cause headache, the explanations are not always clear enough. I had to lookup definitions in other online dictionaries, I had to rely on other grammar resources. ( More advanced learners may have easier time. ) The following pattern can turn into nightmare for intermediate cards : D You spend more time figuring out the meaning of the sentence, you could spend that time to learn Japanese

How is Glossika different (imho). It takes another approach, English translations are provided. It’s more like AJATT, you don’t learn grammar (by grammar rules), you don’t learn vocab (by definitions), you repeat simple sentences for 5 days straight, until it becomes second nature. It’s called the mastery system. Vocab is ordered by difficulty, you see one or two new grammar, word in each card. N+1 cards are different here, and better than JALUP. They created a group of sentences ( 5 sentences per group ), each of them are related somehow ( e.g. they’ve the same grammar rule, but it doesn’t tell you which one, you need to recognize the pattern XD ).
Moreover, it not only introduces new patterns, but also keeps repeating them. I learned something in the first group of sentences, and later, in the fifth group of sentences the same words come up, it reinforces the learned vocabulary. This reinforcement is missing from JALUP deck.

I wish JALUP had these conversation (question-answer) cards. Because Glossika have many of these:
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Many of these improvements won’t be part of JALUP. I may give it a second chance later, but it won’t replace traditional courses, textbooks for $300.

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Wow ! Thank you for the detailled answer ! Do you think you would have learned “better” with other tools than the jalup decks ?

The system of Glossika makes me think of how Minna no nihongo is made, with only example sentences. I feel like I would be lost without having the rule written somewhere :sweat_smile:, I guess it depends on how people like to learn.

I’ve been reading the jalup website and could not find any information about the free levels. Which levels are those and what do they have? Kanji? Grammar? Exercises?

Maybe the jalup method is good but they seem to make potential users jump through hoops just to find such basic information. Doesn’t really inspire my confidence.

From reddit post

Instead of a subscription, you buy the decks for a one time fee. Each “deck” is separated into “packs.” You can choose to buy the deck as a whole, or buy it in increments in packs. When signing up you get the entire Kana Conqueror deck for free, as well as the first deck pack for Kanji Kingdom, Jalup Beginner and Jalup Intermediate.

You get a preview access for RTK-like deck, the Beginner (E-J) and Intermediate (J-J) decks when you install the app. Last time I checked, there were no grammar drills or exercises. Unlike the old Anki decks, the words are cross linked in the app. You can see where you’ve learned the word before in previous decks.

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I know that they reorganized the site a few times, so I can’t really help you. As @ecchihon said, there was some free stuff and it was easy to find at the time. But I never really used their decks. What was more important for me was the posts explaining how to make J-J cards (there was and probably still is a series of posts on that).
Also, I participated in a few of their monthly reading challenges, but those haven’t been around in a while (I think; I check the site maybe once a year these days)

Yeah, if I have to go to reddit to find information about your app, you’re not getting my money.

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I had never heard of this. I just checked it out, and went through the tutorial with the intermediate cards. It’s a fascinating idea. I kind of expected a paywall when I finished the tutorial, but it even let me do reviews and add cards.

Does anyone know how far it lets you go for free?

I could learn all the intermediate cards (100 cards) came free with the app, then I’d to buy the rest of the intermediate deck (thousand cards for each level).

Thanks! I think I’m going to go through them to see if I still like it. I wouldn’t bother if it was only 10 cards.