There is a Japanese app/ anki deck called “jalup” which looks cool. It’s $250 for a lot of cool stuff. https://japaneselevelup.com/item-store/ and I am trying to decide if it is a good deal. Jalup has 6250 grammar sentences, and 2300 RTK (kanji to English, doesn’t include a reading like wanikani)
If any one here has done Jalup let me know how it is.
Thanks for the help!
Haven’t tried it, but doesn’t seem like a very good deal. There are already a ton of free mid-quality Japanese apps and Anki decks you can get for free. Doesn’t seem like Jalup has much over those.
tl;dr: I don’t own the decks, but I’ve followed his blog for years. I think the first 100 cards of each 1,000 card deck are free, so you can try them out and see if you like the style. Whether it’s worth the full price to you sort of depends on where you are in your learning journey and what other resources you are using to study.
IMO his decks do some really cool things:
- The J-J cards are all i+1 knowledge, meaning each successive card directly builds on the knowledge you’ve learned previously. When you see a new card, you are guaranteed to have already learned every item in the definition, so you don’t have to do any nested dictionary searches to look up words you don’t know (like you’d probably have to do if you’re new to a typical online dictionary).
- Since all the cards use knowledge you’ve learned previously, seeing those old words used in new definitions gives you some context to help you further understand what the old words mean and how they’re used.
- If you go with the app version, you get “card linking”. Basically you can tap any word in a definition and it will pull up the original card where you learned that word. It’s a nice reference for when you forget certain items.
- Pushes J-J learning early. There’s some debate over how useful this really is, but I tend to agree that teaching you how to define and explain words in japanese is a super useful skill that’s kind of hard to quantify tangibly when talking about overall value.
I think the reason the price is “so high” is because I’m sure it was a ton of work to organize all that content into i+1 order, create the useful J-J definitions using previous knowledge, and apply the card linking for every item on every card. You generally get what you pay for, and I’m convinced the decks are high quality from the samples I’ve tried.
I also think it’s intended to be a one-stop shop to teach you kanji, vocab, and grammar, so the value would theoretically be greater the earlier you are in your journey – it doesn’t “just” do kanji or grammar. If you use bunpro too and maybe even WK, then the value decreases a bit to be more of a vocab resource with some degree of additional context.
I came really really close to buying maximum a couple years ago, but ultimately didn’t because I was a little burnt out from wrapping up WK SRS after several years and I wanted a break from SRS (for a while of course, because now I’m here ). I had also been studying japanese for several years and knew a lot of the intermediate cards already and all kanji (for example), so that decreased the value proposition for me a bit.
hi, i never used that app -and to be honest, it’s too expensive for a turkish dude- but i think you can get the same effect with anki/memorion and renshuu; for free.
Last I checked it was very expensive and definitely not worth the price.
I bought the very first deck, as it sounded really good. However I personally found it frustrating and quickly gave it up as it didn’t provide direct translations for most of the content. It basically introduced everything once and expected you to simply remember it from that point on. Even having already studied Japanese I found it hard to follow. Though the app quadban mentioned with the card linking would likely solve that problem entirely.
That said, I also felt that it didn’t cover sufficient material to warrant the price.
If you haven’t went through the Genki series you can essentially by the first two books and download free flashcards through Anki that cover all the sentences. At least then you have must more detail on the grammar points and easy access to vocabulary lists, plus the audio content.
If it was $50-$75 for all the decks I would say it’d be worth it with the card linking app.
Edit: I just had a look at the link. There weren’t as many levels when I bought mine and I’m also in Australia, so $100 US is usually around $150 for me.
The $300 for all levels might be worth it, but I would only buy it for that if you don’t have any money concerns, as there are a slew of other materials out there you could get for far cheaper.
I agree with everyone that he hugely overprices his content, however, I don’t really agree that there are tons of other free anki decks that do the same thing his system purports to do. The main benefit of these decks is supposed to be that they help you make the monolingual transition by explaining each new thing you learn using only Japanese that you’ve already learned in an i+1 fashion. One of the other users complained there is no English but that’s the whole point, that it helps push you into not relying on English and towards understanding Japanese through Japanese. There’s very little other content that gives Japanese definitions for each new word in an i+1 fashion. Trying to transition to learning Japanese through Japanese without involving English is very difficult for most people. A lot of people never do it.
Looks like someone put alot of work into gamifying this and technically it’s cheaper than something like Nativshark which is a $1500 lifetime purchase. I think they would be better not using an Anki platform. The steps to update or revise and not lose you data are sort of ridiculous (there is a reason why Anki is free, lol). WK will be the last ‘course’ SRS content I use and will be satisfied with the autonomy of BP and Kitsun for the rest of my SRS days.
Jalup ($250) is cheaper than Wanikani ($300) with the same number of kanji if you get Jalup for Anki. The cost is the same if you use the Jalup App. I’m not particularly interested in the kanji aspect- I’m using kanjidamage flash cards which are free! for kanji. You can get just the Kanji in Jalup for $100, but that is a bad deal.
Jalup has 6250 grammar sentences. Jalup only has one sentence per grammar point- and bunpro has 769 grammar points. I’m leaning toward bunpro for grammar, but wanted to know if anyone tried both.
I tried out intermediate on Jalup - the deck that gives you the explanation in Japanese- it was really hard. I think I would learn a lot, but I might rage quit in a month- not worth it for a product that only offers the life time version.
I bought the Beginner Anki Deck recently and am enjoying using it, although I’m not really learning from it, mostly it’s just review and reinforcement. Learning using the deck might be more difficult once I get to actual new information I don’t know at all. So far, the new information presented is so ‘simple’ in a good way that it makes it easy to learn, but I don’t really expect that to last if I get to actual completely new concepts. I am also thinking about buying the entire package, but all the other material that he offers would be way above my current skill level, so I can’t really determine whether or not it would be worthwhile in the future.
As others mentioned before, he offers an app that functions as it’s own custom SRS system as well an Anki deck, which is an interesting approach. I hate using in-app services and enjoy the customization of an Anki Deck so I’m glad to have the ability to just buy a deck, though I do miss the card linking from the free trial of the App.
One really interesting thing that really makes it work is the intentional lack of vocabulary. It’s actually really impressive the amount of different grammar forms and complex sentences the author is able to make with just an extremely limited vocabulary list that you learn naturally, which each sentence still being a distinctly different meaning or point that is being presented. This is something no other service I have ever seen has done anything similar to, and because of it you are able to entirely focus on the grammar without having to either memorize more and more giant vocab lists (like Genki) or just ignore words that I just don’t know yet because I am a beginner (Like Bunpro).
FYI, the Jalup blog just turned 10 years old, and the creator touched on some of the price questions in a related post. Obviously his explanations can’t answer the “is it worth it” question for you, but I think it’s interesting to read his take and learn more about the deck structures if you’re on the fence.
"Q: Why is Jalup so expensive?
A: This question is a sensitive one and is hard to satisfactorily answer to anyone asking it. I don’t like answering it because it makes me feel like I need to defend myself. But my main thought is “expensive compared to what?” Comparing Jalup to a typical language learning app that costs $9.99/month isn’t really the right analysis. The Jalup app is the equivalent of dozens of textbooks and courses combined into one that don’t exist anywhere else.
Q: Why isn’t Jalup subscription based?
A: Many reasons. But a few of the major ones: 1. Subscriptions reward the wrong type of behavior (long-term serious learners end up paying the most), 2. Subscription services entirely offline do not work well 3. The way the decks were created one at a time over the years doesn’t lend to “you suddenly have access to all the content for $9.99.”"
He has always given the same answers to this question and I think that his arguments for his pricing decisions are extremely poor ones but his way of thinking about it is very rigid. He has stubbornly and inflexibly entrenched himself in his position on that unstable ground and that’s probably why this is such a sensitive topic for him.
Ultimately, he has probably just screwed himself over. If his goal is to make more money and help more people, it’s better to sell a product for 5 dollars to one million people than to sell a product for 5000 dollars to 100 people. Those numbers are arbitrary but the point is that a lot more people probably would have tried JALUP if he didn’t put it behind such an enormous paywall. Who are his target demographic? Almost no one would be willing to pay the prices he charges when there are so many other cheaper or free alternatives, even if they aren’t exactly the same. People who would be willing to spend ‘x’ amount on a uni degree or a language course are not usually going to be willing to spend the same amount for an app or an online service because they are fundamentally different types of things. A lot of the people who are the most hardcore about learning Japanese outside of the class room setting spend almost no money on learning Japanese and do sentence mining and make their own flash cards.
I find it ironic that a few lines earlier he gives his guess as to why JALUP isn’t very popular. Hmm, it couldn’t be the price right? No, definitely not.
I think its a shame that despite his great work ethic he just has no business sense.
His way of thinking is kind of like if a movie director charged 200 dollars to watch his movie and he said like… “this movie cost 30 million dollars to make, I spent 4 years making this movie, thousands of people were employed to create this movie!” I spent thousands of dollars on my film degree and the equipment and years of study to have my expertise to make this movie!!! There is no movie exactly like this movie!"