And welcome to the post 😁 If you read last week’s month one update, then you know this week was focused only on sentences. It was supposed to be a chill week until I read this post. And then…well…


Jalup Kana: 232/232 ✅

Jalup Beginner: 1000/1000 ✅

Jalup Intermediate: 10/1000

What’s below:

  • Weekly Update
  • New Process (lol)
  • Final Words

Weekly Update

For those following along, I’m supposed to be at Jalup Beginner 800/1000, which means I did 200 more than I needed too, even crazier though, I did it all in 2 days (the remaining 450) 😱

Why would I do something so crazy!?

To explain, reading the post tagged above, I was inspired to do my own challenge. For those without time to read it, the person writing decided to learn 1,000 new sentences/words in a week. This is a crazy pace because you’re normally recommended to do 20~ a day and that’s on the high end.

It sounds low on a per-day basis, but what gets you is the reviews that stack. 20 a day can become 400 reviews in a month if you’re not careful. This also explains why my 50 a day is already crazy fast. (Doing almost 400 reviews a day)

When I posted last week though, it felt like a defeat 😔

I couldn’t name why, but me slowing down felt like I was letting myself off easy. If I was a normal person with the horizon of 2.5 years and I did this, sure, relax. But I’m a crazy person doing it in 6 months!! I can’t go easy on myself.

I was inspired 💡

After reading I sat down Sunday night and planned how I would do it. I thought to myself “wow, what if I can be 250 into Intermediate by the end of the week?” It sounded cool. It sounded fun. And learning should be fun.

So I did it

I also come face to face with reality.

You need fundamentals, and you need them to be strong.

After I finished Tuesday night, I took Wednesday off, and then “re-learned” everything again Thursday. I didn’t “learn” it all in 2 days, shocker.

You might say, “well that’s dumb Brad, that defeats the purpose.” And you’d be right, but I found I unlocked a hidden skill. Language is all about understanding, and most experts recommend a mass amount of exposure is needed to understand.

With Jalup’s awesome assists I was able to understand almost all of what I was reading with the occasional skip. (I would ‘star’ trouble cards and move on to not drag the process out.) This meant that I was reading Japanese. So cool 😎

Tons of exposure

It gave my brain exposure to a tonne of new phrases, words, meanings, and sounds. I was reading probably 500 sentences a day (with all of the backtracking I had to do). This meant that as I came back through, I was making stronger connections, noticing patterns I hadn’t before, and am getting this mass amount of new info added to my arsenal 🧐

To prove this, I’ve noticed many of the ‘starred’ cards have become ‘un-starred’ as I have gone back through and realized that I could piece together the meanings (without backtracking!). I’ve also noticed that the long hard to say verb conjugations have become much easier to understand, as well as, being able to distinguish negatives, positives, and suggestions from each other. Also super cool.

The last point to make here, if I’d stayed the slower route, I would have 200 cards that I’d yet to be exposed to and would’ve missed out on 4–8 nights of sleep and review. (4–8 because it’d have been 50 a day, so 4 days to learn them all, and I would’ve started learning them 4 days later than I did by rushing them.)

New Process (Haha, there’s one every week! 😬)

This week’s post was a big explanation as to why I need to “mass input” and why going forward, I’ll be doing a tonne of input at crazy speeds. That said, I will not be zero-ing out every day.

For most language learners, that sounds like a sin, but I can’t feasibly do that when I know how beneficial speedrunning is. I still review (a lot) and know that it’ll slowly come down until it’s manageable to do daily. Until then, I do, however, have a couple of guardrails in place to help keep me on track, sane, and improving.

Guardrail 1

As I “learn” new things, I do it in small bursts 🏃‍♂️ and give a break before reviewing them or learning other new material. This is primarily for Intermediate and Kanji Kingdom (more below). In practice, this looks like: learn 25, break for half an hour, come back and review, 5-minute break, and then learn 25 more.

Guardrail 2

I take frequent breaks (as noted in the example above) and I take two days off from Japanese completely. Seems counterintuitive, but there’s a lot of science to back breaks, and by taking an entire day off I allow my motivation and interest reserves to fill back up. I was exhausted Tuesday after finishing the 500 card sprint, almost thought I was done with Japanese forever, took Wednesday off, and came back Thursday wondering why I ever wanted to leave.

Guardrail 3

I’ve properly aligned the expectations for each facet of learning. Jalup’s cards have a lot of information and it’s easy to get caught up marking them wrong for getting one piece of it wrong. To combat this, I’ve regulated Jalup to reading and understanding only. I still practice the pronunciation and will sometimes say the card 10 times, but I’ll never mark it wrong for being unable to say it.

Instead, I have separated listening practice (with a whole program plan) that lets me solely focus on listening comprehension free from visual requirements. This has also helped with pronunciation and made reviewing cards easier.

Guardrail 4

I need a basis in Kanji. I hate ’em and love ’em, and now I gotta learn ’em. This is considered a guardrail because as soon as I started Intermediate I saw how little kanji I knew. That’s no good if you’re wanting to build and maintain confidence to speed through. That said, we’re going to speed through Kanji, knowing full well I won’t remember many and trusting the review system to carry the load.

Lots of guardrails, but it’s because we don’t want to quit!

Guardrail 5 (Last one)

Using anime and manga to breathe and enjoy what I’m learning. I truly enjoy speed learning and trying to learn the hardest language in the shortest amount of time. It’s brutal though and does require mental “downtime” to recoup. For this, I take a lunch and always watch something fun, I’ll take an hour at night to play Mario Kart while Japanese music plays (even if it’s not the best “study noise”), and yes, sometimes I read in English 😱

Final Notes

Overall, I think the learning is going well and I am enjoying the process (which is what you should be doing!!).

I am racing through Jalup and plan to focus a lot of energy on Kanji this next week while reviewing the beginner deck to build a solid base.

There will be a lot of things that I’ll struggle with, but the guardrails in place should keep me on track! Read next week's update to see how far I made it 😁


This was taken Saturday because I lost Friday’s picture…sneak peek?? Already 250 into Kanji!?!?