June 17, 2022
March 9, 2022

Avalanche begone! ー January - February 2022 Update

What do you do if something comes up during your studies and you miss a day? And then another day? And another? Or what if you’re gonna go camping with your brother in the mountains and you wanna disconnect from technology to enjoy nature but you also wanna keep improving your Japanese.

Hi everyone👋

There's been big updates to NativShark since our last post in December!

But first, let me set the scene:

What do you do if something comes up during your studies and you miss a day? And then another day? And another? Or what if you’re gonna go camping with your brother in the mountains and you wanna disconnect from technology to enjoy nature but you also wanna keep improving your Japanese.

At long last we no longer need to feel like our studies are permanently derailed when we need to take some time off or "life happens".

Avalanche Recovery Service and Vacation Mode are here!

You can read in-depth about the features in our most recent patch notes or find more information in the new FAQ area (found in the "profile" drop down in the menu).

Though here's a quick overview:

An “avalanche” describes the situation where ‘assigned’ reviews pile up to the point that you feel overwhelmed and are de-motivated to continue.

Depending on your personal tolerance, this could be as many as 1,000 reviews, or as little as 65 reviews, as an example. When this happens, people usually write their studies off as a lost cause and stop progressing or maintaining their studies.

Avalanche recovery allows us to get back into our studies by having a manageable amount of reviews over time, easing us back into new content once our reviews are brought back under control.

Personally I'm really excited for these two features as one of our biggest goals is to help you build and maintain a long term study habit. Consistency over time to your studies / a good study method is the one sure-fire way to get good at Japanese. If you keep going, no matter how fast or slow, you will arrive at your goal, the day you actually quit is the only day your goal becomes unobtainable. And don't worry, there can certainly be gaps and time between your studies, you haven't failed, there's always a chance to just begin again and start fresh with consistency in mind.

Anyway, pretty cool, right?? We've also got another neat update out in the past month. The "native materials / study practice / immersion tracking update" (working title haha).

It looks like this:

(this screenshot courtesy of one of our community members!)

If you're like me, Native Materials have gone from something you hardly paid attention to, to something you're now using and having fun seeing those "immersion" hours climb higher 👀

Oh, also if you're wondering "I'm new to NativShark, when is the best time for me to be dipping my toes in to my favorite Japanese media?"

The short answer is: "as soon as you'd like, if it's motivating to you, do it"
The longer answer is: "after you've gotten through Phase One Unit 69, you'll have seen all the different parts of speech in Japanese (including all verb types) so that's a good time to get started and by around unit 100, you'll be pretty comfortable with your level of vocabulary and ability to look up words that are unfamiliar."

(screenshot of the progression badge associated with passing unit 69!)

Another approach would be (which is a great segue to our next announcement!) to use a graded reader such as Satori Reader to begin getting familiar with the wonders of written Japanese.

We've partnered with Satori Reader and created an integration between NativShark and their platform that will automatically sync your kanji learning progress from NativShark to Satori Reader and provide a "smart furigana" experience while reading through their native materials that you can then track as immersion time in NativShark and get your extra credit stars!

If you're unfamiliar with Satori Reader, here's a bit about them:

Satori Reader is a product offered by the creators of the Human Japanese series aimed at providing Japanese learners with level-appropriate reading and listening materials. They have a large collection of professionally written and recorded stories, scenarios, and situations at all difficulty levels as well as a built-in dictionary and SRS system to reinforce what you read.

Once you connect Satori Reader and NativShark, all of your kanji progress from NativShark will be synced with Satori Reader.

In addition to this, NativShark users can get a special discount from Satori Reader as part of our partnership (and vice-versa).

You can see this integration and more on our integrations page.

More fun stuff on the way, very excited, we’re off to a strong start this year.

Don't forget to take a look over the patch notes for all the great details on how the platform has changed!

Check out the patch notes

Lately our community on discord has been growing a lot! There's events weekly hosted by fellow NativShark students to get practice using Japanese and hangout with fellow learners :)

If you haven't ever joined the community or it's been a while since you stopped by, make sure to come say "hi" again soon and maybe check out the events or the #日本語で channels for some practice putting to use all that Japanese you've been learning.

Also, in exciting news, over the past couple weeks many students have been hitting their "volcano day" streaks 👀

That's 550 days straight of studying with NativShark! That's as long as you possibly could be studying with us at this point. There's been some exciting shares in the #learning-progress channel in the community:

Congrats to everyone consistently studying no matter what your streak is.

Whether you're on day 550, you're happy about getting that first 30 day streak finally (like me haha) or you've been gone for awhile but now that you can use the Avalanche recovery mode you're going to make it back to your studies, all that matters is that we begin again and be consistent, you got this.

Best of luck on your studies, hope to see you in NativShark soon!

~ Caleb

Caleb Andersen
Caleb Andersen
Co-founder, CEO

Start learning Japanese

Learning Japanese used to be complex. We made it simple.

Natural phrasing
Authentic audio
Real-world context
*No credit required

Begin your journey today.

Risk-free. No payment information required to sign up.
Frequently asked questions

Does NativShark teach me everything I need to learn Japanese?

Will NativShark prepare me for the JLPT?

What makes NativShark different from any other resource?

What if I already know some Japanese?

Can I cancel or pause a subscription?

Is there an app?