Author Archives: Jim

See Who’s Taking this Year’s Challenge

If you are taking this year’s challenge we’re giving away 50 free ITC if you make a video challenge pledge.Life Hacks research has shown that if you put yourself up to something by doing it in public, you follow through because others are watching.  So use peer pressure to your advantage!  So help out your fellow language learners participating in the challenge!  Leave them words of encouragement on their notebook entries!  And don’t forget to sign up for yourself, and get 2015 of to a great start!

This is the second blog listing of New Year’s Language Challenge Video Pledges.  Watch the videos from the previous posts below. We’ve had so many that it’s better to just make multiple posts so they don’t get too long!

Part I Here
Part II Here

Iván Vallés Pérez  from the Spain is learning English
Iván is a data analyst and is taking the challenge because he wnats to improve his English fluency. His goal is to be able to speak to English speakers without any problems and is committing to taking two 1 and 1/2 hour sessions per week for the Challenge! Please cheer him on here.


Holly from the United States is learning French.

Holly is going to graduate school in Paris next year, so she wanted to improve her French as quickly as possible.  Her goal is to speak with a native french speaker for 1 hour a week for the next 6 weeks.  We wish her the best in the challenge and hope she finds her experience in Paris to be very rewarding.  Cheer her on!


Amy from China is learning French and Portuguese.

Already fluent in English and Chinese, Amy has been taking French for a year and wants to add Portuguese to her repertoire as well. She wants to to be able to speak in French for 30 minutes with a native speaker without frustrating the other speaker.   With regards to Portuguese, she has the same goal but only wants to speak for 5 minutes.  Wish her luck!


Mr. Coffee from France is learning English.
Mr. Coffee wants to improve his English over the next 6 weeks.  He hopes to come as close as possible to being able to speak like a native English speaker.  English is certainly not an easy language to learn so we wish him all the best in his endeavors.  Cheer him on!


Zhang Drawping from China is learning English
Zhang Drawping (who also goes by the name of P!nk Zhang) hails from Shenzhen, China and is a Product Designer for Fisher Price. She wants wants to improve her English over the next 6 weeks. As you can tell from the video, she already speaks very well but still feels like she can speak more fluently as she needs to use her English for work. Her goals are to improve her confidence and fluency. Please everyone cheer her on for this challenge!


Aravinth from India is learning German
Aravinth is starting from scratch and speaks no German and he hopes that this language challenge will give him the ability to reach A2 level German and the ability to understand very basic German conversation. We’re always impressed with challengers who begin a new language from scratch! Send him some words of cheer her on as we all know how hard it is to learn a new language from scratch


Pierre Bredel from Brazil is learning French and English
Pierre Bredel should be given a medal. This is his 3rd consecutive Language Challenge. He’s finished and made Public Video Pledges for the past 2 challenges as well. He’s continuing with his English and French studies and hoping to bring both languages to the next level. Send your words of encouragementto Pierre and wish him the best!


Nancy Wang from the United States is learning Chinese
Nancy is another past winner of our previous Language Challenges. She actually participated in our 2014 New Year’s Language Challenge (view her 2014 Public Video Pledge here)and won that and is now taking her Chinese to the next level by taking on this year’s challenge. She’s at a solid intermediate level and wants to improve her natural speaking and listening ability as well as her self-confidence speaking Chinese. Give her some words of support here!

Click here to view her 2015 New Year’s Challenge Public Video Pledge here

Lauren from the Barbados is learning Korean
We got our first Video Public Pledge from Barbados! Lauren is learning Korean because she’s always wanted to learn the language but has never really gotten around to it. Another very important reason is that she really wants to understand her Korean dramas (and not wait until the English subtitles are added). After the Challenge she also hopes to be able to have a conversation in Korean. Cheer Lauren on here by commenting on her Notebook entry!


AndrewR756 from the United Kingdom is learning Russian and Vietnamese
AndrewR756 wins the award for most unusual language pair that he is learning for the Challenge – Russian and Vietnamese. He’s going to be doing this as well as an hour of listening each day. He also pledges to do an after video once the Challenge is completed. We’re all rooting for you! If you’d like to send him some words of encouragement, please comment on his Notebook entry here!


Mulliro from Brazil is learning Russian
Mulliro is a Community Tutor on italki and teaches Portuguese As you can see and hear in his video, he already speaks at a basic level but he really wants to bring up a level. but he’s also taking the Challenge to really improve his Russian. Please cheer him on by leaving a comment on hisNotebook entry here!


Maxine from the United States is learning Spanish

Maxine has always wanted to learn Spanish and will be travelling to Spain in May. Her goal is a very practical one – she wants to be able to use Spanish when she travels to Spain in bars, restaurants etc… She’s picked some very popular teachers so she will try to fit in as many sessions as she can when they are free. Please  cheer her on!


Tom from the United States is learning Italian and Russian

If you need some inspiration on learning a language, you need to watch this video. Tom is a Polyglot and this is his 4th straight Language Challenge where he is now taking on Italian and Russian. As he states in his notebook entry, “For the previous ones, I have improved my french and Norwegian. (Norwegian) The previous challanges have helped me alot to speak more quickly, travel in europe, and find friends I otherwise wouldn’t have met at all.” Tom is one of those inspirational challenger that you aspire to be. Please cheer him on for this challenge! He’s only learning 2 languages this time around :)

We are taking the Challenge too!

…and if we can do it… anyone can!


The 2015 New Year’s Language Challenge has begun and we’re so excited that so many of you have chosen to participate in our biggest challenge ever!

3 of our very own italki Staff have also decided to participate in the New Year’s Language Challenge to learn Chinese.  All of them have made Public Video Pledges to learn Chinese! (more…)

Happy Holidays from italki!

December 24th, 2014 | Posted by Jim in announcement | Language Challenge - (Comments Off)

We just wanted to wish all our users, students, teachers and supporters a big Happy Holiday greetings from italki! Looking forward to a great 2015! One last thing, as we head into the new year, if you haven’t made a resolution yet, finally committing to learning that new language or taking the language you are learning to the next level is a great idea!

We’re beginning the New Year’s with our 2015 New Year’s Language Challenge! Sign up doesn’t begin until Jan. 1st, 2015 but we’d like your help to spread the word!

Help us announce the biggest language challenge ever!

The italki 2015 New Year’s Language Challenge is coming and we want you to help spread the word! We’re creating a Thunderclap, and we’d like your help.

Even if you’re not planning on taking the New Year’s Language Challenge, you can still join the Thunderclap to help spread the word to others who want to kick off 2015 and really commit to learning a new language!

What is a Thunderclap?
It’s a new, powerful tool that allows people to Tweet or Facebook an announcement all together on the same day, at the exact same time to be heard loud and clear! We’re working with Thunderclap to make this biggest, most exciting Language Challenge ever! Get ready!

Help Spread the Word and Join this Thunderclap!


We wanted to give a big welcome to our newest support staff Josie and Ethan who have recently joined us to help with our Customer Support Services. They are both avid language learners and teachers so know exactly the types of problems and challenges you might be encountering! We asked them to introduce themselves to everyone on italki!

My name is Josie and I am Swedish by blood, but was born and raised in Surrey, England. Going to an international school gave me the privilege to make friends with people from all over the world, meaning I have always been surrounded by different languages and cultures. I grew up speaking English and Swedish, studied Spanish at school and am currently learning Mandarin. Growing up in a multicultural environment and having done a lot of solo traveling after school gave me a great insight into how exciting different languages can be and how important it is to learn about different cultures.

italki is the perfect platform for learning a new language and I am so glad to be a part of it. I understand how difficult (and at times scary) learning a new language can be, so I will make sure that I am here help you out with any problems that you may face in your new and exciting journey!

Hey all! I’m Ethan and I’m from the United States, specifically the Washington, DC area. I fell in love with the Chinese language in high school and have since been studying hard each and every day to achieve the fluency of a native speaker. I know how difficult language learning can be and that’s why I’m happy to work for a great company like italki! It makes language learning easy and is suited to meet your individual needs. I’m here to help you out with any problems you may have in the language learning process! Learning a new language is hard enough, so I want to make sure your experience goes as smoothly as possible. I wish you all the best of luck. 加油!