Author Archives: Jim

We are happy to announce that our good friend and supporter, Benny Lewis, who writes a very well known blog called Fluent in 3 months, has just released his new book - Fluent in 3 Months: How Anyone at Any Age Can Learn to Speak Any Language from Anywhere in the World! Benny has been an italki user for a while now and uses italki regularly to learn new languages.  In fact, italki is mentioned in his new book as one of Benny’s go-to resources when learning a new language.


We just wanted to support Benny in letting you all know that his book is now and has already hit the #1 spot in Language Learning on   If you are serious about learning a language and want to know the real secrets of how to effectively learn a new language from a true Language Hacker whose entire life is dedicated to learning languages, you must buy this book!

Below is a description of his book (taken from his website): bennybookBenny Lewis, international language hacker and author of Fluent in 3 Months—the most popular language blog in the world—delivers an unconventional guide that allows readers to push past common barriers and start speaking from day one. You don’t learn a language—you get used to it. Self-taught polyglot and perhaps the world’s most beloved traveler, Benny Lewis is living proof that anyone, at any age, can learn to speak any language from anywhere in the world. Throughout his travels, Benny has developed faster, easier, and more efficient ways to learn languages, using techniques far different from traditional programs that focus on studying grammar and memorizing vocabulary. Fluent in 3 Months breaks down language-learning myths and replaces them with practical “language hacks” that take advantage of the skills we already possess: universal phrases, perceptive observation skills, and body language shortcuts. With Benny’s insight and proven methods, readers can master language immersion—without buying a plane ticket.

In the book learn about::

  • Why you definitely can learn any language, at any age, from anywhere in the world (no need to be a baby or pre-voting age, or buy a plane ticket!)
  • How to get from zero to fluency and on to mastery in a language
  • How to speak multiple languages and how to pass yourself off as a native speaker!


Click here to learn more and Buy the Book!

Happy Valentine’s Day!

February 14th, 2014 | Posted by Jim in promotion - (0 Comments)


On this special day, say I love you to someone in a new language.

Or better yet, send a loved one an italki Gift Card!  With italki Gift Cards, you can transfer or gift ITC to a friend using your existing ITC!

Also if you send a Gift Card to a friend who has not registered on italki, you’ll get the 50ITC referral bonus if your friend continues with a future ITC purchase.  Our Gift Cards actually gift you right back!

We also wanted to share with you Bodo Wartke’s Multilingual Love Song. This talented singer is able to sing this song in over 88 different languages!

Happy Valentine’s Day!

the italki Team

Lamb is one of our newest italki users and decided to take part in the Language Challenge. He wrote in with this update of his Language Challenge. It’s great advice for all Language Challengers (and language learners in general!). Lamb also posted a Public Video Pledge of himself before he started the Challenge. I’m sure even at the halfway point, he’s already come a long way!

Lamb’s original Notebook Entry (reposted with permission)

lambSo last month I signed up for the italki challenge, put my money where my mouth is, and scheduled 20 sessions with a few reputable looking teachers. This was a little frightening because: (1) I had never used italki before, (2) I had never spoken my target language [French] with native speakers before, and (3) I had only just started to learn French from scratch for about a month. A lot of people, myself included, feel a great deal of anxiety about having to speak a language they’re not proficient in.

Most of us would rather study textbooks and flashcards and use websites like Duolingo (all great resources that I also recommend) for months on end and hope that speaking takes care of itself. Now, and I’ve only put around 12 hours of speaking in, I think I can say that this is the way it works. You get better at speaking by speaking, and the anxiety of speaking goes away the more you do it, too. I don’t think that six more months of self-study would have gotten me there.

So for anyone who’s on the fence: try it out. Start talking. As bad as the anxiety might be, you will be impressed with your own progress and see that it’s worth it. If all goes well, in a month I’ll have finished the challenge and gotten some more money for lessons. But if the worst happens—sessions get cancelled or something unavoidable comes up—I won’t lose the progress I’ve made so far, nor will I lose the motivation to keep going in March.

For Week 3 of the Challenge, LindsayDoesLanguages gives us an update on how her Challenge is going.  She runs her own language learning blog where she blogs about her adventures learning and teaching different languages.  Below is her latest post that we felt we had to share with all your Challengers!  Reposted with permission.

Almost half way through the italki Language Challenge and I’m still alive! I haven’t been swallowed into the depths of German grammar never to return, nor have I been so overwhelmed I’m rocking back and forth in the corner. Nope. Still going, still learning and still loving it.

I made a rough plan of when I’d need to have lessons each week to achieve the challenge, fitting them around life accordingly. Unfortunately, Chinese New Year isn’t marked on my year view calendar and seeing as my German tutor lives in China, I suppose there was always bound to be some disruption. We seem to have come out the other end surprisingly not too far behind what I’d anticipated at this point, which is good news.

As for my German? I am feeling much more confident and prepared for my oral exam in May, which back at the start of the year was a big scary thought! The good news? I still have 11 lessons to go (1 later today – I’m not that far behind my schedule!) and I’m quite excited to see how I feel speaking German after these additional lessons. Stay tuned as I’ll be posting a video of my progress after all 20 lessons (eek!).

That sounds good! Can I do it?

Unfortunately, the deadline for this italki Language Challenge has passed but the site is open all year round with an abundance of tutors in a huge choice of languages. I’m even on there myself as an English tutor. :)

Great! So I just chat for an hour?

lindsay21You can make the lesson as intense or relaxed as you like it. If you’re after some hardcore grammar or starting from scratch, maybe a professional tutor would be the way to go. However, if you already have a sprinkling of the language you want to learn, there are also community tutors on offer, which is great if you need conversation practise to boost your language! (more…)

So we’ve got even more Public Video Pledges and these are too good not to share with everyone. You can watch them all here:

Public Video PledgesFirst Batch,  Second Batch, and the Third Batch

And the first Public Video Pledge made by Lexie that started them all!

So here’s the latest Challengers and their Public Video Pledges:

Tashippy from the United States
Tashippy just got back from a trip to Mexico so he lost a week but is determined to improve his Spanish and also learn Japanese! He states in his Notebook entry: “Here is my video, I haven’t watched it because I don’t like watching myself butcher foreign languages and do Youtube videos :P” so please watch it for him and let tell him what you think. We think he does an excellent job!