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!

challenge_logo201412

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!

Josie
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!

Ethan
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!

italki internships – Thanks Simone!

December 4th, 2014 | Posted by Jim in feature - (0 Comments)

Did you know italki has a great internship program? We are always accepting interns from diverse backgrounds, speaking any language.

Today we said goodbye to Simone, our intern from Italy who is heading back to finish up his studies at his last year in university. He left us with a great story about his experiences these past 3 months as well! We wish you all the best with whatever the future has in store for you Simone!

We wanted to thank everyone who participated in the italki 2014 World Cup Language Challenge.  A few daring Challengers not only completed the Challenge but they also put in some extra effort and recorded a  BEFORE (by posting a Public Video Pledge) video.

Well… a few of these people who posted these Public Video Pledges here and here and here did something even more incredible.  They went on and posted their AFTER videos so you can actually see their progress!    Here are the top videos that we received!

LindsayDoesLanguages from the United Kingdom
25 Hours in 2 Months Learning Portuguese COMPLETED!

Lindsay,an avid language learning enthusiast and blogger, really set the tone as she gave weekly status updates to all the Language Challengers and showed us how she took on and really took on Portuguese.   She was the standard that all Challengers had to keep up with and her performance during these two months was exemplary.  The only thing we could find fault with was her prediction that England was going to win World Cup :)

LindsayDoesLanguages’ BEFORE the Language Challenge Video
Lindsay actually posted a Public Video Pledge when she began the Challenge.

LindsayDoesLanguages’ AFTER the Language Challenge Video

Lindsay also gave a great wrap up and offered her tips on how she beat the language challenge!

 

Leigh Davis from Ireland
25 Hours in 2 Months Learning Spanish COMPLETED!

Leigh is relatively new student but has already learned to get the most out of italki in a few short months.  If you haven’t read his amazing testimonial story – please do, it will inspire you to start learning a language now!  What’s even more inspiring is his progress in Spanish in just 2 short months.   If you ever wanted to hear someone improve from an OK level to a mind-blowing level of fluency, watch his before and after videos below!
Leigh Davis’s BEFORE the Language Challenge Video
Here’s his  Public Video Pledge before he began the Challenge.  His Spanish is already at a pretty good level.

Leigh’s AFTER the Language Challenge Video
He now speaks Spanish at a near-native level.    We showed this video to some of our Spanish speaking staff and they were impressed at his fluency but they were really blown away by his confidence.  It really shows in his after video!

 

Sandrah from the United States
25 Hours in 2 Months Learning French COMPLETED!

An avid language learning enthusiast and Community Tutor, Sandra started the learning French from zero.   You be the judge of whether she improved or not.  Her improvement is absolutely amazing and inspiring!
(more…)

Our new summer intern Reid from the United States started work at italki on August 4th.  We wanted him to write a quick blog about his first experiences working with the team here in Shanghai.  The below post is written by him.

My First Week at italki

100_0026I (on the far left) attempt to hit a bullseye while playing darts with the other italki staff.

When I walked into the italki offices for my first day on the job, I certainly had that first day at work anxious feeling. But as I met the italki team and figured out my way around the office, my nervousness quickly drifted away. I felt more relaxed as I came to realize that italki is not an overly serious, unorganized startup. It is, rather, a very efficient yet fun work environment. So yes, my first-day outfit of a suit and tie certainly stood out…

As part of my first week the entire italki team visited a Shanghai gun range for a company bonding event. This being my first week in Shanghai, I have to say I was pretty surprised that I would be shooting guns in China of all places. italki is a very international company and as such it is hard for many of the English-speaking staff to really connect with the Chinese-speaking staff. That said, the power of sport once again flexed its ability to transcend cultural differences and bring people together: while the entire italki team was shooting bow and arrows, we were all aligned in a common cause of cheering on our colleagues to do well. And, when we later took to the gun range I didn’t need to use Chinese to joke with one of my Chinese colleagues about my very poor final score… The entire experience consisted of shooting bow and arrows, guns, throwing darts, playing fuzball, and most all 12-year old birthday party activities (minus the guns, of course). Our team bonding event was, to say the least, an enjoyable, enlightening experience that allowed for all of us to connect with each other on a deeper level regardless of where we were from or what language we spoke.

100_0020One of my colleagues, Karthik, shoots a bow and arrow for the first time.

The employees here at italki are genuinely passionate about what they do and it shows in the quality of their work. The entire premise behind this company is to give people the power of a new language and thus a new culture; It is genuinely so amazing to watch as users from around the world go from having zero knowledge about a language to using it consistently in their daily lives. All in all, I remain excited to work at italki and gain further perspective on the world through my relationships with my international colleagues and italki users.

Until next time,

Reid