I beat the italki 2014 World Cup!

August 5th, 2014 | Posted by Jim in Language Challenge | Motivation - (Comments Off on I beat the italki 2014 World Cup!)

We received this great message from Jeremy who finished the 2014 World Cup Language Challenge learning Chinese!   Originally posted on his personal blog, we enjoyed it so much that we wanted to share it with everyone.  Great job Jeremy and keep up the great work!  Re-posted with permission.

Italki 2014 World Cup is over!

I beat the italki 2014 World Cup!

Ok, alright, you can stop cheering now. The challenge wrapped up over the weekend and I was notified today that I was successful. So now that I’m filthy rich, I plan to keep learning Chinese, instead of retiring to the Bahamas. I know, I am a wild one.


What is italki 2014 World Cup?

In short I put up 200 ITC ($20) pledging to spend 25 hours language learning through their site, within a 60 day period. If I win I get 400 ITC ($40) and my bet returned. This should be an easily attainable goal of about three lessons a week during the 2 month duration of the challenge. Surprisingly only 53% completed the challenge. They have some cool stats on most hours completed by country, and most hours completed by language, if you’re interested.

Thanks italki for being awesome!

I want to thank italki for putting on the challenge and being so encouraging. I think they did several helpful things for us participants. They encouraged people to make a video pledge and post it onto their FB, G+, or the like. Their data showed that people who did this were more likely to complete the pledge. Another thing was they put up a big FAQ page full of useful info. I checked it a few times. They also reminded you via the website message system weekly about the challenge. This reminder would let you know roughly how many hours you should have completed, and what the current leaderboard looked like. Another thing that was nice was the countdown clock on the main site. You knew exactly how much time you had left. What I hope they do for next time is add a “hours scored”, or “#/25 completed” section up there also. Currently you have to go to sessions and do a manual count if you wanted to know how far along you are.

How did I do?

My work towards completion was not linear. With holiday’s, and business trips in the middle, I had to be mindful of my schedule. To compensate for my traveling I did roughly 4 sessions a week during the first 2 weeks and the last 2 weeks. Even with one trip to Colorado, and another to Florida I ended up clocking in 31 hours. That’s just over 3.5 hours a week. Not too shabby in my opinion.

What’s Next?

With this challenge completed I look forward to the next italki challenge. In the mean time my next big Chinese goal is the HSK IV. I take it this month on the 17th. I’m not yet ready for it, but I am working towards that as fast as possible. Wish me luck!

Everyone here at italki wishes Jeremy good luck with his HSK IV test.  

Koko the Polyglot runs his own Language Learning Blog – Koko the Polyglot. He has been taking World Cup Language Challenge learning Catalan. We are reposting his original blog with permission.

Italki World Cup Language Challenge Week 8: The Results!


(Source: https://www.flickr.com/photos/sniffen/ )

We are on the last week of the italki World Cup Language Challenge and I’m done to my last sessions with my tutors it’s time to share my results. While the challenge doesn’t officially end until Thursday, I simply will not have the additional time to schedule more sessions at the moment. But what I can say is that I wasn’t able to complete the challenge. However, I got incredibly close though. So how many sessions did I manage to complete this time around? 18 out of 25 which is actually really close to completing the challenge. Unlike the last time where I became overwhelmed with circumstances beyond my control and losing motivation toward the end.


How Did It Go?

I would say it went really well despite having to deal with moving to a new place and a working full-time. I can honestly say that I progressed so much from this challenge, especially since I chose a language I didn’t have much knowledge in as well. It was great to see how much more I was able to accomplish this time around with the challenge. Each lesson truly motivated me to learn more Catalan. It was also the first language that I did lessons with Professional Teachers as well. I felt like even though I lost I was able to make substantial improvements to my language skills that I wouldn’t have done otherwise.

What Happened This Time?

I could go on with excuses as to why I wasn’t able to complete the challenge. But let’s just say I was able to continually stay motivated even though I had some major setbacks during the challenge. Those setbacks did cause more delays when it came to scheduling sessions with a tutor but, I was still able to make the most of it while I could. Which mean teaching a lesson on my mobile and using my tablet to take a session with a tutor. It wasn’t until my internet was set up that I was finally able to book sessions at rapid fire. Which meant taking 3 lessons with a tutor on Tuesday and 2 on Wednesday.?

Finding Victory In Defeat


(Source: https://www.flickr.com/photos/86530412@N02/ )

Yes, I lost the italki World Cup Language Challenge again but, I felt like I was able to reach more of my language goals this time around than had a not participated at all. I wasn’t going to allow being defeat discourage me from reaching my full potential in a new language: Catalan!

I would personally like to thank Lindsay of Lindsay Does Languages for encouraging and inspiring me to attempt the italki challenge once again. Instead of allowing my previous defeat get the better of me and not bother trying again.

When compared with the previous challenge, I was able to triple the amount of lessons I’ve taken with tutors by being proactive and persistent about seeing this challenge through to the end, even if I didn’t win.

Sometimes the real victory comes from being able to admit defeat and not giving up until you accomplish your goals.

In this case, I was still able to achieve my goals for Catalan by being able to have a basic conversation about subjects that interest me. In fact, I would like to thank these tutors: here, here, here, and here for really accelerating my learning Catalan to the next level.

Jo Practico El Meu Català Ara

És plou avui. Hi ha llamps i trons però m’agrada el temps perquè no és massa calurosa. Era un repte molt interessant. Vaig escoltar una varietat de les cançons en Català. Em vaig sentir que el meu català he millorat molt. He tingut més motivació que abans. Vull apprendre Català sempre però no vaig tenir temps ara per ara. La llengua Catalana és una mica d’espanyol, francès, italià, i portuguès. Reconec moltes paraules de francès, espanyol, i italià però és com sentir una llengua totalment diferent alhora. En dijous és el dia final per el repte d’Italki. Gairebé he guanyat el repte d’Italki però jo només he acabat que 18 lliçons.

Here’s an example of my written Catalan so far. Feel free to correct if you’re a native speaker of Catalan.

Italki World Cup Language Challenge Participants: How did you do? Did you finish the challenge? Almost there? No even close? I would love to hear how you’re doing in these final days of the challenge!


Lindsaydoeslanguages is blogging about her World Cup Language Challenge and we’re reposting here to share with the entire italki Community. This blog post originally was posted on Lindsaydoeslanguages.com website.

Well, that’s it! It’s over!

25 lessons in 8 weeks sounds like quite the challenge, and at times, it definitely was. So today I want to share some things I did (and didn’t) do during the italki World Cup Language Challenge – and what I want to do next time to make it even better and more productive.

Things I did.

Book in advance

I booked all my lessons right at the start – with the exception of one that a tutor couldn’t do that I rebooked later on.

Would I do this again?

Yes! Although 2 months is quite a long time and unexpected trips and other exciting (or not so exciting – I’m looking at you essays!) things pop up, it really helped with motivation to have the structure there from the outset.


No other study

I just had my italki lessons for learning Portuguese. I didn’t get my head stuck in a grammar book (or any other book for that matter) and I really enjoyed just speaking with people, in a natural way about normal stuff.

Would I do this again?

Yes and no. I’d love to try this out with other skills. For example, I’d love to see how far I could get with just reading in a language, like Dani over at I Simply Love Languages is doing right now with Catalan, or just listening. You know, just for fun.


A weekly challenge

Setting myself the weekly goals worked a treat at keeping me on the ball. I know the World Cup is over now but I genuinely wrote that sentence with no football puns intended. Honest.

Would I do it again?

Yes! Little goals are fab because you can constantly achieve something. Saying “I want to speak ___ fluently by ___” is great, but you never feel like you’ve got anywhere if you don’t set mini goals along the way too! (more…)

Lindsaydoeslanguages is blogging about her World Cup Language Challenge and we’re reposting here to share with the entire italki Community. This blog post originally was posted on Lindsaydoeslanguages.com website.

It only seems appropriate, what with my italki Language Challenge in Portuguese coming to a close ‘n all, to give away some lovely Portuguese stuff!


The lucky winner will get a Teach Yourself Portuguese kit complete with 2 CDs and a book, a Collins Portuguese dictionary, and a Chambers Portuguese vocabulary book. I used these myself last summer to get to grips with enough Portuguese to take me on holiday and they are great!

Fancy it? All you have to do is leave a comment with a reason to learn Portuguese and if you win, I’ll post the goodies out to you free of charge. Who knows? Your reason may even feature in my inevitable upcoming video 9 Reasons to Learn Portuguese!

Leave a quick comment below for your chance to win! I’ll pick the winner at random on the 5th August. Good luck!

Entry closes on August 4th at 23.59GMT. One winner will be picked at random and contacted via the e-mail linked to your Disqus profile. If you wish to be contacted via a different e-mail, please state this in your comment. I will post the goods to you from the UK so if you’re international, please be patient. I will contact the winner when I have dispatched the prize and announce the winner on the blog and/or YouTube if you give consent for me to do so. Thank you.

My Week 7 Progress Learning Korean

July 21st, 2014 | Posted by Jim in Language Challenge | Motivation - (Comments Off on My Week 7 Progress Learning Korean)

Amelia from the UK is currently taking the italki World Cup Language Challenge to learn Korean.  She uploaded a Public Video Pledge and even started a personal blog site to help motivate her – Hallyu to 한국어.   We were so impressed with her efforts that we asked if we could repost what she had written on her personal blog as she gives weekly updates on her progress.  Check out her latest post – reposted with permission.

Hi All,

I am finally back with a video this week. I should probably have left this for the “big reveal” next week but my teacher told me I needed to talk to myself and at least I feel less silly if I’m doing it for this!

So, this is me rambling in my room for a while on things I have done recently. I’m aware there are quite a few mistakes in it but my aim was to try and talk for as long as possible without being too slow. I have now been studying for about 10/11 weeks and have done 24 hours on italki so I’m very nearly done with the challenge 🙂

I do feel my korean speaking is a little faster than it was a couple of weeks ago. You can tell there are specific words I use a bit too much, and I can use more difficult grammar, but I need to make the most of what comes naturally. If I’m actually conversing with someone, I’m not going to focus on how difficult I can make my sentences…

Anyway, I hope everyone else is still going – nearly there! And I hope everyone has a good week 🙂 This time next week the challenge will be over…not that I’m going to stop korean lessons at that point!

Amelia x