Notifications Upgrades!

April 3rd, 2014 | Posted by Jim in announcement - (1 Comments)

At italki, we’re constantly making new improvements to the website. We add new features and make bug fixes all the time. Most of the time these changes go relatively un-noticed unless they are big new features like Instant Tutoring. But once in a while, there are some small improvements that will make a big difference to our users.

Our latest improvement, unified notifications will make everyone’s experience on italki much better.  We’ve organized all those random little notifications and “bubbles” that you would normally get and now present these notifications in order of importance and urgency. You’ll now know what’s important and what needs to be acted on.

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Patineuse (left) at the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics acting as a volunteer translator.

I completed the 2014 italki New Year’s Language Challenge. The challenge was to take 20 lessons in 6 weeks.  I actually finished the Challenge in a record 10 days!  The Challenge was great for me because I was going to the 2014 Winter Olympic Games in Sochi and it was the perfect opportunity to improve my Japanese, French and English.  I wanted to improve these languages to at a level where I could help out as a volunteer translator.

I want to thank my favorite teachers JapaneseTutor, Jéròme, Altini and Lloyd. It was not only my Challenge, but also theirs as well :) (more…)

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Congratulations to everyone who participated in our 2014 italki New Year’s Language Challenge!  This was our largest Language Challenge to date with hundreds of Challengers learning more than 30+ languages on italki!

We had representation from Challengers from over 50 countries all over the world!

Language Challenge Results 

Here’s a quick summary of the Language Challenge results!

The Language Challenge is Completely Achievable!

  • Out of the hundreds of Language Challenge participants, just under 50% (48%) completed the Challenge!  Is this Language Challenge too easy?!?
  • Out of the Language Challenge Winners 40% actually completed more than 30 sessions or more!
  • Instant Tutoring significantly helped many of the Challengers finish the Challenge! 

If you really want to improve your Language ability, the Language Challenge works! 

In just 6-weeks many of our Language Challenge participants went from zero language ability to fluency! Some of our Challengers were so happy with their results that they submitted videos of their speaking ability before and after!  We were very impressed. Watch these before and after videos!

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John was one of our Challenge participants who was learning Portuguese because he is going to the World Cup in Brazil!  He pretty much started with ZERO Portuguese ability.  His improvement is absolutely amazing and inspiring!  Click here to view his before and after video.

Challengers who made a Public Video Pledge are more likely to complete the Challenge!

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We wanted to thank everyone who participated in the 2014 italki New Year’s Language Challenge.  Our Marketing and Customer Experience Manager, Lexie  finished the challenge and posted her Challenge Video Review.    We asked other winners of the Language Challenge to share their final Challenge experiences by video as well and received a lot.  Here are the top 5 videos that we received!

LindsayDoesLanguages from the United Kingdom
20 Lessons in 6 weeks Learning German COMPLETED!

The was by far one of the most creative and entertaining videos we received as Lindsay (who is also an avid language learning enthusiast and blogger) really conquers learning German in just 6 short weeks!

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 blogs about her experiences with the Language Challenge on her own blog.  Read it here.  We just wanted to share this little exerpt from her:

“I definitely feel more confident speaking German and other than the odd case issue or separable verb stumbling me, I think I’m alright.  Although I still make mistakes (most of which I noticed post-production and kicked myself for!) it’s still a level I’m proud of and a nice solid base to begin to move on to my next personal language challenge…a little bit of Dutch!”

John from the United States
20 Lessons in 6 weeks Learning Portuguese COMPLETED!

John is learning Portuguese because he is going to the World Cup in Brazil!  He pretty much started with ZERO Portuguese ability.  You be the judge of whether he improved or not.  His improvement is absolutely amazing and inspiring!  

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Benny the Irish Polyglot releases his new book! – Fluent in 3 Months

March 11th, 2014 | Posted by Jim in announcement | promotion - (Comments Off on Benny the Irish Polyglot releases his new book! – Fluent in 3 Months)

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.

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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 Amazon.com.   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!

VIEW AN EXCERPT!

Click here to learn more and Buy the Book!

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