Thanks to all the great people at The Polyglot Gathering in Berlin

May 18th, 2015 | Posted by Ivan in event - (Comments Off on Thanks to all the great people at The Polyglot Gathering in Berlin)

 

From April 30th to May 4th, hundreds of language enthusiasts gathered in Berlin to share in their passion for languages, swap tricks of learning new languages quickly and efficiently. 

Kevin Chen, CEO and Co-founder of italki shares his experience:

Being based in Shanghai, we unfortunately don’t get that many opportunities to meet many of our users face-to-face. This is one of the reasons why I was so impressed and inspired by the Polyglot Gathering in Berlin.  Imagine being surrounded by hundreds of people who love learning languages, and who want to make real human connections with people around the world.

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Here are just a few highlights:

 

  • Speaking with Judith Meyer, the main organizer of the Polyglot Conference.  In addition to managing a great event, she is an amazing polyglot.  I was afraid to test her debate skills in Chinese.
  • Learning more about Benny Lewis and his personal journey.  We’ve known Benny for a long time (he visited us in Shanghai in 2012!), and his message is always so positive.  Being a successful language learner is all about the desire, and an open-minded willingness to try learning in a different way.
  • Meeting Olly Richards and learning more about his personal experiences in learning Arabic in Egypt.  His feedback on Arabic is already helping us at italki.
  • Meeting Richard Simcotts and hearing him speak about what it means to be a polyglot.  He’ll also be co-organizing the Polyglot Conference, which is coming up in October.
  • Getting a taste of the life of an interpreter from Lydia Machová.  For a laugh, ask her about her experiences interpreting for hallucinating shamans and European tourists.
  • Meeting Ulysses Hsiúng-Lúo and getting his unique perspective on the world.
  • Being impressed by Vladimir Skultety, a Slovak whose American accent and amazing Chinese would allow him to pass as a native of either place.

Getting advice from Michael Levi Harris, a polyglot actor who spoke about how actors practice sounding like native speakers.  Check out his hilarious short film (based on his real experiences in New York), The Hyperglot.

I also have to make a special mention of the italki teachers that I met — Alina, Lea, and Shauna!  I know there are others who attended, and I wish I had had more time to meet everyone.

 

I met so many great people, and this post would go on forever if I tried to list them all.

The whole experience made a strong impression on me, and it fired up my desire to start studying again.  I considered starting Esperanto, partly based on my conversation with Chuck Smith and Katerine Berone-Adesi from the Esperanto community.  However, I want to make one more push at improving my Chinese.  (I’m thinking I will take the pledge in the next italki Challenge in June.)

Once again, if you have never heard of the Polyglot Gathering, I really recommend going.  You’ll meet fascinating people, and be inspired to start or restart learning a language.  At italki, we believe the future of education is moving in this direction — people will be driven by their passions and by a desire to understand the world.  We hope that italki can continue to be an important part of this movement!

Kevin

 

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So… in the spirit of giving, we’re offering this bonus again to help you complete the Challenge!

If you’ve signed up for the italki June 2015 Language Challenge, we’re giving away even more ITC to motivate you to succeed!  Do you really want to complete the challenge?  Use peer pressure (in a good way) to help yourself achieve your language learning goal! 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. Things that you put on the Web have a better chance of getting done!

BONUS 50ITC! Upload your Language Challenge Public Video Pledge

Make a Public Video Pledge by uploading a video to YouTube or Youku before you begin your first session (or your first few sessions).

What should you say in your Public Video Pledge?

Youtube video:


Youku video:


(more…)

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It’s Coming! The 2015 italki June Language Challenge

May 7th, 2015 | Posted by Jim in announcement | event | Language Challenge - (Comments Off on It’s Coming! The 2015 italki June Language Challenge)

Psst… Some of you may have heard and the rumors are true! The secret is out….

Our last Language Challenge, the New Year’s Language was a tough Challenge!  It was a 6-weeks and required you to finish 20 hours!  We had a whopping 48% of our Challengers who finished it and many of the winners made huge improvements (hint: these are BEFORE and AFTER videos) in their language learning.

Our next Language Challenge is right around the corner.  If you felt that the last Challenge was a bit too Challenging, this one might be just right for you as we are running this Challenge just for the month of June.  We’re not telling you what the actual Challenge is just yet… but if you feel you can complete a shorter, one-month Challenge, this is the Challenge for you!

Registration begins May. 15th so stay tuned for the:

2015 italki June Language Challenge

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Enter your email to get SPECIAL UPDATES and be notified when the challenge registration opens!

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italki on TV! ICS (International Channel Shanghai) Culture Matters

May 1st, 2015 | Posted by Christopher in feature - (Comments Off on italki on TV! ICS (International Channel Shanghai) Culture Matters)

Kevin Chen, the CEO of italki recently appeared on Culture Matters a talk show on ICS (International Channel Shanghai).   This particular episode was about online education and the different players that are currently in Shanghai.

(Note that Kevin appears at the 42:00 minute mark)

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Tuck EMBA students visit the italki office!

April 28th, 2015 | Posted by Christopher in event | feature - (Comments Off on Tuck EMBA students visit the italki office!)

Earlier this week, Tuck EMBA students from the United States came to visit our italki office in Shanghai.   We really enjoy sharing the italki story with others.  Special thanks to these Tuck students who travelled so far to meet with us!

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