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Italki logo 2017 3200x2025.png
Available in
Founder(s)Kevin Chen, Yongyue Jiang
IndustryLanguage Learning
Alexa rankPositive decrease 5,085 (September 2017)[1]
Launched2007; 12 years ago (2007)
Current statusactive

italki /ˈtɔːki/ is an online language learning website which connects language learners and teachers through video chat. The site allows students to find online teachers for 1-on-1 tutoring, and teachers to earn money as freelance tutors.[2]

One can choose online language lessons taught by a professional teacher, who provides structured learning plans, or a community tutor. [3]


In 2007, Kevin Chen and Yongyue Jiang cofounded italki as an online language exchange community.[4][5] At the start, the site was focused on building free features for the community.[6][7][8] In 2009, the site launched its teacher marketplace, allowing teachers to earn money by providing online tutoring services.[9][10] Teachers on italki set their own price and time schedule.[11]

In 2012, italki raised angel funding from independent investors.[12][13] In 2016, italki raised $3 million from Hujiang, a Baidu-invested Chinese education company with over 100 million users.[14][15][16][17]

As of July 2017, italki has more than 3 million users from more than 100 countries, and 5000 teachers.[18][19][20] English is the most popular language being studied, followed by Spanish, French, Chinese, and Japanese. The site offers more than 100 languages,[21] including endangered ones such as Native American Blackfoot and South African Xhosa.[22]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ " Site Info". Alexa Internet. Retrieved 2017-09-21.
  2. ^ "Online alternatives to language classrooms open up to students," Nik Peachey, The Guardian,, July 5th, 2011
  3. ^
  4. ^ " Free Skype VoIP and IM Language Partner Community,",, 2007
  5. ^ "Redes Sociales Para Aprender Idiomas" [Social Networks For Language Learning] (in Spanish). El Pais. 6 February 2015. Retrieved 28 September 2017.
  6. ^ "Social networking sites take language learning out of classroom". South China Morning Post. 8 July 2008. Retrieved 2017-09-28.
  7. ^ "How to Successfully Learn a New Language This Year," Benny Lewis, Lifehacker,, October 1st, 2010
  8. ^ “Secrets of Learning a language - quickly,” Benny Lewis, BBC,, March 3rd, 2015
  9. ^ “italki launches marketplace for language tutors," Camille Ricketts, VentureBeat,, March 25th, 2009
  10. ^ "Professores deixam salas de aulas para ensinar línguas online" [Teachers Leave Classrooms to Teach Languages Online] (in Portuguese). Diario de Noticias. 17 July 2017. Retrieved 28 September 2017.
  11. ^ "6 Legit Ways to Make Money From Home That You’ve Never Heard Of,” Bob Lotich, HuffingtonPost,, January 25th, 2014
  12. ^ “Language Learning Marketplace italki Gets Seed Funding,” Steven Millward, Tech in Asia,, August 3rd, 2012
  13. ^ “Six Years In, Language Learning Site Italki Finds Its Angels,” Hamish Mckenzie, Pando,, August 9th, 2012
  14. ^ “Shanghai-based startup italki raises US$3M to help Chinese students find language tutors,” Yon Heong Tung, e27,, June 24th, 2016
  15. ^ “China: Hujiang invests $3m in ed-tech startup Italki,” Anirvan Ghosh, Deal Street Asia,, June 23rd, 2016
  16. ^ “China’s Learning Site Hujiang Now Has Over 100M users,”, TechNews,, January 14th, 2016
  17. ^ “China Minsheng Investment Joins $157M Series D Round In hujiang.Com,", China Money Network,, October 29th, 2015
  18. ^ “The 10 best language products,” Samuel Muston, Independent,, May 9th, 2012
  19. ^ “ITALKI: THE HUMAN CONNECTION,, PGLS,, July 17th, 2017
  20. ^ “italki Kevin Chen:做语言学习的“淘宝”, 陆家嘴, Sina,, July 13th, 2017
  21. ^ "I signed up for an Italki account to see why it's a leading platform for online language learning",Connie Chen, Business Insider,, September 26, 2017
  22. ^ ”Shanghai-based startup italki raises US$3M to help Chinese students find language tutors,” Yon Heong Tung, e27,, June 24th, 2016

External links[edit]