italki (in English: /ˈtɔːki/) is an online language learning platform 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.[3] italki is headquartered in Hong Kong, China.

Available inArabic, Czech, Dutch, English, Esperanto, French, German, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Polish, Portuguese, Russian, Simplified Chinese, Spanish, Thai, Traditional Chinese, Turkish and Vietnamese[1]
Country of originChina
Founder(s)Kevin Chen, Yongyue Jiang
IndustryLanguage Learning
Launched2007; 17 years ago (2007)
Current statusActive
Native client(s) oniOS[1] & Android[2]

One can choose online language lessons taught by a professional teacher, who provides structured learning plans, or a community tutor.[4] Students may also use it as a platform for mutual language exchange.[5]



In 2007, Kevin Chen and Yongyue Jiang cofounded italki as an online language exchange community.[6][7] At the start, the site was focused on building free features for the community.[8][9][10] In 2009, the site launched its teacher marketplace, allowing teachers to earn money by providing online tutoring services.[11][12] Teachers on italki set their own price and time schedule.[13]

In 2012, italki raised angel funding from independent investors.[14][15] In 2016, italki raised $3 million from Hujiang, a Baidu-invested Chinese education company with over 100 million users.[16][17][18]

As of July 2017, italki has more than 3 million users from more than 100 countries, and 5000 teachers.[19][20][21] English is the most popular language being studied, followed by Spanish, French, Chinese, and Japanese. The site offers more than 100 languages for students and teachers to choose from[22][16] Its user interface supports 19 languages.[1]

See also



  1. ^ a b c "italki: Learn languages online".
  2. ^ "Italki: Learn languages with native speakers". Google Play.
  3. ^ Chen, Connie. "italki is an online language-learning platform that connects you with fluent speakers and teachers at a very low cost — here's how it helped me practice and learn a new language faster". Business Insider. Retrieved 2023-12-21.
  4. ^ "What is the difference between a Professional Teacher and a Community Tutor?". italki Help and Support. Archived from the original on 2019-04-16.
  5. ^ "The strangers helping each other learn a new language - via WhatsApp".
  6. ^ " Free Skype VoIP and IM Language Partner Community | Free Language". Retrieved 2023-12-21.
  7. ^ "Redes Sociales Para Aprender Idiomas" [Social Networks For Language Learning] (in Spanish). El Pais. 6 February 2015. Archived from the original on 10 May 2020. Retrieved 28 September 2017.
  8. ^ "Social networking sites take language learning out of classroom". South China Morning Post. 8 July 2008. Retrieved 2017-09-28.
  9. ^ Miller, Tessa (2013-01-10). "How to Successfully Learn a New Language This Year". Lifehacker. Retrieved 2023-12-21.
  10. ^ “Secrets of Learning a language - quickly,” Benny Lewis, BBC,, March 3rd, 2015
  11. ^ Ricketts, Camille (2009-03-25). "italki launches marketplace for language tutors". VentureBeat. Retrieved 2023-12-21.
  12. ^ "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.
  13. ^ Lotich, Bob (January 26, 2014). "6 Legit Ways to Make Money From Home That You've Never Heard Of". HuffPost. Retrieved April 6, 2022.
  14. ^ "Tech in Asia - Connecting Asia's startup ecosystem". Retrieved 2023-12-21.
  15. ^ "Pando: Democratizing career progression". Retrieved 2023-12-21.
  16. ^ a b Tung, Yon Heong. "Shanghai-based startup italki raises US$3M to help Chinese students find language tutors". e27. Retrieved 2023-12-21.
  17. ^ "China: Hujiang invests $3m in ed-tech startup Italki". DealStreetAsia. Retrieved 2023-12-21.
  18. ^ "China Minsheng Investment Joins $157M Series D Round In Hujiang.Com". China Money Network. 29 October 2015. Retrieved 6 April 2022.
  19. ^ Muston, Samuel (9 May 2012). "The 10 best language products". The Independent. Retrieved 6 April 2022.
  20. ^ "Piedmont Global Language Solution (PGLS)". PGLS. Retrieved 2023-12-21.
  21. ^ 陆家嘴 (2017-07-13). "italki Kevin Chen:做语言学习的"淘宝"". Retrieved 2023-12-21.
  22. ^ Chen, Connie (7 December 2020). "italki is an online language-learning platform that connects you with fluent speakers and teachers at a very low cost — here's how it helped me practice and learn a new language faster". Business Insider. Retrieved 6 April 2022.