But in spite of its many benefits, it isn’t the only choice on the market.
In fact, there are 15 great alternatives you can use if italki isn’t quite what you’re looking for.
If you haven’t heard of italki, you might be missing out. Italki provides one-on-one lessons from native speakers that you can use to improve your skills.
If you don’t feel you need a formal lesson, italki can also connect you with a native speaker for a free conversation exchange so you can practice what you’ve learned.
Regardless of the path you take, italki presents you with customizable, flexible learning options to teach you nearly any language you may want to learn.
However, if you’re not on-board with italki, not all is lost! These 15 alternatives can provide you with many of the benefits italki offers.
Why Use an Italki Alternative?
First, using an italki alternative can help you find a language tutor or language exchange partner. Maybe you haven’t clicked with any of the tutors or language exchange partners you’ve found on italki. Or maybe you just want to make sure that whatever tutor or language exchange partner you find is the best available anywhere. Regardless of your reason, using an italki alternative can help you find the right tutor or language exchange partner for you.
Using an italki alternative can also provide you with something different than what italki offers. Each alternative provides slightly different features, so you might find an interface, tools or other options you prefer with an italki alternative.
Finally, you can never have too much language practice. That’s a fact. Even if you still want to use italki, it doesn’t mean you can’t also use a few alternatives to augment your language education. The more the merrier!
How to Select the Right Italki Alternative for You
Look for sources that provide information that matters to you.
When you’re in the market for a tutor or language exchange partner, most resources you encounter will provide some information on your potential match. For instance, some sources may offer your potential match’s photo, academic credentials, age, location and/or interests.
However, the information provided varies between platforms. When selecting an alternative, consider what information matters to you to ensure you find a resource that provides that information.
Ensure the resource you use offers the services you want.
Services vary across these resources. Some may offer video lessons, others feature web chat and others may provide a written pen pal experience. If you have a specific idea of what sort of service you prefer, pay careful attention to what the resource provides to ensure it matches your preferences.
Pay attention to how widely offered your target language is on the platform.
Some platforms have more members than others, and the number of speakers of specific languages can vary wildly.
You can often determine how many people speak your target language on a platform simply by searching for a tutor or conversation partner who speaks that language. If your search doesn’t yield many results, you may be better off using a different alternative.
Look at the format and offerings of each platform.
Some platforms provide supportive resources, like text translation or spell check, to make your conversations a little easier. Looking at the format and offerings of each platform can help you see additional opportunities and tools that might make you prefer one option over another.
Talk Like a Native with These 15 Italki Alternatives for Language Learning
Italki includes three great features for language learners: You can listen to native speakers, find a language tutor/teacher and match with a language exchange partner.
We’ve identified 15 resources that each include at least one of these features. Happy language learning!
Listening to Native Speakers
One key element of italki services is interacting with native speakers. However, not all language learners are comfortable speaking just yet.
Luckily, that doesn’t mean you have to miss out on the benefits of listening to native speakers. There are some great options for listening to native speakers without the intimidation factor of speaking to them.
FluentU gives you the opportunity to listen to a wide array of native speakers. FluentU takes real-world videos—like music videos, movie trailers, news and inspiring talks—and turns them into personalized language learning lessons.
With FluentU, you learn real languages—the same way that natives speak them. FluentU has a wide variety of videos, like movie trailers, funny commercials and web series, as you can see here:
FluentU has interactive captions that let you tap on any word to see an image, definition, audio and useful examples. Now native language content is within reach with interactive transcripts.
Didn’t catch something? Go back and listen again. Missed a word? Hover your mouse over the subtitles to instantly view definitions.
Under the Vocab and Dialogue tabs, you’ll find words and phrases from the video and a complete interactive transcript.
You can learn all the vocabulary in any video with FluentU’s Quiz Mode. Swipe left or right to see more examples for the word you’re learning.
Like italki, FluentU is also flexible. You choose what you watch, when you watch it and how much you watch. Meanwhile, FluentU’s algorithm tracks your learning to present you with questions that build on what you’ve already learned. Because of this flexibility, FluentU is appropriate for any level of language learner.
YouTube may be your favorite way to kill a few minutes with fun videos you’ll want to share with your friends, but it can also be your ticket to language learning success.
People around the world upload videos to YouTube, which means there’s authentic content available in virtually any language you can imagine.
To find channels in your target language, just search countries where your target language is widely spoken on Socialbakers to find the most popular channels in that country. The most popular channels usually use the most widely spoken local language, so it isn’t hard to find channels that use your target language.
However, not all videos offer captioning, so YouTube is often a more appropriate option for more advanced students.
Hiring a Teacher/Tutor
Italki can help you connect with a native speaker to serve as a teacher or tutor. Teachers and tutors can present you with targeted instruction to help you meet your learning goals. You can also find language teachers and tutors through the following services.
Students can use Langcer to connect with language teachers free of charge. Think of it like a matchmaking service. You can use it to connect with a teacher, but where you go from there is up to you.
To select your teacher, you can search by language, country and whether the teacher is a native speaker. Teacher profiles display lots of great information, such as the teacher’s native language, teaching methods offered (in-person, online, video and/or phone), location and age.
If you find a teacher you like, you can message them through the site to learn more. But be warned—the site hasn’t been as active as it used to be in the last couple years, so teachers may or may not still be interested in providing lessons.
Like italki, you can use Preply online or from the comfort of your favorite device.
Preply offers thousands of language tutors, including around 400 tutors for Arabic, 400 for Chinese, 2,600 for English, 300 for French, 200 for German, 300 for Italian, 300 for Japanese, 10 for Korean, 600 for Portuguese, 1,000 for Russian and 800 for Spanish.
Rates vary between tutors, so options are available for different budgets. You can search tutors by price, language, nationality and availability to locate your perfect match.
Preply is also flexible. Tutors are available 24/7, so you can schedule lessons that work for you. Lessons are transmitted via video through Preply, so you can access them from whatever location is convenient for you.
Rype provides one-on-one online language lessons with professional teachers.
Lessons are personalized and available 24/7, so they can meet the needs, preferences and goals of most language students.
The one caveat is that Rype doesn’t offer the broad range of language options that many services provide. Instead, Rype focuses on 10 languages: Arabic, Chinese, English, French, German, Italian, Japanese, Portuguese, Russian and Spanish.
If you’re not sure if private lessons are right for you, you can try Rype’s free seven-day trial to see how you like it.
Want to make sure your language tutor has been thoroughly vetted? AmazingTalker interviews its tutors and verifies their profiles. The program requires that tutors have teaching experience or teaching certificates and provides its tutors with additional training. Not only that, but you’ll have access to introduction videos, resumes and student feedback to help you select your ideal tutor.
You don’t have to have a contract, and lessons are customized for students. This makes AmazingTalker very flexible. You can just take a lesson here and there when there’s something in particular you want to work on, or you can take more lessons with long-term goals in sight.
AmazingTalker lessons are conducted via Zoom video conferencing, so you can take your lessons via mobile device or computer.
Professional teacher? Check. One-on-one instruction? Check. Customized curriculum? Check.
It’s hard to go wrong with Live Lingua’s flexible, personalized lessons. One thing that really sets Live Lingua apart from other services is that you don’t even have to select your own instructor, so it’s perfect for anyone with analysis paralysis.
Instead, you share your goals, learning style and educational history. A class coordinator will select a tutor for you, so you don’t have to spend hours staring at profiles trying to decide whom to choose.
Live Lingua also provides a free one-hour trial lesson to make sure Live Lingua is right for you before you commit.
Verbling has over 7,500 teachers who provide instruction in more than 50 languages.
Verbling offers professional teachers who are native speakers, and lessons are personalized. Lessons are held directly through Verbling (not Skype or Zoom), and the service works in your browser or through your favorite device.
On the surface, Verbling may seem a lot like other tutor services, but there are a few things that set it apart. For one thing, Verbling presents you with additional language tools, such as vocabulary review and collaborative textpads. And because learning a language can get lonely, Verbling can also help you connect with a community of other language learners for a little extra moral support.
When you participate in a language exchange, you use conversation to improve language skills. Generally, you’ll partner with a native speaker of your target language. You’ll help them learn your language, and they’ll help you learn theirs through practice and interaction.
Tandem is a lot like italki in that you can engage in conversation exchange or hire a tutor. With over five million members speaking more than 150 total languages, you’re likely to find someone who speaks your language.
Tandem connects language learners with native speakers around the world for some great conversation through your smartphone. Not only does Tandem allow video chat, it also offers instant messaging, photo sharing and voice messaging to give you more ways to connect with your partner.
And if you’re language skills aren’t quite up to snuff, don’t worry! Tandem features in-app translation and correction to help you along.
If you prefer a paid lesson, Tandem also provides one-on-one video tutoring.
Bilingua offers free audio and video language exchange through your favorite device. You can seek out users who share your interest for a fun and engaging chat.
In addition to language exchange, Bilingua provides additional tools to help you perfect your skills. For instance, the app’s chatbot can help you learn new words. And if you run out of conversation topics with your language exchange partner, try out a game in which you can earn points and rewards in the app.
With 10 million members and over 150 supported languages, HelloTalk is a major force in language exchange.
HelloTalk provides voice, video and text chat. Not only that, but helpful tools such as translation aids, pronunciation, corrections and transliterations can help make the language exchange process less nerve-wracking.
Plus, you can even post questions to the community to receive a little extra insight from native speakers without even doing a standard language exchange.
Run by Dickinson College, this free language exchange site connects language learners. You can meet your partner through this site and then use Skype for your language exchange.
Ever wish you could have a native speaker correct your written work? The Mixxer offers that, as well.
Thousands of users have posted profiles that detail their native languages and what they’re learning. All you have to do is sign up to start looking for your new language exchange partner.
My Language Exchange is an online community that hosts three million members from 175 countries who are practicing more than 160 languages.
You can use My Language Exchange’s member search tool to find partners based on native language, language they’re practicing, country, city, age, gender and more.
Once you’ve found your perfect partner, My Language Exchange can hook you up with lesson plans, text chat rooms, links to free voice chat rooms, hangman word games and so much more. With so many resources, your language exchange never has to have a dull moment!
All these online options are great, but what if you want to meet up for a language exchange in real life? That’s where Polyglot Club comes in.
Polyglot Club provides online chatting, a search feature to help you find friends and the option to post text for native speakers to correct. However, Polyglot Club also offers a feature rarely seen on conversation exchange websites: in-person interaction.
Polyglot Club even hosts meetings around the world where you can connect with other language aficionados and maybe find your new language exchange bestie. Additionally, because you can filter results by city when searching for new friends, you might be able to find someone near you who wants to meet up.
As always, be careful when meeting people in person. Never share your home address, and be sure to meet in public places.
Okay, so HiNative isn’t quite a language exchange program. But if your reason for wanting to interact with native speakers is to ask them your most pressing language questions, HiNative is a quick, easy solution.
HiNative is a question and answer platform that allows you to ask native speakers questions about pronunciation, grammar, vocabulary and any other topic that comes up as you study your target language. You can enter your question as text and/or upload audio and photos for your question, allowing you to ask about your pronunciation or a certain word you saw and couldn’t figure out.
Maybe italki isn’t up your alley. Or maybe you simply want more great resources to add to your learning routine.
Regardless of your need for choices, these 15 italki alternatives can provide you with terrific, interactive language learning!
If you liked this post, something tells me that you'll love FluentU, the best way to learn languages with real-world videos.