Has anyone used iTalki?

I’m interested in trying it out but I’m always so nervous about showing my face to people on the internet lol…

Anyway, I’d really love to learn real Japanese and to improve my speaking skills. And since it’s pretty impossible for me to go to Japan, getting a tutor would be the next best thing, right?

I’m somewhere between N3 and N2 so finding a teacher who could help me to get to N2 would be great.

So yeah, has anyone here used iTalki? Or any other app with similar features. Would you recommend them? Was is easy to find a suitable teacher for you?


I did - but never the teachers. The tandem partners I had were very helpful and nice :slight_smile:
I think it depends weather to get a teacher or a tandem partner there. If you are able to hold small talk you can get a partner - there you get a lot of practice. Don’t worry too much - the other person is struggling too (with your mother language).
On the other hand, if there are certain points that are unclear or you want to get a deeper feedback, getting a tutor would be a good idea since tandem partners are usually not as strict as a tutor would be (e.g. grammar and pronunciation).

I’ve used it tons of times. Super helpful. I think you can do audio only.

Really?! That’d be awesome.

I use it 5 times a week and it has improved my speaking a lot! And yes, you can do audio only. I was lucky to find a teacher who suited me very well early on. Try different ones and see how it goes!


I know it’ll vary per teacher, and it’s fine if you don’t want to answer, but: how much is that costing you per week? Since you say it’s a teacher, and not a language exchange partner.

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I speak for one hour per week with Mika Ozaki. She lives in Wisconsin and I pay a bit less than $50 for a package of five lessons. I find her super helpful. Note that I am an advanced student; we have free ranging chats about various topics, including books I am reading in Japanese.


I pay aprox 33€ per week for 5 one hour sessions.

I understand that it is pricey for some people but I honestly truly feel like I have to pay someone if they take the time to help me improve my Japanese.
I have always felt guilty speaking to Japanese people I know in Japanese when English is our strongest common language. It’s also nice to pay someone cause then you can just ask all your language questions with less guilt :wink:

Just wanted to add that this applies to me as well, so I don’t have experience with iTalki teachers actually “teaching” or preparing material beforehand. If you want an experienced teacher in that sense it might get more pricey.


I’m just getting started with Japanese, so I don’t have a Japanese tutor on iTalki yet, but I plan to. I have a Malayalam one now, and she’s fantastic, $8USD/hr, 3 times per week. She started from the very beginning with me, but we’ve gotten to the point now where we don’t have to use any English at all (except for the loanwords, of course).

I recommend trying out different tutors in the beginning to see who you need at your level. iTalki has a great feature that lets you try 3 different 30-min sessions for a significantly reduced price, and I found that really helpful.

All the best!


That’s super interesting, thank you!

Mika does work with more beginning students, using some book (Genki?), but I have no personal experience of working with her that way.

Honestly that is crazy cheap. It’s just barely the federal minimum wage in the US.


I had a good experience with it, but I think the biggest mistake I made in the past with it was not having clear goals for the tutor.

It is best if you already have a clear intention of what you want from the teacher.

Do you want them to just check your homework? Free talk? Specific N2 stuff?

I do highly recommend it, I have met some really nice teachers on there. Even the cheapest ones turned out really nice.


I have, and I gushed about it a bit a while back:

This month both of my current tutors, that I’ve been talking with since the beginning will be quitting iTalki and I’ll have to find new ones! So sad! ;_;


Oh no!!! That’s tragic :cry:

I’ve been using iTalki for a few years now, getting weekly lessons with 2 tutors. It’s unstructured, but with 1 I read something that’s way beyond my level (which is possible with a tutor), and with the other I do a bit of everything, including just chatting, working on grammar, reading articles, and reading a something that’s about my level (to balance out the other book lol).

I don’t know what my Japanese would’ve like without them, and thanks to them my listening comprehension is probably my strongest point.

I would recommend doing video lessons rather than just audio though, because miming does happen and makes understanding a lot easier, and the tutor can see if you’re struggling.


I found iTalki really helpful for listening and speaking. My tutor helped me towards N4. I’m just going back to it this week after an 8 month break.

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iTalki is awesome, the hardest part is finding a tutor that works well for you. I’ve been doing weekly lessons with my tutor for the past year or so. It’s helped a lot with my pronunciation! It helped push myself towards the N4 level, with practical conversation practice as well.

There should be plenty of people on there that’ll help you get past your current level. Good luck!

iTalki is very helpful for meeting exchange partners (I even met one who lives near my office and we meet up regularly) but I can’t recommend teachers enough.

My teacher’s name is Sam Lynas - he’s an English guy but lived in Japan for years (now resides in Spain actually). I wanted to learn Japanese from someone who had to go through the same hardships, from my native tongue. Over the year I have been using iTalki I think I have learned more from him than from textbooks over the same period of time.

It’s money well spent IMO.

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I’m a big fan of the HelloTalk app. Large Japanese community on there where you can correct their English and they can correct your Japanese. Several people on there are more than willing to chat or speak on the phone, as well.

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