italki Review (2021): A Look at Features, Cost and Alternatives

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9.3 Total Score
Become fluent fast with native teachers

italki is one of the biggest language tutoring platforms on the internet. It connects you with language teachers from around the world for 1-on-1 lessons. italki is the best language tutor platform because there are teachers for every budget, it’s a safe and secure platform, and it has a lot of free features to enhance your lessons. Practicing with a native speaker is the best way to learn a language, and italki is the best place to find them!

User Experience
Quality of Content
Features Available
Value for Money
  • Thousands of teachers for hundreds of languages
  • Easy to filter and find the best teacher for you
  • Lesson prices fit every budget
  • The app and website are easy to use
  • Free features help you practice more
  • Quality of teachers varies a lot
  • Higher prices doesn’t mean higher quality
  • No set curriculum (could also be a pro)
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italki Reviews From Around The Web

Apple App Store9.0/10
Google Play Store8.4/10

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Table of Contents

Main Features


Learning Experience

Rates and Prices



Online language tutoring is the best way to practice speaking another language no matter where you are. It’s also a cool way to meet people from all over the world! I’ve tried a lot of language apps, but there’s just no substitute for speaking to an actual person. In this italki review, I show you the different features of the app, break down the pricing, and take a closer look at some italki alternatives.

italki is one of the top platforms for learning a language online. Whether you’re a beginner or already fluent, there are italki tutors for everyone.

italki Review: Main Features

At its core, italki connects language learners with language tutors around the world. There are a lot of different places to find online language tutors, but they definitely aren’t created equally. Compared to most other tutoring websites, italki is one of the best. Here are the main features of italki:

The italki App

To take lessons, you can choose to use italki’s website or you can download the italki app. They both offer the same experience, but I find the app to be more convenient.

italki app homepage screenshot

If you have the app on your phone, you can take lessons or complete practice activities anywhere you want. It’s easy to navigate and is really well-designed.

Finding a Language Tutor

Some tutoring platforms have out-dated search features that make it hard to find a good tutor. That’s not the case at all with italki. You can easily search and filter tutors to find your perfect match. You can filter tutors by:

  • Where they’re from
  • Other languages they speak
  • Their lesson prices
  • Availability
  • Category (Kids, Business, Test Prep, etc.)
  • Whether they’re a native speaker or not
  • Professional Teacher vs Community Tutor

Professional Teacher vs Community Tutor

There are two types of teachers on italki: Professional Teachers and Community Tutors. Professional Teachers are certified professionals that are experts in teaching languages. They’re perfect if you have detailed questions or want to study advanced topics, like test preparation. Community Tutors are native or advanced speakers who are helpful for informal practice and conversation exchange.

italki Feedback

After you find a list of tutors, you can take a look at their profile. Most of them make a short introduction video and write a brief description of themselves. One aspect of the tutor profiles I really like is the fact that you can see feedback from other students.

italki feedback from students

The quality of tutors varies on italki, so reading reviews from past students is really important. These can give you a better idea of what the tutor’s teaching style is, how they interact during their classes, and even how good their internet connection is. Nobody likes a lag (especially when you’re trying to practice another language)!

italki Instant Booking

You can always see a tutor’s availability on their profile page. Tutors have the option of approving each lesson request manually or they can enable the instant booking feature. This means that when you find a tutor you like and they’re available when you want to take a lesson, you can book it right then and there.

italki instant booking feature

This is super convenient because you don’t have to wait for the tutor to confirm your class. It all happens automatically.

italki Classroom

When the time comes to take a class, you can choose between the following communication tools: Skype, FaceTime, Google Hangout, Wechat, Zoom, QQ, and the italki Classroom (which I personally think is the best).

italki classroom screenshot

You can access the italki Classroom directly in the app and it has interactive tools that you and your tutor can use. I also think it’s safer to use because italki can easily see if you or your tutor have technical problems during the lesson.

Safety and Security

One of the best reasons to find a tutor through italki is safety and security. If you find someone on social media or in other forums online, there are a lot of risks. You could pay them and they don’t show up or they could do or say something explicit to you.

This is not a risk with italki. The platform ensures you receive the lessons you pay for and it also helps solve any problems you have with a tutor. This added security is a huge benefit!

italki Languages Review

You can study more than 150 languages on italki. They range from more popular languages like Spanish and French to uncommon languages like Basque and Tsonga. The most popular languages on italki are: Chinese (Mandarin), French, Spanish, German, Portuguese, Korean, Arabic, Japanese, Hindi, Italian, and Russian. You can see the full italki languages list here.

If you’re not quite ready for live lessons, check out the resources below to find the best apps to learn each language.

italki Review: Overall Learning Experience

I’ve taken quite a few Spanish lessons on italki and I only have good things to say. The platform is really easy to use and the italki Classroom makes lessons more fun.

italki practice activity screenshot

In addition to taking lessons, italki also has some free practice activities you can complete to practice even more. It asks questions in your target language and native speakers help correct your responses. You can also ask questions to the italki community and interact with tutors outside of your classes. These are similar to other platforms like Coursera, and I think they add some value to your lessons.

It could be a good idea to use a language app like Pimsleur, Babbel or Rocket Languages to help you learn outside of your classes too.

italki Review: Areas of Improvement

As a platform, italki is excellent. It’s safe and secure, the technology is reliable, and it makes learning a language interactive and fun. I honestly don’t have any bad things to say about it.

italki tutor profile screenshot

The most important point I want to make is to choose your tutor wisely though. There are good tutors and bad tutors, and a higher price doesn’t always mean higher quality lessons. To avoid disappointment, be sure and watch the tutors’ introduction videos and read reviews from other students.

This isn’t really italki’s fault because it can’t control how people teach, but it is something to be aware of before taking lessons.

italki Rates and Prices

italki tutors set their own rates for lessons, and they sometimes offer lower prices if you book multiple lessons at once. The cost of italki lessons generally ranges from around $4.00 to $30.00 per hour, but you can find tutors lower and higher than this price range. Remember, a higher price doesn’t necessarily mean higher quality lessons though!

It’s worth taking a few cheap trial lessons to see how different tutors teach. Each one has a unique style, and the discounted trial lessons are perfect for seeing which style works best for you.

italki Alternatives and Similar Platforms

As learning a language online becomes more and more popular, you’ll find more and more websites like italki. There are already a lot of italki alternatives out there, but very few offer a good experience like italki. The best italki alternatives are Preply, Lingoda, Baselang, Verbling, and Chatterbug. If you’re looking for platforms like italki, add these to the top of your list.

Preply vs italki

Preply language app homepage

Similar to italki, Preply connects language learners and tutors around the world. It’s a huge platform just like italki and tutors set their own prices and make their own curriculum, too. Overall, italki seems to be more developed than Preply and its platform is more advanced. One way Preply stands out though is its happiness guarantee: If you take a trial lesson and aren’t happy, Preply arranges a lesson for you with a different tutor completely free.

Or read this Preply review to learn more

Lingoda vs italki

Lingoda Language School Homepage

Lingoda is similar to italki because it connects you with online language tutors, but it’s a completely different format. Lingoda has a structured curriculum that its teachers follow, so there’s a lot of guidance and consistency in your classes. The lessons also have a set price and they are group lessons. italki tutors set their own prices and classes are mainly 1-on-1. If structure is what you’re looking for, Lingoda is an excellent option. It currently offers, Spanish, French, German, and English.

Or learn more about it in this Lingoda review

Baselang vs italki

Baselang Spanish School Homepage

Baselang is a website similar to italki, but it only offers Spanish classes. With Baselang, you can choose your tutors and availability just like on italki. However, Baselang also offers a complete curriculum that takes you from beginner to fluent quickly. One aspect of Baselang that makes it better than italki is its price. For one monthly price, you get unlimited Spanish lessons.

Or read my complete Baselang review

Verbling vs italki

Verbling homepage

Verbling is an italki alternative that helps you easily find language tutors. The layout of the platform is really similar to the italki website, and tutors also set their own prices on both websites. There is one big difference though. While italki lets tutors offer a discounted trial lesson, your first trial lesson on Verbling is completely free. That alone makes it worth a try!

Chatterbug vs italki

Chatterbug Homepage

Chatterbug is an italki alternative that offers complete courses and comprehensive practice activities. Instead of telling your tutor what you want to do each lesson, Chatterbug follows an integrated curriculum.

Both italki and Chatterbug have 1-on-1 lessons, but Chatterbug also helps you learn outside of your lessons. It offers spaced-repetition flashcards, reading activities to learn words in context, video and audio clips to improve your comprehension, and writing practice.

italki Review FAQ

Is italki safe?

The italki platform is completely safe and secure to use. Your personal information is protected and italki helps you solve any problems you have with payments or tutors. italki is much safer than finding a tutor and paying them privately.

Does italki have a free trial?

italki does not have a free trial, but most tutors offer trial lessons at a discounted rate. This is a great way to try lessons with different tutors and find the one you like best. Tutors also offer discounts if you book multiple lessons with them. This is one of the best ways to save money on language lessons.

Can italki make you fluent?

Yes, you can definitely become fluent by using italki. Practicing with native speakers is the best way to learn a language, and italki makes this really easy. Lesson prices are affordable too, so you could even save money by learning with italki instead of subscribing to an expensive language course.

How often should I use italki?

This depends on your budget and how quickly you want to learn. Ideally, you should aim to take 2 or 3 hours of lessons per week. This makes sure you’re practicing consistently but not overwhelming yourself with new material. You can also ask your italki tutor to send you practice activities to complete outside of your lessons.

When should I start italki lessons?

You should start italki lessons as soon as you start learning a language. Practicing with native speakers is the quickest way to improve your communication skills. If you start italki lessons when you start learning a language, you’ll also learn proper pronunciation and avoid the mistakes people who only use language apps make.

italki Review Methodology

This italki review is completely independent and I received no compensation for writing it. To write this review, I used the italki website and app myself, took several lessons with a Spanish tutor, and read user reviews on other popular websites.

Chad started Langoly to help others learn and teach languages more effectively. He's a language enthusiast, and loves reviewing language learning and teaching resources.

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  1. You said that the italki platform is safe and users’ data is protected. Have you reviewed italki’s security?

    • Hi Bob! Thanks for your comment. You can learn more about how italki protects user data in their Privacy Policy here:

      You can also read through their other policies at that link. Based on the information in those policies, I think it’s fair to say italki is a safe and secure platform.

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