When we realized we were coming up on italki article number 1000 we knew we needed a special way to mark the occasion. What better, we thought, than to dedicate our thousandth trip to the press to all that italki Articles has become and the people who made it happen — our community of readers like you, and the italki teachers who share their passion for languages one topic at a time! It’s been a journey of years to build the diverse collection of articles our new and familiar writers continue to grow with us week by week, and crossing this milestone finds us reflecting with gratitude for all the people who have contributed along the way.
We also thought article 1000 would make a great occasion to celebrate italki itself and the larger learning concept Articles was born out of. When we launched Articles, almost exactly three years ago today, we wanted to give the people who learn with us something they wouldn’t be able to find anywhere else. True to our belief that language learning is all about connecting with people and what they have to share, we felt giving our teachers a voice in our community as writers would be a unique way for our learners to interact with our most valuable resource. More a complement than an alternative to italki lessons, Articles offered a different way of experiencing the personal wisdom and expertise italki teachers bring to helping people learn. No kind of textbook learning imaginable can give you the knowledge you gain by experiencing a language in real-life conversation, but one topic at a time we’ve managed to gather a wealth of organic perspectives to make your journey into any language richer, wherever you find yourself reading.
One of the great pleasures of learning is unearthing those diamond-like moments of understanding that only seem to come after a long struggle through confusion and guesswork. As an italki learner you can surely relate. If you’re one of the many who first started to make breakthroughs after connecting with one of our dedicated professional teachers, chances are you suffered your fair share of frustration before making the discoveries that inspired you to continue. What makes italki articles so valuable is that they are written to make those crystal moments of discovery easily accessible to you, capturing the spirit of italki lessons in print form. Just as importantly, they come from authors who have been through and mentored others in the struggle to learn languages, whose stories, perspectives, and wisdom are as valuable as the language knowledge they have to pass along.
Some articles read like mini-lessons on specific topics, while others offer encouragement for the longer journey of learning. Common to all of them are our writers’ efforts to save you valuable time you might otherwise spend wandering through a wilderness of misunderstandings with your goals for success coming in and out of focus. In this sense Articles are a lot like italki lessons and the mentorship a great teacher offers, and when combined with italki lessons they take on a new depth. On the one hand, topics centered on specific concepts in your target language can help you see ahead to ideas you might want to explore with your teacher. On the other hand, languages are as multifaceted as the people who speak them, and outside perspectives can only add to the learning experience you have with your teacher.
italki Articles is a publication dedicated to helping people access languages, created in the hope of bringing more people along in the incredible process of discovery that is learning to speak them. More than just a sigh of relief, it’s elating to be able to wake up in the middle of a moving conversation and wonder how it could ever have seemed so difficult to connect with people in your target language. When lofty goals and dreams come true, what once seemed unimaginable is suddenly impossible to imagine any other way, a theme we hear about so often in the success stories italki learners share at italki Stories.
Fabio from Brazil writes, “I stumbled upon a website that I had never heard of before: italki. The idea was simple and reasonable, but I had doubts. Would it actually work for me?... I had so many questions. Now, the answer seems crystal clear to me: italki was the best thing to happen to me in a million years. I felt like I was swimming in a sea of possibilities with a variety of teachers that maybe outnumbered the inhabitants of my small town.”
Realizing that his circumstances didn’t have to limit his access to the experiences he was seeking set Fabio free to leave his doubts behind. For others, finding out that succeeding at a language offers you new ways to connect with people is the true value of learning with italki. As Randall from the US writes, “I now have many Brazilian friends and acquaintances who are always available to share their knowledge as native speakers to help me further my knowledge. I am now able to have conversations with native speakers actually from Brazil and just talk with them about my favorite topics such as politics, sports, daily life, etc. and that experience in informal conversation has been invaluable in learning how to communicate.”
It’s no surprise that if there’s anything we’ve learned on the road to article 1000 it’s the value of sharing what you know with others who could benefit from your experience. Languages form the bonds of community, and those of us who care about learning them are a community of our own. That’s why we hope you’ll take the knowledge sharing that defines the italki experience as an inspiration to share your language journeys with the people who matter in your life, from friends and family to the network you connect with via social media. When you learn languages you become an ambassador for the good that it means in the world today and the benefits people can discover in experiences like your own. Perhaps you even have the missing insight into a problem thousands of learners are struggling with in a language you’ve mastered, in which case we hope you’ll consider becoming a contributor at Articles. If you believe in what you know, we believe in helping you give others the chance to know it too, and encourage you to learn more about writing with italki!
Wherever your learning leads you, we hope you will continue to find direction and inspiration in the myriad insights and perspectives we are able to bring you via italki Articles. It is truly rewarding to look back on at the three years of contributions our dedicated writers and teachers have made so that Articles could become the thriving part of the italki experience it is today. Here’s to the next thousand articles!