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#Appturday: An App That Will Help You Make Pen Friends Around The Globe

May 25, 2017 | by Japleen Kaur

Tired of using the same ol’, boring apps? Keep up with the hottest new app launches and rediscover old favourites with Appturday! Appturday’s a weekly post where we rant, rave, and share the apps we’re currently into.

Late Austrian-British philosopher, Ludwig Wittgenstein had said, ❝The limits of my language are the limits of my world❞, and that one sentence had the bitter truth of our lives dripping from each syllable.

We constraint ourselves so much by knowing just one language, thinking in one language, and knowing people who just understand that very same language. To think of it, we have been living in a bubble and restricting ourselves from the beautiful experiences that this world has to offer.

There are around 6,909 living languages in the world at present and we know, what, 2-3 of them? The realisation hit me way too hard and I was determined to learn a new language and give myself the chance to explore a different world.

But, with work timings and life in general, booking lessons and finding a teacher is a task as difficult as trying to put a piece of thread into a needle. But, just like that, it isn’t impossible.

And then Facebook helped out. After looking at posts from a friend who was learning the beautiful language of Turkish from an online language forum, I decided to give it a try and downloaded italki on my phone immediately.




The first step is the same as with most apps and that is to set a profile. Once that’s done, you can proceed to select the language you want to learn, and how. Now, that is what sets italki apart from the other language learning apps and sites. You learn from human beings and not from automated machines.

And this app gives you 3 ways to do that:

  • Professional Teachers — Get professional lessons from people who are certified teachers in that specific language. This option is for those who don’t mind paying and learning.
  • Informal Tutors — This is a cheaper option as compared to the one above, and in this, you learn the language from a tutor, who may be a native speaker. They don’t have formal training in teaching and the lessons might require some trial-and-error, but many a time, they prove to be way better. The best method is to opt for a number of tutors and see with whose style you are most comfortable with. My friend opted for this and she is now BFFs with her tutor.
  • Language Exchange — You find a language partner and exchange your expertise! So basically, if I know English and the other person knows Spanish, we give each other lessons and just go with the flow. This is a free way to learn and might just be the most fun one. A LOT of trial-and-error will happen and you will get messages from definite creeps that you need to filter out, but rest assured, you will make friends from people sitting in various parts of the planet.




You can also join the forum as a teacher and earn money. Yes, there is a legit job scene right here! Manage your lessons in the calendar, write notes, keep your contacts in place, and schedule Skype sessions — this app is a boon for anyone who feels suffocated in living just one life. Multiple languages give you a chance to live again and again, in the same birth.

I have just started with my lessons with a language partner and it already feels amazing.

This app will help you widen your knowledge horizons, breaking stereotypes and notions with every lesson you take. My friend (okay, her name is Madhuvanti) has managed to tell her Turkish friends that India is more than just cows, Bollywood, and rapes.

And if I (and Madhu) haven’t convinced you enough, maybe this TED talk by language hacker Benny Lewis will.

Available for iOS and Android devices.


Japleen Kaur

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