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italki Review

Thursday, May 30th

2024 Japanese Lesson Reviews

italki Review 3.5 Star Rating


3.5 Star Rating
  • Pricing from $10 to $40 per hour
  • Trial lesson usually available at half-price
  • Tutoring and video-call lessons
  • Highly qualified tutors and teachers
  • 30- to 90-minute sessions
  • Synchronous meetings
  • 4.8-star average rating

italki is an affordable platform for linking up with language tutors. Instead of providing its own pre-made lesson content, italki is a marketplace where you can discover a tutor to guide you in your Japanese learning process. Particularly helpful because you talk with an educator who is fluent and often from Japan, you have the freedom to choose a tutor who matches your learning preferences and schedule. Each tutor sets their own rates and times, so you can find your perfect fit without breaking the bank.

Browse tutors and pick your best match

To get started, you can select either an "instant" lesson or schedule one within the next 72 hours. These selections will narrow the list of available teachers and tutors ready to help you practice Japanese. To get a glimpse of what you can expect to learn, you have the option to watch a preview video from each tutor. For instance, one of the top recommendations we received mentioned being a professional teacher in Japan. She has a step-by-step teaching plan and notes that the students who succeed best with her tutoring lessons are those who are willing to study and complete work outside of sessions. She also states that she likes to discuss social issues, business and finance, nature, and music during sessions to make sure that your learning is developing a conversational style that's relevant to the current times. However, the videos typically don't depict exercises or interactions with students, as those aspects of sessions are tailored by the tutor during the time you meet with one another.

Tutoring rather than full courses

italki sessions are conducted exclusively through video conferencing tools like Skype or Facetime. So, you'll need to make time to meet with your tutor each week. It's a synchronous process, so there is a little less flexibility than with other programs. italki also doesn't directly provide educational services; rather, it acts as a platform that connects learners with proficient language tutors. Ideally, italki complements your existing Japanese learning resources and courses.

Best Japanese Lessons

Price range is different with each tutor

At italki, the cost of Japanese lessons varies depending on the tutor or teacher you select and the duration of the session. Prices typically range from $5 to $15 per hour for trial lessons, with full lessons costing anywhere from $15 to $40 per hour with the average being about $20 per hour. Session lengths range from 30 to 90 minutes, and the prices will change depending on how long of a session you choose or the topic planned for the session. For instance, one tutor offers an exam prep session for $20 an hour whereas a "general Japanese" session for 45 minutes is $18. To help you decide between tutors and prices, you can view student ratings for each tutor, providing insight into the quality of their service. Many of the tutors we researched received a perfect 5-star rating from their students.

Progress depends on you and your outside study

italki operates as a tutoring service rather than a structured language-learning program, meaning there are no preset lesson plans or targets to meet. Your advancement will vary with different tutors, and you'll need to rely on external lesson materials (which may be provided by the tutor) to see progress toward fluency. While some tutors may offer specialized lessons like "test prep" or particular levels of Japanese like "Intermediate Japanese I" , you'll need to actively seek out these opportunities on italki. This approach is more self-directed compared to other platforms we've evaluated.

Unclear refund policy if you don't use credits

Refunds from italki are somewhat unclear. During our research we found that to get a refund from italki, you must use "credits" bought through its platform instead of making direct payments with a card or other payment method. If you've used credits, you can get them refunded back to your account, but there isn't a specific refund policy for paying with a card. Luckily, there's no penalty for canceling, whether it's you or your tutor who cancels. However, we had trouble finding any information about payment policies if you decide not to use italki credits.

Best Japanese Lessons

Students love the teachers and the price

Overall, the reviews for italki are highly positive. According to Trustpilot, italki has an impressive average rating of 4.6 out of 5 stars. Students particularly appreciate the high quality of instruction offered by the teachers as well as the low prices. Looking at the reviews for Japanese tutors on italki's website also showed impressive feedback. The entire first page of tutors received perfect 5-star ratings from their students.

Use italki with your other learning methods

italki has established a strong reputation for excellent tutoring. However, the platform's emphasis on tutoring sessions may leave students without a specific curriculum to follow. If your primary method of learning Japanese relies solely on italki, you might need to supplement it with outside resources. This potential extra cost contributes to italki's rating. On the other hand, if you're looking for a high-quality language-focused tutoring service to improve your Japanese learning, italki comes highly rated and recommended by students.

Where Can You Find the Best Japanese Lessons?

Learning a new language opens up a world of opportunities, and Japanese is one of the most intriguing languages you can choose. Suppose you're fascinated by Japanese culture, anime, manga, or traditional arts like tea ceremonies and calligraphy. In that case, delving into the Japanese language can provide a deeper understanding and appreciation of what you love.

Fortunately, with the increasing popularity of online learning, you can easily find Japanese lessons on the internet. Whether you're a complete beginner or seeking to refine your conversational skills, online Japanese courses offer a variety of teaching styles. From immersive audio lessons and interactive quizzes to multimedia resources and virtual language exchanges, online platforms offer an engaging learning environment.

The Best Japanese Lessons Compare Japanese Lessons Compare Japanese Lesson Reviews What are the best Japanese Lessons Best Japanese Lesson Reviews

Japanese Lesson FAQ

Japanese is in the top 10 most widely spoken languages in the world, with over 130 million people who use it. 99% of those speakers live in Japan, but there are over a million people in the US, Brazil and Guam who also speak fluent Japanese.
Yes, but you probably won't encounter anything beyond Standard Japanese unless you travel throughout Japan itself. The Japanese you learn will be understood throughout the country, and differences are mostly related to accents and some vocabulary. It's not unlike what you find between speakers from different regions of the US, or between people from England and Australia.
If we're being completely honest, we'd say that Japanese is one of the hardest languages you could attempt to master: even the US State Department ranks it with Arabic, Korean and Chinese as one of the four most difficult! Part of that stems from the fact that Japanese has three separate writing systems (Hiragana, Katakana, Kanji). However, if you've got the grit to work hard and be patient with your studies, Japanese shouldn't be out of reach for you to learn.
You're going to need to wrap your head around the three Japanese alphabets: Hiragana, Katakana, and Kanji. You'll find all of them as you learn the language! As you learn the alphabets, start memorizing basic vocabulary for how you intend to use Japanese, whether that's for business use or just to understand your favorite anime! Speaking of TV, it's a great way to pick up the accent and pronunciation naturally, especially if you don't have the chance to talk with native speakers on a regular basis.
There's no need to spend hundreds or thousands of dollars for a one-semester Japanese class at a university when you can get on-demand instruction for much less. You may not even be able to find in-person classes near you, but there are always options online that let you learn Japanese as quickly (or as slowly!) as you desire.
You need to take a few extra steps to enable the Japanese language on your computer. The steps differ if you're using a Mac or Windows-based PC, and you'll have to search for the instructions based on your operating system. There are also online Japanese keyboards that let you click on characters without modifying your settings.
They're very affordable. You can get month-to-month subscription plans for less than $25/month, or make a one-time purchase of a Japanese lessons package for under $500. Either way, you'll get much more for your money than if you were paying for a semester or two of college courses.
You'll want to read the terms and conditions of any language platform you're considering. The subscription plans typically allow customers to cancel at any time but don't offer a refund of previous payments. The Japanese lesson packages that are one-off purchases may have a 30- or 60-day money-back guarantee. We suggest that you use all of the free resources that the language program has to offer - such as a sample lesson, or a trial period - so that you will already know how it approaches instruction and if it's a good fit for your preferences.
Compare the Best Reviews

Continued from above...

Whether you dream of exploring the bustling streets of Tokyo, immersing yourself in the serene landscapes of Kyoto, or simply connecting with Japanese speakers, learning the language can be a rewarding experience.

Japan has a rich cultural heritage, steeped in centuries-old traditions and modern innovations. From the graceful movements of traditional dance forms like Noh and Kabuki to the intricate artistry of sushi-making and bonsai cultivation, Japanese culture offers art, history, and innovation. By learning Japanese, you gain access to a vibrant cultural world that spans ancient history and contemporary pop culture phenomena like J-pop music. From the elegance of Japanese architecture to the dynamic energy of modern city life, learning Japanese allows you to delve deeper into the heart and soul of Japan.

In today's interconnected world, proficiency in Japanese can open doors to many personal and professional opportunities. Japan is a global economic powerhouse, home to leading technology companies, automotive giants, and influential cultural exports. Whether you aspire to work for a Japanese corporation, pursue academic research in collaboration with Japanese institutions, or engage in cross-cultural exchange programs, fluency in Japanese can significantly broaden your horizons.

As you embark on your journey to learn Japanese, it can be hard to narrow down the options. Here are some key factors to consider to help you find the best resource for your Japanese lessons:

  • Teaching methodology. Identify your preferred learning style - whether auditory, visual, or kinesthetic - and select a Japanese course that works best with how you learn. Whether you thrive on interactive exercises, audiovisual content, or structured grammar discussions, make sure you prioritize platforms that offer methods that support how you learn best.
  • Free trial option. Look for Japanese language platforms that offer free trials or sample lessons. This allows you to check out the program before committing to a subscription. Some platforms offer course previews or multi-day trials. These will give you the best chance at trying a language program before you have to pay.
  • Cost. Evaluate the cost of Japanese language courses with respect to the value they offer in terms of educational content and language proficiency outcomes. Many Japanese language lessons are free, but you may not get full proficiency from those sources. On the other hand, some programs are very expensive, but you still might miss some key features. Balance the cost and value of the language instruction to find your best fit.
  • Reputation. Research the reputation and credibility of Japanese language platforms through customer reviews, ratings, and testimonials. Explore third-party review sites, language learning forums, and social media channels to see if your favorite Japanese lesson provider offers the results you want. Look for platforms with positive feedback regarding instructional effectiveness, customer support, and learning outcomes for a rewarding and fulfilling learning experience.

To help you get the most out of your language studies, Top Consumer Reviews has tested, evaluated and ranked the best options for online Japanese lessons today. We know this information will give you all the info you need to choose the best program for your learning style and schedule.

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