06 February, 2016

iTalki: My Review On the Language Learning Site

After watching a YouTube video to improve my Japanese, I heard of the site iTalki. According to them, this was a good site to learn languages. This seemed like a useful site, where I can learn from human beings who know the language. I have found some helpful articles. However I am beginning to get tired of trying to use iTalki for my language learning. I am only there to learn for my work, job and business purposes. I again came across problems and the downfall of not being anonymous anymore.

Although I understand for specific languages like Arabic, French, Turkish, Dutch (Japanese, Korean and Chinese I have no difficulties understanding and pronouncing) and more I need to learn for writing projects and work reasons; some are good to hear to know how to properly pronounce words. However I still dislike the idea of being forced to use Skype, some type of voice or video communication when I simply say I prefer not to. I am uncomfortable with this because I have many issues with males communicating with me. After awhile the conversations change to weird and the dating issue. It does not matter what site I am on. Also it does not matter how many miles they are.

What I expected from iTalki and did not:


I assumed from watching the video iTalki was more professional, and was perfect for a professional like me. I did not expect the site to be as annoying and social. I knew it was a social site, but not like that. 

I am not social. I am introverted, reserved and live an isolated life. I assumed iTalki was only going to be a useful learning tool for languages. Yes the articles, but I got more than what I wanted or thought from iTalki. I was leery and uncomfortable with the idea of speaking to so many strangers. I did not trust giving them contact information they asked for, number, email and other things. I chose Google Hangouts because it is easier for me to block if something does not work out with that individual.

 For my language learning, males offered to assist me with their language and to be language partners (The site was more successful for learning Arabic and Turkish). For the record, I am no sexist, but for something as personal and social as that, I preferred to be communicated by female members. Instead, I was not. Yes I have by female members, but a few, not as much as I received communication from males. I saw a potential issue with this. Like what I said, after awhile, eventually males become weird, they stalk, harass and keep mentioning dating related topics; also calling me by names I dislike from males (honey, beautiful, sexy, sweetie although my living doll nickname is sweet pea, they have different motives) and etc. 

Recently, I decided to deactivate my iTalki account and disconnect myself from those I connected with on other sites. Only 3 from Twitter and those that follow on Google and is not obsessed in communicating I will not, but all of the rest are going and being blocked. It is only due to harassment or confrontations. Let me share some examples.

Okay, so there were some incidents where it seemed they weren't where they claimed to have lived. 

There was this one guy who thought living dolls were the same as prostitutes or something. So he kept asking inappropriate questions and then I explained to him what is a living doll. However, he continued to show this alarming behaviour. There were many who asked to meet up or to date, and they wouldn't stop. They would harass me every time. I feel people should respect other's wishes. No one would even start on a language lesson, and I noticed the Japanese or Korean speakers (even instructors) were standoffish only because I was interested in learning Arabic. They had no interest in teaching me Japanese or Korean or even connecting to be language partners. 

There was one girl from Iraq who connected with me. She once again, never started teaching me Arabic, but was criticizing my education only because I was homeschooled. She assumed being homeschooled is the same as being a drop out, in which it is not. Actually, most people misunderstand the concept of being homeschooled. If I was a drop out, that would mean I only have a 6th grade education and that is not the case. Actually, you have to report to the public school and take tests they give you. The public school gives you work to do, books to read and tests almost everyday. Also, there are people who monitor you to make sure you are actually doing the work they give you. If you are not learning, they force you back in public school. It is doing the same activities you would do in public school, but only you are at home. Actually, it seems they give you even more work to make sure you are learning. However, I had a desire to expand my knowledge. I took college courses/classes the entire time, and continue to. There are programs to take college courses without stepping foot into the college. My mother was always in college, so I learned everything she was learning, while taking homeschool tests, college courses and conducting research on my own time. That is why on LinkedIn,  my courses and education list is so long.  So, it is an insult when people like this girl questions my education. After that, she disconnected with me and didn't want to teach me Arabic. 

It was the last straw when I met this man from India. I thought it was a good tool to learn how others live in their country, and so I gave it another try. Then this guy comes along and says how he dislikes Arabs, and he didn't like me only because I am an Arab. He believed Arabs were selfish, suspicious, delusional and other things. He kept harassing me about this and so I had to block him. After that, I decided to leave iTalki. Especially if no one was going to actually teach me a language.


Another Reason Why I deactivated My iTalki Account


After awhile, I started to notice a high similarity with Facebook and iTalki. It makes it even more weird how when deactivating the account, I had to give an explanation like Facebook. With my past issue with that site, I loathed this. I also believe Facebook is affiliated with iTalki in some way, like it seems Twitter is affiliated with Facebook. 

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