Resources to learn Russian

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This page contains our handpicked list of the best resources to learn Russian online. We’ve organized the various sites by category to help you navigate the page. To find the resources you had in mind, just click on one of the links in the table below (e.g. podcasts). Happy learning!

Resources to Learn Russian

 

General Russian Learning (online courses, general sites, blogs, etc.)

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Easy Russian
A site run by UCLA that serves as a complement to their beginning Russian course. It features audio, podcasts, transcriptions, videos and grammar exercises on the basics of Russian.

RU-LAND Virtual Russian Language Club
A company that specializes in online lessons offers video and text lessons on grammar and pronunciation on their website.

Russian On Line
A Russian teacher centralizes his knowledge on this site to learn Russian up to an A1/B1 level. The main focus here is vocab and grammar lessons.

Russian Alphabet
A page presenting the Russian alphabet along with each letter’s pronunciation and a GIF showing how to write it correctly.

Vladimir
A web page offered for studying Russian in an entertaining fashion. Its lessons are based on comedic stories accompanied with grammar and vocabulary exercises. For translations to the stories, just click on the “English” button on top of the screen.

Dr. Beard’s Russian Portal
This site is great for when you are having issues using, or even understanding, an aspect of Russian grammar. On his portal, Dr. Beard, a former Russian professor, lays out a neat overview of various grammar points. Best of all, he explains their purpose as well.

A Spoonful of Russian
When you need a break from all the grammar and pronunciation exercises, A Spoonful of Russian is a great way to take a break while still learning. With a bit-by-bit mantra, this site focuses on small, entertaining lessons such as common toasts and features short animated videos to teach important lessons, such as family vocabulary.

Everyday Russian
From the same people as Learn Russian Step by Step, Everyday Russian is great for adding to your vocabulary outside of the basic, conventional phrases and glossaries. For instance, a recent post covered сторона, “side”, and all the words that stem from it. While you can adjust the learning level of the material, we like this site mainly for its benefit to intermediate to advanced vocabularies.

Goethe Verlag
200 comprehension exercises on a truly multilingual site. Just find your language’s flag and choose Russian in the drop-down box to browse their activities.

Learn Russian Step by Step
This site is for learning Russian from the ground up. Its creators regularly update and add to their 140 free lessons. Browse through the lessons using the interface on the right of the screen.

7 Great Reasons to Learn Russian
Our article explaining why learning Russian is a good idea.

Language Learning Foundations
In this video course, the British polyglot Olly Richards explains “the exact techniques and routines you need to learn a new language and start speaking fluently”. The course consists of 10 modules focusing on the most important topics to learn any language on your own and get quick results.
The course is based on the method Olly has developed for himself to learn 7 foreign languages (Japanese, French, Italian, Portuguese, Spanish, Cantonese, Arabic) and you can use it to learn any language (Russian included).

Speaking and Pronunciation

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First Words in Russian
This is great for those who know little to no Russian and would like to begin speaking their very first words. For each word, the speaker breaks it down into syllables and gives you a chance to pronounce it on your own. Even if you don’t know Cyrillic, you’ll be pronouncing words like выход and пожалуйста in no time.

Eralash
An exercise in pronunciation offered by Cornell University. Eight extracts from famous Russian stories: listen to the story and understand them using the on-screen glossary. Afterwards, practice using the vocabulary exercises.

Russian Phonetic Converter
This online tool allows you to convert a Russian text into phonetic transcription using IPA (International Phonetic Alphabet), or vice versa.

Forvo
A pronunciation dictionary for Russian words. Each entry is supplied with a recording of a native speaker, which shows you how to adapt your pronunciation to any Russian word.

Italki
This well-known site is a community where you can find Russian language teachers. You can also go the other route and search for casual speaking partners.

Audio – Video

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RU-LAND Language Club
The YouTube channel of the RU-LAND LanguageClub features video lessons from their native Russian speaker, Nika. Her lessons cover everything from grammar topics like the genitive case to vocabulary topics like dating and numbers.

Golosa
The online complement to the textbook Голоса (Golosa), hosts various audio resources to learn Russian. For each chapter, which is organized under a theme like “a little about yourself” or “conversations over the phone”, you will find audio drills, dialogues and videos covering each topic.

99 Mandarin — Russian
For a more traditional take on a video lesson, 99Mandarin has 10 lessons on basic Russian. The lessons start from the very beginning of the language, i.e. the alphabet. If you actually have found success in a classroom setting with other languages, this site is a great place for you to start.

Podcasts

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Learn Russian Step by Step
A podcast with more than 100 articles covering the basics of Russian grammar and vocabulary. Perfect for beginners.

Russian Podcast
A series of articles on Russian adapted for beginners. Its target audience is students who already have a good understanding of Russian and want to improve.

Russian Webcast
This podcast updated twice monthly gives an overview of the news with a slow enunciation. The website is in English, but the podcasts are in Russian.

A Taste of Russian
This podcast is suited for anybody with an intermediate to advanced level of Russian. Once again, the site is in English and features Russian conversations for a learning audience.

Video

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Rutube
Here is a Russian platform for online videos. It’s the most popular in Russia and hosts a ton of content. The interface is in Russian.

Movies and TV Series

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MosFilm Studio
One of the oldest Russian film studios (having produced over 200 releases) offers their classic films on their website, in order to counter software pirates.

Russian TV Series
Once again, we go to YouTube for this excellent resource to learn Russian. The Star Media channel has a large section of shows and movies about Russian culture. Most of their videos are either in English (about Russian culture) or Russian programs subtitled into English. There’s a vast range of themes here, with series from Kill Stalin to Flight of the Butterflies

Music

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Popular Russian Music with Translations
The author of this webpage has put up a selection of Russian music videos along with their lyrics and translations.

Thankyou.ru
A site for discovering Russian music. The artists offer their creations to the site and give you a chance to thank and pay them by clicking “spacibo” (thank you). Most songs come with lyrics — just click on the little paper icon for each song. Writers and bloggers also publish their work on the site. The amount of spoken and written content on this site makes it one of the must-use online resources to learn Russian.

Karaoke.ru
A website that offers karaoke for hundreds of popular Russian songs.

TV Channels

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Channel One Russia
Here we have the most popular TV station in the country. Formerly known as Russian Public Television, Channel One has become a somewhat private sector force with the means to produce TV programs and movies.

Russia TV – Live
The online site of the Russian television group VGTRK streams 7 channels: Russia 1, 2, 24, Karousel, RTR, Moscow 24 et Vesti FM).

NTV
The website to NTV, National Television, doesn’t stream live, but they do offer many reruns on their site. You can stream their programs live from MoskvaTV.

Reading and Writing

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Books

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Bibliothèque russe et slave
One of the largest online libraries of Russian literature is the Bibilothque Russe et Slave (Russian and Slavic Library). While it’s a French site, the books are in Russian.

4 Russian Authors Translated into English
The University of Suffix’s online resource to learn Russian hosts full texts of 4 classic Russian authors (Tolstoy, Gogol, Pushkin and Blok). Under the “text” tab you can read the books mostly in Russian with translations for phrases, but under the “translation” tab, you can read the full text along with its English translation.

Runivers
An archive site with texts and illustrations on Russian history and culture. The site has digitized all its documents for public viewing. Reports and news articles are also public.

Make words stick
A very useful guide to help you build a method to memorize vocabulary more efficiently and quickly. This e-book is written by the famous polyglot Olly Richards who has used flashcards and the Spaced Repetition System to learn his 7 languages. Useful to learn any language, Russian included.

Dictionaries

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Lingvo
A free online multilingual dictionary. The Russian usage is adapted to learners.

Wordreference — Russian
The online dictionary and forum has a Russian section where you can look up words in either language and read forum threads on how to use the word correctly.

Magazines and Newspapers

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Komsomolskaya Pravda
The most read newspaper in Russia. Originally created in 1925 as a mode of communication for the Young Communists, it’s recently become one of the most popular papers for general news.

Izvestia
Another communication tool for the early Soviet State, this journal has adapted to the fall of communism and remains a source of current information.

Moskovskij Komsomolets
This journal has recently evolved into a daily tabloid paper. A bit on the sensational side, it always has the latest on celebrity shockers and scandals in Russia.

Kommersant
A daily publication focused on politics and the economy. This journal is known for its somewhat liberal stance taking.

Sport Express
Since its creation in 1991, it has become the most read sports publication is Russia with a circulation of nearly 700,000 copies.

Argumenty i Fakty
What began as a specialized title on statistical analyses became the most circulated publication of 1990 with over 33 million copies printed worldwide. Today it’s owned by the Moscow city cabinet and is known for being a serious publication which takes a deep look into current events.

Applications

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Miscellaneous (images, infographics, fun…)

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Russian Crossword Puzzles
This site offers easy-level crosswords in Russian

Put the Russian Alphabet back in Order
Just as the name describes.

Study
Figure out the words by putting the letters in the right place.

Playroom
Various Russian word games.

VK – vKontakt
VK is the most popular social media network in Russia, ahead of even Facebook. Here you’ll find more Russian content shared than anywhere else on the web. Like Facebook, you can find pages devoted to learning, like this one.

Yandex
And the best for last, the most popular website in Russia. Yandex is more or less the Google of Russia, a search engine particularly effective at finding Russian content. They have many of the same features as Google (Maps, Images, Videos, Music).f-content]

Hopefully our list of the best resources to learn Russian has been a help. We regularly look for and test new resources and update this page. If you know of any resources that should be on this list, please let us know using this contact form.