Everything You Need To Learn Russian
Russian (русский язык), with its over 250 million speakers, is the most widely spoken Slavic language in the world. It’s the official language in 4 countries: Russia, Belarus, Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan. Russophones can also be found in many other countries, particularly Latvia, Ukraine and Azerbaijan.
Russian’s closest linguistic relatives are Ukrainian and Belarusian. The three languages have a very high degree of mutual intelligibility, which means speakers of these languages can generally understand each other without much difficulty.
Russian is written using the Cyrillic alphabet, which contains 33 letters.
For those wanting to learn Russian, you’ll find a vast number of learning resources available. Our list contains those we deem most useful.
Russian Language Learning Books
As an introduction to the language, it’s worth getting a good Russian course/study book. Working through these will give you a strong foundation of Russian, as you’ll be taught the basics of grammar and sentence structure. Not only that, but you’ll also learn plenty of useful, common words.
Next on your lsit of must-have books is a concise Russian dictionary. It’s important to have a good reference book to look up all of the new words you’ll encounter during your studies, as well as see examples of the many different ways the words can be used.
Russian grammar is complex, especially for English speakers, so consider getting a Russian grammar workbook that breaks everything down in clear, easy-to-understand language.
Russian Children’s Books
One of the best ways for beginners to strengthen their Russian language skills is to read kids’ books in Russian. These books are written to be accessible, and use simpler language and sentence structures, meaning learners just starting out won’t find them too daunting.
Reading Russian children’s books will introduce you to popular Russian words and terms in a fun, colorful way, and you’ll gradually get used to how the language operates.
Some of the titles on this list have the added benefit of being bilingual English-Russian stories, so you can use the English text to help you read the Russian one. This way, there’s no need to keep consulting your dictionary.
Eventually, once you’re more confident in your reading skills, you’ll want to move on to more advanced reading material. Luckily, you’ll have plenty of Russian books for older readers to choose from.
These books contain much more complex language, and reading them daily will give your language skills a huge boost.
You’ll be able to read some of the most popular Russian literature in its natural form, from “Crime and Punishment” to “War and Peace”.
Russian Digital Courses
Learning a language through books isn’t always the most effective method, particularly when trying to reinforce speaking and listening skills. That’s why we recommend getting yourself a Russian e-course.
Russian digital courses are more often than not audiovisual in nature, and use either audio or video lessons to teach you the language. They aim to get you communicating in Russian right out the gate, whilst infusing grammar instruction in an organic way that’s not too heavy hitting.
Udemy’s Russian course is exceptional value for money, even without the deep discounts, giving you a staggering 27 hours of video lessons, full lifetime access to the course and future updates, and the ability to use the course on almost any smart device.
RUSSIAN UDEMY COURSES
RUSSIAN AUDIO COURSES
For audio-only courses, there’s Pimsleur Conversational Russian and Rocket Russian to choose from. Both offer hours of audio lessons and access on any device with audio output.
While Pimsleur’s Russian course is less hands-on, the Rocket Languages Russian course is packed with plenty of extra, non-audio activities, aiming to fully immerse you in the language.
Learn Russian with Rocket Russian Level 1: 120 Hours of Online Lessons
Earworms Music Brain Trainer: Rapid Russian, Vols. 1 & 2
There are plenty of ways to enhance your learning experience that have nothing to do with books or digital courses. You could grab some Russian flash cards to help you memorize new vocabulary, or get yourself a Russian alphabet poster with pictures of the Cyrillic alphabet to keep your learning on track.
For writing in Russian, consider getting a Russian keyboard in the Cyrillic alphabet; or have some fun while learning with Russian language learning stickers.
Free Russian Worksheets
Practicing your Russian language skills is important, and one of the ways to do that is by using our downloadable Russian PDF worksheets.
Use our free Russian word search puzzles to learn new vocabulary and test your Russian language knowledge, and use our free Russian writing prompts to practice writing in Russian and building your own sentences.