In school, you might have been taught that silence is golden.
Students who sit quietly in classrooms are praised and rewarded while those who talk a lot are reprimanded.
I’m here to overturn that belief system and instill in you that silence is no longer golden.
Remember: The term “chat” is no longer restricted to speaking out loud; in modern times, we often chat with others around the world by using our fingers to type rather than our mouths to speak.
This would surely make your school teacher happy, as it brings down the noise level significantly!
But chatting has other advantages, and you can utilize social media to chat with Russian speakers. This helps you work on your speaking and listening skills and also improves your reading and writing skills.
So get those fingers ready, and let’s learn some Russian!
What Makes Chatting on Social Media a Good Way to Learn Russian?
You can use language exchange sites to learn a language, but what makes chatting on social media a great choice to learn Russian? The following four reasons:
- No geographical constraints: Social media gives you the opportunity to interact with people all over the world, especially native Russians. With one click of a mouse you can join in on the conversation or create a new topic with a single person or a group. This expands your horizon and gives you a great chance to improve your Russian skills.
- It’s free: Language learning can be an expensive process, but it doesn’t have to be! The best thing about using social media to learn Russian is that it’s completely free! If you don’t have access to the internet, you can stop by your local library for an hour a day to practice Russian.
- No commitment: A language course requires you to commit a certain day and time but utilizing social media to learn allows you to decide when to study. That being said, this is typically the main factor that causes Russian students to stop studying, as there’s no one there watching or grading them. To maintain your studies, consider setting aside a specific amount of time per week to study, which you can complete throughout the week at any pace you like.
- Variety of groups: There are thousands of social media groups both in the U.S. and in Russia! This means that you can join groups that interest you and learn more about Russian culture as well as language while you chat with others.
As you can see, learning Russian by chatting is a fantastic way to expand your language skills. Just remember that chatting only covers the written portion of your studies. Get some visual and auditory learning to supplement your chats by using videos with FluentU. FluentU takes real-world videos—like music videos, movie trailers, news and inspiring talks—and turns them into personalized language learning lessons.
With FluentU you’ll be able to actually hear those words you learned on Russian social media communities uses in real scenarios by native speakers. Follow along with interactive subtitles or use flashcards and vocab lists to supplement your learning for a well-rounded Russian learning experience!
6 Social Media Groups Where You Can Chat to Learn Russian
Below is our handpicked list of six social media groups that can really make a difference in helping you learn Russian. It can be intimidating to start a conversation with others, especially when you don’t know their language perfectly. The great thing about social media is that you can remain pretty incognito as you do so.
To ease into chatting with others, start with spending some time reviewing the individual page and see what type of content is discussed. Consider commenting on existing posts or communicating with members in private messages before you build up the courage to start your own post!
With over 11,000 members, this is a fairly active group that typically puts up hundreds of post per month. The group was created nine years ago with the purpose of connecting expats, Russian speakers and those wanting to learn Russian online. The moderators encourage native Russians to join the group and teach others what they already know.
This is a closed Facebook group, so you’ll need to request to join. Once you’re approved, you’ll have access to tons of tools for learning Russian. In this group you’ll find links to other websites that teach Russian, as well as videos, articles, helpful tips and more!
You can take advantage of the group by reading the posts and asking questions about words and phrases you don’t know. With so many group members, you’ll be sure to get lots of responses!
Created seven years ago, this is another Facebook group that aims to help Russian learners. With over 10,000 members and an average of 10 posts per day, the group offers plenty of new material each day to review and discuss. It’s also one of the most active Russian learning groups on Facebook.
This group should make you feel pretty comfortable posting comments and raising questions as many of the members do so. Users often post direct questions to help them master Russian, such as requests for help in translating something or questions about the effectiveness of other resources.
Members also have access to photos, videos and files all to help them learn Russian!
This is a Viber/Whatsapp social media group for students of both the Russian and the English language. The creators encourage members to share photos, videos and ideas to help others with the learning process, as well as to help themselves!
This group offers unique chances to interact with members who post what they want to learn/teach and list their phone numbers or emails so you can connect with them. Searching the feed to find those who want to learn Russian can help you land a great study partner.
On the other hand, if you find a Russian-speaking member who wants to learn English you can set up a language exchange program, where you swap your skills and help each other learn your target languages.
This group has other features for language learners, such as audio files and documents. Feel free to upload your own tools that you think can be helpful for others.
If you want to learn Russian, it would be advantageous to actually find social media groups created in that country. Not to worry, we’ve already found one for you!
Russia’s most famous social media platform is ВКонтакте (In Contact) or VK.com for short. It’s similar to Facebook in that users can send private messages to each other, create and join groups, post on their own pages and those of others and share images, photos and videos.
Joining VK.com gives you access to over 460 million users, most of whom are native Russians.
The great thing about this site is that it has a multitude of Russian communities designed solely to help you learn Russian by chatting with others. Our top picks include:
- Learning Russian with Russians – Access a discussion board, audio files and images to help you learn Russian.
- Learning Russian + English Subtitles – Provides daily posts with lessons and a discussion where members can share notes and ask questions.
- I Need Help Learning Russian – Tons of posts from people wanting to help others learn Russian online.
Privet means hello in Russian and you can use the word to greet the site’s many members. The main purpose of this website is to make a love connection and find your significant other, similar to sites like Match.com. However, you can utilize it for your own needs—to meet Russians, chat with them and learn Russian!
What’s really cool about the site is that it contains interest groups for many topics, which include business, animals, health, home, etc. This means that you can connect with thousands of Russians and chat with them to learn vocabulary for specific fields/areas of interest!
The best groups to search for learning a language are the education group and the cities and countries group. Privet.ru also has tons of communities for you to join. Here you’ll surely find people to can chat with!
Even if you’re not looking to make a romantic connection, you can connect with others to make new friends and chat in Russian.
Although first created in the U.S., this site was sold to Russia in 2007. It currently serves as an online blog and community in Russia with thousands of people commenting about politics and current events. This is a perfect resource to learn about the Russian language and about Russian news and culture.
The truth is this: Learning a language isn’t just about learning the words and grammar rules. To truly communicate with Russians you need to understand where they come from and their point of view. None of this is possible without knowing what’s going on in Russia and how Russians feel about it.
LiveJournal is a great resource to learn about Russian news and discuss current events with Russians in either Russian or English (the commentary uses both languages). This is the perfect opportunity to bridge the gap and find out what’s happening in Russia from actual Russians, all while improving your language skills.
The six sources listed above are an excellent choice to help you learn through chatting in Russian. While some of them offer similar services, each one has a unique angle that will help you learn to read, write and communicate with others in Russian.
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And One More Thing…
Since you’ve read this far, you’re obviously serious about learning Russian. And that means there’s a good chance you’ll love FluentU.
FluentU takes all kinds of real-world videos and turns them into language learning experiences, as you can see here:
Didn’t catch something? Go back and listen again. Missed a word? FluentU makes native Russian videos approachable through interactive captions. Tap or click on any word to see a definition, in-context usage examples, audio pronunciation, helpful images and more.
Access a complete interactive transcript of every video under the Dialogue tab. Easily review words and phrases with audio under Vocab.
Don’t stop there, though. Use FluentU’s quizzes to actively practice all the vocabulary in any video. Swipe left or right to see more examples of the word you’re on.
And FluentU always keeps track of vocabulary that you’re learning. It uses that vocab to give you a 100% personalized experience by recommending videos and examples.
If you liked this post, something tells me that you'll love FluentU, the best way to learn Russian with real-world videos.