Don’t Leave Home (Period): The Best 10 Resources to Learn Russian at Home
When it comes to learning a new language, we can’t all just take off and fly to our country of choice.
With that said, there’s no better place to study a language than in your own home!
So sit back and utilize the helpful apps, vocabulary and grammar textbooks and Russian-learning websites to help you speak Russian, fast!
- Tips for Learning Russian at Home
Learn Russian Words Free by Language Course S.L.
iOS | Android
As the title suggests, this app helps you build a foundation in Russian free of charge. It’s great for anyone that’s considering learning the language who wants to check out common words or for those that aren’t sure about the effectiveness of learning with an app. If you don’t like what you see, you haven’t invested any money in it.
The app offers 10,000 vocabulary words and phrases for a variety of purposes—traveling to Russia, doing business, dating a Russian or simply learning it for fun.
The app is designed as a flashcard dictionary that promises to help you advance in your Russian skills with as little as 10 minutes a day. Each term contains a high quality image and an audio pronunciation; however, you can use the app while driving or working out by only listening to the audio section.
Level: All levels
Along with basic vocabulary apps, make learning come to life by watching real-life clips and videos on this program.
Videos are organized by difficulty (beginner to native), topic (arts and entertainment, health and lifestyle, etc.) and format (video blog, news, shows, etc.)—so you can easily browse and find something that suits your level and interests.
The interactive captions can be used to learn more about any word without leaving the video. Hover your mouse or click on any word to see an in-context definition, a memorable image, an audio pronunciation and further examples of the word’s usage.
There are customized quizzes available for each video to review what you’re learning. You can also add words to flashcard decks and review them with exercises that test all of your language skills.
Russian by Living Language by Random House LLC
Living Language has taught languages for over 65 years. They use strategies originally created for members of the U.S. State Department, which helps learners advance with a variety of resources. The ascending difficulty of material makes this is the perfect resource for intermediate Russian students.
With this in mind, the app offers exercises, flashcards, notes, games and tests to help you learn the material in a variety of different ways while having fun.
The app features three paid options—essential, intermediate or advanced, which you can purchase one at a time or all together. The app offers 46 specialty-designed lessons that not only build your knowledge but tests your skills along the way.
U-Learn Advanced Russian by Ectaco-LingvoSoft
Once you’re well on your way to honing your Russian skills, you need to pick suitable material. This app is a great resource for advanced learners since it offers vocabulary that’s more difficult and not as common. In addition to learning the words in print, you can utilize the speech recognition feature, which teaches you how to properly say the words.
The app offers 15 narrated courses (over 20 hours) that focus on different themes, including:
- Travel, like booking a hotel, local transportation, sightseeing
- Ordering food
- Playing sports
This app also assesses your speech and helps you perfect your pronunciation.
“Russian for Beginners”
Although this book was first published in 1971, it’s still as relevant today as ever. For a low price, you can get access to a useful resource that promises to simplify the process of learning Russian.
The book teaches 4,000 Russian vocabulary words and has 42 lessons to help you learn the principles of the language. The lessons focus on Russian grammar, with explanations of syntax and word usage.
The chapters are reinforced with pieces of advice and exercises to help you practice what you’ve learned.
“Intermediate Russian: A Grammar and Workbook”
This is a handy book and workbook in one, organizing your learning and notes to keep you on track. The best feature of this book is that it focuses on only modern Russian, not wasting your time on teaching outdated words and phrases.
The book features explanations of grammar with exercises and answer keys. The sections include:
- Names and greetings
- Thanking and apologizing
- Expressing possession and making suggestions
- Going places
Work on one section at a time and quiz your knowledge to gain fluency in each of these areas.
“Advanced Russian: From Reading to Speaking”
This is the first book in the series, which includes a Russian edition and an English/Russian edition, as well as cloud access to multimedia materials. The goal of the book is to advance students from fusing together words in the typical slow, foreigner way to speaking like a native.
The book strategically repeats words and phrases, but in different combinations, to improve fluency. To keep up the reader’s interests, the content consists of actual contemporary Russian stories that help you learn Russian history, morals and culture.
This is a great resource for beginners because of the types of topics it offers, such as the Cyrillic alphabet, pronunciation, verbs, nouns, vowels, numbers, greetings and so on.
The site offers articles on the 1,000 most common Russian vocabulary words, exercises to help you test your skills and recommended links to better your understanding of the Russian language.
Along with developing your language skills, learn about Russian classic writers, modern history and more!
Russian Language Mentor
The Russian Language Mentor (RLM) is designed for intermediate to advanced students. The content offers the following interactive courses:
- Reading comprehension
- Listening comprehension
- Grammar review
- Cultural information
- Scientific and technical literacy
- Vocabulary development
The courses consist of six modules with 25 texts each. They’re organized by topics and by text levels. Each module is done online and takes about one to two hours. Each module consists of content from actual Russian texts, such as newspapers, books and television news broadcasts.
Other features on this site include crossword puzzles, a section that offers internet resources, collections of Russian tongue twisters, a listening library and more!
Ochen Po Russki (Very Much Russian)
This is a free podcast for intermediate and advanced Russian students. The podcasts focus on teaching words and expressions that aren’t typically taught or written about in textbooks, but that are often heard in conversations, on TV and written in newspapers and magazines.
The podcasts are by native Russian speakers, and include a full transcription in Russian with English translations. Also, each podcast has a pronunciation guide with stress marks to help you say the words for yourself.
The site also offers a dictionary with the vocabulary from the podcasts, helping you to review and refresh your memory, speeding up your fluency.
Tips for Learning Russian at Home
If you truly want to learn Russian at home, you need to follow certain rules. Here are some ideas you should implement that will make your learning more efficient:
- Create a schedule. Our lives are busy. There’s always a new show on TV, an online sale or a new article on social media. It may be hard to fit learning into our hectic lives, which is why we must block out time for it. Create a weekly schedule to help you stay on track with your studies.
- Choose material that’s the right level for you. It won’t be helpful to start with watching Russian movies if you don’t know a single word in Russian, but you also won’t advance if you keep reading simple vocabulary books. Make sure you have a plan on how to advance your fluency with appropriate sources.
- Choose a wide variety of materials to both help you see Russian in print and hear it being pronounced. Although Russian words tend to sound as they’re written, they’re also prone to being long and extremely difficult to pronounce. It’s best to use resources that teach you both the correct spelling, as well as the usage and pronunciation so you can both read, write and speak in Russian.
- Work in study groups. Just because you’re learning Russian at home doesn’t mean you have to do it alone. While you don’t need to harass your roommate or significant other with Russian words if they’re not interested in learning them, you can form study groups.
Sign up for language exchange programs and search for Russian learning meetups to invite someone over to study with you. Alternatively, you can join a language exchange platform to find a person to work with.
These 10 resources can help you perfect your Russian from beginning to advanced and speak like a fluent Russian in no time!
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