The 7 Best Blogs for Learning Russian Language and Culture
Learning Russian is a balancing act.
If you study too little grammar and vocabulary, no amount of cultural knowledge will help you communicate.
After all, you can’t order dinner by understanding Russian holidays.
But if you study exclusively grammar and vocabulary and no culture, your words probably won’t help you navigate smoothly through a Russian баня (sauna) experience.
That’s why a balanced education is important. You need to learn grammar, vocabulary and culture or your skills will be lopsided.
And Russian blogs can help you learn it all.
These diverse online resources offer terrific learning material in a conversational style that’s as easy-to-read as it is useful. They’re typically updated frequently and they’re free to read.
Of course, not all blogs are equally useful, and it’s important to choose the right combination to ensure you’re picking up well-rounded Russian skills. We’ll get you started with six blogs that’ll teach you everything from the Russian alphabet to current events.
Ready to hop on the tightrope?
How Can Blogs Give You a Balanced Russian Education?
With every blog, you’ll find a different writing style, different topics and different viewpoints. There’s a ton of material out there to explore, from Russian learning blogs to famous Russian bloggers, each offering their own unique insights. With so many different types of blogs to read, you can gain both a wide-ranging and in-depth understanding of Russian language and culture.
After all, language and culture are inherently connected, so reading up on both topics will better prepare you to interact with native speakers on a deeper level. Learning the language along with Russian history, tradition and norms will get you much more prepared for real-world conversations than grammar books and flashcards would alone.
So as you’re scrolling, try to bookmark a diverse collection of blogs you enjoy. Each individual blog is useful, but if you have a handful on your reading list, your Russian knowledge will skyrocket. Below, we’ll cover several specific blogs across three different categories.
7 Russian Blogs to Learn Balanced Language Skills
There are three main types of Russian learning blogs: grammar/vocabulary blogs, culture/history blogs and general learner blogs. Grammar/vocabulary blogs focus on the nitty-gritty rules of the Russian language. Culture/history blogs focus more on Russian customs, traditions and life. General learner blogs combine grammar and culture.
Selecting blogs from each category can help give you a balanced perspective on the Russian language and Russian life.
Grammar and Vocabulary Blogs to Upgrade Your Language Skills
If you’re looking to improve your Russian language skills, Russian-Blog offers a plethora of helpful posts that focus predominantly on important grammar and vocabulary lessons. This educational blog was created by Russian teacher and author Irina Mozelova—Russian learners will appreciate her straightforward but friendly way of explaining language topics.
The posts often include both video and text, which allows you to practice listening and reading skills together. The multimedia aspect of the posts also makes them more compelling, so you can study longer without losing focus.
Russian-Blog is neatly organized into categories such as “Grammar,” “Pronunciation” and “New Words.” The posts cover useful, easily applicable topics like booking a hotel room in addition to more specialized topics like geometry vocabulary.
The blog is appropriate for beginning- through advanced-level learners. Beginning posts focus on basic topics, like the alphabet, while advanced posts are written entirely in Russian and cover more advanced concepts, like the different ways to say “to ask.”
Does the case system confuse you? Are you overwhelmed by grammar? Proper Russian has your back!
Posts on Proper Russian focus largely on tricky grammar rules and tips for learning Russian. So whether you need help figuring out what the nominative case is all about or want to know how to get the most out of a language exchange, Proper Russian posts will help you out.
Don’t think that Proper Russian skips out on vocabulary lists, though! You’ll get some of those, too. For instance, you might practice up on responses to “how are you?”
The Proper Russian blog has something for everyone, from beginning to advanced students.
Best of all, Proper Russian is written in an easy-to-follow, conversational tone that makes even the most challenging topics seem unintimidating. The material is thorough, but it never crosses the line into dry, textbook-y language.
Culture and History Blogs to Give You Insight into Russian Life
Just Russian’s primary focus is culture with a little grammar thrown in for good measure.
This blog focuses on a lot of topics that are important to understand but are rarely covered in textbooks. For instance, you can learn about the history of Russian Christmas traditions. You might also study up on Russian names, which are often confusing to people who aren’t from Russia (especially if you’ve ever tried to read long Russian novels with many characters who are called by several names each).
Since the blog is written in English, it’s an easy way for even beginning students to gain more understanding of Russian history and culture. More advanced learners might also find it a much needed break from focused language study.
English Russia is a blog that focuses on topics that pertain to Russia and other Eastern European countries.
Posts cover a wide array of subjects, including news, history, humor and Russian life. There are literally thousands of posts, so any student looking for insight into Russia has a seemingly limitless wealth of learning material from English Russia.
For instance, you could read about Russian snacks for a little extra motivation to book that trip to Russia. For a more serious read, you might read about the first days of the Nazi invasion into the USSR. Russia was exceptionally hard hit by World War II, so this is a very pertinent topic to learn more about.
All the posts are written in English, so they’re approachable for any level of language student. They’re also very image heavy, making them easy to casually peruse.
General Learner Blogs That Combine Grammar and Culture
It’s always a good idea, and a great benefit, for learners to learn more than just the workings of a foreign language. Getting insight into the country and culture itself can make the educational experience all the richer.
FluentU’s Russian Language and Culture Blog not only features posts dedicated to teaching aspects of the language, but also posts discussing some fascinating features of Russian culture. You can boost your lingual skills while gaining tidbits of knowledge about Russian way of life.
FluentU also has its own Russian learning program that you should certainly check out. Wondering how it works?
FluentU takes authentic videos—like music videos, movie trailers, news and inspiring talks—and turns them into personalized language learning lessons.
The diverse nature of the video catalog means that you’ll be studying the Russian language as it’s used in different scenarios and settings. You don’t have to worry about getting lost in translation; FluentU makes native Russian videos approachable with the use of interactive captions. You can tap or click on any word in the subtitles to access its definition, in-context usage examples, audio pronunciation and more.
FluentU tracks your progress and notes the vocabulary you learn from different videos, making for a personalized learning experience. If you want to review and test your knowledge, you can take advantage of FluentU’s adaptive quizzes.
Combine the FluentU blog with the FluentU learning program to really boost your Russian skills to the next level!
If you want to learn about Russian language and culture simultaneously, Луч света (Ray of Light) is a helpful blog that covers both topics. The posts cover current events in Russia with blogger Sarah Ruth Lorenz’s expert insights on how the Russian language is used in different contexts and by different public figures.
You’ll find posts that cover significant events like anti-corruption protests and notable people like star chess player Sergey Karjakin.
Each post is written mostly in English, allowing you to digest the material easily. However, the posts also introduce key Russian vocabulary before providing one or more authentic Russian-language videos on the subject.
Луч света also provides a helpful transcript of each video, allowing you to practice your reading, your listening or both.
Explore Russian offers a terrific selection of posts for all your grammar and culture needs.
The blog posts usually contain both videos and text. The videos feature real Russians discussing key linguistic concepts. The text of each post includes a transcript of the video along with English translations. This way, even if you don’t understand all the words, you can easily find the in-context meaning.
Explore Russian posts cover both grammar rules as well as cultural traditions. For instance, you might enjoy a post about St. Petersburgians’ perspectives on verb aspects or the Russian take on Valentine’s Day.
While the videos themselves are most appropriate for intermediate to advanced students, the transcripts make Explore Russian accessible for even beginning Russian students.
With the right combination of these seven blogs on either end of your balance pole, you’ll have no trouble walking the fine line to perfect Russian!