Something about the glossy pages of magazines just draws you in.
But between the articles, photo spreads and ads, there’s something hiding that you haven’t noticed: Russian learning tools!
Okay, we’ll admit it: your favorite English-language magazine won’t do the trick.
But there are lots of great Russian magazines out there.
There are even Russian editions of many popular American magazines you may be familiar with.
There’s something out there for every reader and every Russian student.
So if you’re looking to learn Russian, look no further than your new favorite magazines below!
Why Learn Russian with Magazines?
Learning Russian through magazines is a good choice because there’s a wide array of material to fit your tastes and learning goals. You can choose simpler magazines (like those intended for children or that focus largely on images) if you’re a beginner. More advanced learners might prefer magazines that cover more complex ideas and use more advanced vocabulary. Additionally, magazine topics are diverse, covering everything from business to science.
Additionally, most articles are brief, so they’re not as intimidating as reading longer texts. There are some great easy Russian books out there, but if you just don’t have the time for a book, magazines are an ideal choice. Like Russian blogs, it’s easy to select just one article to read at a time. Because of this, you can easily fit a little Russian reading practice into your daily routine without it feeling like a chore.
Finally, reading Russian magazines is a helpful way to stay current on your topics of interest. For instance, reading Russian-language news from newspapers, magazines or renowned news resources helps you stay abreast of current events. Similarly, you can stay up-to-date on beauty, celebrity news, science and even business by reading magazines. Indeed, reading Russian magazines is a great way to multi-task since you can practice your Russian while learning about your favorite areas of interest.
How to Get the Most out of Reading Russian Magazines
- Find a magazine that covers topics you’re interested in. This way, reading them will feel like a fun break rather than a normal study session.
- Read articles focused on areas in which you need to improve your vocabulary. For instance, anyone looking to learn business vocabulary can refer to a business magazine. If you’re interested in health terms, check out a health magazine. Since magazines vary thematically, it’s easy to pick and choose related vocabulary sets. Note: you might also want to keep a dictionary app handy for any unfamiliar words.
- Reread articles you like. Rereading articles is valuable because it can help reinforce grammar and vocabulary. If you’re particularly fond of one article, you can even memorize passages to use as models of grammar rules and/or challenging conjugations.
- Make it a habit to read frequently. If you’ve chosen a magazine you like, this shouldn’t be a problem. Exposing yourself to written Russian frequently will massively improve your Russian skills. Since Russian uses the Cyrillic alphabet, there can be a lag in reading skills for beginners. Reading exposes you to the language, which will make you read much more naturally without the constant need to think about grammar rules and spelling. Since magazines offer a consistent flow of new reading material, they’re a great way to encourage yourself to read frequently.
If you want to be a little more prepared with Russian knowledge before diving into magazine articles, then you may want to do a bit of studying beforehand. FluentU can be a great tool for such a purpose.
Each video comes with interactive captions, so you’ll be getting the whole package of visuals, audio and text for your Russian language learning. FluentU also has special learner functions to help you learn vocabulary in context with ease, and because of the diverse nature of the video library, you can learn all kinds of applicable phrases and specific terminology that may be useful in giving you a more confident foundation when reading magazine articles.
8 Captivating Russian Magazines for Learning the Language
Some of the pages below may have options to subscribe online via newsletters, apps, etc., but we’ve also included some options for subscribing to the print versions for those living outside of Russia.
(transliterations vary between “Lisa” and “Liza”) is a weekly women’s magazine. It covers standard topics like fashion, beauty, celebrities and relationships, so it’s a great way to learn general vocabulary. Лиза also offers a horoscope section for the astrologically inclined. If you’re feeling ambitious, you might also try cooking using the magazine’s Russian-language recipes.
You can subscribe via Amazon.
Здоровье (“Health”) is a monthly magazine. The magazine’s main focus is health and wellness. This includes additional related topics like beauty, food (including recipes), fitness and health-related news. Due to its focus, Здоровье is a useful tool for learning health-related vocabulary in addition to general vocabulary.
It does have quite a few ads, but if you’re looking to learn Russian, ads are a useful tool. Since they’re not usually text heavy, they aren’t intimidating. Additionally, visual cues can help you fill in any words you might be unsure of.
You can subscribe via Amazon.
Мурзилка (“Murzilka”) is a monthly magazine for children ages 6-12. Founded in 1924, it’s the world’s longest running children’s magazine.
But don’t let the fact that it’s a children’s magazine deter you! Мурзилка offers poems, short stories, competitions, comics and puzzles accompanied by associated artwork. While the magazine’s content is aimed at children, it’s also great for beginning and intermediate Russian students who want to learn general vocabulary and improve their reading skills.
This monthly magazine is the Russian edition of the familiar American women’s magazine by the same name. It covers the general topics you usually find in women’s magazines such as celebrities, beauty and fashion. There’s also a horoscope section.
The Russian version of the magazine contains a lot of similar material to the American version. The most notable difference is that in addition to American celebrities, Russian celebrities are mentioned. Plus, the magazine is in Russian, so there’s that.
You can subscribe via Nasha-Pressa.de for 67€ a year.
HELLO! is a weekly magazine that originated in the United Kingdom. It focuses primarily on popular celebrity news in addition to a few human-interest stories.
HELLO! Россия (“HELLO! Russia”) shares news about Russian and international celebrities. It also covers general entertainment news and offers sections that focus on beauty and lifestyle.
Because of the magazine’s leanings towards entertainment news, HELLO! Россия is a good choice for anyone looking to learn entertainment-related vocabulary. Since many of the stories are also image-intensive, it’s a good choice for beginning and intermediate learners who still need more visual cues.
You can subscribe via Nasha-Pressa.de for 144€ per year.
Домашний Очаг (which translates literally to “Home Hearth”) is the Russian-language edition of the monthly American magazine “Good Housekeeping.”
Like the English-language version, the Russian version covers topics like cleaning, health, home and human-interest stories. Given the magazine’s fairly broad focus, it’s a good option for anyone looking to learn general vocabulary.
You can subscribe via Nasha-Pressa.de for 85€ a year.
National Geographic Россия (“National Geographic Russia”) is the Russian version of the well-known monthly publication.
Like other versions of the magazine, National Geographic Россия focuses primarily on culture, science, nature and animals.
National Geographic Россия is a good option for intermediate and advanced Russian students looking to learn more vocabulary related to science and culture. Since this magazine is more scientifically focused than other magazines, it’s also a terrific way for advanced students to test out their comprehension skills. Thinking about advanced topics in Russian is a good test of fluency.
You can subscribe via Nasha-Pressa.de for under 68€ per year.
This monthly magazine is the Russian edition of the American magazine of the same name.
The magazine is entirely business focused, so it’s a great tool for anyone looking to learn Russian to use in business. You can learn key terms related to business, finance and entrepreneurship while staying abreast of important Russian and international business news.
With so many great Russian magazines out there, it’s time to crack one open and be entertained.
You might not see “learning” in its table of contents, but trust us—it’s there!
And One More Thing...
If you love learning Russian and want to immerse yourself with authentic materials from Russia, then I should also tell you more about FluentU.
FluentU naturally and gradually eases you into learning the Russian language and culture. You'll learn real Russian as it's spoken by real Russian people!
FluentU has a very broad range of contemporary videos. Just a quick look will give you an idea of the variety of Russian-language content available on FluentU:
FluentU makes these native Russian videos approachable through interactive transcripts. Tap on any word to look it up instantly.
Access a complete interactive transcript of every video under the Dialogue tab. Easily review words and phrases with audio under Vocab.
All definitions have multiple examples, and they're written for Russian learners like you. Tap to add words you'd like to review to a vocab list.
And FluentU has a learn mode which turns every video into a language learning lesson. You can always swipe left or right to see more examples.
The best part? FluentU keeps track of your vocabulary, and it suggests content and examples based on your vocabulary. You'll have a 100% personalized experience.
The FluentU app is now available for iOS and Android, and it's also available as a website that you can access on your computer or tablet. Sign up for a free trial today!
If you liked this post, something tells me that you'll love FluentU, the best way to learn Russian with real-world videos.