There are lots of fantastic resources out there to learn Russian with, and among them, plenty of great instructional videos to point you in the right direction.
Videos made to teach Russian are designed specifically for learners and can help you figure out the nitty-gritty details of the language, at any level.
In this post, we’ll look at some top-notch videos for learners that cover key language points for three levels: beginner, intermediate and advanced.
So why (cosmo)not skyrocket your Russian skills with these great learning videos?
(See what I did there?)
- Why Use Instructional Videos to Learn Russian?
- 12 Awesome Videos to Skyrocket Your Russian Learning
Why Use Instructional Videos to Learn Russian?
They’re a great doorway to conversation
Practicing conversation in a foreign language is important regardless of your learning situation, and videos can be particularly useful as a warm-up if you’re learning independently and don’t have anyone you can speak to in Russian yet.
Instructional videos are a great option for preparing for conversation because they help you see grammar and vocabulary in context without overwhelming you—after all, most instructional videos are designed for specific learning levels, so you’ll know before watching if they’re appropriate for your skills.
With FluentU’s Russian program, you can get the same kind of accessible and leveled learning from native videos containing authentic Russian speech.
FluentU takes authentic videos—like music videos, movie trailers, news and inspiring talks—and turns them into personalized language learning lessons.
Since many instructional videos focus on scenarios that you may encounter in real life, you can use them to learn a few helpful phrases that you can easily plug into conversation. Even if you can’t use a phrase verbatim, you can use the structure to construct your own similar sentences.
They help you learn pronunciation
Listening to spoken Russian (especially as spoken by native speakers) is a great way to improve your own pronunciation. There are some tricky sounds and sound combinations in Russian, but the more often you hear them, the more familiar they become. Not everyone has immediate access to hearing native Russian speakers in person, but instructional videos can provide you with this helpful experience.
Additionally, since the videos below are designed for language learners, the speech in them is generally much slower and clearer than in most actual conversations. They can help you more easily understand Russian and practice your own Russian pronunciation.
They help you learn listening skills
Watching these videos will help you hone your listening skills. Instructional videos are particularly helpful for listening practice. Since they’re designed for Russian learners, they won’t be too challenging.
Additionally, many learning videos use significant context clues, like hand gestures, since they know learners may not pick up every word.
In a nutshell, instructional videos are great stepping stones to and between more authentic listening, and they’re invaluable for testing and measuring your progress.
12 Awesome Videos to Skyrocket Your Russian Learning
1. “Learn to Read and Write Russian” from RussianPod101.com (Innovative Language)
If you’re looking to learn Russian, learning the Cyrillic alphabet is an important first step. It will provide you with the groundwork you need for more advanced learning.
This is actually a video playlist that starts out with easy letters that look and sound similar in both the Cyrillic and Roman alphabets. Watch all the videos in the playlist, and you’ll be well on your way to mastering the Cyrillic alphabet for good.
Some of the other videos on this list are also from Innovative Language, and it’s worth checking out the whole RussianPod101 series. A subscription gives you access to learning tools and video and audio lessons, along with access to a community forum.
2. “Learn Russian Lesson 1” from Babel Yak
In this video, Babel Yak shares basic Russian phrases.
Since the video offers both the written and spoken English and Russian phrases along with a Russian pronunciation guide, it’s a great tool for beginning speakers. Learning phrases can be very motivating since the practical nature of being able to use them makes your progress more obvious. Additionally, these phrases will help you remember important vocabulary you can use in various ways in the future.
3. “Learn Russian: Common Words” from LearnRussianTV
This video contains common words in the Russian language, so it’s a great starting point for when you’re ready to start building your vocabulary.
The speaker speaks very slowly and clearly, so her pronunciation is easy to understand. There’s plenty of time to repeat what she’s saying, too, which is great for your pronunciation practice.
Furthermore, the spoken words are accompanied by the Russian words and their pronunciations, so you can link the spoken and written versions in your mind.
4. “Russian 101 – Common Words & Phrases” from The Travel Linguist
While this video is geared mostly at travelers, it’s a useful video for anyone looking to learn a few helpful phrases quickly.
It offers common phrases travelers may use along with their Russian equivalents and a helpful pronunciation guide.
5. “Russian Listening Comprehension – Talking About a Person in Russian” from RussianPod101.com
This video offers a dialogue entirely in Russian in which participants are discussing the appearance of a person (or in this case, a cartoon of a person).
The video offers a unique format: You’ll first hear the dialogue in Russian. After that, the dialogue will replay along with text of the Russian words and their English translations. To make it more fun, try to determine which cartoon girl the woman is describing before they reveal the answer to you.
This is great listening practice for intermediate speakers since you won’t have written words to lean back on until the dialogue is replayed.
6. “Story in Russian About a Clever Boy” from Learn Russian Easily
As you might have guessed, in this video, the speaker shares a story about a clever boy in Russian. Unless you use auto-translate, there are no English translations, so it’s a good test for your listening skills.
Attempting to follow this video is an approachable listening activity for intermediate speakers. The storyteller speaks very slowly and clearly, and she is very animated, making the story easier to follow.
7. “Learn How to Use All Six Russian Cases” from Learn Russian Language
If you’re an intermediate-level learner, chances are the Russian case system has already given you a headache more than once. But it doesn’t have to be so frustrating! This video is a great way to practice the cases and see them in action.
This video has a lot going for it: First of all, Russian text appears throughout, so you get to both see and hear how the case system works. You’ll also see the context in which different cases are used. Finally, the speaker does an excellent job of repeating herself and using gestures to help reinforce learning.
In essence, this video is a helpful tool to assist you in nailing down one of the most challenging aspects of the Russian language.
8. “Learn Russian with Funny Stories” from Easy Russian
In this video, the speaker shares a funny weather story. Not only will this help you practice your weather terminology, it will also help you practice listening and conversation. The speaker’s rate of speed is slightly faster than in many other learning videos, but she still speaks quite clearly. This will help you inch your way closer to understanding Russian in a real conversation.
9. “Advanced Russian – Idiomatic Expressions” from Key2Russian
This lesson focuses on idiomatic expressions. Idiomatic expressions are informal expressions that don’t translate literally, so they can be a bit tricky when learning a language.
Nonetheless, idiomatic expressions are common and important if you want to understand Russian in and out, so this lesson is a great jumping-off point to get you started on the road to full fluency.
This video offers the spoken Russian in addition to the written words to help reinforce your learning.
10. “Advanced Russian – Russian Colloquial Verbs” from Key2Russian
Like idiomatic expressions, colloquialisms are informal terms. This lesson focuses on colloquial verbs that do not translate literally.
You’ll see the text and hear it spoken, which will help you commit these unique words to memory. Additionally, the examples provide useful context for when you might need to use these colloquialisms.
11. “Listen to an Interesting Story in Russian” from Learn Russian Easily
This brief story about family meals uses some more advanced language. It’s a good option for advanced learners looking to cement their learning and perfect their pronunciation by listening to a native speaker.
The speaker speaks quite clearly and precisely, which will help ensure you know how to pronounce the words correctly.
12. “Russian Listening Comprehension – A Russian Business Presentation” from RussianPod101.com
If you ever want to use Russian in a professional setting, you’ll definitely want to study this video first.
It presents a business scenario with Russian narration. After that, the audio will repeat, but this time with the Russian text and English translations.
This is a great way to test your listening skills before getting the support from the written words.
What’s more, it will give you the opportunity to learn some helpful business vocabulary.
So now you have a useful selection of videos for learning Russian at your fingertips, no matter what your level.
Use these great videos to help your Russian language skills take off!