Need to Improve Your Russian? 5 of the Best Places to Practice Russian Online
How do you know if you have what it takes to learn to speak and read in Russian? Say you are traveling across the country and you are offered a shortcut or a scenic route that takes three times as long. Which do you take?
If you chose the scenic route, then you are up to the task of learning Russian (except do not expect to see any actual scenery between October and April if you travel to Russia, as everything is covered in snow).
We have compiled a list of top destinations, also known as online sources for learning the Russian language.
- Tips on Practicing Russian Online
- Practice Makes Perfect! The Best 5 Online Places to Practice Your Russian
Tips on Practicing Russian Online
Remember the following tips during the course of your study. They are what separates those who master the language from those that give up!
- Learn the basics first. There are a multitude of Russian online sources that claim to help you learn the language, but make sure you choose websites that help you learn the basics if you are just starting out. These include learning how to read and pronounce the Cyrillic alphabet, followed by basic words and verb tenses.
- Evaluate your level. If you did not wake up and decide that you just have to speak Russian with no prior knowledge, you should evaluate your level to determine if you are a beginner, intermediate or advanced learner. This can help you choose the appropriate sources for your learning needs. You do not want to spend too much time on reviewing the same repetitive information, nor jump so far in advance that you have a hard time keeping up.
- Take notes along the way. Since you will be studying independently, take notes of your errors or what you do not understand to refer back to and study later. If you gloss over words or phrases you do not know and do not take the time to learn them, it will be impossible for you to advance.
- Test yourself. You may think that you are brushing up on your Russian language skills, but prove it to yourself by taking intermittent quizzes to test your knowledge. If it will make you feel better, buy a red pen and write a big “A” on tests on which you scored well!
- Dedicate a time to study to keep yourself on track. With the 44 long weeks it can take to master Russian, you may lose steam along the way. It can help to set aside a specific time each day, or a few days a week, to immerse yourself in the Russian language with no distractions. And make sure to close Facebook and Twitter while you are perusing the online Russian sites, lest you never get anything done because your former college roommate will not stop posting adorable photos of his new kitten.
Practice Makes Perfect! The Best 5 Online Places to Practice Your Russian
Check out these five websites that are perfect for learners to practice Russian online:
Russians are famous for serving many different types of dishes during meals, and this website incorporates this tradition by offering a variety of ways to learn Russian. You can review lessons, play games, listen to music and take tests.
The first four Russian lessons provide a general introduction to the Russian language. By learning the Russian alphabet, spelling and grammar rules, the site promises to help you learn how to introduce yourself in a conversation by the time you complete the second lesson.
The next two lessons teach you to say Russian numbers, explain where you are from and master other general topics of conversation.
FluentU is a language learning program that teaches through immersion. This lets you learn the language by seeing words in context, and discovering nuances and elements of the language that you might not find in a textbook.
The program shows you native Russian in short videos like movie clips, music videos, news segments, vlogs and inspirational talks. Videos are equipped with interactive subtitles that let you see the contextual definition for any word in the captions by just clicking on it.
From here, you can also see example sentences, audio and even video. You can also add words to flashcard decks that you put together.
Practice on FluentU takes the form of multimedia quizzes. Each video has an accompanying quiz that checks your understanding of the vocabulary used in the video. You’ll also get a chance to try translating key moments.
You can also practice the words that you saved as flashcards through personalized quizzes on FluentU. These give you the chance to choose, type and even—on the iOS and Android app versions—speak your answers. Exercises integrate text, images, audio and video for an engaging and interactive experience to help you remember new words more effectively.
Russian for Free
Like the two sources above, this website also offers lessons in Russian spelling and grammar, but it provides a unique offering—videos! Access a free database with Russian videos that are divided into:
- Phrasebook videos – Watch videos of typical phrases commonly used in Russian conversations.
- Basic vocabulary videos – These are videos that cover the essential words used in the Russian language.
- Vocabulary topics – Intermediate to advanced Russian students can learn vocabulary divided by topics, such as kitchen essentials, objects found in the home, pet names, etc.
- Love phrase videos – Learn how to tell someone you love them in Russian!
When you are tired of learning Russian rules and reading lessons, enjoy doing something fun by playing games that help you learn Russian for any level. A portion of the games include audio so you can hear correct pronunciations of letters and words. All of the games can be played with a Cyrillic keyboard, as well as transliterations (translating a script from one language to another).
These games teach you numbers, animal names, how to tell time, days of the month, colors and so on! The games for intermediate and advanced learners help you build advanced vocabulary skills.
UCLA Beginner Russian Studies
This interactive website teaches Russian with the help of the textbook, “Beginner’s Russian.” Each of the 24 online chapters includes keys to studying the language, study guides, video and audio clips, a podcast, exercises and YouTube subscriptions.
Exercises include typing, listening and answering questions, matching games, learning to write in Russian by hand and even recording yourself speaking Russian.
If you have set out to truly learn Russian, these five free sources can help you practice Russian online. Just remember to dedicate the time and energy to truly master the language and learn how to speak, read and write proficiently.