To some, these exclamations may simply sound like fun and excitement.
But we’ll let you in on a little secret: While comics can be incredibly enjoyable to read, they can also be a great tool for learning Russian.
And learning Russian through comics can be the perfect opportunity to discover some really interesting art and stories!
While authentic Russian comics can be hard to come by in the U.S., word on the street (or better yet, from this Vice News report) is that an intriguing indie comic book scene exists in Russia. You can also find plenty of your faves translated into Russian.
Not sure about getting into whole comic books? There are plenty of short strips that will appeal to even the most discerning (and busy) reader.
Trust us, the seven sources for Russian comics below will really draw you in!
Why Read Russian Comics as a Learner?
First, comics are often easy to read. Like any short stories, they don’t take too much time, so they’re easy to fit into any schedule. But they also provide you with powerful learning material.
Additionally, comics usually use basic, common vocabulary. Resources that use common vocabulary are terrific, especially for beginning Russian students. Not only are you more likely to recognize common words, you’re also more likely to need them in real life. The words you encounter in comics are likely to be words you’ll want to use.
Comics really heavily on visual context, so you can look at the images if you need any extra cues as to the meaning. This makes reading comics easier than most other reading practice and helps develop your understanding of the language more thoroughly.
Learning That Will Draw You In: 7 Sources of Russian Comics
Does “Garfield” make your heart purr? Is Dilbert the only one who understands your life troubles? If you love these comic strips in English, you might find them even more delightful in Russian.
And lucky for you, Russian for Free has dozens of “Garfield” and “Dilbert” comic strips translated into Russian. They’re still just as adorable and hilarious, but now you can use them to polish up your language skills.
These comic strips are very brief—some are as short as one simple sentence. Because of their brevity, it’s easy to fit in a little reading practice even if your schedule is jam-packed.
Perhaps best of all, Russian for Free has done all the work needed to convert the comics into awesome learning tools. Below the comic, you’ll see the Russian text, and you can copy any words you don’t know into a vocabulary list or translator. Russian for Free even gives you the English-language translation of the text, making these comics accessible to even beginning learners.
If you like this level of accessibility, you’ll love FluentU. FluentU takes real-world videos—like movie trailers, music videos, news and inspiring talks—and turns them into personalized language lessons.
If you want, you might even try printing out the comics so that you can have them handy at your desk, on your bedside table or in your car, and take a look at them whenever you have a moment.
Do you love popular English-language comic books? Do you wish you could read those same comics in Russian?
We have good news for you: You can.
Com-x.life offers hundreds of complete comic books in Russian. And best of all, you can read them online for free. That’s a deal that can’t be beat!
While some of the comic books are in English, many are Russian translations of American comic books. For instance, DC Comics junkies might love the Russian-language version of “Justice League.” Fans of the “Walking Dead” can improve their Russian skills as they brush up on the latest zombie fighting techniques.
Since Com-x.life doesn’t offer English translations and you can’t copy and paste text into a translator, it’s better for upper beginners through advanced students.
Like Com-x.life, UniComics has a great selection of comic books that you can read online for free. There are hundreds, enough to last any Russian learner for a good long time.
UniComics is ideal for upper beginning through advanced students.
“Загадки для зарядки” (“Mysteries for Charging”) is a 1975 Russian comic book for kids.
Because it’s intended for children, it features a lot of vivid drawings and common vocabulary, making it an excellent option for beginning Russian students and/or any Russian student nervous about diving into a more grownup comic book. However, the book is intended for older children and its primary focus is on riddles that require some problem-solving skills, so “Загадки для зарядки” also won’t be too easy.
Additionally, the book is appropriate for more advanced students since it offers material for one area that Russian students usually need to work on but often don’t: Russian cursive. One unique feature of this comic is that some of the text is in cursive, so if you need a little extra practice reading Russian cursive, “Загадки для зарядки” has your back.
Looking for something out of the box that you’ve never heard of? Check out Авторский Комикс.
This is a Russian-language comic book site that allows users to upload their own material. Because of this, you’ll encounter diverse, less well-known options and more works originally written in Russian.
If you like, you can also post your own comics to share through Авторский Комикс. Want some tips and tricks for creating your own Russian-language comic? Keep reading!
Ivan Eshukov is a Siberian comic book artist best known for «Боровицкий» (“Borovitsky”). The artwork is next level. The plot is Tolstoy-esque. And it’s difficult to find any actual examples of the comic books in Russian.
However, while it is really exceedingly hard to find copies of Eshukov’s work in the United States, he posts some great samples on Facebook. Sure, you can’t read a full comic book, but if you want to practice your Russian while dabbling your feet in the Russian indie comic book scene, Eshukov’s Facebook page is one of the best options.
This is a Russian website all about comic books.
While it doesn’t offer full comics, it does have plenty of photos. Best of all for Russian students, there are Russian-language descriptions of many comic books, including English-language ones you may already be familiar with. It might not be quite as exciting as reading the comic book itself, but it’s still terrific reading practice.
For instance, “Star Wars” fans might enjoy reading the description of “Комикс Звездные Войны: Дарт Вейдер и пропавший командир” (“Star Wars: Darth Vader and the Lost Command”).
Bonus: Make Your Own! “Искусство создания комикса”
If you have an artistic bent and a passion for the Russian language, you can dive into creating your own comics!
“Искусство создания комикса” (“The Art of Making Comics”) is the Russian-language edition of a guide to creating your own comics. It’ll help you learn key industry vocabulary, figure out how to put together a story, learn how to plan your story visually, decide about lettering and coloring schemes and so much more.
But best of all, your Russian will improve along the way. Reading the book will give you Russian reading practice. Writing your own comics in Russian will give you Russian writing practice. What could be better?
Ready for a fun way to learn Russian with a bang?
Check out these seven sources for Russian comics.
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