When you’re learning Russian, you’re going to need to learn words.
Lots and lots of words.
But dictionaries take up valuable shelf space that could be better used for your extensive matryoshka collection.
That’s a real dilemma because, with a solid dictionary in hand, there are plenty of ways to pick up new vocabulary while enjoying Russian.
Russian podcasts will help you hear words in context. Russian learning blogs will help with your reading. Online Russian courses provide a well-structured approach to learning. Beyond those, there’s a ton of diverse, immersive online resources for Russian learners to enjoy.
While immersing yourself in the language, sometimes you need to target just one word. You’ll hear a word in Russian and need to know what it means in English, or maybe you’ll want to know the Russian translation for a word you know in English.
This is when you need a dictionary.
But standard dictionaries are big. They’re heavy. They’re not always on hand. It’s times like these, my friends, when only a Russian dictionary app will suffice.
Why Use Russian Dictionary Apps?
Russian dictionary apps are convenient. You can use them anywhere, so they’re much more usable than a standard dictionary.
Many dictionary apps offer a lot of offline content, so you don’t even have to use data.
They’ll help you learn new vocabulary words whenever you think of them. Sometimes you’ll abruptly realize you don’t know a word—a dictionary app will help you resolve that issue quickly.
They offer a wide variety of resources to help you learn more about words. Whether it’s the definition, an example or even a conjugation chart, there are diverse materials to help all users.
Most excitingly, dictionary apps are helpful when traveling. If you go to Russia, they will help you understand words and provide you with words you need on the go, to communicate without the challenges of hauling around a phrasebook.
Dictionary apps are characterized by these traits, but of course there are other apps you can check out to also keep you covered in your Russian skills. One such app is FluentU.
While it isn’t exactly a “type-and-search” dictionary app, FluentU can expose you to the language as it’s genuinely spoken and help you learn the language in context. These are particularly crucial if you’re looking to understand and participate in real-life Russian conversations.
Define Your Learning with 10 Russian Dictionary Apps
1. Russian Dictionary + by iThinkdiff
Available: iOS | Android
Russian Dictionary + offers a nice array of vocabulary words and a lot of special features.
The basic version is free. It’s a great opportunity to see if you like the format, but most features—including basic features like pronunciation and the online translator—are available for a charge as in-app purchases.
Word entries can include translation options, definitions, historical uses, synonyms and pronunciation. You can bookmark words to make them easier to study.
But Russian Dictionary + offers so much more than a dictionary. For additional fees, you can also access special features including a word of the day, quote of the day, phrase of the day, phrasebook, flashcards and games that you can use to study bookmarked words. You can use your device camera to scan text and look it up in the dictionary. You can even copy and paste text so that you can use any translations in text messages, tweets, etc.
Russian Dictionary + is compatible with iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch, and you can even sync it to an Apple Watch.
2. Russian English Dictionary & Thesaurus & Translator by Xung Le (Dict Box)
Available: iOS | Android
With over 750,000 Russian words and expressions, this dictionary is huge.
Russian English Dictionary & Thesaurus & Translator offers definitions, pronunciations and examples.
What’s more, it downloads words and pronunciations onto your phone so that you can still access information offline. Special features include a picture dictionary, word correction in case of typos, a favorites list you can use to study and links to popular online dictionaries.
The basic version is free with limited access. If you like it, you can purchase the pro version in the app which offers all the features for about $5.
3. English-Russian Dictionary by Alexander Kondrashov
Available: iOS | Android
This extensive dictionary provides English and Russian words offline without the need for Internet access.
Each entry offers a number of translation options, related words, pronunciations and examples.
The app is free, but it does contain ads. You can remove ads for a low fee via an in-app purchase.
4. reDict – Russian-English Dictionary and Translator by Dmitry Schavlik
This app offers a good selection of offline content and a huge selection of online content.
The basic app is free with limited access, but there are in-app purchases available which allow you to do things like add more words to the dictionary or add on special features.
Special features include a thesaurus, word correction in case of typos or misspellings, searching for similar words, searching for different grammatical forms of a word, storing words you looked up online so you later have access to them offline, downloadable pronunciations and easy access to your translation history.
Additionally, as you use the app more, it learns with you, getting better at searching each time.
5. Multitran Russian Dictionary by Suvorov-Development
This Russian dictionary is a versatile option for any Russian language learner. With Multitran Russian Dictionary, you can access dictionary entries between Russian and the language of your choice: English, Spanish, French, Italian, German, Esperanto, Dutch, Estonian, Latvian, Afrikaans or Kalmyck.
The dictionary includes a wide variety of words including everyday terms but also more advanced vocabulary related to business, history and more. Each entry offers translation options and pronunciations.
Additionally, the app offers a “word trainer” where you can select words to practice using a variety of exercises to improve your writing, reading, listening and speaking skills.
The basic download is free, but accessing content requires an Internet connection.
6. Russian-English Dictionary by TheTranslator
This Russian-English dictionary offers offline content for a nice array of words.
The basic download is free with additional in-app purchases available.
Each dictionary entry offers the word translated between the languages as well as additional material like examples, similar words/phrases, synonyms and pronunciations.
Special features of this dictionary include voice recognition, search filters that allow you to search by prefix or suffix and a customizable favorites list to allow you to create vocabulary lists.
7. Dictionary English<->Russian by DictLab
The Dictionary English<->Russian app offers offline access to a nice selection of words. The basic download is free.
Each dictionary entry offers several ways to say the word, along with usage examples.
Special features include a favorites list to allow you to save words to study later, as well as a search history that you can sort by frequency to see which words you look up most often—chances are you need to study those words more.
8. Russian Dictionary by Athena Soft
This free dictionary app offers content with or without an Internet connection.
Athena Soft’s Russian Dictionary offers a simple, easy-to-read interface. Each entry contains the translation of the word, antonyms and similar words.
Special features include auto-suggestion to complete words you type, voice search, word of the day, a study plan, a word game and the option to share or copy words.
9. Russian English Dictionary by SE Develop
SE Develop’s Russian English Dictionary is a free dictionary app with over 50,000 words. Once downloaded, content is available without an internet connection.
Just type in a word in Russian to find similar words in English, or type in a word in English for its Russian equivalent. The pronunciation of each word is also available, but this may require Internet access. The entries are simple and straightforward, so they’ll require little interpretation on your part.
Additional features include a search history that tracks every word you ever search (be careful), a favorites list to help you compose vocabulary lists to study and a word of the day.
10. English Russian Dictionary by Shahidul Islam
This free Russian dictionary app offers offline content in an easy-to-read format.
Simply type in a word, and autocomplete will guess which word you’re typing and offer some suggestions for you to select from. Then, the entry will contain a few word options.
To help you improve your vocabulary, you can add words to your favorites list, update words or even add new words to your dictionary itself.
All in all, these great Russian dictionary apps will help you define your mobile learning.
Download the one that looks best today, and get started searching!
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 gives you extra practice with difficult words. It'll even remind you when it’s time to review what you’ve learned. 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.