7 Elite Russian Podcasts for Winning Learners

Learning Russian is like a gymnastics routine.

Do everything right, and you make it look easy. But if you mess up, it can become an embarrassing mess.

But with the right kind of resources, you can nail a crucial part of your learning routine: listening.

So if you really want to learn Russian like a champ, podcasts should also be an important part of your learning routine.


Why Listen to Russian Podcasts?

  • They offer practical listening skills. If you don’t listen to spoken Russian often, you’ll struggle to understand spoken words; this is true even if you can read and write Russian flawlessly. Listening is an entirely different skill. And listening to podcasts will help you hone that skill. This is especially true since podcasts often simulate actual conversations.
  • Russian podcasts are often conducted by native speakers. Listening to native speakers will help you improve your own pronunciation and your ability to understand real Russian. You’ve heard how non-native English speakers often have accents, right? Well, you also have an accent when speaking Russian. Listening to native speakers will help reduce it.
  • Podcasts are episodic and usually short. This means you can focus in on specific themes without worrying about having to put forth too much of a time commitment. This makes it easy to pick and choose what you want to learn about and fit it into whatever time you have available.

How to Get the Most out of Russian Podcasts

  • Study accompanying guides. Many podcasts have accompanying printed guides you can use to aid your learning. Studying them will improve your reading skills and make listening easier at the same time.
  • Listen often. Whether listening to new podcasts or the same podcast time and again, the more you listen, the more you’ll learn. Remember: Repetition is the key to learning any language.
  • If a passage is confusing, play it back until you figure it out. Context clues are often key. Considering the focus of the podcast, what might a particular word mean? Forcing yourself to learn from context will help you develop problem-solving skills that can be applied later on to actual conversations.
  • Use FluentU, too. Audio is great, but sometimes it’s not enough. FluentU can help you develop your real-life listening and conversational skills with its Russian program by allowing you to not just hear, but see real Russian speech as it’s happening.

    FluentU takes authentic videos—like music videos, movie trailers, news and inspiring talks—and turns them into personalized language learning lessons.

    You can try FluentU for free for 2 weeks. Click here to check out the website or download the iOS app or Android app.

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    Its interactive captions, downloadable transcripts and customized quizzes will guide you through any parts of the videos you don’t understand.

7 Russian Podcasts to Earn You Gold in Listening Skills

1. Очень по-русски


Очень по-русски (Very in Russian) is for upper-intermediate and advanced Russian learners.

This podcast offers thematic episodes on a wide variety of topics. Each episode shares slang, idioms and colloquialisms that are common in Russian but not as common in textbooks.

You can listen to the podcasts on the site or download the MP3s. Each podcast has a corresponding transcript complete with English translations. There’s also an accompanying vocabulary list with each podcast; this is a great way to study notable words and phrases more.

All the podcasts are available for free through the site, but you can also buy additional, affordably-priced, downloadable audio materials. You can subscribe via RSS, iTunes or email.

2. Russian Podcast


With over 200 podcasts, Russian Podcast offers great lessons for beginning through advanced learners.

Beginning learners can learn helpful information like common questions, while advanced learners will benefit from very specific vocabulary and lessons, such as psychotherapy-related podcasts. While most of the material is conversational, there are also a number of songs included, so the podcasts are varied and entertaining.

Each podcast comes with a helpful PDF that contains the recorded conversation. For beginning- and intermediate-level podcasts, the PDF also contains word lists with English translations to help you study. In the more advanced podcasts, the words are defined in Russian. You can download the lessons or listen on the site.

The podcasts are free, but you can also sign up for Skype-based Russian lessons here at a charge.

3. RussianLingQ


RussianLingQ has podcasts ranging from beginning- to advanced-level Russian.

It focuses primarily on general interest conversation, so this is a great way to learn general terms.

You can listen online and/or download the MP3s. You can also download the full transcripts.

Limited materials from Russian LingQ are free of charge. There are also additional learning materials on the site for a charge.

4. RusPod


RusPod offers beginner-level dialogues and audio lessons.

RusPod is structured a little differently than other podcasts. Each podcast is a dialogue with an accompanying lesson. The dialogues focus on general, everyday conversations to help you learn basic vocabulary. The lessons then discuss the language in more depth.

RusPod’s “shorts,” which are podcasts with vocabulary lists, are available for free. However, there’s a charge for full access to RusPod’s podcasts, vocabulary lists, tests and additional lesson materials and exercises.

5. Russian Made Easy


Russian Made Easy focuses on—you guessed it—making it easy to learn Russian. These beginner-level podcasts will help you get the basics down.

The podcasts focus on basic phrases and simple conversations about things like meeting people.

Each podcast is available for download or to listen to online. You can also read the transcripts online or download them as PDFs.

6. Russificate

Though technically a blog, Russificate is actually a multi-faceted Russian learning destination. It offers podcasts for advanced learners.

The content is quite varied: You’ll find jokes, colloquialisms and poetry (among other things). You’ll learn about both language and culture.

You can listen online or download the MP3s. Each podcast has an accompanying Russian-language transcript with thought-provoking questions to help you process the podcast.

The podcasts, transcripts and questions are free, but you can also sign up for Skype-based Russian lessons here for a charge.

7. Business Russian Podcasts

If you think you might want to do business abroad, Business Russian Podcasts will provide you with some helpful lessons.

This series of podcasts focuses on business vocabulary, like words related to taxes, personnel and company structure.

These podcasts are entirely free. You can listen online or download them, and you can download accompanying PDF transcripts. You can also subscribe via iTunes or RSS.


So, if you want to earn a perfect 10 in Russian listening, give Russian podcasts a try!

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