What do you get when you mix viral videos, makeup tutorials and an incredible Russian learning resource?
No, it’s not a bizarre but enjoyable party. It’s YouTube.
YouTube may be your go-to place for kitten videos or help doing your hair, but it can also be your go-to place for improving your Russian skills.
Yes, YouTube has some awesome channels to help you learn Russian. Learning videos are a great way to get free language lessons, and YouTube is a great resource for listening practice.
Similarly, Russian blogs can help you master the finer points of the Russian language.
But if we combine Russian blogs and Russian YouTube videos, we get the best of both worlds: the Russian vlog.
Russian vloggers not only provide entertaining content, they also provide a helpful, engaging and authentic learning resource for Russian students.
In other words, the vloggers below aren’t necessarily language teachers, but they can still teach you the language.
If you want your learning to go viral, check out these 10 great Russian vloggers.
Why Watch Russian Vloggers?
- Watching Russian vloggers is a helpful way to learn colloquial language. Most vloggers speak like their target demographics. For instance, vloggers whose audiences are primarily young people will speak like young people. This is a great way to learn authentic colloquial language. (Note: Most of the popular Russian YouTube channels use swear words, so if these offend you, YouTube with care.)
- It’s easy to find vloggers relevant to your interests, which will encourage you to practice listening frequently. Vloggers cover all sorts of different topics, from humor to makeup. This makes it easy to choose a subject you like. If you enjoy watching the videos, you’ll be much more likely to keep watching the videos, which will encourage you to practice your Russian often.
- Finally, watching Russian vloggers is good practice for real conversations. Since vloggers frequently use a conversational style, watching a vlogger often feels like having a conversation (albeit a one-sided conversation). This is a great way to prepare for real conversations with native Russian speakers.
Just one word of warning: authentic learning through videos can be addictive. So now’s a good time to take note of the fact that FluentU’s growing library of authentic Russian videos is here for you.
FluentU takes real-world videos—like music videos, movie trailers, news and inspiring talks—and turns them into personalized language learning lessons.
With FluentU, you’ll be listening to and learning from real native speakers!
10 Fabulous Russian-language Vloggers to “Follow” to Fluency
Home to the show “+100500,” this is a popular, long-running channel. “+100500” is a weekly show that features video clips along with humorous commentary. There are also some travel vlogs. The host, Maxim Golopolosov, is one of Russia’s first internet celebrities and now makes TV appearances.
While the videos feature adult content, they’ll teach you general, colloquial vocabulary. Golopolosov speaks fairly quickly but clearly, so this is a good place to test your listening skills. His travel vlogs, like this one on Alice Springs, Australia, are also a helpful way to learn geography-related vocabulary.
There are even a few English versions of videos available on an English channel he started years ago, which may be helpful for understanding their Russian counterparts.
FROST features a variety of different types of videos, including topics like video games, travel and challenges.
For instance, video game fans might enjoy this video on a Sims 4 love triangle, which will help you practice general vocabulary along with more game-specific terms. You can also check out videos like his new take on bottle flipping, which provide enough context to help you understand what’s happening even if you don’t catch all the words. This is a good place to practice listening to Russian without getting bogged down.
This is Хорошо
“This is Хорошо” (“This is Good”) is actually a Latvian YouTube channel and a long-running web series that a few people are involved in producing. It’s also one of the few popular Russian-language YouTube channels that doesn’t feature swearing. While the channel is based in Latvia, it uses the Russian language.
Like “+100500,” “This is Хорошо” features video clips along with commentary. Because it covers a wide variety of topics, it’s a great channel for learning general vocabulary. Each vlog post contains a number of video clips, so there are several topics in each post. For instance, you might try a video featuring both a hedgehog and a grandmother.
Additionally, “This is Хорошо” offers Russian subtitles, which is a helpful way to connect the spoken and written language. The speaking is also very clear, which will make these videos easier for Russian learners.
Kate Clapp posts funny, brief videos that are perfect for short bursts of Russian listening activities.
Her videos include parodies, sketches and general conversation.
While she speaks fairly rapidly, she also speaks quite clearly. She covers general interest topics, so it’s easy to select a video based on what sort of vocabulary you want to learn. For instance, her video on what’s in her bag will help you learn vocabulary for common objects.
While it’s not as popular as most of the YouTube channels on this list, Адвокат Егоров offers some popular, useful videos that will appeal to survivalists and anyone who loves the outdoors.
These vlogs feature helpful tips and tricks for outdoor enthusiasts. For instance, you never know when you might need to build a primitive pizza oven (though my guess would be immediately).
These videos are great for helping you learn vocabulary related to nature and tools. The audio is a bit muffled, so this channel is a little more challenging for Russian learners.
Elena Krygina is a Russian makeup artist and vlogger. She posts primarily makeup tutorials and product reviews.
For instance, you might try learning some Halloween makeup from her.
The audio quality is sometimes muffled, so the videos may be challenging for some Russian learners. However, more advanced learners will be able to learn a lot of beauty-related vocabulary.
Roma Acorn is a divisive pop singer. Think of him as the Russian Justin Bieber; the comparison is made even more accurate because he actually toured with Justin Bieber.
Roma Acorn posts a wide array of videos, including music videos, travel videos and general conversation. For instance, if you want to get with the hip lingo, you might try his video explaining “swag.”
Roma Acorn’s videos are sometimes lewd, so you won’t want to watch if you’re offended by that sort of thing. Nonetheless, they’re a helpful way to learn popular slang and general vocabulary.
Sasha Spilberg is a popular vlogger turned singer.
Her YouTube videos focus largely on general conversation and lifestyle commentary. However, her videos cover a wide array of topics including video games and beauty. You can also check out her music videos and TV appearances.
Her upbeat, energetic manner makes it easy to watch her videos. Her speaking is also quite clear, so her channel is great for Russian students.
Since she covers such a wide array of topics, it’s easy to target particular vocabulary sets. For instance, she shows you around her house in one video; this is a great way to learn vocabulary about common household items.
Brian Maps posts funny skits and some “challenge” videos.
The videos can be a bit cheesy, but they’re certainly entertaining. Topics include pretty much anything possible to mock. For instance, the skit about characters from “The Sims” coming to life will help you learn common, everyday vocabulary (and imagine the possibility of Sims coming to life).
Perhaps best of all, subtitles are often available in both Russian and English, so this channel is convenient for Russian learners who need a little extra support to understand spoken Russian.
Maria Way’s primary focus is beauty tutorials. However, she also offers videos that focus on general conversation.
She clearly has some massive beauty skills, so you can learn some helpful tips along with vocabulary on related subjects.
For instance, you can learn makeup-related terms as you learn how to make yourself look like Johnny Depp (you never know when that will come in handy).
Additionally, Maria Way usually speaks relatively slowly and quite clearly, so Russian learners should be able to understand her more easily.
There’s a perfect vlogger for any Russian learner, so “follow” a Russian vlogger to fluency today!
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.