YouTube has all you could ever ask for.
Makeup tutorials: Check.
Song covers: Check.
Cat videos: Check.
But what about learning Russian? Is there anything out there for people who want to learn Russian with YouTube?
In fact, there’s a large number of great Russian YouTube channels dedicated to providing helpful Russian learning videos (though sadly, they don’t all feature cats).
If Russian podcasts lack the visual component you need to learn or learning books don’t always hold your attention, video is a great option. Even if you love those other learning materials, sometimes it’s still a good idea to shake things up.
Harness the same audiovisual Russian learning power you get with entertaining Russian movies and engaging TV shows, and turn to Russian learning videos for an additional learning boost. They’re great tools to have in your educational arsenal to build your vocabulary and learn those nitty-gritty grammar rules you can’t pick up just anywhere.
As noted before, you’re totally covered. YouTube has a great selection of channels to help any Russian learner!
Why Watch Russian YouTube Videos?
Russian YouTube videos are designed for learners so they’ll give you the information and detail you need to understand the rules of the Russian language in more depth. In the long run, these rules will provide you with the foundation you need to become fluent in Russian.
They often feature native speakers. Listening to a native Russian speaker will help improve your accent and pronunciation even if you don’t pay attention to the actual learning material (though you’ll really want to do both).
They’re easy to watch. Russian YouTube videos are both entertaining and conveniently short, so they’re great for beginners and people with short attention spans.
You can select what you want to work on. Since Russian YouTube videos cover a wide array of topics, you can easily focus the main area you feel like you need to work on.
So you can get a lot out of YouTube videos! Why not add even more and really amp up your studies with another study resource?
FluentU takes authentic videos—like music videos, movie trailers, news and inspiring talks—and turns them into personalized language learning lessons.
FluentU’s video catalog does include videos from YouTube as well, but they’re reformatted with some useful learner tools. Each video comes with interactive captions that can give you access to a word’s definition, audio pronunciation, supporting images and usages in example sentences.
Since all the content is authentic, you’ll be watching, hearing, and learning from native speakers. As a result, you’ll get a more comprehensive and realistic depiction of the Russian language as it’s spoken in all kinds of contexts. There’s no restrictions on which videos you can learn from either, so if you want to learn specific vocabulary of a certain theme, then you can search for relevant videos from FluentU’s categorized library.
If you’re interested, check out FluentU and you can give the free trial a go!
6 Awesome Channels for Learning Russian on YouTube
1. Learn Russian Language
The Learn Russian Language channel provided by WikiTranslate offers hundreds of videos to help Russian learners perfect their language skills.
Learn Russian Language’s learning videos are mostly targeted at early beginners through intermediate-level learners, but never fear, advanced learners—there are helpful videos for you, too. Learn Russian Language’s collections of Russian Orthodox prayers, subtitled Russian films and nursery rhymes in Russian are excellent tools for any learner.
Recommendation: “Learn Russian Letters Fast & Fun Way – Car Alphabet”
This video offers a unique approach to learning Russian letters and a few words. The video shares the names of a wide variety of car brands spoken in Russian, written in both Russian and English and presented along with a picture of a car. Because of this, the video is an excellent choice for any Russian learner who loves cars or just wants a new approach to learning the Russian alphabet.
2. Russian for Free
Russian for Free’s YouTube channel focuses on helpful vocabulary for beginning students and travelers.
Each video shares a number of useful vocabulary words spoken in Russian and written out in both English and Russian, with the Russian pronunciation and an image of what the word means. Thanks to this variety of presentational approaches, it’s an ideal way for visual learners to connect the spoken and written word to the object in question.
Recommendation: “Russian Phrases: Introductions”
This video will help beginning Russian students learn how to introduce themselves and engage in basic getting-to-know-you conversations. It’s helpful to at least know how to engage in friendly introductions in a foreign language even if you can’t hold a full conversation yet. This will show native Russian speakers that you’re politely trying to learn their language rather than expecting them to cater to you.
3. Weekly Russian with Natalia
Weekly Russian with Natalia offers hundreds of helpful videos for all levels of Russian language students.
For beginning Russian learners, there are thorough lessons covering the basics of vocabulary and grammar.
For intermediate and advanced students, there are tons of colorfully focused videos to help you zoom in on details of the Russian language and expose yourself more to authentic Russian culture. The videos to help you practice your Russian include Russian cartoons, songs from Russian cartoons, traditional Russian music, subtitled Russian songs, Russian choral music, children’s songs and holiday songs. If you want to learn more about Russian culture, there are plenty of videos on Russian history, the Sochi Olympics, Russian poetry and other fascinating topics to choose from.
Recommendation: “Learn Russian Words and Phrases – Weather”
This video provides viewers with useful Russian vocabulary and phrases that will prepare Russian students to discuss the weather.
Remember: Talking about the weather is great small talk regardless of where you are in the world. It’s friendly, neutral and rarely causes any conflict, so it’s perfect for any situation. When watching this video, you’ll hear the word in Russian and see it in both Russian and English along with a pronunciation guide. There will also be an image to help hint at the meaning of the word or phrase.
4. R for Russian
R for Russian offers Russian grammar and vocabulary lessons appropriate for beginning and intermediate Russian students.
To keep things more fun, many of these video lessons incorporate lively music, making it easy to watch a lot of videos without losing focus. For most of the videos, there’s a brief lesson followed by a song. Keywords and phrases appear on-screen in Russian, along with their English translations.
Recommendation: “PLURAL with RUSSIAN song ah roads”
The main lesson in this video is plural nouns. At the beginning of the video, you’ll see how to make nouns plural. Then, you’ll hear a lovely song that highlights the lesson you just learned on plural nouns. This is a catchy way to reinforce your learning while having fun.
5. Fun Russian
The Fun Russian YouTube channel offers dozens of learning videos for all levels of Russian students.
While most grammar and vocabulary lessons are geared towards beginning and intermediate students, advanced students will benefit from the many idiom lessons. Each lesson shows words or grammar rules on the screen along with a brief audio description of the word or rule.
They also offer live group classes right on YouTube—look at their schedule and join the teacher and subscribers for a real-time teaching session.
Recommendation: “15 Easy Russian Words that Came from English”
This video is a great way for beginning students to pick up a lot of new vocabulary quickly. All the words in “15 Easy Russian Words that Came from English” sound similar to their English-language counterparts, which will make the Russian words easy to remember.
Picking up lots of words quickly is very motivating, so not only will you learn new words, you’ll be motivated to continue with your Russian education. Plus, learning Russian-language words that sound familiar will help reinforce your knowledge of the Cyrillic alphabet.
6. RU-LAND Virtual Russian Language Club
RU-LAND Virtual Russian Language Club offers dozens of great learning videos.
For beginners, there are plenty of grammar and vocabulary lessons. For advanced learners, there’s lots of unique content like information on the differences between the Russian and Ukrainian languages and business vocabulary.
Additionally, their “Visual Russian” series is a fun way to see phrases and conversations acted out by animated characters. It’s much more entertaining than just studying a dictionary!
Recommendation: “Russian pronunciation. Tongue twisters.”
RU-LAND Virtual Russian Language Club’s selection of tongue twisters is great practice for any Russian learner. It provides the Russian language text of the tongue twister along with the spoken tongue twister. Next, the speaker provides the English translation. She goes on to repeat it increasingly quickly. This will help you practice your r sound and perfect your accent.
So, the next time you’re looking to perfect your Russian—or take a break from the textbook—look no further than your favorite Russian YouTube channel!