The Russian language is said to be one of the most difficult languages to study, of course if you were to ask a native Russian speaker they would tell you the same about the English language. If you’re interested in studying the Russian language and want to know where to start, this article is for you. This list is ordered as follows:
- Least Expensive
- More Expensive
- Free resources
However we’ve worked hard to only list language learning products that we’ve found to be most effective for those who truly want to learn the Russian language.
How to Begin Studying the Russian Language
You should begin with the Russian Alphabet. Start out by creating two different reference sheets. One sheet should list the Russian alphabet in order. The other sheet should have one Russian Cyrillic character per line, followed by the phonetic pronunciation. Try to find “how to” videos on YouTube about the Russian Alphabet to help you learn the correct Russian pronunciation. (Language Tip: A great way to reinforce retention is to write the characters down by hand.)
Once you understand how to pronounce letters in Russian, you’ll be amazed at how quickly you’ll begin to learn!
Russian Language Books for Study
There are three books that we recommend beginners use to start learning Russian.
First: There is a textbook called “Golosa: A Basic Course in Russian”, this book is used at many colleges & universities that offer Russian studies. The price is a little on the high end, but you can find used copies in very decent shape if you’re trying to save money.
Second: Take a look at “The New Penguin Russian Course: A Complete Course for Beginners”, this book cover the basic Russian language fundamentals. In addition, we’re not the only ones who believe the book is worth its weight in silver, and best of all you can buy it on Amazon for about $12.00.
Whether you choose to buy one, or both, of the books listed above you should also pick up a book that will help to keep your language studies entertaining. That’s why we recommend finding a story that you’re already familiar with that has been translated into Russian, you can even search for Russian language childrens books. We recently published “A Christmas Carol: Dual Language Reader (English/Russian)”, learn more about this book here.
Russian Language eBooks
Russian eBooks, unfortunately, are not supported by the dominant eReader devices (Kindle or Nook). More to the point, Cyrillic text for Kindle does actually work, but Amazon Kindle not currently allowing publishers to release Russian Cyrillic eBooks to Kindle readers. However, if you use Apple iBooks you’re in luck, because you can read Russian iBooks for your iPad or other reader device! In fact, it’s one of the only eBook provider that we’ve been able to find that supports (and allows us to publish) eBooks in Russian. The other provider is Google Books, so be sure to search for a Russian eBook there as well. Finally, the good thing about using eBooks to study the Russian language is price! Most eBooks can be purchased between $0.99 and $9.99.
We will update you when we’re able to publish Russian Cyrillic text for Kindle and Barnes & Noble’s Nook.
Resources for Serious Study of the Russian Language
First Option: Try software programs such as Rosetta Stone to learn Russian. This type of program will begin with very basic Russian sounds, nouns, verbs, and sentences. As you progress through the different levels, you’ll learn more complicated Russian phrases, and should be rather proficient in the Russian language after you’ve mastered all levels of the software. However, there are drawbacks to using these types of programs. For one, they can be expensive.: To purchase a copy of Rosetta Stone’s Russian Language Level 1 course it costs $179. Of course if you can afford to purchase all five Russian levels at once you are eligible for a bulk discount and will get all five level for $499. In the alternative, you can purchase an online subscription, with access to all levels, for the Russian language for approximately $66 per month.
Second Option: Hire a Russian language tutor. While it’s not the least expensive way to learn Russian, you can probably find some rather decent prices for private Russian language instruction with a tutor in your city. Or if you find someone online, look for someone who can meet with you online using a service Skype.
Third Option: Enroll in a Russian language class at a local college or university (or in a Russian language course taught online). Depending on the school you choose to attend, and your own personal preferences, this option can be more affordable than you think. Local community colleges that offer Russian language classes (online or on-campus) are most likely the most affordable. If there are no community colleges offering Russian classes, next look at the courses offered at your closest public universities & colleges. If all else fails, you can certainly find a private language education school, or university that offers both classes and/or degree programs in Russian language studies. To get an idea of what you’re looking for, take a look at George Washington University’s Russian Language Program.
Free Russian Language Learning Resources Online
Before we discuss the various resources available to help you learn to read & speak in Russian, try to find as many free Russian language learning resources as you can online. Here are a few for you to start with & to give you an idea of how to begin your search:
The first free resource is RussianLessons.net , they offer a free language course online to everyone. In addition you’ll a ton of great information about and tools to help you begin learning right now.
Another good website to check out is MasterRussian.com, they also post grammar lessons, vocabulary words and phrases, helpful notes about learning the Russian language, and have their own page of great resource Web sites all about the Russian language!
You should also take a look at LearnRussianFree.com. What we like most about Learn Russian Free is the unique features like Russian music video clips, most commonly used vocabulary words. You’ll also find some very useful videos, audio, and reading resources on this website. Best of all… it’s free!
Finally, the University of Northern Iowa has a very long list of resources you should take a look at.
If you have a Russian language resource you’d like us to share, please use the contact button on the left and let us know!
Study Pubs LLC