When we spak of Russia, all over the world, we quickly generate a lot of stereotypes, such as the Red Army, the beauty of women, the freezing temperatures...
The Russian language, spoken by more than 260 million people in the world, only shows in the background of the collective consciousness too lulled by the warlike and political images of the former USSR – the Red Square or even of Mr Vladimir Putin.
This living Slavonic language, often perceived as difficult – especially because of its Cyrillic alphabet – is nevertheless the mother tongue of a large community in the United States and understood by residents of many countries such as Georgia, Armenia, the Baltic countries, Ukraine, Uzbekistan and Israel.
Add to that a closeness to other Slavic languages such as Polish, Ukrainian, Czech, Bulgarian and Serbian and you can easily understand why you should be interested.
Rather than being silenced in boring schools, rather than dancing Polka, let's see what podcasts or online programs can do for our Russian neo-speakers.
The podcast: learning Russian at a low cost
Although this living language is not the most spoken language in the world in terms of number of people (Chinese, English or Spanish being far ahead), Russian is nevertheless – according to different studies – the sixth most spoken language in the world and the most spoken in Europe!
To progress in the Russian language, several choices are available to the student. If you're in search of a lower cost, you can turn more towards a podcast – rather than a trip to Russia in total immersion with this Slavic language, its culture and its local population.
In a few years, the podcast has become one of the most popular ways, especially for new generations, to learn a language.
Unlike textbooks and tapes that were only heard during Russian class time, the podcast is available everywhere, at any time and, usually, for free.
Often accompanied by an offline mode, the podcast where the show can be downloaded in advance – in an MP3 audio format for example – to listen to them during his free time without having access to the internet on his smartphone his tablet or his computer (while we're waiting on Wi-Fi in the subway).
You can also turn towards Russian videos, that are numerous and useful for learning!
A practical way to learn Russian
This language training method, or this alternative to summer school, evening classes or private Russian language lessons proves to be very useful to improve your level of Russian. You can go from a beginner level to fluency quite fast.
Indeed, through the regular listening of the Russian language, the brain becomes familiar with the intonations, the pronunciation and the structure of the sentences. Then, through a natural process we begin to think, speak or even dream in Russian without necessarily having taken a course in a language school.
Without hesitation, this is one of the most relevant forms of Russian learning to improve:
- Your listening comprehension.
- Your pronunciation by familiarizing your ear with the different accents that make up this great country that is Russia but also with the accents of the countries whose Russian is the official language as Belarus, Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan.
- Enrich your vocabulary with new Russian words and phrases, idiomatic expressions even slang words and familiar, local and typical phrases.
- To revise your Russian courses online to master the language without it feeling like an effort and working. Its Slavic language culture but also the history of Russia and the countries of Eastern Europe.
For those who like physical media, Russian books are perfect. Find out the best Russian literature to help you learn the language.
If you prefer a real teacher and you live in England, look up "Russian classes online" to find a class in the English capital.
Our selection of podcasts in Russian
Here is a selection of podcasts you can find to help you learn how to speak Russian. Don't hesitate to let us know if there are any podcasts that you enjoy working with and that could complete this list.
Learning Russian Step by Step
The website learn Russian step by step is for beginners – absolute beginners – in Russian. There are almost 150 articles ranging from the study of grammar, conjugation to Russian vocabulary.
For example we will have programs such as:
- "Useful phrases: pharmacy": to cover vocabulary related to health and prepare the student for a possible trip to Russia or expatriation.
- "The superlative of adjectives (1st part)": to learn how to form the superlative of Russian adjectives through a specialized method.
- "Training with Russian adjectives for different situations": to practice the theoretical achievements through exercises.
In adolescents it is easier to practice Russian with a match. Watching movies with subtitles in Russian or French, depending on the level, is a very good way to progress.
With a presence on Facebook and Youtube respectively with over 2,000 likes and videos designed for fun learning the Slavic language, this "Russian Language Podcast" is a leader in the field.
Distributed on a site in English, there are more than 200 audio lessons for intermediate students who wish to deepen their understanding of the language of the former USSR.
In addition, to enhance student learning, this podcast offers to download the audio podcast transcript in PDF format. A boon for those who are still hesitating about the structure of a sentence, the spoken word or the writing of certain words.
Note that podcasts can easily be downloaded with a simple right click.
Many websites allow you to learn Russian.
Updated twice a month on Mondays or Tuesdays, the Russian Webcast podcast is for intermediate and advanced students.
It offers an authentic account of Russian news, collected on many Russian sites such as Lenta.Ru, Vesti.Ru, Ytro.ru without changing the editorial line.
Everything is proposed in audio format with a slow, simplified, formalized Russian utterance to improve the listening experience of the student.
With the ambition to offer content halfway between the course of a teacher from a Russian school and the tone, speed and vocabulary that can be found in the current Russian media, this podcast channel is a real gold mine language.
In addition, these podcasts are accompanied by pre-listening information, support vocabulary, as well as post-program listening exercises to check the learning of acquired skills.
A Taste of Russian
"A Taste of Russian" is a podcast channel that has more than 36 episodes, downloadable for free as a whole in MP3 format and with full transcripts.
With a new episode proposed each month, this podcast claims to be fun, interesting and covering different themes to arouse the curiosity of intermediate and advanced students.
Focusing on informal words and phrases as well as slang, this podcast is a way to learn the Russian language through people whose native language or mother tongue.
Ideal for preparing yourself for a Russian tutor.
This website offers podcasts to speak Russian from scratch.
The blogger details first of all the path through which he took before starting:
- he didn't know where to begin his initiation.
- What were the essential elements, the basics for all learners.
- The right way to learn Russian, its grammar and vocabulary.
Thus, with the ambition to put experience at the service of the English speaking community, it gives a method of learning Russian that focuses on the spoken language, unlike the language schools that are more focused on the written language.
Listen, repeat, memorize ... Here are the methods to shape these classes. Everything is done to facilitate the initiation to this language deemed difficult as:
- The choice of vocabulary used in everyday life in Russia with over 1,000 essential sentences
- The student's active participation incentive: with its spaced repetition system
- For example: the pupil will have to guess a word at the beginning, then he will be in charge of ensuring its translation, then he will have to remember it by hearing only the English word.
Ranging from Level A1 to B2 level, the "Easy Russian" podcast channel delivers programs to learn Russian on the internet for free, covering different topics depending on the level of the student.
Thus beginners will be able to learn about numbers and the plural in Russian, while the most advanced will address subjects like Russian business with the podcast "Sign a contract", conjugation with "The verbs of movement" and of Russian literature with "Lev Nikolayevich Tolstoy".
Finally, for those who would like to learn from a real teacher, discover the other side of the current Russian community nearby, in your city or elsewhere in the United States! Think of Russian online translation sites if needed.