Learning Russian!

For anyone learning Russian, you must be prepared for several things. First is a different alphabet. Russian uses the Cyrillic alphabet, and that will obviously take some getting used to.

Second, there are some sounds in Russian that are a little different and difficult for the native English speaker. And third is the grammar, which is more complex than and very different from English. There is some vocabulary that is recognizable, but most will be alien to you.

These factors make learning Russian more difficult than other languages, but Russian is such a rich language, with a rich culture behind it, that it is worth learning for the intrepid language learner and these challenges are not lost on Russian speakers who appreciate the efforts of someone learning their language.

Barry Farber in his book 'How to Learn Any Language' refers to Russian as a "high-gratitude language" with "good, gutsy sounds that please you as they leap from your tongue." Below are some popular methods that can help you in learning Russian.

Internet/Free Transparent Language offers a free vocabulary trainer to get started learning Russian. Get your Free BYKI™ Lite download by Transparent Language

For free internet resources, blogs and podcasts to begin learning and using Russian, visit this page of Russian Language Learning Resources.

Book/Audio Combo Living Language Basic Complete
The Living Language series, published by Random House, brings to life a well thought-out program in a compact package, by using a 'building block' approach to learning Russian. The Basic Complete set includes a 40 lesson coursebook, which doubles as a phrasebook because it has lots of variations of the most common or useful phrases, a dictionary with plenty of idioms and expressions, and 2 90-minute cassettes or cd's. It's an excellent, more-bang-for-the-buck deal.

Book/Audio Combo
Living Language Ultimate
This is a notch up from the Basic Complete set, it includes a 400+ page coursebook, 4 cd's that are coordinated with the book and an additional 4 cd's to work with away from the book. This is a great combination of the old school approach with the big coursebook for the serious student, but the extra cd's are a great addition. An ideal choice to learn Russian.

Audio Only
Pimsleur Russian Comprehensive Learning spoken Russian couldn't be easier than with Pimsleur. Their all-audio approach makes it easy to engage Russian speakers in conversation. With Pimsleur, you will speak well and with excellent pronunciation and a better accent than you are likely to get with any other method. The only drawback to Pimsleur is that there is only a little bit of reading practice. There is a reading booklet and cd in each level, but some kind of supplemental reading material is needed. I'd still choose Pimsleur Comprehensive before any other methods, it makes learning effortless. Read my more in-depth Review of Pimsleur Products.


Transparent Russian Premium uses native speaker audio, text, video, games and dialogues to immerse you in the Russian language. With 15,000 words in mp3 format to use in your iPod or mp3 player and it can be fully integrated with BYKI. Overall, a great resource to learn Russian!

Resources for Learning Russian Here is a short list of links and resources you can use to supplement and advance your study of the Russian language. To find more resources useful for studying and using any language, visit the Language Resources page.

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"Own only what you can carry with you; know language, know countries, know people. Let your memory be your travel bag."

- Alexander Solzhenitsyn

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