Learn Russian

I receive this question from different people almost every day. Somebody is looking for a perfect textbook, somebody wants to find a magic method, somebody asks “how much time do I need to be fluent in Russian?” or “How can I speak Russian fast?”. And you know what, almost every person who asks such questions isn’t really ready to learn Russian. There is no such book, teacher or method in the world that will teach you fast and efficiently if you are not ready to do efforts from your side (and what is important – to do it regularly).

Are you familiar with this feeling: you begin to learn a foreign language, but after a few days you say “oh, I am a bit tired from it, my brain needs a rest, I will repeat new vocabulary tomorrow”, and then tomorrow you do the same. You barely find 10 minutes per day to study some Russian, because you are busy at work or have some important things to do with your family and friends. And in a few months, you realise that you still are at the same point where you began? If you recognize yourself here, then, maybe, you don’t really want to learn Russian?

You can have a great teacher, who will prepare every lesson individually for you, who will use modern methods of teaching, modern equipment, great textbooks, but without your work, it won’t bring you any progress. I know students who were having lessons 4-5 days per week and were not successful because they only learned Russian during the lessons and totally forgot about it out of classes. And at the same time, I know people, who take only 1 or 2 lessons per week but continue learn Russian out of class, and they have incredible results. It is all about your own motivation. Teachers can give you a knowledge and it is your job to accept it and turn it into a skill of speaking. 80% of your success is from your efforts!

So, here are some of my recommendations, how to learn Russian every day, because it’s much better to learn it 20 minutes per day than 3 hours, but only once per week.

  • Learn new vocabulary every day. Learn not separate words but phrases, because 1) they are much easier to remember, 2) you can use these ready structures in your speech, 3) this way you automatically memorise grammar rules, even if you don’t know them yet.
  • But if you need to memorise some separate words, add them to your dictionary. I can recommend an online dictionary: OpenRussian.org (https://en.openrussian.org), you can use it both on your PC and cell phone, it has translations of the word, its characteristics (like part of speech, gender, animateness, conjugation, etc.), has all forms of this word, related words, sentences with this word and audio. It lets you to create your own flashcards to train these words.
  • Keep a diary. It can be a text, audio or video diary, where every day you tell about what happened during the day, what do you plan to do tomorrow or in a week, or just your thoughts about some topic. Here everything depends on your current level, for a beginner it can be just a few easy sentences, but every time you can write or say harder structures.
  • Listen to Russian speech. You can listen whatever you like: podcasts, videos at YouTube, movies or songs. Just find some materials that are good for your current level. Don’t listen to something very advanced for you. Normally you need to understand at least 80% of what you hear.
  • Do your homework if you have classes with a teacher. Every topic that you learn should be practiced well, grammar and vocabulary exercises are very efficient, even if they seem old fashioned. They help you to understand the language nature and to become more fluent.
  • If you learn by yourself, choose a textbook that you like and go through it step by step.
  • Watch Russian video lessons at YouTube, there are many great channels with different content, why not to spend 10-20 minutes per day just watching something interesting?
  • The same about Instagram, there are dozens great account for learning Russian there, with shortcuts and 1-minute lessons, they won’t take much time but will be very useful if to look at them every day.
  • Find native Russian speaker to practice conversations. There are many services to do it: language exchange apps and websites will help you. And it is a very important step, because it allows you to use the language. You learn it to speak it, right? So you should speak! To improve any skill you need to train THIS skill. You won’t start speak thanks to reading, writing and doing grammar exercises, these activities create a foundation for you, but speaking is a top skill, and it needs to be trained as well.

As you can see there are many activities to do while you learn Russian. You can combine them in any order, but please do at least 2-3 of them every day and your results will surprise you in a month!

It is like a gym: hard to begin but with time you will get used to it and will desperately need to practice some Russian daily!

I believe in you! Every person can do what he\she wants! НЕТ НИЧЕГО НЕВОЗМОЖНОГО!

Good luck to you! And don’t forget to use our Youtube channel and Instagram account to train your Russian 😉

Sincerely yours,

Nika Minchenko

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