Learn Russian Now! The Top 10 Best Ways to Learn the Russian Language
I have spent a lot of time learning languages. As a world traveler it is a necessity to learn the language if I want to really experience the culture and genuinely get to know the country. In these hundreds and hundreds of hours I have came to realize that some ways to learn Russian are better than others. I’ve discovered first hand which ways will have you speaking the language in no time and which ways you are just wasting your time with.
One language learning tool everyone needs to have:
Before I get into the top 10, there is one tool that every single language learner should have and that’s the Google Translate app. I didn’t add it into the list because it’s such a broad language learning tool that works with most the top 10. Basically, if you don’t use it you are at a severe language learning advantage to the rest of the world.
Back in the day, this is how most people learned languages. They would buy a dictionary and start trying to memorize words. Even though there are apps now, a traditional dictionary app is still a waste of time. Especially now that we have apps like Google Translate. If you want to learn Russian the old fashioned way, go for it, but if you want to learn Russian quickly and in a way that won’t bore you to death, maybe try some more modern ways.
9. Duolingo and Rosetta Stone
I lumped these two together because they’re very popular language learning games. I have used both of these. As a lover of games I can tell you… these are the least fun games I ever played. To top it all off, I really don’t feel like they got me much closer to learning the language and that was after quite a bit of time using them.
8. Pimsleur and Michel Thomas
For my 8th best way to learn Russian I grouped Pimsleur and Michel Thomas programs together. The best way to describe the effectiveness of these two programs is that they don’t suck. They aren’t the best, but at the same time you will learn something. In fact, I think a program like Michel Thomas could be the best if you want to make 1 year old sentences in a short amount of time. Or even, as an addition to other ways of studying.
7. Russian Classes in a school
I’ve also went this route and studied in school. I have found that usually these ancient institutions use very old school book learning ways to learn Russian. There are new and better methods out there, so it’s confusing why they stick to this. The other down side is that you are paying for a class without getting the one on one help and explanations that a complicated language requires.
The exception to this would be an immersion class. Immersion has been shown over and over to be the best way to learn a language and classes that mimic that will help you get good fast. The down side? It’s fucking boring and who has the time for that in their busy day to day lives.
6. Reading in Russian with a Click to Translate
The next most effective way I have found to learn the language is to start reading a book (I like teenager books for the simple language) and get a click to translate application. This is the ultimate way to work on vocabulary and understand sentence structure.
If you are wondering which click to translate app to get, I use Babylon.
5. Old Fashioned Vocabulary Study
This is an ancient study method that there really is no substitute for. If you want to learn a language, you simply have to learn the meanings of a lot of words. There is no getting around it.
However, there are now easier flash card studying apps and things like Google Translate where you favorite a word and can come back later and study in a vocab studying manner. If you want to learn Russian, you can’t get around this.
4. Immersion by Movies, TV and Music
The next best way to learn Russian is another immersion method. This method is simply to download as much Russian movies, TV and Music as you can and have it always playing around you. If you want to watch a movie, get the Russian version or at the very least get Russian subtitles. If you feel like listening to music, look up some Russian music on Youtube.
If you hear words and sentences enough, even in the background, it’s just a matter of time before they start making sense to your brain.
3. Memorizing the 1000 Most Common Words in Order
1000 most common word lists and apps are must haves if you want to learn Russian quickly. Why? Because they take the most commonly used words and put them in order for you. Once you learn the 100 most common words, Russian will finally start to make sense. Before you learn those words? Good luck. It’s the fastest possible way to start to put together the base of the language.
Would you rather spend your time on a word you will use once a week or once a minute? 1000 Most Common Words in Russian
2. Private Russian Tutor
There is only one thing in the world that even comes close to being more effective than having your own personal Russian tutor and that’s #1 on this list. Having somebody to explain everything to you, help you get on the right track so you don’t waste your time and motivate you is absolutely invaluable.
What has helped me get good at Russian so quickly is Lang Unlimited. You pay a monthly fee and get as many one on one tutoring sessions as you can schedule. The best part for me was that, as a guy who doesn’t like to waste money, it was the ultimate motivator because the more hours I spent with a tutor, the more of a bargain I was getting.
You may have guessed it if you read through the article completely, but there is not a better way to learn Russian than immersion. By immersion I mean actually traveling to a Russian speaking country.
If you can spend a long time there it’s ideal, but if you can only take a short trip it’s still very effective. Part of the reason for this is that not only will having Russian everywhere around you help you learn Russian the fastest possible way, but you will be highly motivated to study Russian before your trip so that you will be ready when you arrive.
From here, it’s time to seduce a sexy local (The Most Fun Way to Learn a Language). You’ll be speaking the language in no time!
Combine these methods
If you seriously want to learn Russian, I would suggest combining the top ways on this list. Languages are massive, so having different resources is very important to reach fluency. Languages may be difficult to learn, but they are also the most useful thing you will ever study.