Learn Russian Now! The Top 10 Best Ways to Learn the Russian Language

20NationLifestyle, Russia, Travel22 Comments

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Learn Russian Now! The Top 10 Best Ways to Learn the Russian Language

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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.

 

10. Dictionary

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.

 

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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.

 

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1. Immersion

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.

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  • Patriot Journal

    Immersion is by far the best way. You are forced to learn the language to get the necessities let alone game a girl. I spent 6 months in Mexico in the mid 90’s and by the time I crossed the border it was strange to speak English to the customs guards. Of course I haven’t been there but for a vacation or two since so I’ve forgotten a lot, but by the end I was gaming girls like a pro using Spanish.

    • Yeah, there is no replacement for immersion. And yeah, dating girls is the ultimate way to make the process fun!

    • Lost In Translation

      What’s the landscape like for a 40ish man with tight American game traveling to Ukraine to immerse, learn the language, then close 20ish to mid 30’s girls?

    • very doable i would say

    • Cecil J

      In the Philipines what’s the average age of white guy you see with a late teens-early twenties good looking Pinay?

    • tough to say because it really varies, but i would say probably 35 to 40 is the average

    • Lost In Translation

      Sweet!

      I had long considered moving to parts of central & south America, but have had my fair share of Latinas lately and am not really looking for more. Even closing a former Ms. Colombian contestant was not enough to sway me away from those Ukrainian stunners.

      I wonder if Romania, close to the Ukrainian border, is a good option for both affordable long-term living and finding poosy paradise

    • I spent a few weeks in Romania and the women are very attractive, but they have more of the latin look than ukrainian look i would say.

    • Lost In Translation

      That’s cool. The look and language are due their their Roman heritage I speculate.

      I’m actually a month into learning Spanish and making rapid progress, again in anticipation of traveling down south. However, I understand Romanian has a keen resemblance to Spanish, and their flag colors are identical to my homeland jus sanguinis, Colombia.

      I’m starting to see getting the best of both worlds in Romania, a safe, more satisfying option than most of the venues in the Americas I was considering. With the Ukraine so close, border runs are now a pleasure rather than a necessity.

    • but i would say latin women are easier and have better personalities. pros and cons

    • Lost In Translation

      That’s cool. I’m not afraid of a little effort. And, I’m not gamin’ and bangin’ in search of girls with great personalities.

    • romania doesnt have many blondes. Ukraine is better for that i would say

  • Vin

    I have a russian tutor from italki. It’s been only 3 months, but I feel like I progressed quite a bit.

    • Yeah there are so many ways getting a russian tutor ends up helping you. ive seen it as well

    • Lost In Translation

      Hey 20,

      You posted a link for the top 100 words in Russian. However, words in isolation hardly make you a speaker of the language in my experience.

      Have you come across a similar list for the top 10 or 100 phrases in Russian? I find that learning the most used phrases is more useful than just learning the top words. I think I’ve seen a spreadsheet from Benny the Polygot listing common phrases to learn in any language. Maybe there is one specific to Russian.

    • I used an app like that, but i dont think it was most common, but most useful phrases. but i can see how that would be a great list

  • Aimless wanderer

    I signed up for langunlimited when you first mentioned it, I think it’s fun for learning because I get to joke around with my tutor. You can’t joke around with the voices of Rosetta Stone or duolingo. Plus you get to see the person you’re talking to, and it makes the whole interaction more enjoyable because your saying the words to a real person instead of a program that analyzes speech to make sure you say the word right. Definitely worth the money!

    • exactly! it’s 100 times better. Good points Aimless.

  • Barzhikev

    Hey 20! Does LangUnlimited have a method for teaching? I’m considering learning russian, but I don’t have plenty of money.

    • Yeah they do. It’s called Lang Unlimited Method. It’s like 7 different things you should be doing to become fluent quickly. The first being to have a tutor. I’ve found it to work very well. After only 3 months of real Russian study i’m very conversational.

  • Andy

    @20nation:disqus
    native speaker here. ive obviously had a lot of experience with russian girls. the problem is many are very conservative in bed.
    anyone else have this issue in any country?