The Russian language, with its captivating Cyrillic script and melodic cadence, holds a certain mystique that attracts language enthusiasts worldwide. Learning Russian not only offers a window into the rich history and culture of Russia but also provides a gateway to connect with millions of speakers across Eastern Europe and Central Asia. Russian is the largest native language in Europe, and it is the eighth most spoken language in the world. If you are considering studying Russian, then this short guide is for you! Here are some tips and tricks to help you along the way.
1. Start with the basics
Learning any new language can be overwhelming, but starting with the basics can make the process much easier. It’s absolutely essential that you learn the Cyrillic alphabet if you’re serious about learning Russian. When using mnemonics, you’ll be able to master the Cyrillic alphabet in a few minutes. Tristan Bain gave us permission to use his great mnemonics in our Russian Anki deck. Download our deck here to kick-start your language learning journey.
2. Choose a good comprehensive course
As a solo learner, your success will depend on you choosing the right course. You should be looking for a well-structured, interactive course with a lot of audio and text or video material. The best free online course we found is Learn Russian by RT. The design may look outdated but the content is truly excellent. We do not recommend apps like Duolingo, since you learn sentences without context. In addition, most apps don’t have a great repetition system so you’ll waste time studying what you already know. In contrast, we’re working on an Anki deck which is the perfect supplement to RT’s Russian course and can even be used on its own. With our Anki deck, you’ll use your studying time the most efficient way possible. Combining it with RT’s course, you’ll make rapid progress!
3. Immerse yourself in the language
We recommend you start with immersion when you’ve reached a certain level. This way, you’ll understand more and it will be more rewarding. A good point in time might be when you reach lesson 25 of RT’s course but you can also start earlier or later. Listen to Russian music, watch Russian movies and TV shows, and surround yourself with Russian speakers if possible. You can also look for comprehensible input on YouTube which was designed for Russian learners specifically. Immersion will help you become more comfortable with the language and improve your comprehension skills.
4. Practice, practice, practice
Like with anything else, practice is key. Find a language exchange partner or a tutor to practice speaking with. Consistent practice will help you become more confident in your abilities and improve your overall language skills. Writing practice is also crucial. For example, writing a diary in Russian is a great way to practice. We recommend you find a native speaker to correct your texts but AI might also do a really good job.
5. Don’t be afraid to make mistakes
Making mistakes is a natural part of the language learning process. Don’t be afraid to make mistakes, as they can help you learn and improve. In fact, making mistakes can be a sign that you are pushing yourself to try new things and expand your language skills. Embrace the mistakes and use them as a learning opportunity.
6. Establish a routine
Establishing a routine for learning Russian is crucial for achieving your language learning goals. A routine will help you stay focused, motivated, and accountable. Here are some tips to help you create a routine for learning Russian. Set aside a regular study time each day or week. Consistency is key when it comes to language learning. Whether it’s 10 minutes a day or 2 hours a week, make sure you have a designated time for studying Russian.
In conclusion, studying Russian can be a challenging yet rewarding experience. By starting with the basics, choosing a good course, immersing yourself in the language and practicing consistently, you can make great progress in your language learning journey. Remember to be patient with yourself, as learning a new language takes time and effort. With dedication and practice, you can achieve your language learning goals and enjoy the many benefits that come with being multilingual. Good luck!