crimea sevastopolOur world is becoming more and more internet-centered. We’re all on social media and use Facebook, Whatsapp, Instagram etc.. But what can the internet do for you if you want to learn Russian online? I’ll tell you what I think.

It’s both a positive. And a negative. But more on the negative part later since it can be avoided if you’re careful.

The internet has brought many changes in our lives. One of them is that we have access to all the information of the world. What used to take a trip to the local library, can now be done within several seconds. Imagine, thirty years ago. You were studying the Russian verbs and suddenly you wanted to know what exactly the difference is between продолжать and продолжить.  Well, good luck trying to figure that out in a couple of hours if you don’t have a grammar book nearby…

Now you now within 10 seconds that продолжать is imperfective and продолжить is perfective. All thanks to the internet!

So we’ve made the case that the internet is a good thing, but would you want to follow an entire course on the internet? Or, in other words…


Why Would You Want To Learn Russian Online?

It’s simple. There a lot of reasons why you would want to learn Russian online, but the main reason is that you can practice any aspect of Russian, anywhere you are, with anyone you want. Never before in history has this been possible. Not only can you learn another language from the comfort of your own home, you can also practice speaking the language through programs like Italki in which you can speak with Russian speakers online. The great thing is that it’s free since they can practice English with you while you practice Russian with them!

Check out this page if you want to know more of these online resources like Italki.

So, let’s get down to the concrete benefits you will experience when learning Russian online.


Benefits Of Online Learning

I cannot emphasize the fact enough that there are literally hundreds of benefits to learning a language online. But listing them all there would simply take too much time and frankly, you want the best ones, right? So here are the three things I think are best about learning Russian in an online environment:

  1. Accessibility – My number 1 is the accessibility of all the materials. You literally have every single resource you might need within a google search. Like I said before, whenever you have a question about grammar, need to find out what a words means, or are looking for a good Russian book – you will find the answer online. What’s more, if you’re thinking of investing in a complete program for learning Russian, you can read online reviews to see whether the program would be of help to you. No more guessing or regretting your purchase!
  2. Russian movies, series & music – Another great benefit is that you can ‘immerse’ yourself in a Russian world. You don’t even have to go to Russia for that. Instead of watching English movies and listening to pop music, you can watch Russian movies and listen to Russian music. Is this going to make you fluent in Russian? No, but it will surely be very advantageous.Watch an hour of Russian TV every night and you will have an hour of free practice. Especially your ears will get used to the sound of Russian.
  3. Interact with Russians – There might not be a single native Russian speaker around where you live. But it doesn’t matter anymore. You can specifically interact with native speakers by using the program I used before, Italki, or simply play an online video game on a Russian server. There are literally thousands of ways to practice your Russian online with real speakers, and the only reasonable excuse for not taking advantage if them, is that you have Russian speakers close in real life.


Are There Downsides?

This all sounds great, of course. Learning Russian online without having to get off the couch. But beware, there is one single downside to being online. Although this is not only if you want to learn Russian online, I feel it would be bad not to mention it. The single downside of the internet is distraction.

Using the internet for getting better in Russian is great, but you have to avoid getting distracted. And it is so easy to get distracted online. So if you’ve got an hour to spare and want to put that into practice-time, go ahead. But close your Facebook, turn off your phone, log out from all the chatting and only have one page open at the same time. Otherwise you’ll find your hour over and you only did some real practice for only 15 minutes…


How To Learn Russian Online

This is the part of the guide you’ve been waiting for – what is the easiest way to get started? In order to make things as easy as possible, I’ve put together a step by step guide that will, if followed, produce great results. Depending on where your level is now, you will be able to have basic conversations within 3 months. So, what do you have to do?

  1. Sign up for Russianpod 101 (it’s the most ‘total package’ program for beginners out there)
  2. Start with the Absolute Beginner series and listen to one episode every day
  3. After a month (30 lessons) – install the app Anki on your phone
  4. Find a list of Russian vocabulary (I used Russianpod 101’s 2000 most used words list)
  5. Each day, add 5 new words to the Anki app
  6. Rehearse your vocabulary every day with Anki (takes 2 minutes)
  7. After two months, you’re ready for basic conversation – sign up for Italki and practice for an hour each week


learn russian online
Step 4 & 5: Add 5 words everyday from a list of most common Russian words into your Anki app. I used the list of 2000 most used words from Russianpod 101, since it shows you how the word is pronounced.

If you follow this routine for 3 months, I can guarantee you will be able to have basic conversations in Russian. What’s the great thing about this routine? That it only takes 20-25 minutes every day. In less than the time it takes you to watch an episode of your favorite series, you can learn Russian.

And what’s even better, the total cost of doing this for three months is less than the price of 1 private lesson with a Russian teacher (Russianpod 101 is $21 for three months). In addition, you can practice anywhere you want. I recommend listening to the audio lessons while you’re commuting, cooking or cleaning. So even if you’re so busy that you cannot spare 20 minutes, you can still learn Russian online by following this routine!


Recommendations For Learning Russian Online

Whoa, that was a lot of information. You might feel a bit overwhelmed, but that’s okay. Chances are high it’s the first time here about all the resources I mentioned. That’s why here’s a quick summary of all the things I mentioned.

  • Russianpod 101 for audio lessons (you can get more information here)
  • The app Anki for increasing your vocabulary
  • Italki for conversations with native Russian speakers

For all the resources I used to learn Russian online, you can check out this page with my recommendations.




P.S. Want to learn Russian online? Sign up for Russianpod 101 and follow my 7 step guide. Within 3 months you will be having your first conversations in Russian!

P.S. Do you find it difficult to have conversations in Russian? I know it's hard, because most of my students struggle with it. Wouldn't it be nice to speak Russian fluently without struggling for words all the time? I have designed a step-by-step system where you'll learn to have 15-minute conversations in 90 days. Make sure you click the link to get access now:

About the Author Ari Helderman

I started learning Russian seriously in January 2016. I created this site to help other foreigners speak Russian. You can follow my progress in Russian on my YouTube channel Ари Говорит по-русски.

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