10 best YouTube channels for learning Russian

10 best YouTube channels for learning Russian

So, you made the big decision. You will tackle Russian. This time for real. Or perhaps you have already been flirting with Russian for some time?

Either way, you know that at LinguaLift we advocate to mix different learning methods to avoid boredom and review the material in a variety of different contexts. Let's face it, some days the perspective of reading a text book just doesn't cut it. A recipe for those days is this list of 10 best YouTube channels for learning Russian.

If you're after a more extensive list of Russian learning resources we've got you covered too.

1. Easy Languages - Russian

This very popular language learning channel would not be complete without a sub-channel dedicated to Russian. Short, 4-5 minute videos feature a native speaking presenter chatting with Russians on the streets of St. Petersburg. Topics include sayings, professions or more philosophical questions such as what makes you happy. It's a great way to listen to different pronunciations, accents and top up your conversation vocabulary. The videos are fully in Russian, with Russian subtitles in Cyrillic, a transliteration in Latin alphabet and an English translation (yes, that's a lot to fit on one subtitle).

2. Weekly Russian

Natalia teaches Russian in bite-sized lessons, slowly and calmly explaining all the concepts in videos under 10 minutes. Easy to follow and understand, the videos include a lot of text and explanations on the screen and are aimed at beginners. Natalia has a few sub-channels related to Russian culture, such as songs with Russian subtitles, or a channel dedicated to poetry.

3. Easy Russian

Now on for a bit of fun. This channel doesn't exactly teach Russian, at least not in a structured way. There are no courses, each video is a self contained snippet where the really funny presenter explains some Russian grammar, and talks about different topics related to Russia, such as common stereotypes or how to pickle herring. Videos are all in Russian with English subtitles—see the above video about the alphabet to get a glimpse of her style.

4. RussianPod101

RussianPod101 is a video companion to the paid online course. 3-minute mini classes and separate playlists dedicated to the alphabet, vocabulary and listening practice, among others. Great mini classes, if you are ready to bear with constant pushes encouraging you to subscribe to the paid course on their site ;-)

5. Fun Russian

Fun Russian is the youtube companion to the Fun Russian site. You may recognise it by bright colours and a lot of illustrations (we sometimes share them on LinguaLift's Russian Facebook Page. Victoria, the author of the channel composed a very neat basic Russian course of 22 classes (to date). There are also separate playlists dedicated to words, grammar and, my favourite one, with slang and idioms. Each lesson has on-screen text, sample phrases (and often drawings) to help you grasp the concepts or vocabulary.

6. Russian With Passion

This is a playlist belonging to Antonia Rommaker's channel dedicated to both English and Russian. Antonia has a casual yet to the point style of explaining Russian and has created exactly 100 YouTube lessons (to date) dealing with both grammar, vocabulary and some cultural insights. Videos are in English with helpful on-screen explanations.

7. Russian Mini Videos

This is not exactly a YouTube channel, but a great resource so we thought it must be included on the list. These videos are short scenes illustrating dialogues in public spaces such as doctor's office, restaurant or pharmacy. Enacted by professional actors they not only teach you conversational language, but are also very funny. So, you can get a glimpse of both Russian language and Russian humour.

8. RU-LAND Virtual Russian Language Club

This channel aims to cater for the needs of students of both beginners, intermediate and upper intermediate students. Classes are short, performed in the "old-school" style of a teacher with a blackboard or the teacher talking to the camera with minimal props. The different level courses are composed of around 10-minute Russian lessons and there are separate playlists dedicated to grammar and pronunciation. The picture quality is not always perfect, but this doesn't seem to deter the fans—the channel has over 3,400 subscribers.

9. Learn Russian

Video mini lessons created by a Russian news site RT. Some are really mini (20 seconds) introducing you to chosen Russian phrases, while others are very interesting 1-2 minute long street interviews where you can get acquainted with casual speech. Doesn't seem to have been updated for a long time, but it does contain a fairly decent amount of material.

10. A treat for advanced learners... Max +100500

Maxim Golopolosov is allegedly one of the first Russian YouTube celebrities. His short episodes list and comment on viral internet videos and they may be short, but man, he doesn't speak but shoots out words like a Kalashnikov! This channel is a typical vlog, in Russian for Russians, so this is reserved for advanced learners!

Any other Russian learning channels that we missed? Let us know on Twitter!