Learn Russian at home, at work, or online
The Russian language is becoming increasingly popular in Australia, and for good reason, as people that study it access plenty of amazing opportunities in the country and abroad. Not only will learning this fascinating language make it much easier for you to get by in Russia, but it will help you connect with the thousands of native speakers that can be found all around the world. In addition to expanding your horizons and helping you make more friends, becoming bilingual is an excellent way of becoming more employable and accessing better-paid corporate jobs, so if you’ve been struggling to land a position you like and want to have a CV that impresses most employers in Australia, the smartest thing you can do is reach fluency as fast as possible!
Now that you’re aware of some of the reasons why you should become a proficient Russian speaker, there’s no point in spending more time being monolingual. Take a look at this short guide, and find out how you can learn this incredible language more effectively.
Tips to Learn the Cyrillic Alphabet
One of the reasons that make learning Russian so intimidating for some people is that in order to read and write in this beautiful language, you need to learn a completely different alphabet. But don’t worry, learning the Cyrillic alphabet won’t take you as much as you think, as it actually has many similarities to the Roman alphabet you already know. Don’t believe us? Take a look at the following tips and find out all you need to know to master the Cyrillic alphabet in close to no time.
Start by learning the letters that look familiar
As you probably realised, the Cyrillic alphabet has seven more letters than the Roman alphabet. While some letters are really different from the ones we use, others will look really familiar, like H,B,A,Y, O and P. Although some of these similar letters sound different from their English counterparts, learning them first will make mastering this alphabet much less daunting, so memorise them first, and leave others like Б, Г, Д, Ш, З, Ф for later.
Learn the Russian Alphabet Like a Kid
There are many tools that teachers use to teach the alphabet to kids, and although using them can make you feel silly at first, they’re very effective. For example, if you struggle to remember the names of the letters, you should learn the Russian alphabet song, which is really catchy and fun. On top of this, you can pick a children’s alphabet book or watch a YouTube video that has pictures and helps you make associations between certain letters, words and sounds.
Master Printed Letter First
Before you attempt to learn cursive variants of Cyrillic, which native speakers use all the time when they write, you should focus on mastering the printed letters. Once you are really sure you can remember all the letters’ names and their corresponding sounds, start working on your cursive. In case you’re curious about how cursive looks in Cyrillic, check out this chart, which has both versions of the same letter.
Resources to Learn Russian for Free
Want to make the best use of your free time? Then check out some of these completely free resources you can use on your own or with the help of a teacher to boost your language skills and make progress fast!
Best Language Apps to Learn Russian
There are plenty of free language apps you can use to expand your vocabulary, learn the Cyrillic alphabet, and become familiarised with the sounds of the language. One of the best is Clozemaster, which is completely free and is ideal to learn new words and phrases in context. Another great option is Duolingo, which covers plenty of interesting topics like family, work, travel and nationalities and makes learning a language feel like playing a game, so you should definitely consider it. On the other hand, if you’re looking for apps that allow you to make your own flashcard deck, try Tinycards, Anki or Quizlet, which are perfect to memorise your first words in Russian more effectively.
YouTube Channels to Learn Russian
On YouTube, you’ll find plenty of language professionals that make all sorts of interesting videos that’ll help you improve your pronunciation and understand Russian grammar. Although there are many good ones, you should check out channels like Easy Russian, Be Fluent in Russian, and Russian with Max.
Best Podcasts to Learn Russian
Listening to podcasts regularly will help you boost your listening skills and have a more extensive vocabulary without even noticing. Plus, you’ll learn about all sorts of different topics, and get to listen to actual native speakers on a daily basis, so you should definitely make it a habit to tune in to a podcast every day. Some of the shows you might want to check out are Slow Russian, Russian Made Easy and A Spoonful of Russian.
Survival Russian Phrases
Visiting Russia as a monolingual English speaker can be daunting, so before you go, take a look at the following list of Russian words and expressions that will help you get by and have simple but effective interactions with people at hotels, restaurants and shops.
|English Version||Russian Version||Transliteration|
|May I have the menu?||Дайте, пожалуйста, меню||Dayte, pozhaluysta, menyu?|
|Do you have a menu in English?||У вас есть меню на английском?||U vas yest' menyu na angliyskom?|
|What do you recommend?||Что вы рекомендуете?||Chto vy rekomenduyete?|
|Can I please have…||Дайте мне, пожалуйста||Dayte mne, pozhaluysta|
|The bill, please||Счет, пожалуйста||Schet, pozhaluysta|
|Where is the hotel?||Где гостиница?||Gde gostinitsa?|
|Where is the subway?||Где метро?||Gde metro?|
|Where is the taxi stand?||Где стоянка такси?||Gde stoyanka taksi?|
|Is it far?||Это далеко?||Eto daleko?|
|How much is it?||Сколько это стоит?||Skol'ko eto stoit?|
|I’ll take it||я возьму это||Ya voz'mu eto|
|Goodbye||До свидания||Do svidaniya|
Memorising these phrases won’t take more than a couple of hours, and learning them can make a huge difference on your next trip to Russia. However, being able to speak a few words in a language won’t take you very far, so if your goal is to become bilingual, don’t waste any more time and sign up for one of our personalised Russian courses at Listen & Learn! We have a great team of native tutors who use updated materials and teaching methods based on our student's needs and interests, so what are you waiting for to start learning with us? All you need to do is send us an enquiry today, and we’ll get back to you within one business day to answer all of your questions about our courses!