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There are a lot of resources available for Russian learners. However, it can be overwhelming to choose the right one for you. There are many effective ways to learn Russian, including online courses. This guide puts together the best options available to learn Russian with an online course.
With over 258 million Russian speakers, it’s one of the most spoken languages in the world. It’s the official language of Russia, Kazakhstan, and Kyrgyzstan. It can be a gateway to other similar languages, such as Ukrainian, Polish, Czech, and more.
How Long Will It Take You To Learn Russian?
What is your current level?
What level do you want to reach?
How many hours will you study each day?
The Russian language is gaining importance in worldwide business and diplomacy. It’s one of the 6 official languages of the United Nations and is also taught as a second language in many other Eastern European countries. Learning Russian can help if you want to travel in Russia or in the surrounding countries where it’s often used as a common spoken language.
What Are The Best Russian Courses?
To find the best courses to learn Russian, I looked at popular options for Russian learners. Then I took a look at each course, examining the pros and cons and if it’s effective. Finally, I narrowed down the options and found what each course excels at and who could benefit from taking it.
Below you’ll find the 7 best online courses to learn Russian. Scroll down to read about the key features and price of each one.
|Best Overall Russian Course
|Best for Beginners
|Most Comprehensive Course
|Best for Intermediate Learners
|Best for Live Lessons
|MGU - Russian
|Best for Self-Paced Learning
|Best for Flexibility
Best Overall Russian Course
Rocket Russian is the overall best course to learn Russian. It’s a comprehensive course that will guide you through the language from beginner to advanced. There are different types of lessons that focus on all the important skills of learning a foreign language, such as listening, vocabulary, grammar, and writing. The lessons also include interesting cultural notes about life in Russia.
Rocket Russian explains the more difficult parts of the language and includes dialogues between native speakers. The focus is on conversation and you’ll speak Russian from first lesson. The course structure is laid out for you, so you always know what to study next. You can learn more about it in this Rocket Russian review.
- Comprehensive; covers all aspects of Russian language
- Easy-to-follow course layout
- Learn about Russian culture
Rocket Russian has three levels. One level costs $149.95 and all three levels cost $449.85. Rocket is always running deals so you’ll likely pay a much lower price. Purchasing a level gives you lifetime access to the course. You can try a few lessons from each level for free to see if you enjoy using it.
Best for Beginners
Russian Uncovered is perfect for beginners because it gently immerses you in the language with stories. Each unit of this basic course covers one chapter of a story. You listen to the chapter, which is completely in Russian, and then take video lessons that teach the vocabulary, Russian grammar rules, and the pronunciation you heard. By the end of the unit, you understand exactly what you heard at the beginning.
Each lesson comes with extensive notes and practice questions with answers to help you remember what you learned during the lesson. The course is fully downloadable so you can study even when you don’t have an internet connection. You can try Russian Uncovered with a 7-day free trial.
- Learn through stories
- Video lessons combined with independent study activities
- Extensive lesson notes
The Russian Uncovered course costs $297. This gives you access lifetime access to the entire course. You can try it out with a 7-day free trial, but you do have to enter your credit card information to access the trial.
Most Comprehensive Course
Sistema Kalinka is offered by Red Kalinka Language School. It’s a complete course with videos, audio, worksheets, and even a personal tutor. It’s a self-guided course, so if you already know some Russian, you can begin at a more advanced level. There are over 150 videos with accompanying practice exercises and worksheets.
If you have a question, you can email your personal Russian tutor, who can also guide you through the course. You also have the option to take private lessons on Skype. Sistema Kalinka doesn’t have a free trial, but you can preview some of the course content on their website.
- 150 video lessons
- Extensive practice material
- Assistance from a Russian tutor
A monthly subscription to Sistema Kalina costs 29,00€ per month to access all the videos and other materials available. You can cancel your subscription at any time. You can try Sistema Kalinka for 7 days with a money-back guarantee if you aren’t satisfied.
Best for Intermediate Learners
Grammar Hero is meant for intermediate (B1) learners, and teaches “grammar in action.” The idea is that you’ll learn Russian grammar in context and be able to use it when speaking or listening to Russian.
Because the Grammar Hero course was made specifically for learning Russian, it tackles the most difficult areas that learners often struggle with. There isn’t a free trial, but there is a money-back guarantee if you aren’t happy with the course.
- Learn natural grammar
- Specific course for Russian learners
- Learn through stories
The Grammar Hero course costs $197.00. There is no free trial available.
Best for Live Lessons
MGU Russian Language Center offers in-person and online Russian courses. You can take private lessons or small group classes with 3-5 students. You can choose a course based on your level and if you want a basic or intensive course. There’s even an express Russian course for people who want to learn the basics of the language for travel.
The lessons are conducted on different platforms like Zoom or Skype, depending on your reference. All lesson material is included in the cost of the course and can be accessed digitally. You can take a free trial lesson and a placement test on the MGU – Russian website.
- Private or group courses
- All lesson materials provided
- Classes available on different platforms like Zoom or Skype
Online Russian classes cost 14€-16€ per academic hour (45 minutes), and you must buy a minimum of 8 hours. You can take a free introductory lesson to see if this course is a good fit for you.
Best for Self Paced Learning
Udemy is an online learning platform that has over 400 Russian language courses. You can choose one based on your level or based on a specific area you want to work on like pronunciation, verbs, and conversation. The courses have video lessons combined with individual study material and homework. They are self-paced so you can take as much time as you need and replay lessons that you want.
To find the course that’s right for you, each one has a preview video and a detailed description to know exactly what will be covered. You can read past student reviews and see how many people have purchased the course. You can also read this complete Udemy review to learn more about the platform.
- More than 400 Russian courses available
- Self-paced video lessons
- Courses for all levels and interests
Teachers set the price for their own courses so it varies. But most courses are in the $15.00 to $40.00 range for access to the entire course. There are no free trials available, but you can watch a video preview and read exactly what will be covered in the lessons.
Best for Flexibility
RussianPod101 is part of the Innovative Language Learning series. It has a ton of audio and video lessons, along with practice exercises, that help teach the ins and outs of the Russian language. There are hundreds of lessons that focus on conversations between native speakers, and then break them down so you understand what was said.
The learning pathways guide you through the 5 different levels, from absolute beginner to advanced, but you are free to pick and choose the lessons you want to take. There are also many other language learning resources that you can find by exploring the platform, such as a grammar bank, vocabulary lists, and lessons to learn the Cyrillic alphabet. You can read more about it in this RussianPod101 review.
- Podcast-style lessons
- Choose what lessons you want to study
- New content added regularly
RussianPod101 offers different subscription packages ranging in price from $8.00 to $47.00 per month. The features included in each subscription vary, so you can compare them and pick the one that’s best for you. If you want to explore RussianPod101 before subscribing, you can sign up for a free account to access a few lessons.
Why You Should Take an Online Russian Course
Taking an online course is one of the best ways to learn Russian. They are comprehensive and cover all of the necessary skills, including listening and speaking. They’re also flexible because many of them allow you to learn at your own pace, taking the classes when it suits your schedule. Some courses have the benefit of live classes which gives you access to a teacher that can give you immediate feedback and help you improve quickly.
How To Use Online Courses To Learn the Russian Language
An online Russian course is best used with a variety of study methods, such as a language app or a Russian book. Each way of learning is better at improving certain skills. For example, you can learn a lot of vocabulary with a language app so you can focus your time in a course on improving speaking and more complicated grammar topics.
Whichever way you choose to learn a language, it’s best to have a study routine and stick with it. Consistent study will help you to see steady improvement and retain what you’ve already learned.
Best Online Courses To Learn Russian: Final Thoughts
Whether you want to focus on a specific skill or improve your overall level, you can find an online Russian course that’s right for you on this list. With consistent study and determination, you’ll be speaking Russian in no time!
Best Online Courses To Learn Russian: FAQ
The best way to learn Russian online is with a comprehensive course like Rocket Russian, RussianPod101, or Sistema Kalinka. They compile all the information you need to learn and practice into one place and provide a structured plan you can follow you always know what to study next.
Learning Russian online for free is definitely possible, but it might take a little more effort than subscribing to an app or a course. This is because almost all language resources, such as RussianPod101 or Duolingo, offer some of their content for free but not all of it. You can also watch YouTube videos or listen to podcasts in Russian to improve listening and understanding.
Realistically, you won’t be fluent in Russian in 3 months, but you can reach a basic conversational level. Russian is considered a difficult language for English speakers to learn because of significant linguistic differences between the two languages. But having a study plan and the right tools for the job will make learning Russian easier. To see how long it will take you to learn Russian, check out this fluency calculator.
The best Russian course depends on your learning style and language needs. Rocket Russian is a good way to start learning the language, but intermediate and advanced learners will benefit more from a course like Sistema Kalinka or Grammar Hero. A course from MGU – Russian has the benefit of including live lessons with an experienced teacher, but it’s a more expensive option than self-study courses.