best youtube channels to learn russian

The 10 Best YouTube Channels to Learn Russian

Maria Claudia Alvarado Published on January 17, 2024

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Watching YouTube videos is an easy way to explore the language and learn the basics without feeling overwhelmed. There are many channels with videos that cover content appropriate for all levels of Russian, so you can use them to study regardless of where you are in your studies. But, like with any other language, you need constant practice to become fluent in Russian.

Russian is the most spoken language in Europe and the eighth most spoken in the world, so speaking it can bring forth many benefits. Whether you want to learn Russian because you are planning a trip, moving to a Russian-speaking country, or looking for a job in Russia, knowing this language can help you communicate with over 160 million people and open many opportunities for you. To make things easier for you, we have created a list of the 10 best YouTube channels for learning Russian.

Our Top Picks and How We Chose Them

For any language learning products we’ve tested or researched, we follow a strict testing methodology to make sure our experts make the same considerations. To ensure each channel was useful for Russian students, we reviewed the complexity of their content and use of visual and audio materials. We looked for channels that offered different types of useful Russian language content, including grammatical explanations, pronunciation exercises, quizzes and challenges, and more. The channels you’ll find in this list can develop your skills to get you closer to your language goals.

Below, you’ll find a table with the 10 best YouTube channels to help you learn Russian:

1. Easy Russian

Easy Russian is part of the Easy Languages series and has 93 videos completely in Russian. In their videos, you can watch the Easy Russian team interview other native Russian speakers in the streets of Moscow and St. Petersburg. Their language-centered videos also have concise explanations and examples that teach you how to apply basic vocabulary and phrases.

I included this channel on this list because it provides the perfect opportunity for Russian learners to immerse in the language. While the speakers in Easy Russian don’t speak English at all, the videos have English and Russian subtitles to help you read and understand the content with ease. Russian uses the Cyrillic alphabet, and learning to read it might take time but it’s a necessary skill. With Easy Russian, you can begin to associate the sounds with the words while you develop the rest of your Russian skills. Overall, I recommend this channel to beginners with some previous knowledge of Russian. You can visit their website for more information.

2. Learn Russian with RussianPod101

Learn Russian with RussianPod101 is a channel with +1,100 videos that teaches Russian vocabulary, phrases, grammar, and more. This channel is part of the RussianPod101 online course, so you know all the content is high-quality and accurate. The videos focus on conversational Russian, and there are study tips, listening and comprehension drills, quizzes, pronunciation hacks, and essential words and phrases that can help you learn all you need to build a foundation in Russian. 

To me, this channel can be a valuable study tool to include in your study routine because of how comprehensive it is. Not only does it have a wide variety of content, but it also has videos for all levels of Russian students, including complete beginners. You can start by studying the most common Russian words or essential phrases to navigate daily scenarios. They also have live 24/7 videos you can watch at any time of the day to reinforce your skills when it’s convenient, as well as additional materials like practice sheets you can find on the RussianPod101 website.

3. Russian Level 1

Russian Level 1 is a channel designed for complete beginners trying to develop basic Russian skills. The channel has flashcard-style videos, where you are first introduced to a sound, word, or phrase before seeing its meaning or English translation. There are 146 videos you can watch to learn the Russian alphabet or essential vocabulary words and phrases for topics like the holidays, animals, numbers, and more. While the channel puts a lot of weight on vocabulary, you can also find videos that go over Russian grammar, conversation, pronunciation, reading, and listening so it can be a good place to start to familiarize yourself with the language. Note that this channel doesn’t have any explanations, which means that you learn through memorization and repetition.

I wanted to include this channel because I think it’s a good resource for absolute beginners to start testing their language skills. With Russian Level 1 you can listen to a phrase, see it written in the Cyrillic alphabet, and read its English translation. This is a valid and proven method that can help you retain new vocabulary and basic aspects of Russian. There is also additional material like transcripts you can download to continue studying on the go. Particularly, I’d recommend this channel to Russian learner who want to increase their vocabulary quickly and effectively.

4. Be Fluent in Russian

On the Be Fluent in Russian channel, Fedor, a Russian language instructor, teaches you everything you need to know to start communicating in Russian on a basic level. He has a relaxed attitude and explains Russian grammar topics concisely and clearly, so it’s easy to follow along. Fedor uses English for his explanations, which makes his channel great for beginners trying to understand Russian without feeling overwhelmed. You can learn essential phrases for scenarios like shopping at the grocery store, making plans with friends, telling time, or study Russian verb endings, grammatical cases, tenses, and more.

Unlike other Russian channels, Fedor’s videos focus on teaching you how to navigate topics most beginners and intermediate learners might struggle to understand. You can find videos that explain the many meanings some Russian words have depending on the context, how diacritic marks can change a phrase, Russian cases, and even idioms and Russian slang words you might hear native speakers use. Each video also shows you exceptions and common mistakes you might run into, so I think this can be the perfect opportunity to address any Russian grammar doubts you may have.

5. Real Russian Club

Daria is a certified Russian teacher from Moscow who created the Real Russian Club channel in 2016. She has 506 videos to teach you how to speak Russian like a native speaker. In her channel, you can find speaking and vocabulary lessons, tips on pronunciation and learning the language, and vlogs where she shows you Russia and teaches to more about the culture and history of the country. She uploads 2-3 videos per week, but she also has videos where you can interact with her, attend grammar lessons, and even read Russian folk tales together. 

In my opinion, Daria’s pronunciation tips are the most helpful content on her channel. Pronunciation can be hard to master if you don’t know anyone who speaks Russian, but Daria explains the difference between Russian consonants (there are soft and hard sounds for all consonants!) and vowels and shows you how to apply them. Because Russian pronunciation can change the meaning of your words, I think this is a valuable resource to start training your speaking skills to avoid embarrassing mistakes.

6. Russian with Anastasia

Russian with Anastasia is a channel with 289 videos created by a certified Russian language teacher and native speaker. Her videos are completely in Russian, but you can turn on the English subtitles if you’re struggling to follow along. Most of her content consists of interviews and conversations with other Russian speakers about relevant topics like student life in Russia, pronunciation, and traveling, but she also has videos where she reads stories, has listening tests, grammar lessons, and dictation sessions.

What I enjoyed the most about Anastasia’s channel (and the reason why I put it on this list) is how much you can learn about life in Russia through her conversations with Russian speakers. While many channels focus on simulating scenarios to teach you how to apply phrases or conjugate verbs, Anastasia’s interviews are engaging and show you what’s like to study, work, or travel through Russia. This can be of great value to people who are learning the language to go to Russia to look for work or study opportunities to become informed and learn from the experiences of Russians and other expats.

7. Russian with Dasha

Dasha is a certified Russian as a second language teacher who wants to help you learn about the language and culture. She has 125 videos that teach you how to form Russian words and apply them to different contexts, as well as videos where she explores Russia’s countryside, abandoned places, museums, and historic cities. Even if you don’t have any knowledge of Russian, you can find lessons for beginners that start with the basics of the language like the Cyrillic alphabet. 

In my opinion, Dasha’s method of explaining the language to complete beginners makes you feel like you’re in a classroom. In her beginner Russian playlist, you can find videos where she uses a whiteboard and delivers explanations in a slow-paced but in-depth way. Most of her videos are completely in Russian, but in her introductory lessons, she uses English to help you understand without strain. Overall, I think her channel is perfect for learners who want to practice speaking and listening to the language at a comfortable level. 

8. Learn Russian

Stanislav created his channel to make studying Russian entertaining and has 314 videos that teach you grammar, vocabulary, history, and important dates in the Russian calendar. He also has vlogs and news notes where he talks about relevant topics like technological advances, tourism, politics, and more. He speaks in a modulated tone of voice that allows you to understand every word, but also listen to the sound of each letter. While his channel is almost completely in Russian, the content is aimed at beginners with some knowledge of the language and intermediate learners.

If your goal is to learn more about Russia while you study the language, this channel is a good option for you. What makes Stanislav’s channel different is that he doesn’t focus only on the historical and cultural aspects of the country, but also explains the point of view of modern Russians on topics like religion, laws, language, and more. To me, this is a vital part of learning the language because it teaches you how to interact with Russian speakers in a way that is respectful to their beliefs and culture. I’d recommend this channel to anyone who’s learning the language to communicate with Russian speakers or planning to visit or move to Russia.

9. Boost your Russian

In Boost your Russian, you can practice Russian with songs, stories, movie clips, and more. Kristina teaches you how to improve your pronunciation by using popular media. First, she plays a video clip with audio at normal speed with Russian subtitles, then you listen to it in slow-paced Russian, and, finally, you watch it in Russian with no subtitles to test your understanding. She has videos for movies like The Joker, Harry Potter, and Home Alone, so it’s likely you’ll be familiar with the lines in each video.

Much of Kristina’s content uses the parallel language system to help you learn Russian in an easy but effective way. This is a channel that requires you to know how to read Russian to get the most out of it, so it might not be the best for beginners. But intermediate-level students will enjoy it more. I liked that in addition to the movie clips, she also has many playlists with stories in Russian that you can read and listen to. In my opinion, this is one of the most entertaining channels on this list and you should give it a try if you’re looking for a resource to actively practice your Russian skills from home.

10. Russian with Nastya

Russian with Nastya is one of the most comprehensive Russian channels on YouTube. She has +2,100 videos where she explains everything you need to know about Russian vocabulary and grammar with a whiteboard. In her latest series, she has set the goal to teach you to speak basic Russian in 365 days. To do this, she also has live classes where you can ask her any questions you have about the language. Each of her class videos lasts around 30 minutes, but you can also find shorter videos with songs, essential phrases, vocabulary words in order of frequency, and more.

The reason why I included Nastya’s channel on this list was that her channel feels like having your own private Russian tutor at home. If you aren’t ready to hire an online tutor but would still like to get feedback from a native speaker, you can attend Nastya’s live classes on YouTube and put your Russian skills to the test. Many of her subscribers follow her for this reason, too. Her subscribers say she’s supportive and provides great advice, and I agree that this is a safe place to start thoroughly studying Russian.

Different ways to learn Russian

Watching videos to learn Russian can be very beneficial if you’re a visual learner or if you don’t know anyone to help you practice speaking. There are tons of free Russian content available on the platform, so it’s truly one of the most accessible resources for learning Russian. There’s content for beginner to advanced students, and you can start with what you’re most comfortable with. To ensure you reach your language goals, you can combine watching YouTube videos with other study resources.

There are many ways to study Russian, and it’s always best to use more than one resource to develop all the skills you need to become fluent. For example, Russian textbooks often have extensive grammar and vocabulary lessons. You can download a Russian app to complete interactive exercises and quickly increase your vocabulary. If you like structure, you can find an online Russian course and follow a lesson plan to take you to the next level of language. Remember that you need to be constant so aim to complete weekly Russian lessons and you’ll see constant progress. Be patient and constant, and you’ll speak fast Russian before you know it.

Best YouTube Channels To Learn Russian: Final Thoughts

I hope this guide to the best Russian YouTube channels has helped you find content you enjoy watching to learn the language. Videos are fun to watch, but you can also use YouTube to make your language-learning experience more interesting. Many of these videos teach you different aspects of Russian culture and can be great to listen to authentic Russian. You can study with Russian songs, listen to Russian conversation, read stories about Russian folktales, and even learn about current Russian news. There’s something for all levels of Russian, so visit the channels on this list to start studying Russian with videos today! 

Maria Claudia Alvarado

Maria Alvarado is a content writer and translator from Lima, Peru. She graduated from the Savannah College of Arts and Design in 2017 with a Bachelor’s degree in Writing. She is fluent in Spanish and English, has intermediate knowledge of French and German, and is learning Japanese. She hopes to bring consciousness about the importance of language learning through her articles and aspires to learn as many languages as possible.

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