This Library resource is meant to give a brief overview of some the valuable sites and services the Internet has to help language learners augment their study and to help teachers make the subject come alive with pertinent and helpful materials. Your contributions and suggestions are welcome! Contact the author.
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Table of Contents:
- Cyrillic, Computers, and Typing
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Color Code: Red links are to sites only in Russian.
Gray links have English available.
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1. Basic Dictionaries report an error back to top
Multitran is an online dictionary and a fantastic resource for those hard-to-find translations of abbreviations and technical terms as well a general dictionary. Search online in Russian or English or download the program for free. However, it sometimes strives to be too large, inserting strange and sometimes dated translations.
Gramota.ru has an amazing Russian-Russian dictionary that has one feature many online dictionaries don't - the stress vowel is clearly marked in every word!
Translate.academic.ru gives a search engine of sorts that gives not only translations but much background info about words and phrases.
Abbyy Lingvo costs about $20, but it is the most accurate and user-friendly dictionary we've ever found. Its interface is available in English, and it offers both Russian-Russian and Russian-English entries for a wide variety of words. Stress is marked for the Russian words and there is even a new feature where, for more words, a recorded voice can read the word to you with proper pronunciation. This was developed by a Russian software company that developed one of the world's first electronic dictionaries!
Bab.la is a user-participatory dictionary with a fairly extensive phrase book and some even some language games.
Russian Grammatical Dictionary gives translation and the grammatical forms of Russian words.
2. Specialty Dictionaries and Resources report an error back to top
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Vasmer's Etymological Dictionary is useful for more advanced speakers.
Idioms.chat.ru offers a massive collection of Russian idioms with pictures and translations.
Lurkmore and Slovonovo document Internet memes, modern slang, uses of profanity, and more.
Slovar.lib is a collection of literary terms in Russian.
Imya.com offers an extensive database on Russian names and their diminutives. A less extensive version of the site is available in English. A similar, smaller site, but perhaps more navigable can be found at LanguageDaily.com
Slovar Dalya is from the 19th century, but still very commonly used in Russia.
Slovopedia and has an impressive list of Russian-Russian online dictionaries.
SOKR.ru is a Russian-only database of Russian acronyms.
The National Corpus is a resource that allows users to search for words, morphology, and more.
GAAP.ru provides a helpful English-Russian glossary of accounting terms.
The Museum of Russian Icons hosts two free, downloadable dictionaries. One is a Russian-English dictionary of over 1400 saints' names. The other is a dictionary of words commonly found in the field of icon studies. Both are found under "Research Tools" on their site.
3. Online Russian Lessons report an error back to top
Categories in this section are very loosely defined and there is a substantial amount of cross-over. Beginners are likely to find good material in the advanced section and teachers will likely be interested in all sections. These categories have been created only to allow users to find what will likely be the most helpful resources for their purposes the fastest.
A. Must Sees report an error back to top
Featured: SRAS's Free
Free Russian Lessons
Short texts describing modern Russian life in English. Russian vocabulary and phrases worked in to help build vocabulary!
Recipes from Eurasian countries in language lessons with words and phrases associated with preparing and enjoying the food!
Politics in Translation
Russian political platforms and other documents in (usually) side-by-side translation. Build advanced vocabulary skills in modern political rhetoric!
Free TORFL practice exams, as well as verbs of motion, grammar and vocabulary quizzes. Educators may make special accounts to track how their students do.
Pushkin Institute offers several open online courses in language as well as on various topics taught in Russian.
Pa-russki.com is a modern website offering texts, audio, and video content for those learning Russian, especially at the beginner and intermediate levels.
Lingro.com can turn any webpage into a language lesson. Just tell its translator what page you want to use, and click on words in the text of that page. The translator allows you to build vocabulary lists that you can then quiz yourself on flash-card style. Try pairing this resource with some literature from our section on Russian Texts and Literature.
Language Immersion gives the Chrome browser the power to turn any page into a vocab-building lesson by translating certain words and phrases on the page. Probably best for beginners and intermediate students - keep in mind that it is Internet translation and so not always 100% accurate. It also can't teach you grammar or context. But for what it is, it's kinda cool.
Russian for Everyone offers a full, online, self-guided grammar course for beginners.
Beginning Russian Through Film is a free online course using more than 400 clips from Russian classic films and accompanying study materials. Warning: this requires Quicktime, which is considered an outdated extension by many browsers.
Alpha Dictionary offers an online, interactive reference for Russian grammar with clear explanations of complicated rules.
Gramota.ru is a Russian language site aimed at improving the Russian spoken within Russia. Obviously its materials are intended for native speakers, but advanced students will find the games, dictionaries, and information listed here great!
Interlex offers a free flash-card program. Download it, enter your vocabulary lists, and quiz yourself until you know the words! AccelaStudy is an iPhone app that will teach you vocabulary through flashcards and pronounce the words for you. A free, very limited edition is available and a larger available for a small price. Byki is a similar product that has fewer words, but has pictures with the words.
Russificate contains a variety of grammar, vocabulary and communication exercises, podcasts, reading materials, and more. They also have a fun Facebook page.
GLOSS lessons are developed for independent learners to provide them with the learning/teaching tools for improving their foreign language skills.
B. For Teachers & Adv. Students
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LuchSveta.org presents learning material for Russian-language news clips that combine relatively intelligible speech with compelling content that illustrates some issue of larger cultural or social interest.
CCPCR Database of Russian Texts is an extensive list of recommended books for use in Russian college programs.
Grammatica is a tool that inserts stress marks in Russian texts and provides a grammatical reference for Russian words (including grammatical properties and tables of inflections).
Foreigncy.org is site that offers vocabulary building exercises and games based on current news articles (and then links to those articles).
Один день из моей жизни is a LiveJournal page devoted to documenting average days lived by ordinary folks. All are in Russian with lots of good pictures - and lots of good vocabulary! Check out this one by a director of a Russian McDonalds outlet!
Russnet.org offers interactive online lessons available after you create an account with them.
Molodets! is a free web resource of interactive materials authored by Russian professors. It's designed to give the user new exercises with every visit. Create an account to enter.
Lang-8 uses Wiki-style software to allow you to keep a journal in a foreign language - which native speakers of that language then correct for you.
InterPals runs a penpal matching service.
Russian Language Learning on the Web from the University of Sussex and London School of Economics uses Golden and Silver Age classics with an interactive glossing system and audio.
Новости недели на упрощённом русском языке delivers a survey of the previous week's news in simplified, slower Russian with textual redundancy.
Clear.msu.edu offers more free modules for learning Russian, developed to be stand-alone lessons or supplemental course materials. Create an account to enter.
MERLOT offers 67 sets of lessons, many of which are free.
Quia offers several lessons, developed and uploaded mostly by teachers and professors.
Cornell University offers many online materials - click on the "online materials" option on the right sidebar.
UCLA's page offers several video clips and other useful material. It is organized according to how the material is actually used in UCLA Russian classes, so for independent users the site warrants a full exploration. Downloading can be a bit slow and temperamental.
TeachRussian.org offers free lessons from basic to advanced, though most of the site is in Russian (with menus in English).
C. Especially for Beginners report an error back to top
Russian Step by Step is a site set up especially to teach children to speak Russian. We think just about anyone can have fun there, though. They also have a site for adults.
Learn English has a series of vocabulary exercises online with Russian translation. It's done for those learning English, but beginning students of Russian will likely find it helpful as well.
Russian Essentials is a web-application from the University of Cambridge. It concentrates on basic language, with eight sections covering key spoken and written language.
LiveLingua offers a "FAST" introduction to Russian via text and audio resources.
Beginner's Russian is a textbook for which a series of free, online resources were developed including extensive conjugation, declension and spelling self-tests for all 24 chapters, as well as online flashcards. They are now available free of charge.
Language Guide offers lots of fun vocabulary pages with interactive audio. It's particularly useful - especially for visual learners.
Digital Dialects has several games for beginner language learners.
Russian Word of the Day is a blog aimed at first- and second-year students of Russian.
Russian from Scratch is a fun, free online course for beginners.
Time to Speak Russian is an online course that offers Russian lessons through claymation.
Language Learning Library has an entry for Russian that offers a very quick overview of the language, with grammar and basic vocabulary.
Russian Video Blog features unorthodox and memorable video lessons to help beginners build up a basic vocabulary and basic understanding of Russian.
WordSteps and Memrise are apps for building and scheduling custom vocabulary exercises.
4. Audio/Video report an error back to top
Many sites require Realplayer which is available for free download.
RAILS is series of 30 Russian-language listening exercises developed in part by the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Themes range from film to history to education in Russia.
Forvo offers thousands of words spoken by native Russian speakers.
Golosa is a leading textbook - their website also provides lots of free material with listening exercises that can be used independently of the book.
A. Television and Video report an error back to top
Click the Russian microphones to find
out more about TV stations in Russia.
SPBTV is an Apple app lets you watch Russian TV for free on your Apple products.
RussianInternet.com offers most Russian television stations online for free with a cool feature that lets you flip through the channels easily and quickly.
Dozhd (Rain) is a cable and Internet station that provides news and cultural programing, often with a liberal tint. It also provides transcripts for many of its programs.
TVCenter, owned by the Moscow City Administration, gives partial transcripts for most of its news videos online.
Carousel is Russia's main kid's channel. Several of its programs are online and most feature hosts speaking slowly and carefully about sport, art, and other subjects.
Roscosmos, Russia's space program, has a series of interesting short films online.
Avtorskoe Televidenie provides a large database of short video clips on a range of topics.
Cultu.ru broadcasts plays from Moscow theatres on a sporadic schedule.
TV For All provides a handful of online television stations, mostly education and news oriented. Not all are always available.
B. Movies report an error back to top
Click "Burnt by the Sun 2" for more
about Russian films.
MosFilm now has a YouTube channel with lots of soviet classic films with English subtitles.
Baskino offers lots of HD-quality Russian films online.
Staroe Kino is an Apple app lets you watch classic Soviet movies for free on your Apple products.
Double Dva is an online film festival. Many of its videos are subtitled in English.
C. Music and Radio report an error back to top
Rockin Russian is hosted by the University of Texas and gives subtitled videos and lyrics with translations for Russian pop songs.
Russian via Songs is a downloadable program that gives synopsis, translations, and more for Russian songs.
Echo Moskvy is one of Russia's most famous and respected talk-radio stations. Shows are available in mp3 format for easy download and often come with written transcripts.
Click Russian pop
star Yulia Savicheva
for more about
RadioVBC is a pop station that offers streaming broadcasts from Vladivostok, Russia.
Radio Kul'tura is essentially Russia's NPR with music, news, and other programming. The link opens directly to their live program stream.
Staroe Radio offers thousands of old Soviet/Russian radio programs including plays, songs, interviews, and more. Some of the files are not great quality (they are old) but the site is very interesting.
Voice of Russia Radio provides music, news, and literature from Russia in sound (broadband) and print.
World Radio Network has a Russian-language news and information channel with announcers that speak slowly and clearly.
SovMusic.ru presents downloadable music files of songs popular in the Soviet Union, organized by name or subject.
D. Spoken Literature report an error back to top
Anna.Ahmatova.Com offers poetry in print and recording from the poet herself.
My-Chekhov.ru offers several selections of Chekhov's work in free recordings by native Russian speakers.
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LoyalBooks.com offers a handful of Russian language texts read by native Russian speakers.
Auguo.com is another great source of free recordings of Russian classics.
RussianPoetry.net provides a considerable collection of recorded Russian poems and old songs from Lermontov to Pasternak!
Stihi.ru offers some 12 million Russian poems on audio file.
E. Podcasts report an error back to top
Russian Language Podcasts is a weekly service from UCLA bringing modern popular Russian music to your iPod (or computer).
RussianPodcast.eu offers regular podcasts with accompanying PDF worksheets.
Business Podcasts offers Russian-language podcasts describing issues surrounding doing business in Russia.
Vedemosti, one of Russia's most respected business newspapers, provides a daily podcast on business issues.
Deutsche Welle provides several regular podcasts on culture, science, business, automotive topics, and more!
Shkola Zhizni is host to several podcasts - which also provide texts for the podcasts.
Spoonful of Russian is a podcast-blog run by a Russian immigrant to the US and two young American girls.
PodFM is a list of mostly amateur Russian podcasts.
RussianPod101 provides free and culturally relevant language lesson with supporting materials.
5. Russian Texts and Literature report an error back to top
Read Russia Online presents works of prose and poetry within networks of images, videos, audio files, historical documents, and scholarly commentary to offer an English-speaking audience a dynamic interactive space for exploring Russia's rich literary culture.
The People's Library offers a short-list of classic literature.
The Annotated Afanas'ev Library presents several Russian texts with glosses for vocabulary, culture, and more.
Theater Library of Sergei Efrimov offers several modern plays and monologues online in the original Russian.
Russian State Library offers many texts online.
Aichitalka is an iPad app for downloading modern Russian literature in e-book format. You might also try their competitor, Chitai.
Diafilm was a cultural icon of the Soviet Union - a series of children's books produced as slide shows. This site reproduces some of those slide shows in html.
Solzhenitsyn.ru offers a complete Solzhenitsyn library with the author's final versions of his texts and his notes and comments on them.
Lib.ru offer a staggering selection of materials on subjects ranging from computers to history to biology to literature. The site is all in Russian and a bit rag-tag in its appearance and organization, but it is the most comprehensive. Library.ru is a similar site that offers a sleeker appearance, but a much more limited selection.
Russkaya Fantastika is devoted to Russian fantasy and science fiction writers and their work.
Blogs are becoming a very popular way to practice language skills because of their modern language usage and often opinionated, interesting subject matter. Find Russian blogs at Yandex and LiveJournal. SRAS also runs hosts a few Russian-language blogs greared toward language learners here.
Comics from Russia offers comics based on Russian proverbs, fairy tales, and even Armenian history, as well as some popular comics from Russian periodicals. They even have a service specifically for students of Russian. However, be warned that the site can get a bit racy.
Electronic Library of Russian Literature and Folklore is a very good resource for those subjects.
Also see: F. Dostoevsky, L. Tolstoy, A. Chekhov, and A. Pushkin, these authors for young readers and these children's authors.
English language sites providing Russian texts in translation include: Bibliomania.com, Online-literature.com, IPL.org, and Gutenburg.org.
The composer Shostakovich
reading Pravda. Click for more on Russian journalism and papers.
6. "Local" News in Russian report an error back to top
There are several newspapers focused on the Russian immigrants who live in English-speaking countries. Intermediate and advanced students will likely find these useful as practice to read local news - stories whose content they are likely already familiar with - in Russian. They also sometimes carry notification of local Russian-language and cultural events (which are likely more plentiful then you think).
Russian America offers online news for nearly every American city with a substantial Russian community - including Boston, LA, Chicago, NY, Cleveland, Seattle, San Francisco, and Miami.
BBCRussian.com presents interesting international news stories in simplified Russian.
RussianUK.com will also be of interest especially to students in England.
Nasha Canada is a bilingual newspaper serving Canada.
DallasTelegraph offers Russian-language news from Texas.
There are also many print-only papers that serve local areas - there are several, for instance, around the Detroit, New York, Washington State, and Chicago areas. Try contacting the Russian Orthodox Church or local university Russian department to see if there is one near you.
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7. Online Translators report an error back to top
Note: There are many, many translators out there as a search on Google for "Free Translation Russian" will show - these are just three of our favorites. Online translators can be most useful to understanding texts in a foreign language. Using them to translate publishable material, homework, or to study grammar is highly discouraged!
Google Translate uses Google's massive database of collected bilingual texts from translations online to deliver machine translation based off human translations. It's a useful tool, but we wouldn't rely on it to translate your resume and cover letter...
IMTraslator purports to translate whole texts, with grammar constructions. While the technology is impressive and useful, we suggest you use it only as a tool - and not an actual translator! Computers still can't speak human, and likely won't be able to for some time.
Promt offers another translation service as well as some good tools for webmasters.
Babelfish is another phrase translator. Useful, with same warnings as listed for IMTranslator.
8. Cyrillic, Computers, and Typing
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A. Transliterated Keyboards
For those who would like to type in Cyrillic without learning the Cyrillic keyboard layout drivers and programs are available. Try Russian Transliterated Keyboards or Russian for Gringos. Translit.cc offers a very handy online transliteration tool that allows you to type in Russian with English phonetics (for example, press "i" for "и," etc.).
B. Typing in Cyrillic
For those who would like to learn to type properly in Cyrillic, try Sense-lang.org or Keybr.com (for Keybr, you will have to click "settings," "keyboard layout," then click "English" to change it to "Russian. Mydiv.net gives a compendium of lots more options for learning how to type in Cyrillic, but does it completely in Russian.
C. Cyrillicizing Your Computer
Making Cyrillic work on your computer can be difficult. George Washington University offers many solutions for cyrillicizing computers. AATSEEL offers lists of fonts and drivers for Windows and Macintosh. Russification of Macintosh offers more troubleshooting solutions for Macs.
D. Decoding Gibberish
If you have a webpage or email written in little boxes or slashes where Cyrillic should be, Universal Cyrillic Decoder, Automatic Cyrillic Decoder, or Decoder Lebedeva.
AATSEEL offers several medieval slavic fonts. The Non-Roman Script Initiative strives to provide fonts for minority language groups and includes resources for Cyrillic. Glyphmaker has hundreds of Cyrillic fonts.
Hyroglif is a spellcheck program that can check several languages including Russian. The site is all in Russian.
Want to make subtitles for Russian films? Submerge is great (and very cheap) for Mac users. You can also check out this list of freeware for making subtitles - for users of all types of computers.
9. Purchase/Rent Russian Books, DVDs, Audio, TV, and Software
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For Russian DVDs, we recommend playing them on your laptop with the free VLC Media Player.
Click "Burnt by the Sun 2" for more
about Russian films.
Languagesoftware.net offers a list of software (like Rosetta Stone and others) with an extensive and thoughtful review process.
The Mayakovsky Theater in Moscow now sells e-tickets for 300 rubles (~$10). These allow you to watch simultaneous, HD online broadcasts of their shows.
Zinio offers electronic subscriptions to major Russian magazines (and some English-language ones too).
Russian DVD markets Russian media in America.
The Russian Cinema Council runs an English-language website from which you can buy a wide selection of Russian and European DVDs and videos.
ILearnRussian.com is a one-stop-shop for Russian-language dictionaries, textbooks, study materials, etc.
Russia-on-line offers lots of multimedia selections from books to maps to audio/video.
Kniga.com has several audiobooks for sale.
10. Real, Interactive Experiences Near You! report an error back to top
RosConcert.com lists Russian cultural events taking place in the US and even offers online ticket purchase. Only downside is that the site is a strange mix of English and Russian...
Russian Meetup is a free service connecting speakers and students of Russian in local communities. The groups have grown to more than a few hundred in some cities.
Scrabbin is a new social community specializing in matching learners and speakers of languages. Meet online or in real life! You might also try LiveMocha.com or MyLanguageExchange.com offers free services in pairing members for language exchanges in a moderated electronic environment. There are special services for teachers to use the site for students. (RELATED ARTICLE)
Verbling, iTalki, lets you connect with native Russian speakers for language practice online.
Russian-American Cultural Center is a new organization in New York that regularly hosts events and offers an attractive, informative website (mostly devoted to art). San Francisco also has a cultural center.
Meet More Russians! If you live near a major metropolitan area, finding Russians to talk to shouldn't be a problem as there are many forums for Russian immigrants. Try for instance: RussianAmerica.com, RussianNJ.com, RussianDC.com, RussianChicago.com, RussianLA, Sandiagovka.com, or RussianSeattle.com.
Russian Tutoring Via Skype is a pay service out of Dnepetrovsk, Ukraine.
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