/ LANGUAGE RESOURCES FOR STUDENTS OF RUSSIAN
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.
Multitranis 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 is the dictionary we use most often at the School of Russian and Asian Studies. It costs about $20, and requires that you order it (for electronic download) off a Russian-language screen, but it is the most accurate and user-friendly dictionary we've ever found. It's interface is available in English, and it offers both Russian-Ruissan and Russian-English entries for a wide variety of words. Stress is marked for the Russian words and there is even a new features where, for more words, a recorded voice can read the word to you with proper pronunciation. Developed by a fast-growing Russian software company that developed one of the world's first electronic dictionaries!
Bab.la is a user-participatory dictionary that also gives examples from modern press of word usage (for some words) as well as a fairly extensive phrase book. If you create an account, you can also also develop your own language quizzes (from the "My Account" screen), verify translations, and play language games.
Idioms.chat.ru offers a massive collection of Russian idioms with pictures and translations.
Slovar.lib is a collection of literary terms in Russian.
Imya.com offers an extensive database on Russian names and thier dimunitives. 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.
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 errorback 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.
Mini-Lessons Short texts describing modern Russian life in English. Russian vocabulary and phrases worked in to help build vocabulary!
Eurasian Cookbook 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!
Testing 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.
Olga's Blog A language and culture resource describing Russian education and youth culture in modern Russian as spoken by today's Russian youth. (Archived Project)
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.
Lingnet.org offers lots of free lessons in many languages, with no password necessary. Their Russian resources are mostly based on political and military topics - very relevant and useful.
AccelaStudy is an iphone ap that will teach you vocabulary 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 less words, but has pictures with the words.
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!
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.
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.orgoffers interactive online lessons available after you create an account with them.
Conradish.net hosts several twentieth and nineteenth century Russian classics in a unique format that allows you to translate each word by moving the cursor over the word.
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.
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.
Clear.msu.eduoffers more free modules for learning Russian, developed to be stand-alone lessons or supplemental course materials. Create an account to enter.
MERLOToffers 67 sets of lessons, many of which are free.
Quia offers several lessons, developed and uploaded mostly by teachers and professors.
Cornell Universityoffers many online materials. However, some use custom fonts that must be downloaded and installed first.
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).
Adv. Russian Through History is an interesting and interactive approach to both subjects and has a series of online exercises that are of use even without the textbook.
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.
Learn to Print with Brown University's very cool animated web resource.
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.
Words and Images is for Russian beginners. It provides images, cultural information, and recorded sound for basic vocabulary.
SPBTV is an Apple app lets you watch Russian TV for free on your Apple products.
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.
Russia.ru is an Internet-only station that is billing itself as a source of conservative views. Some have called it "Russia's answer to Fox."
Study Abroad in Russia!
Кулинарная академия, or "Culinary Academy" is a new educational kid's show, where kids meet with a professional chef who slowly and clearly talks them through preparation techniques, the history of dishes and ingredients, and more. Every episode is online in high-quality streaming video.
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. You will also find resources like games and a Russian-language forum.
Cultu.ru broadcasts plays from Moscow theatres each Wednesday, often with English subtitles.
TV For Allprovides a handful of online television stations, mostly education and news oriented. Not all are always available.
Grani-TV offers interviews with prominent Russian intellectuals on various modern topics.
Webtelek.com has several free stations as well as an affordable subscription service for high-quality, streaming online video.
RussianTVonline.com offers several "preview videos" as well as an affordable subscription service.
RussianInternet.com also offers several online television stations, including many that Russians themselves watch. Not all channels are always available.
Watch Russian Films Click "Burnt by the Sun 2" for more about Russian films.
MosFilm now has a YouTube channel wtih lots of soviet classic films with English subtitles.
Baskino offers lots of HD-quality Russian films online.
Subtitled Russian Movies is exactly that on YouTube. The subtitles in many cases are not great, but understandable (and they can be changed with the "CC" button in case English is not set as the default).
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.
Rockin Russian is hosted by the University of Texas and gives subtitled videos and lyrics with translations for Russian pop songs.
Books to Learn Russian (Int/Adv):
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.
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 programmes 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 Radioprovides music, news, and literature from Russia in sound (broadband) and print. To listen, click on "Russian" under "on the air."
Business Podcasts offers Russian-language podcasts describing issues surrounding doing business in Russia.
BBC Biznes klass provides insight, colour, wit and analysis, looking at the world business and economy stories and their effects on everyday life. On-Air daily.
Vedemosti, one of Russia's most respected business newspapers, provides a daily podcast on business issues.
Dmitri Medvedev, Russia's president, runs a weekly video blog where he speaks (in relatively slow, clear Russian) about political and social issues of the day. Also provided are fully translated transcripts.
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 Russianis a podcast-blog run by a Russian immigrant to the US and two young American girls.
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.
Rus-Lit aims to provide the international publishing community with regularly updated information on the Russian book industry.
iMobilco is an iPad ap for downloading modern Russian literature in e-book format. You might also try their competitor, LitRes.
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 flash format.
Solzhenitsyn.ru offers a complete Solzhenitsyn library with the author's final versions of his texts and his notes and comments on them.
Library.ru is the best organized and attractive and provides biographical information on each author. However, it's all Russian, and not quite as extensive as lib.ru.
Lib.ru offers 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.
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 an annotated, simplified blog 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 new service specifically for students of Russian. However, be warned that the site can get a bit racy.
6. "Local" News in Russian report an errorback 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).
Read Russian Papers The composer Shostakovich reading Pravda. Click for more on Russian journalism and papers.
Novoe Ruskoe Slovo is a general-interest newspaper covering American and international news.
Russian America offers online news for nearly every American city with a substantial Russian community - including Boston, LA, Chicago, NY, Cleaveland, Seattle, San Francisco, and Miami.
BBCRussian.com presents interesting international news stories in simplified Russian.
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.
Study Abroad in Russia!
7. Online Translators report an errorback 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!
IMTraslatorpurports 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 sometime.
Promt offers another translation service as well as some good tools for webmasters.
Babelfishis another phrase translator. Useful, with same warnings as listed for IMTranslator.
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.ccoffers 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, Mydiv.net gives a compendium of lots more options for learning how to type in Cyrillic. All three sites are in Russian.
F. Spellcheck Hyroglif is a spellcheck program that can check several languages including Russian. The site is all in Russian. To download the program directly (with instructions in English) click here (executable file!).
G. Subtitles 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.
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) Bilingualchat.com is another site with a similar service.
Verbling, iTalki, lets you connect with native Russian speakers for language practice online.