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Which are the best books you can find to teach yourself Russian?

By Jon, published on 20/02/2018 Blog > Languages > Russian > The Best Books to Learn Russian

Among all the resources that you can find to learn Russian, such as podcasts, websites and more recently mobile applications, one of them is a long lasting tradition: books.

Less interactive than a Skype course, the Russian language textbooks contain Russian language teaching methods that have been applied for decades to a large number of English speaking and foreign language students.

Whatever the opinion of younger generations closer to the “game boy” (Yes I’m getting old too!) than an Oxford dictionary, these media are updated each year and validated in advance by the language experts of the Slavic language.

Thus, if the ideal of the student is to master the language without disregarding grammar, conjugation and Russian vocabulary then what will follow should please him.

Press F11, put yourself in fullscreen and discover the best books to learn Russian!

Improve your oral comprehension the complete edition of Living Language Russian

Can MCQs help in learning Russian? Russian is the official language of other countries such as Belarus, Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan in particular.

First of all, what’s a beginner in Russian? Those for who Russia only evokes winter, beautiful women and vodka at over 40 degrees, are definitely confronted to a new language…

The textbook Living Language Russian is a pearl that we can afford for a certain price but that comes with 3 course books and 9 CDs!

All in all, this manual proposes in a structural way to learn or revise the basics of Russian grammar while enriching its vocabulary with other Russian words than “spassiba”, “niet” and “ya lyublyu tebya” respectively thanks, no and I love you (The last can be used for purposes of cultural exchange, of course). But it also goes further into pronouns, prepositions, genetives, and all these words that you surely know about if you’ve already learned a second language.

Recommended in addition to local Russian courses London wide or elsewhere, a summer school or simply an online Russian course in a language school, this method is easy to follow and will help you out all the way to an advanced level.

Finally, the many CDs is an invitation to dialogue, to the discussion in Russian or to the interview with a Russian in his native language. The audio available will help you to improve your pronunciation skills, your understanding of accents, and your overall ease with the foreign language.

To learn the language in front of a teacher, also discover the other side of the picture in Russian classes. You can also find help with Russian videos online.

Improve your level of Russian with the book “Russian for Dummies”

Komsomolskaya Pravda is the most widely read newspaper in Russia. The newspaper “Izvestia” was a communication device of the Soviet state. It is today a source of general information.

You don’t really feel like taking Russian classes? Read this book!

Co-written (yes it’s a seriously difficult language, you had better be several people to get down to it) this book is part of the series of “for dummies” that no longer needs to be presented.

The price, around 18$ depending on the editions is far from the price of a Pirojki, a Borchtch or a Vatrouchka (I’m starting to have a little hungry me …), but the book is very dense and the content meets the expectations of buyers.

With the aim of enriching the learning of the language, it is here a question of:

  • Discovering the Russian culture. A notion often neglected by the competing works and on which this book wants to be the leader with in particular useful information on the behavior to adopt in Eastern Europe, the culture to know to realize a trip in Russia or its expatriation and the things to avoid on pain of getting noticed in the worst of ways.
  • To enrich your vocabulary and your notions of Russian grammar with personal pronouns, declensions and different forms of time in particular.
  • Perfect your pronunciation by listening to the Russian language thanks to a CD-ROM delivered with the book. Ideal for those who wish to improve their listening comprehension.

You don’t really feel like reading books? there are also many sites to learn Russian online.

Sputnik: An introductory Russian Language Course

This is probably one of the best Russian textbooks to start with. First, many textbooks, straight from Russia are ancient, or too formal – Soviet style. Sputnik on the other hand, published in 2014, is a modern textbook.

It covers learning the Cyrillic alphabet, reading, how to build sentences, writing, listening – audio is provided for a good conversational level – and insures you progress on your Russian speaking skills. If you finish the textbook is pretty much like completing one semester in college.

With 234 pages of very thorough explanations, as well as a website access for you to get supplementary audio, you’ll be speaking Russian in no time. If you’re able to stay up studying on your own you can use this book as a bases for your own Russian lessons.

The workbook is sold seperatly and if you want to train on your words and phrases memorization we advise that you get it too.

The best English-Russian dictionaries

Good reasons to stay up late? This library is open at night One of Saint Petersburg oldest libraries

Abandoned since the arrival of Google, the dictionary remains an essential source for learning a language that people under 20 years old usually don’t estimate enough.

Whether it is to translate from English to Russian or from Russian to English there’s nothing like a dictionary. The dictionary is the linguistic equivalent of the dog for the Man: his best friend.

It’s a kind of Bible for believers in modern (or ancient!) languages. Which are the best ones on the market?

The Oxord Russian-English dictionary is undoubtedly the best dictionary on the English market. It covers most of the questions raised by the reading of Russian texts.

Thousands of words, expressions and translations are reviewed and contextualized to pedagogically teach the virtues of the Russian lexicon.

Everything is worked in order to simplify the learning of Russian.

  • Accent marks
  • Full conjugation of each verb
  • Full declension of each noun/pronoun and adjective (both for singular and plural forms)
  • Ability to search in English and in Russian
  • Perfective & imperfective verb forms
  • Genders for all nouns
  • Example sentences
  • And many more

However, if you need to translate full sentences, I’d recommend Google Translate. It can even translate the slang expressions properly.

You’ll find conjugation with clear and precise indications of the time used, the form and appearance of Russian verbs.

Culture with an encyclopedic part composed of 1700 proper names from characters in the history of Russian civilization, historical facts and geographical names extracted from this region.

Learn the Russian language with literature

Being diligent in learning Russian is the key to success and necessary for making great progress.

Because the internet lurks like a predator when it comes to digitizing our literary heritage, you can find some sites that would make the library of Alexandria a vulgar intellectual gas station. Make the most of it, find out if there are books out there that can fit you level of Russian and help you practice rather than to study all the time.

Russian and Slav Library

With the aim of spreading the wealth of Russian and Slavic literature to the English speaking public, these Russian and Slavonic online libraries offer texts from the public domain in Russian and English.

It is a way to get acquainted with a literature less known as Polish, Czech or Serbian literature through a collection of digital books, full translations of so-called “classic” texts for free.

The Languages Ressources for students of Russian

This website is an online 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.

A true goldmine for those who want to use more of the amazing tools you find online.

Russian authors by the University of Sussex

We can also take advantage of the work of the University of Sussex in the United Kingdom, which has made available to the public all the translated and commented texts of the 4 greatest Russian authors (until proof of the opposite) :

  • Tolstoy.
  • Gogol.
  • Pushkin.
  • Blok.

Runivers

For the most advanced Russian speakers among us, the runivers site offers a lot of culture as it has digitized many documents, reports, articles and works preserved, related to the Russian civilization, its history and its culture to put them available (in consultation) to the general public.

Finally note that for other types of lessons, you can also take beginner Russian classes! And if not, to learn while having fun, there are also apps for learning how to speak Russian.

So chose your favorite language learner method and… off to Moscow?

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