Full disclosure: This post contains affiliate links. ?
Due to popular demand, we'll continue to expand on languages we share resources for, here on fluentin3months. Today, I've invited native speaker Anna Breslavskaya to help us dive in. Let's see what she came up with:
Привет всем! Hello everyone!
It’s impossible to overestimate the importance of listening when learning a foreign language. Being able to understand others is the key to effective communication and to getting the feel of a language.
So, I've collected a number of Russian listening resources that can help you improve your Russian listening skills as well as get to know more about Russian culture and its trends.
I’ve organised the resources into nine categories:
- YouTube Channels: Watching videos helps you understand body language and provides valuable visual cues for your listening practice.
- Live Video Chat. Thanks to to the internet, it’s really easy to find language partners to learn with. I’ll show you the best software to use for chatting.
- TV and Radio: This media gives you full immersion into the Russian speaking world.
- Video Lessons: It is helpful to listen to Russian in a structured environment, especially when you are first starting out. Lessons and courses provide this.
- Online Lectures: Lectures show a more formal, standard use of Russian, combined with the opportunity to learn something new.
- Music: Listening to music gives you a look at the creative side of Russian.
- Podcasts: These are the best way to learn on the go and make use of downtime.
- News: Russian spoken in a formal way.
- Audio Books: Fiction demonstrates the poetic side of Russian.
Whatever your Russian level is – beginner, intermediate or advanced – you’ll find Russian listening resources for you.
Поехали! Let’s go!
Russian YouTube Channels
- This is хорошо: The host of this channel shares and comments on hilarious videos found on the internet. One of the most popular YouTube channels in Russia. Fantastic for advanced learners or for those who’d like to get a taste of spoken Russian.
- 100500voprosov: The host asks embarrassing, funny, stupid and serious questions in public places. The best way to see all sorts of people and ways of speaking Russian.
- Ugrant Show: An extremely popular TV show in Russia that now has its own YouTube channel. Intelligent and funny!
Live Video Chat with Russian Native Speakers
- Google hangouts: Make voice and video calls with this user-friendly programme.
- Skype: The most popular way to make video calls. Make the most of your sessions by recording voice calls with MP3 Skype Recorder, and video calls with the Free Video Call Recorder for Skype.
- Viber: Every second Russian has got Viber on their phone. A very convenient way to make voice and video calls.
Of course, all this assumes you have someone to speak with in Russian. If you need a language conversation partner, be sure to check out iTalki, where you can find amazing native Russian speaking teachers and tutors.
Russian Television and Radio
Note: If you’re based outside Russian, you made need to use a VPN (Virtual Private Network) to access some of these TV channels and radio shows.
- wwiTV: A list of the main Russian TV channels. Click on the title of any channel to start watching.
- Squid TV: A collection of links to a huge number of Russian channels divided by topic and location.
- IVI: A collection of the best Russian TV series that you can watch online for free.
- Vizeozal: Another source of series that can be streamed for free. Choose from almost 100 Russian series.
- Reddit: A Reddit thread that provides links to Russian films with English subtitles.
- RussianFM: A minimalistic webpage with a number of Russian radio stations that you can listen to online.
- Listenlive: A much bigger list of radio stations grouped by topic and region.
- Tunein: Tunein connects you with hundreds of Russian radio stations, as well as various podcast channels.
Russian Video Lessons and Courses
- RussianPod101: These short video lessons are a great add-on to the podcast of the same name. They are especially useful for beginners.
- Easy Russian: A channel created by a very funny woman teaching vocabulary and grammar in an entertaining way.
- Weekly Russian: Russian lessons for beginners.
- Learning Russian from the Streets: Short videos of people in the street being asked different questions. Each video has subtitles with an English translation. This is real spoken Russian.
- Mini-Videos for Learners of Intermediate Russian: Short clips from a comedy serial accompanied by a transcript and vocabulary notes. Laugh and learn at the same time.
Online Russian Lectures
- Universarium: I love using MOOCs when I’ve reached a B1/B2 level in a language. Taking a course designed for native speakers is an opportunity to progress to a higher level in a natural way (the way we did it in college) through studying subjects like maths, literature and science. Universarium is the first Russian MOOC platform. Currently there are 84 courses available. I’d recommend you to check out these ones.
- Lektorium: A good collection of lectures on academic subjects.
- Nowchpok: A YouTube channel with awesome animated videos answering curious questions, such as “why do we laugh, kiss, blush?” Good training for getting used to fast Russian speech.
- Lyrics Gaps: Here you’ll find a useful way to practice your listening skills with Russian songs. Listen to a song and fill the gaps in the song lyrics.
- Songs with Lyrics and Translation: Head over to YouTube to sing-along to some well known Russian songs.
- Disney Songs with Russian and English subtitles:
I love listening to Disney songs in any language. This is a special playlist of songs that have Russian subtitles.
- Disney songs playlist: Even more Disney songs in Russian.
- Popular Songs with Lyrics: A number of music videos of popular Russian songs together with lyrics.
- A Spoonful of Russian: A podcast for beginner and intermediate learners.
- Learn Russian Step by Step: The perfect podcast for beginners. It does what it says – taking you through Russian grammar and vocabulary step by step.
- A Beginner Course of Spoken Russian: Simple dialogues recorded in two voices and easy stories with comprehension questions.
- Ochen po russki: This podcast is a must for those interested in Russian slang.
- Speaking Russian: A beginner podcast suitable for those looking to pick up some basics before a trip to Russia.
- Russian Made Easy: A good podcast for English speakers just beginning to study the Russian alphabet.
- Survival Phrases: Eighteen short episodes to listen to on your flight to Russia.
- RussianPod101 A famous and professional podcast from RussianPod101 that Lauren of Fluent in 3 Months used in her Russian mission.
- Russian Podcast: This is a treat for intermediate learners. The host creates dialogues on a variety of topics and explains new words and expressions. The accompanying PDF guides are free.
- A taste of Russian: A great podcast for learning informal language and slang. A must for intermediate learners.
- Russificate Podcasts: Advanced learners welcome! Russian idioms, proverbs, poetry and much more.
- Business Russian Podcast: If you’re learning business Russian and have reached B1 level, these podcasts are for you.
- Shkola zhizni Podcast: Podcasts on all sorts of topics from an online Russian magazine targeted at Russians.
- Airing Pods: Over 30 Russian podcasts to choose from.
- News in Slow Russian: The only source of news in easy and slow Russian. Unfortunately, new content hasn’t been posted for a while. Nevertheless, it might be useful, if you’d like to understand Russian news programmes.
- Echo of Moscow: Russia’s best news radio station.
- Radio Potok: A collection of many other Russian news radio stations.
- Loyal Books: Russian books and poems recorded by volunteers.
- Auguo: Pearls of classic Russian literature for reading and listening to online.
- Listening Gallery: A collection of Russian poems with translation into English.
- My Chekhov: Listen to and read the best short stories of the renowned Anton Chekhov
- Anna Ahmatova: Audio poems of best Russian poetess of the 20th century.
- Asbook: A huge collection of modern audiobooks and radio shows.
Where do You Listen to Russian?
This is a huge list of resources. Where should you start? Choose the resources that best suit your interests and your level and listen to Russian every day. Over time, you’ll develop confidence in listening to spoken Russian.
If you have any suggestions for other Russian listening resources, or questions about listening to Russian, please share in the comments.
Удачи! Good luck!
About the author: Anna Breslavskaya is a language coach and a blogger who writes about learning and teaching English on AnnaEdu. She teaches English and Russian online. She is also part of the team in a unique 12 week Russian study project launching on 5th October 2015. Check out the website Language Heroes to learn more about it.