Free Online Russian Course Info
Russian is one of the six official languages of the United Nations, and, according to the Ethnologue website, the language is spoken by approximately 171 million people in 17 countries around the world. Through these non-credit courses and other sources, students may learn the alphabet, grammar and some conversational skills while exploring topics in Russian culture.
Free Online Russian Course and Source List
- A Guide to Russian provides viewers with key facts and common phrases associated with the Russian language. The section on language facts is available in both English and Russian and explains topics like the formal and informal use of the word 'you.' The site also includes some general language study tips and an interactive story to help students build vocabulary while directing the plot. Other website features include the Russian alphabet, downloadable exercises and an English-Russian dictionary.
- Beginning Russian Grammar is a complement to the textbook Beginning Russian by Richard Leed. As a supplement to the 2- to 3-semester college course, the class contains over 100 text-based lessons, which can provide students with a comprehensive introduction to the use of major Russian grammatical groups. Course topics also include the Russian alphabet, numbers, sounds and Russian naming traditions.
University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA)
- Business Russian Podcasts designed for professionals at the intermediate and advanced levels are offered through the university's Center for World Languages. To date, the 7-part audio series covers topics in corporate finance and structure, supply and demand, personnel and taxes.
- Learning to Communicate in Russian serves as an online companion to the Beginner's Russian textbook by Anna Kudyma, Frank Miller and Olga Kagan. The course consists of 24 chapters and includes audio and video clips, exercises, flashcards, grammar podcasts and oral study aids. Along with instruction in the reading, speaking and writing of Russian letters and words, the course provides students with the chance to become familiar with contemporary Russian culture and songs. To access course materials, students should have access to Adobe Acrobat Reader, iTunes and YouTube, and an online voice recorder may be needed to complete some of the exercises.
- Russian Literature Podcasts provide advanced- and intermediate-level students with the opportunity to improve their listening and vocabulary skills. Readings represent a variety of well-known Russian authors, such as Anton Chekov, Feodor Dostoevsky and Leo Tolstoy, and the 5-episode audio materials include excerpts from Anna Karenina and The Idiot.
- Learn Russian includes an illustrated Russian alphabet, grammar tables, lessons, phonetics, tests and vocabulary. The site contains a Cyrillic keyboard, and registered students can chart their progress through over 100 interactive lessons. Lesson themes include doctor visits, home repair, personal appearance and personality.
U.S. Foreign Service Institute
- Russian: An Active Introduction has 11 lessons that are dialogue-based and teach students how to converse about common daily activities. With the exception of the introductory comments, the 167-page text is written entirely in Russian and may not be suitable for the beginner who wants to pursue a self-directed course of study. In addition to the online print materials, the website includes links to a series of eight audiotapes. The materials for this study guide were originally published by the U.S. Department of State in 1973.
- Russian: An Interactive Online Reference Grammar is a free source from the Lexiteria Corporation (a U.S. custom translation company) and includes an easy-to-follow, print-based guide to the Russian parts of speech. Course content provides students with an introduction to the rules of pronunciation and spelling, and individual grammar lessons include Java-based exercises. The site also includes a section on word formation as well as support links to Russian newspapers and radio stations, additional grammar resources and dictionaries.
- Kazakhstan Russian Language Lessons includes 14 lessons with downloadable transcripts. In addition to the alphabet, listeners can learn how to greet new acquaintances, answer the door, ask questions and count. The lessons also teach students how to agree and disagree, communicate personal preferences and express themselves in a courteous manner.