While italki offers quite a range of professional teachers and community tutors to help you learn foreign languages and Russian in particular, it is always useful to have some independent resources for self-studying. Whether you are struggling with verb conjugation or you need a short and structured grammar explanation (either in English, Russian or another language), or maybe you just want to improve your listening and reading skills, and broaden your vocabulary on your own - these 7 free resources will definitely be of use to you.



1. Time to Speak Russian


This website offers a full language course for elementary or beginner level students. The course can range from basic phonetics, a general course, a dictionary, a grammar reference. Also, these courses also give information about Russia, its food, traditions, culture, and history as well as reading and listening sections.


The general course consists of series of animated movies, grammar explanations, texts and exercises to do. There are ten lessons available covering different topics, such as: “At the airport”, “Transport”, “Money exchange”, “At the restaurant”, etc. The best part about this website is that it is available in multiple languages.


  • You Can Improve Your Russian: Grammar, Reading, Listening, Pronunciation.
  • Available In: Chinese, English, French, German, Italian, Japanese, Russian, and Spanish.
  • Level: Beginner, Elementary
  • Useful For: Travelling to Russia; Reviewing the basics; Studying on your own; Learning About Russia.



2. LearnRussian


Another website with a full-scale Russian course was presented by Russia Today - an international-broadcasting Russian channel. They offer exactly a hundred lessons containing grammar explanations, audio and video material, texts and practice exercises. There are also grammar tables, vocabulary lists and tests to every lesson and a phonetics section providing rules and audios for you to practice your pronunciation.


  • You Can Improve Your Russian: Grammar, Reading, Listening, Pronunciation.
  • Available In: English
  • Level: Beginner-Pre-Intermediate
  • Useful For: Travelling to Russia; Reviewing the basics; Studying on your own.



3. Текстотека ЦМО


Reading is one of the best ways to boost your vocabulary. Reading also helps you understand how all the grammar rules work in practice and even improve your speech! If you don`t feel ready to read Tolstoy's “War and Peace” just yet, don't be upset - here is a great source of texts for all levels from Elementary to Upper-Intermediate.


All of the website’s texts are organized by different levels, grammar, and vocabulary topics. Some of the texts include audio, which you can utilize to practice your pronunciation. Or you could first listen to to the audio and then check your understanding after with the written text. There are also practice exercises included for some of the texts but no answer keys.


  • You Can Improve Your Russian: Reading, Listening, Pronunciation.
  • Available In: Russian
  • Level: Elementary-Upper-Intermediate
  • Useful For: Boosting vocabulary; Practicing Reading; Practicing Listening.



4. Master Russian


This site contains short summaries of various grammar topics - from Gender and Number of a Russian Noun to Short Adjectives, Ordinal and Cardinal Numbers - as well as useful tips, how-to's, and a must-have table on Russian verbs.


Besides grammar articles, the website provides Russian learners with different tests, podcasts, and word lists, not to mention a dictionary of Russian verbs with conjugations, and a very detailed guide to Russian pronunciation -- audio included.


  • You Can Improve Your Russian: Grammar, Vocabulary, Listening.
  • Available In: English, French.
  • Level: Beginner - Advanced
  • Useful For: Studying grammar; Reviewing the basics; Studying on your own.





This website is mostly used by Russian native speakers to check their spelling or to find out the meaning of a word. Still, you can benefit from this site just as well! Simply type in a noun to learn its declension, definition, its most common expressions, proverbs, and sayings with it -- including their meaning.


For example: if you look up the word “кошка”, you will not only find out how to decline it, but also how to describe someone with exceptionally great eyesight or what it means when “cats are scratching the soul” - check it yourself!


If you search for a verb, you will get its basic conjugations, a participle, and an adverbial participle along with common expressions and agreement rules. You can also check for spelling and translation, find synonyms or antonyms - this is a truly a great resource for any Russian learner or speaker.


  • You Can Improve Your Russian: Grammar, Vocabulary.
  • Available In: Russian
  • Level: Beginner - Advanced
  • Useful For: Boosting vocabulary; Checking spelling; Checking grammar.



6. InternetUrok.ru


If you are already quite advanced in Russian and would like to improve your grammar and listening and learn something new about any school program subject, do not miss this amazing resource. Created to help Russian schoolchildren to keep up with their program, this website offers video lessons on every single subject and topic of the school program.


On this website you can study Russian language, literature, chemistry, history, or math. Classes include a transcript and some exercises for every lesson, so you can practice your listening and reading skills, broaden your vocabulary on your topic of choice. This site is also useful to practice for your entry exam for a Russian university.


  • You Can Improve Your Russian: Grammar, Vocabulary, Listening, Reading.
  • Available In: Russian
  • Level: Pre-Intermediate - Advanced
  • Useful For: Studying for university; Boosting vocabulary; Reading & listening practice; Studying grammar.



7. Советские Movies


In case you are overwhelmed with all of these studying resources, here is a fun one. This website offers a great deal of Russian movies and animated films for you to watch with native voice acting and English subtitles. You can choose a movie by genre or year. Be sure to watch “Простоквашино” which is about a very self-sufficient boy and his cat and dog. Or you can try and watch “Бриллиантовая рука” to have a good laugh. The movie “Брат” is more on the darker side of Russia during the 90s. Some of the movies are also available in English.


  • You Can Improve Your Russian: Vocabulary, Listening.
  • Available In: Russian, English
  • Level: Intermediate - Advanced
  • Useful For: Boosting vocabulary; Practicing listening; Learning about Russia; Having fun.


No matter where you are on your journey to speaking Russian fluently, these free resources will definitely make your way easier and more enjoyable. And, of course, italki is a definite resource. You should try to schedule a lesson on italki and perhaps go over this list of resources with your italki teacher to see which one fits best for you! Happy learning.


Hero image by Aidan Meyer (CC0 1.0)