Jemma Byron
beginner Russian books


I was wondering if anyone had any insight as to what book(s) would be a good place to start for a beginner russian speaker?

I was thinking a self-learning workbook, and or good translations of double versed russian books. 

I'd really appreciate some advice, thanks. :-) 

May 29, 2018 10:26 AM
Comments · 8

Mezhdu Nami is an entire first-year online university course in Russian. You can download the book or buy a print copy on Amazon. Indiana University uses this book for their Summer Intensive Russian program.

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May 30, 2018
And as a bonus :) I will try describe "my method" of learning languages with using books.
I just find interesting for me books in both languages: target and my native. The level of complexity of the book dosn't matter.
1. on first steps I'm reading some pages of book in my native language and the same pages in target language.
I do not write out the unfamiliar words separately and do not try to learn them especially - they are gradually remembered on their own.
(Of course, you must have sufficient vocabulary for such reading, but vocabulary replenishment is a separate process [*] for me).
The number of pages gradually varies from one (or even half) to a dozen, maybe the whole chapter. 
2. Then, from the middle of the book, I'm first reading some pages in the target language and try to understand it, but then I'm reading the same pages in my native language to clarify my understanding.
3. I also download the same or other books in the audio version and listen to them in a similar way to improve my ability to perceive the language by ear.

*For this (vocabulary replenishment), I use Memrise and standard training kits based on a minimal dictionary with a gradual increase in level. Memrise usually offers such courses for all major languages, for example, starting for Russian:
(Of course I use mobile version of Memrise).
May 30, 2018
In Russian there are two main providers of adapted literature: Zlathoust Library (Библиотека Златоуста) and Klassnoe Chtenie (Классное Чтение).
I can recommend visit site:
Библиотека Златоуста
Catalog with a lot of adapted books with short description (on russian), including level (A2, B2 and so on). 
I can't found no one of this books in free downloading.
But maybe Phillip have some of this books.
May 30, 2018
Jemma, some random stuff that drew my attention for whatever reason:

1. [a book] A forum member who has started with Russian recently was reading this thing:
You can read several chapters here and in Google books.
It is a story designed for beginners, and I liked the idea. I mean, I like the idea of making the story interesting. The idea of simple texts for beginners is nothing new. There is a whole sea (I'm not sure if you say 'sea' in Englsh to mean 'very many', but we do and we do imagine a sea of texts:)) of books 'adapted for foreign readers'. I singled out this one because it looked funny. There must be better ones:) "A sea".

2. [a textbook] A friend of mine liked Penguin Russian course after trying several textbooks. You can browse through it here:

3. [an audio-course] French "Assimil" method is basically about learning with reading texts with translations and audio. It has several competitors. Some discussion of Russian Assimils here:
(there are also numerous reviews on Youtube: )

There are at least
4 Assimil's Russians in French (it is a French company): 51-71, 71-95, 95-2008, 2008-...
2 for English speakers, at least
2 courses for Spanish speakers.
Most (not all) of their editions for non-French speakers are based on French versions with changes. And each has numerous minor revisions.

They say sometimes their course is brilliant and their other course is rather terrible. Here the recording is disastrous (some Arabic course was criticized), in another course it is nice. I have no idea, which of their Russians is better.
May 29, 2018
There's a book named "Beginner's Russian reader" by Lila Pargment. It begins with easy short dialogues and goes on progressively increasing the level. There's also a short story by Chekhov (The Bear) inside.
May 30, 2018
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