10 Best Online Russian Courses (Personally Tested)

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Written By Jessica Knight

Founder of Linguatics. Passionate multilinguist.

Learning Russian maybe isn’t as popular as learning French or Spanish, but it’s definitely rewarding.

If you’re not familiar with Slavic languages, this will give you a nice introduction.

And although learning the Russian alphabet might be intimidating, mastering Cyrillic really isn’t that hard – trust us!

On the other hand, learning Russian grammar might be a bit challenging (for English speakers, for example), but with the help of a quality online course, you’ll get a grasp of the basics in no time.

That said, it’s time for us to show you the best online Russian courses and classes.

You’ll come across different types of programs, so we’re sure you’ll find something to your liking.

And if in the end, you’re still undecided, we’ll help you out with our little online Russian course buyer’s guide.

If you’re ready, Погна́ли!

10 Best Online Russian Courses & Classes

1. Rocket Russian

Rocket Russian best online course

Rocket Languages is a popular language-learning platform that offers classes in many languages.

And that includes one of the best online Russian language courses.

So, how does it work?

Rocket Russian Features

Rocket Russian will teach you Russian through audio lessons and interactive exercises.

The program is focused on speaking, reading, listening, and writing. It will also help you to master the Russian writing system.

It has two levels; they are designed to take you from beginner to intermediate level.

The Culture & Language section will give you cultural insights as well.

And Travelogues will take you through more advanced conversations as well as bring you on a virtual journey around Russia.

All in all, you’ll get a well-rounded curriculum with lessons that are fluid and comprehensible.

Rocket Russian also has numerous study tools to help you in your learning process. You can create your own set of Flashcards or use the Benchmark tool to find your current Russian level.

And you can check your progress and Leaderboard position.

Content and Benefits

All Rocket Russian lessons are very easy to follow. They will introduce you to the basics, teach you the Russian alphabet, and help you have perfect pronunciation.

You’ll learn practical vocabulary that will allow you to have a natural conversation with a Russian speaker.

The Survival Kit lessons will introduce you to extra vocabulary and teach you all essential phrases and expressions. They are divided into different topics such as clothing, Russian food, days, weather, restaurant phrases, and so on.

When you complete the course, you can also get a Rocket certification, which is a nice extra benefit.

And there’s a Russian Forum to get you involved. You can join a conversation and meet fellow students, or ask any question you want.

All things considered, Rocket Russian offers some of the best Russian classes online. It’s well-structured, reliable, and effective.

Who is Rocket Russian Best For?

Rocket Russian is a fantastic learning source for beginners who want to learn from a structured, versatile online program. Read our full Rocket Languages review.

Start your free trial of Rocket Languages Russian here!

2. Russian Uncovered

Russian Uncovered

Russian Uncovered will introduce you to Russian in a slightly different way.

It will immerse you in the language through the magic of storytelling.

Russian Uncovered Features

Russian Uncovered is definitely the best website to learn Russian if you’re a book lover. And if you’re looking for alternative approaches to learning languages.

The StoryLearning method was developed by the creator of this program, Olly Richards. He speaks eight languages so he probably knows what he’s talking about.

The method is based on the so-called guided discovery. It’s a proven and effective approach.

For the Russian Uncovered course, Olly created the story with the help of a native Russian writer. The story is called “Улица Ленина, Дом 10” (“No. 10, Lenin Street.”)

You’ll learn the language by reading chapters of a book and getting to know the vocabulary and grammar behind them.

You’ll also learn through video lessons, and you’ll receive an English transcript of every chapter.

Content and Benefits

The story of this program has twenty chapters.

The first level of the program is built around the story and it has 20 modules. So, it’s one module for each chapter in the story.

You’ll read and listen to it chapter by chapter. And at the end of each chapter, you’ll get video lessons, recorded by a native Russian teacher, Anastasia.

She will help you uncover Russian words and phrases from the story.

And then you’ll have quizzes and speaking exercises to put your knowledge into practice.

You’ll get 100 hours of study time in total. And that’s more than enough to give you a solid foundation.

And you’ll master the Cyrillic alphabet along the way.

Without a doubt, Russian Uncovered will help you learn Russian in a very natural way. Intuitive learning in the StoryLearning method is also very interesting, fun, and engaging.

And when you finish the course, you’ll be able to understand the whole book, and that sounds very appealing.

Who is Russian Uncovered Best For?

Russian Uncovered is the best Russian course for people who like to learn through stories and intuitive learning.

3. Red Kalinka

Red Kalinka virtual Russian school

Red Kalinka is another popular online Russian course.

It’s great for people searching for reliable and authentic Russian classes.

Red Kalinka Features

Red Kalinka creators described their website as the largest Russian school in the world.

In a way, studying with Red Kalinka really feels like going to a virtual Russian school.

The program offers video courses, books, exercises, and personal guidance from native teachers.

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You can choose from different packages/options: one-to-one lessons, virtual courses, and a tutor, or online exercises.

You can also simply buy eBooks and materials; they can be great extra learning resources.

So, Red Kalinka gives you an opportunity to pick a course that suits your goals and your budget.

No matter what you pick, you’ll get a comprehensive, well-rounded course that will undoubtedly get your skills to the next level.

And if you’re not sure about the program, you can have a trial lesson for only 1 euro.

Content and Benefits

Red Kalinka online exercises include all types of exercises: writing, dictation, and quizzes. They are categorized by levels and arranged by topic (vocabulary, cases, verbs, etc.)

Video lessons + tutor package will give you unlimited access to 160 videos (they last 30 minutes), 400 pages of learning materials, and more than 280 audio recordings.

And you’ll have an opportunity to submit a question to your teacher. Within 24 hours you’ll receive a detailed answer.

If you opt for their one-to-one lessons, you’ll have private Skype lessons with a native teacher. You can choose the time and how often you want a lesson.

You’ll learn all about practical vocabulary and get a lot of conversation practice. Before every Skype lesson, you’ll receive the learning materials and audio files by e-mail.

As you can see, Red Kalinka really has amazing learning options. And which one you’ll choose depends on your goals and abilities.

But one thing is for sure: you won’t regret it.

Who is Red Kalinka Best For?

Red Kalinka is the best program to learn Russian for people searching for personal guidance from a teacher.

It’s also great for people who want an extra learning resource. Red Kalinka offers a bunch of useful learning materials and online exercises.

4. RussianPod101

If you’re an aural learner, you’ll probably like the idea behind RussianPod101.

It’s a very popular platform used by learners around the world.

RussianPod101 Features

RussianPod101 delivers its content through podcast-style lessons.

However, the program also includes video lessons and PDFs. They are downloadable so you can learn anywhere, anytime.

There are also some useful study tools like flashcards, slideshows, word banks, phrase lists, and so on.

Essentially, it’s a very versatile course, but it’s centered around audio lessons.

And if you get a Premium Plus subscription, you’ll also have a chance to get help from a teacher. A teacher will give you direct feedback, corrections, and answers to your questions via private messenger.

They also have an active Youtube channel. And they very often have live lessons; one of them is streaming as we write!

Content and Benefits

RussianPod101 lessons are based on dialogues. They will prepare you for real-life situations.

They are led by native speakers, but the slowed-down audio and line-by-line breakdowns will help you pick up every word.

And you’ll get thorough grammar explanations.

So, you’ll be able to focus on reading, listening, grammar, and writing. You’ll also get useful cultural insights.

RussianPod101 is designed to take you from beginner to more advanced level. After enough practice, you’ll have a solid Russian foundation and you’ll be able to have a fluid, natural conversation in Russian.

And you’ll be amazed how much vocabulary you can pick up simply by listening to dialogues.

Who is RussianPod101 Best For?

RussianPod101 is the best Russian course for beginners who want to improve their Russian by listening to podcast-style lessons.

5. Pimsleur

Pimsleur Russian online classes

Pimsleur is another super popular language learning website.

It offers one of the best Russian language programs.

Pimsleur Features

Pimsleur Russian is focused on organic learning and gradual interval recall. So, there will be a lot of (smart) repetition.

It’s the Pimsleur Method; it’s focused on accessing the language-learning centers in your brain. According to Pimsleur, If you repeat the new words at specific time intervals, they will move into your long-term memory.

With this course, you’ll mostly be listening to high-quality audio lessons.

They include dialogues with common topics you’ll encounter in real-life conversations.

So, the main focus is on speaking and listening skills. Therefore, if you want to master the Russian writing system, you should find an additional learning resource.

Otherwise, Pimsleur offers a well-structured course that will get you to speak right away.

It’s a great choice if you’re planning to visit a Russian-speaking country and you want to hone your conversational skills.

Content and Benefits

In short, Pimsleur Russian will prepare you for real-life situations and conversations. It will help you get around Russian-speaking countries, and it will do that in a very effective way.

In fact, Pimsleur promises to teach you Russian and take you to an intermediate level in only 30 days. Perhaps that also depends on your dedication and expectations.

Either way, you’ll learn the language without delving deeply into Russian grammar.

You’ll learn greetings, common phrases, practical vocabulary, and cultural differences.

And you can learn hands-free, which is a big advantage for people who want to learn on the go.

Who is Pimsleur Best For?

Pimsleur is a fantastic Russian course for beginners who want to learn Russian in a quick and easy way.

It’s also ideal for people searching for portable courses. Read our full Pimsleur review.

6. Grammar Hero

Grammar Hero Russian class

And if you want to focus on grammar, you should check out Grammar Hero.

It’s developed by Olly Richards, the Russian Uncovered course creator, so you can expect an interesting and creative approach to learning grammar.

Grammar Hero Features

To be honest, Russian grammar rules are the worst part of learning Russian. So, if you learn them in a proper way, you’ll really have a strong language foundation.

And Grammar Hero will help you get there in a rather simple way.

The program is very easy to navigate, and you’ll be able to track your progress very easily.

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You’ll learn through stories and grammar activation exercises. So, you’ll get a grasp of Russian grammar through context, which is always the best way to learn a new language.

Content and Benefits

The Grammar Hero program covers all the topics learners often struggle with.

Lessons build upon each other nicely, and they are divided into Missions.

Every mission has a very clear target. For example, in one of the missions, you’ll be focused on perfective vs. imperfective verbs.

And each mission includes several steps. The first step often entails reading and listening to the story in Russian. That’s where you can recognize Olly’s story learning method.

You’ll get insightful notes explaining how grammar works in a specific story.

Who is Grammar Hero Best For?

Grammar Hero is a great learning course who want to learn Russian grammar.

It’s ideal for learners who are planning to get a language certificate or simply delve deeper into the Russian language.

7. FluentU

FluentU will teach you how to speak Russian in a very unique way.

Let us tell you what makes it so special!

FluentU Features

Well, with FluentU, you’ll jump into the Russian language right away.

The program is based on real-life video content. So, you’ll be watching video clips (mostly Youtube videos) with interactive subtitles.

The video library is really extensive. It probably has more video than you’ll be able to watch.

But that only means you’ll have the freedom to choose from different topics.

You can also click on different words to see what they mean in context.

Moreover, FluentU features audio lessons, flashcards, a built-in dictionary, and lesson streaks.

Content and Benefits

FluentU content is centered around video clips. They cover a wide range of topics and genres; from commercials to soap operas.

Therefore, you can learn about everyday life, culture, politics, health, science, and so on.

You’ll significantly improve your comprehension of the Russian language and actively work on your conversational skills.

And you’ll be hearing native accents and natural conversations (in natural speed.) You’ll realize how quickly you’ll be able to pick up on new words and phrases.

After all, that’s one of FluentU’s goals: to make you fluent!

However, FluentU doesn’t have a clear, structured curriculum. In a way, it’s a platform that provides content. But it’s a type of content that can truly help you improve your skills.

Who is FluentU Best For?

FluentU is a great learning source for people seeking online content for learning Russian.

So, it’s not a structured course but rather a very specific and helpful resource.

8. Real Russian Club

Are you looking for reliable and free online Russian Classes?

Real Russian Club offers paid courses as well as free content.

Real Russian Club Features

This Russian course is created by Daria, a certified Russian language teacher and historian.

Her free course includes 10 lessons focused on the alphabet, grammar, and vocabulary. They combine video clips and written texts.

You can also download a very thorough and useful workbook. And you’ll get simple homework at the end of every lesson.

And if you opt for Premium courses, you’ll get a more detailed curriculum. You can choose from Beginner Bundle and Continuing Bundle.

After you register, you’ll get instant and permanent access to the course.

There’s no strict schedule so you can learn at your own pace.

Content and Benefits

The Beginner Bundle contains six courses. It includes From Zero To Fluency workbook and lessons focused on a specific skill.

For example, the Russian Pronunciation Mastery course will introduce you to, well, pronunciation. It has a lot of listen and repeat exercises.

The Russian Vocabulary course will provide you with practical lessons. They will teach you a bunch of new words. You’ll learn about topics such as cooking, emotions, work, relations, and food.

This bundle also includes printable training tools for writing both printed letters and cursive and a very useful book with 600 Russian phrases.

If you already have some knowledge, you can purchase the Continuing Bundle right away.

These Russian classes will introduce you to more complex vocabulary. They cover things like Russian slang, verbs of motion, a Russian movie speaking course, and much more.

For extra learning resources, you can check The Real Russian Club Youtube channel (it’s always fresh and updated) as well as numerous podcasts on the program’s website.

It’s a very thorough and versatile course, and its creator did a great job in creating the curriculum.

Who is Real Russian Club Best For?

Real Russian Club offers reliable Russian lessons for beginners and intermediate learners.

It’s also ideal for people seeking free online Russian courses.

9. Mango Languages

Mango Languages Russian

If you’ve ever searched for the best online learning courses and apps, you’ve probably familiar with Mango Languages.

It’s a popular and beautifully designed platform that will help you achieve your goals and speak Russian.

Mango Languages Features

You can use the Mango Languages program on all your devices.

It’s a very modern and innovative language course.

When it comes to Russian, it will make your learning process so much easier.

Its method is based on the so-called intuitive chunking approach. So, you won’t learn grammar in a traditional way. You’ll learn it through patterns and lexical chunks.

It’s a much more natural way to learn a new language.

Mango Languages uses all sorts of useful tools and formats. It has interactive exercises, grammar and culture notes, a speech recording system, and pronunciation practice.

In other words, it’s a whole package!

And the program is very nicely designed and easy to navigate. It has an all-in-one interface that creates a simplified learning environment.

Content and Benefits

With Mango Languages Russian, you’ll learn everything you need to know to have a fluid conversation in Russian.

You won’t be overwhelmed with endless grammar rules, and you certainly won’t get bored.

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There’s a variety of exercises that will keep you engaged and focused.

There are critical-thinking exercises, memory-building exercises, interactive activities, and so on.

You’ll learn the languages through conversational and cultural contexts as well as exercises that also improve your cognitive skills.

And semantic color mapping is certainly beneficial to visual learners. You’ll be able to really internalize new words into your long-term memory and also connect the language with English.

Another benefit is a personalized review experience that adapts to your progress and learning behaviors.

As you can see, it’s a really smart course that will allow you to learn in an incredibly efficient way.

Who is Mango Languages Best For?

Mango Languages course is the best way to learn Russian for anyone searching for a fresh and effective online program.

10. Rosetta Stone

Rosetta Stone Russian

Rosetta Stone is another popular name among language learning platforms.

Some people don’t like it, and others believe it’s the best online Russian course.

Let us tell you what we think.

Rosetta Stone Features

Rosetta Stone is one of the most popular language-learning programs for a good reason.

It’s been active for a long time, and it always tries to keep up with its students’ needs.

In a nutshell, Rosetta Stone is based on intuition, repetition, and visual elements. In a way, it forces you to think and make your own conclusions.

Of course, you’ll also get clear explanations and translations, just not right away.

And although some people find this confusing, it’s actually a more natural way of learning new languages, and many other courses do it too (just in a different form.)

Voice recognition technology is another useful feature.

And you can listen and learn offline which can be very convenient.

At the moment, you can choose from the Self-Study course and the Self-Study + Coaching course. All of them are available for a 3-month, 12-month, and lifetime subscription.

Content and Benefits

With Rosetta Stone, you won’t learn in-depth Russian grammar in order to understand the language.

You’ll be picking up new words and grammar rules through contextual lessons.

Audio lessons, speech recognition technology, and interactive and visual exercises will help you improve your pronunciation and conversational skills.

You’ll learn greetings, phrases, expressions, and sentence structures.

And if you choose the Self-Study + Coaching package, you’ll have a chance to communicate and practice with native teachers.

Rosetta Stone live-stream sessions are another benefit of this versatile program.

Who is Rosetta Stone Best For?

Rosetta Stone Russian is a great learning source for beginners who want to take their communication skills to another level. Read our full Rosetta Stone review.

How to Choose the Best Online Russian Courses?

You’re probably wondering how you’re supposed to pick a course?

Well, there are several things to consider.

First of all, take a good look at your abilities. Budget-wise and time-wise.

Do you prefer less expensive or free Russian courses? Or do you want to make a one-time purchase and have unlimited access to thousands of lessons?

Also, do you need a course with a flexible schedule or do you want to receive a personalized study plan and schedule that will keep you on track?

Once you make all these decisions, the list will become much shorter.

Best online Russian courses

Also, make sure you’re choosing the course focused on the level you’re currently on. Beginners won’t have any problems finding online classes, but advanced learners don’t have that many options. In that case, you should maybe opt for one-on-one lessons.

And after you choose a course that fits your schedule, budget, and learning style, try to find other learners’ reviews (and review articles like this one) to be able to make an informed decision.

It’s important to start learning a new language in the right way; you need a solid foundation to be able to take your skills to the next level.

What Are the Benefits of Online Russian Classes?

If you decide to take online Russian classes, you’ll see the results very soon.

Online courses are effective and innovative and will allow you to focus on your goals.

For example, if you’re planning to visit Russia and want to learn practical vocabulary, you don’t have to deal with heavy grammar.

You can choose whatever suits you best!

Also, learning a new language online will allow you to test the waters and see how you feel about that specific language. But you should also give it time; Russian might seem a bit challenging at the beginning.

And that’s probably because of its writing system. But learning Cyrillic is really not that hard. Most people learn it within a few days (even less).

Moreover, Russian is a phonetic language, so you won’t have any problems with reading.

Learning Russian

Learning Russian will give you a good introduction to Slavic languages. And after learning Russian, they will seem so much easier to learn.

The Russian language can also bring you many business and education opportunities. Russian is one of the most important languages to learn for European business.

And it’s a foreign language in multiple countries (Belarus, Kazakhstan, etc) and it’s used widely as a lingua franca throughout other European and Asian countries.

So, if you’re a passionate traveler, you’ll easily get around many countries.

All things considered, Russian is a very rewarding foreign language to learn.

And you never were learning a new language can take you!

Final Thoughts

Well, we hope you found what you were looking for!

In our list of the best online Russian courses, we included different kinds of platforms. But all of them have one thing in common: to teach you how to speak Russian in the easiest way possible.

And learning languages, especially languages with a different alphabet, isn’t always easy. Therefore, online courses are really the best option.

They will allow you to learn at your own pace, and in a way that suits your learning style.

And once you grasp the basics, everything will be much easier and you’ll begin to understand the real charm of the Russian language and culture!