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Sunday, June 26th
For beginners and more experienced students alike, Busuu is a great choice for Russian lessons. The no-cost Basic membership gives you access to nearly 150 lessons across levels A1-B2, and subscribing to one of Busuu's paid plans gives you access to their full range of features. Just watch out for your account's automatic subscription renewal date, because you've only got a 14-day refund policy on the Premium and Premium Plus plans. Overall, you've got nothing to lose by giving Busuu a try.
For many languages, Rosetta Stone's immersive approach isn't a big leap. But with a language like Russian that uses a completely different alphabet from English, these lessons tend to make students feel overwhelmed right from the start. You can take advantage of a 3-day trial to see if it works for you, but unless you already have some familiarity with Russian and the Cyrillic alphabet, Rosetta Stone won't likely be your first choice.
If you're interested in learning the language, you likely already realize that it's going to be more challenging than some. First off, Russian uses a completely different alphabet, Cyrillic, from what you're using right now to read in English. Training your mind to recognize the new symbols and the sounds they make (or to make different sounds using letters that look similar between Cyrillc and the Roman alphabet) can take some time.
You'll also have to master a grammatical system that's quite different from English. Do you know the difference between the nominative case and the dative case? It's okay if you don't - because of the six cases used in Russian, we only use three in modern English.
Feeling discouraged? Don't be! Russian is ranked as a Level III language by the US State Department, marking it merely as a "hard" language and not as difficult as Level IV languages like Arabic or Chinese. Whew! And with the right type of Russian lessons, you could find yourself reading, writing, understanding and speaking the language more fluently than you imagined.
So, what makes a Russian language program the "right type" ? Some of that depends on you. Do you learn best by reading detailed explanations of grammar or by learning useful words and phrases in context? Do you like your learning to feel like playing games or do you prefer a more straightforward, traditional approach? If you're not sure about the answers to any of those questions, that's fine: most Russian lessons have a free lesson or give you limited access to the platform so you can try it for yourself. Put a few providers to the test and see which ones keep coming to mind - or which approach helps what you've learned to "stick" the best!
Generally speaking, there are a few factors that can make a particular system for learning Russian better than another. Those include:
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