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italki Review

Saturday, February 4th

2023 Russian Lesson Reviews

italki Review 4.5 Star Rating


4.5 Star Rating
  • Online tutoring in Russian
  • Over 1,100 tutors to choose from
  • Convenient scheduling
  • Fantastic way to develop a more native-like accent
  • Choose from native speakers in several countries

italki offers Russian lessons unlike anything you'll find elsewhere. This service provides you with the opportunity to work one-on-one with community tutors and professional teachers at an hourly rate: no long-term commitments, subscriptions, or apps required! If your priority is learning to speak Russian fluently, italki is probably your best way of getting there quickly (aside from moving to a Russian-speaking country, of course).

Affordable hourly pricing with professional teachers

What kind of tutor should you choose? Community instructors might be best if you just want a fun conversation partner: they don't necessarily have any formal educational background in how to teach a language. On the other hand, italki tutors designated as "Professional" have experience as educators: some even have master's degrees or doctorates in teaching Russian! Surprisingly, there isn't a huge gap in pricing between the two: you can find lessons for as low as $6/hour, and it's rare to find anyone charging more than $30/hour. Also, many teachers give you an intro lesson at a deeply discounted cost, so that you can work together and see if it's a good fit first.

More than 1,000 Russian instructors to choose from

With over 1,000 Russian teachers on italki, you might feel a little overwhelmed trying to pick one. While you can sort them by their hourly rate, teaching type (community or professional), their availability, which country they're from or by what other languages they speak, the one filter that's missing is experience/ratings. You might have to browse the italki listings for a while until you spot a few potential matches for your Russian lessons.


  • From $6/hour to $30/hour
  • Discounted rates on trial lessons

Extensive profiles on each tutor

italki profiles usually include an intro video from the teacher. That's a great way to hear how they talk, especially in English: an amazing Russian instructor won't do you much good if you can't understand them in your own language too! Be sure to look at the profiles of any tutors who catch your attention: you can see everything they share about themselves, from their teaching background to the materials they use to give Russian lessons. For example, we found the profile of Eugene, as he calls himself in English: at the time of our visit, he had a perfect 5-star rating over more than 4,700 lessons and 400+ students during more than six years as an italki instructor.

Much more than just speaking practice

When deciding on a tutor, make sure to see how they approach teaching Russian lessons. italki can be used just for speaking practice - but it doesn't have to be limited to that. Taking a look at Eugene's profile, for instance, he says that he makes use of articles, PDFs, videos, and even homework assignments, and his hourly rates differ based on how much work outside of class you'll be expected to do.

Best Russian Lessons

Easy online scheduling

Once you've chosen a tutor, scheduling is a breeze: italki defaults to the timezone it detects on the device you're using, and shows you all available blocks on the tutor's schedule. Again, going back to our rockstar Eugene, we were able to schedule our first lesson the very next day at a time that happened to be open for both of us. You can also message the teacher to request a lesson slot not on their calendar.

Lots of positive feedback from students

italki gets rave reviews, not just on individual teachers' profiles but on the service as a whole too. Whatever your reason is for learning Russian - business, heritage, travel - you should have no problem finding a tutor (or several!) that will happily help you get there.

Some bravery required

So, with all of those amazing features, why doesn't italki earn our first-place ranking among the options for Russian lessons? Let's be honest: not every student is going to have the courage to work face-to-face (via video) with a tutor. Some individuals will probably feel more comfortable using a nice, impersonal language app first. And, if you don't have a dependable internet connection that can handle streaming video across the globe, this might not be the service for you.

Impressive way to learn Russian

Besides that, though, we can't say enough good things about italki. You dream of working with a professor from Belarus? Learning street slang from a young woman in St. Petersburg? Developing an accent that is indistinguishable from a native speaker's? Yes to all of the above? Then don't hesitate to start browsing tutor profiles on italki: you won't regret it.

What's the Best Way to Learn Russian?

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.

The Best Russian Lessons Compare Russian Lessons Compare Russian Lesson Reviews What are the best Russian Lessons Best Russian Lesson Reviews

Russian Lesson FAQ

A lot! Estimates range from 150-250 million people around the globe who speak Russian as their first language. It's one of the six official languages designated by the UN (along with Arabic, Mandarin Chinese, English, French and Spanish), the most spoken native language in Europe, and the most geographically widespread language in all of Eurasia. Russian is the official language of Russia (of course), Belarus, Kazakhstan, and Kyrgyzstan, and widely used in most of the former USSR nations.
Yes, but with few exceptions, Russian speakers all understand each other. People often refer to the "literary language" of Russian, used in all major cities throughout Russia. Beyond that, you'll find regional accents and vocabulary - but the type of Russian you'll learn in any class will be the commonly-accepted one.
We'll be honest: it's challenging! From the Cyrillic alphabet to grammatical differences, Russian is quite different from English, and we don't really borrow enough vocabulary from Russian for it to be familiar as we learn it. It's not quite as hard as Arabic, Japanese or Chinese (according to the US State Department, anyway!), and if you work diligently and consistently, you should be able to learn as much Russian as you like.
You have to start by learning the Cyrillic alphabet. It's got 33 letters, some of which are familiar from our Latin alphabet, and some that will be completely new - and most of which won't be pronounced the same as what you use in English! From there, basic vocabulary will help you with day-to-day needs like asking for directions or buying things in the market, but shape your learning according to how you plan to use Russian (on vacation, in business, and so on).
Unless you live in a college town, it might be your only option! Russian lessons aren't easy to come by in person, so going with an online platform ensures that you can learn when and where you like, for as long as you wish. They're also much more affordable than college tuition!
If you're studying Russian online, you will need to enable the language on your computer. Search for the steps you'll have to take on your operating system (PC or Mac). Otherwise, there are online Russian keyboard sites where you can copy-paste characters one by one (but that will get a little tedious).
They're quite affordable. You can choose between two options: monthly subscriptions or one-time purchase. Most month-to-month plans are less than $25/month, while one-off Russian lesson packages are anywhere from $50 to $700. All of the Russian lesson programs we found were much cheaper than paying for a semester of college tuition!
That varies. For monthly subscriptions, you may be able to cancel your recurring payments without a refund of what you paid previously. If you buy a package of Russian lessons (online, CDs), you may be protected by a 30- or 60-day satisfaction guarantee. Be sure to understand the terms of any Russian language platform you're considering before you make your purchase, and take advantage of any free lesson samples or trial periods the service offers.
Compare the Best Reviews

Continued from above...

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:

  • Ease of Use. How intuitive is it to move through each lesson, and from one topic to another? Is it clear what you're supposed to learn next? The more comfortable you are with the app, materials, or however the Russian lessons are delivered, the more likely you are to stick with it and keep making progress.
  • Value. Some Russian lessons involve a monthly or yearly subscription, while others have a one-time cost. How much will you get for what you pay? Will you have enough content to keep you busy for as long as you intend to study the language? Does your paid membership or one-off fee add a significant number of features or materials beyond what the service may offer for free?
  • Refund Policy. If you purchase a long-term subscription or pay for an entire program upfront, can you get your money back if it doesn't live up to your expectations?
  • Reputation. Have other people been successful using the service to learn Russian?

TopConsumerReviews.com has evaluated and ranked today's top resources for learning Russian online. We're confident that this information will help you choose the Russian lessons that will boost your fluency in no time!

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