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Sunday, December 5th
Innovative Language Learning is the creator of Russian Pod 101 (and over three dozen other language "pods" ), one of the most thorough options for Russian lessons on the market. You can get free lifetime access to their lessons, which span five content levels in Russian alone. It's also one of the only providers that adds content every week, keeping your learning - and your vocabulary - amazingly up to date.
"Limited" time offer? Not exactly.
In order to see what Russian Pod 101 offers, you only have to do two things: enter your email address on the main page and confirm your account with the link you'll get in your inbox. You'll be asked if you'd like to receive the Word of the Day Email (and that's where it'd be helpful if you use your own address), and from there...prepare for a very sales-y pitch of a $1 "fast track to Russian fluency" . We've seen this "limited time offer" pressure with some of the other languages in the Pod 101 family, and honestly we could live without it. It's up to you if you want to take advantage of it, but be aware that your membership will automatically renew at $25/month after 30 days if you don't cancel.
5 levels of Russian lessons
Either way, your next step is to set up your profile. Are you an absolute beginner, beginner, or an intermediate, upper intermediate, or advanced student of Russian? Click on each level to see a brief description of what skills are expected at that degree of fluency (e.g. advanced equals being able to conjugate Russian verbs in the past, present and future tenses).
Very thorough lessons, from listening to grammar
Let's say you're an absolute beginner. When you go to your dashboard, you'll see that you've automatically been assigned to the Level 1 Russian course. You can add pathways or edit them at any time, but just click on the big blue "study" button to get going. It's going to start you off with an assessment of 8 questions; just guess or click on "I'm not sure" because there's no penalty for wrong answers. Your next stop is Self-Introductions and Basic Greetings: you'll get a basic dialogue to listen to, and you can read the transcription in Russian (Cyrillic), the Romanization (how it would be written phonetically in English), and the actual English translation. You'll be able to quiz yourself on what you learned, read through a detailed explanation of the grammar and some of the culture involved in this simple conversation.
Features limited on the free plan
However, not all of those features are included with your free account. When we signed up, we were given a 7-day trial that gave us access to almost everything, but the free plans limit you to just a few lessons across various levels of Russian. There's still a lot you can get at no cost, but you'll definitely feel the push to subscribe here!
3 paid membership plans
Here's the scoop on what's included in each of Russian Pod 101's memberships:
60-day money-back guarantee
If you choose a paid plan with Russian Pod 101, you've got a 60-day money-back guarantee covering your purchase. Consider subscribing at the highest level (Premium Plus) and really putting these Russian lessons to the test: you can always downgrade your membership or cancel it altogether in the first two months, if they don't wind up feeling like a good fit for your learning style.
Almost too much content to choose from
The biggest reason to consider the Premium Plus plan at the outset is to get help navigating the Russian Pod 101 platform. In all honesty, we found it overwhelming: there was just too much to choose from, not just in the lessons themselves but in all of the "extras" on the dashboard. Vocabulary lists for emails? Bonus videos on Core Words and "What to do When Learning Russian Feels Overwhelming" ? Um, yes, it does feel that way! Since you can get your money back after trying Premium Plus for 60 days, it seems like the smartest idea to get yourself set up and learning with the least amount of floundering around.
Still one of the best choices for Russian lessons
Russian Pod 101 is the most comprehensive all-around approach to learning the language. Students from all fluency levels will have more than enough to keep them occupied for a long time, and it's a terrific way to get personalized help from a Russian teacher without ever leaving home. We could live without the sales pitch, and we're still working on not feeling completely buried by the almost-too-extensive content here, but it still earns one of our highest rankings among the options for Russian lessons.
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:
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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