10 free or affordable online courses, apps, and books to learn Russian, from Duolingo to Rosetta Stone

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  • Whether you want to read some literary classics in their original language or speak to family in their native tongue, learning Russian is worth the work of memorizing a new alphabet.
  • Below are 10 free or cheap online courses, apps, books, videos, and resources to help you learn how to speak, listen, read, and write in Russian.
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During the pandemic, many people are using the extra time at home to learn a new language (or brush up on an old one). 

If you're interested in learning Russian, there are two things you should consider. First, figure out what you are learning the language for. Do you want to be able to read "Anna Karenina" in its original language? Watch "Solaris" without captions? Speak to a loved one in their native language? Deciding which facet of the language you most want to focus on — writing, reading, listening, or speaking — will aid you in finding a curriculum and the best courses for your needs.

You should also prepare to learn a new alphabet. Russian uses Cyrillic, an alphabet system that tends to look deceptively like your standard ABCDs. For instance, the "H" letter in Russian actually makes an "N" sound, while a backwards "N" symbol ( "и") makes an "eee" sound. Russian is also a gendered language, meaning nouns, verbs, and adjectives have to be in accordance with feminine, masculine, or neutral genders. 

However, don't get discouraged. Any challenges you might encounter are worth the work of opening yourself up to a wonderful language, steeped in a rich and storied history with over 258 million speakers worldwide.

With that, here are the 10 best online resources to kick off (or resume) your Russian-learning. 

Here are 10 free or affordable online courses, apps, books, and videos to learn Russian:

For reading and writing

Russian is a complex yet rewarding language as well as a window to a rich culture. Whether your intention is to learn the basics or achieve fluency, it's worth embarking on this linguistic journey. 

Удачи! (Good luck!)

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