10 BEST podcasts for Russian language students of ALL levels

Kira Lisitskaya (Photo: Legion Media; Pixabay; Unsplash)
From beginner to advanced, pick your course and hone your skills. Davai!

Beginner

1. Fluentli

This podcast provides an ideal start for people learning Russian for the first time. In the numerous episodes of the podcast, the teacher, Alice Val, reads simple texts on various topics in English with interjections of Russian words. By the end of each podcast, a student learns many words Russians frequently use in real-life conversations. The teacher’s pace is slow and repetitive which makes this podcast ideal for absolute beginners.

2. One Minute Russian

The authors of this podcast promise to teach students the basics of the Russian language using “short, easy-to-follow video lessons”. The course covers various topics from greetings to introducing yourself to counting, etc. Although it’s less thorough than the Fluentli podcast, it is nonetheless capable of providing basics to a person who has never studied Russian before. In case Fluentli or other podcasts seem too time-consuming, One Minute Russian provides a suitable short alternative.

3. Russian Made Easy

This podcast consists of 30 episodes that introduce language learners to the basics of Russian language. The authors use pattern recognition and contextual learning techniques to teach the tongue. Each episode is transcribed and available in PDF format. As a bonus, each episode is also supplied with exercises available for download.

Intermediate

4. Slow Russian

This podcast is excellent in terms of coverage of Russia-related topics. Life in the USSR, Russian ballet, Russian writers, cartoons, cities and Victory Day — you name it. The Slow Russian podcast seems to have it all covered. Each episode also comes with a transcript in both Russian and English languages. 

5. The Word’s Worth

The author of this podcast, provided to you by the Moscow Times, goes deeper on topics of various interest. Throughout the episodes, host, journalist and interpreter Michele Berdy sneak peeks into various aspects of professional and personal life in Russia, from her experience as a simultaneous interpreter to phrases used to describe different stages of alcohol intoxication in Russian. The language of some episodes appears complicated enough for the intermediate level users, yet interjections in Russian are often too short to put the podcast in the upper-intermediate group.

6. Russian with Max

This excellent podcast features all sorts of topics, from the recent State Duma elections to traveling within Russia to Covid-19 vaccination in the country. The host of the podcast goes into details, yet he does so in slow-paced and easy-to-understand Russian. As a result, listeners get a chance to discover complex Russia-related topics without fear of getting lost in unknown vocabulary. 

7. Russian Podcast

The host of this podcast resorts to teaching Russian in Russian only. No English is used here to facilitate the learning process. However, her Russian is slow-paced and easy to understand. The selection of topics is truly comprehensive, featuring over 300 episodes in total. 

Advanced

8. Comrade Foreigner

This podcast comprises a series of interviews with non-native Russian speakers by a native Russian speaker covering all sorts of topics, from why foreigners learn Russian to their experience of vaccination in the country. Some episodes feature highly unusual topics, such as, for example, ‘Foreigners and a Russian prison’. An advanced level of Russian might be required to fully grasp the rich content.

9. Very much Russian

When the basics of the language are learned, it might be time to hone your ability to use idioms, rarely used phrases and slang, so that your speech sounds distinctly Russian. The Very Much Russian podcast does just that: it goes over countless words and phrases you won’t find in your typical Russian textbook.

10. Like Pushkin

The author of this podcast claims her listeners will “build speaking muscles” in no time. She purposefully abandons rules and explanations and jumps right into monologues on different topics. The podcast is available on all major platforms and you can also support the creator on Patreon

Click here for the list of the 8 BEST podcasts about Russia.

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