Russian Video Blog’s list of resources for learning Russian.
The problem with most link pages (i.e. lists of websites deemed useful by someone) is that there’s usually FAR TOO MANY listed. When I ask the waiter at a French restaurant what he’d recommend, I don’t want him to read every single choice off the menu. Instead, I want his expert opinion on that small percentage of his establishment’s fare that is of the highest quality. It’s a problem endemic to the whole internet: Too much information is no better than not enough. In any case, here’s my expert opinion on that small percentage of Russian related websites that are worth the time.
Please note that they are all for at least intermediate-level students.
National Capital Language Resource Center:
This site is an incredible resource. First, it has Russian speakers reading news stories in slightly simpified speech. That alone makes it a valuable resource for learning Russian. But they also provide transcripts AND an explanation of words that are likely new to an intermediate student. Here’s how best to use this resource: First off, go straight to listening. Do NOT read a word about the newscast you’re about to listen to. Then, listen to it straight through to get the gist. Then, listen to it a second time and transcribe the whole thing, or at the very least, the parts you don’t understand. The process of transcription is not to be underestimated as a tool for mastering a language.
A Taste of Russian Podcast
These guys, Sergei and Alexsei put out great podcasts. As with the NCLRC site, they are completely transcribed in English. The new words are bolded, and then explained at length in the remainder of the podcast. The lexicon is hip and up-to-date. And they’re very approachable. Write them a question, and they’ll find the time to answer, and perhaps even do a podcast based on your request.
UCLA Business Russian:
Good, clean Russian. Here, the speaker brings up a business term and then discusses its meaning and application in Russian business structure. The podcasts are all in Russian. I didn’t transcribe these, but as I listen, I make sure I catch every word, even if I don’t know the meaning. That’s another vital part of mastering a language: You must learn to recognize words, not necessarily understand them (you can always stop the person you’re speaking with and say, “Oops, I’m sorry. What does ‘невыносимыйэ mean?”)
Golosa: George Washinton University
Great videos, shot on location, supplemented by a highlight of new words. True, the videos are NOT transcribed, but that’s the fun: You must listen, sometimes numerous times, to catch everything. Meanwhile, you’re seeing people’s homes and work and how they relax, etc.Culturally enlightening and linguistically indispensable!
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