1. MANGO LANGUAGES
- The app has a nice design and is easy to use
- Beginners will be able to produce useful phrases quickly
- Cultural notes are presented well
- There isn’t much content for learners beyond the beginner level
- Frequent drilling can become overly repetitive
- Grammar explanations are sometimes lacking
That said, beginners will certainly find material that’s appropriate for their level.
There just aren’t a lot of advanced learning opportunities with this course.
If you’re beyond the beginner level with Russian, Mango Languages won’t be what you’re after.
A slick and easy-to-use platform makes practice enjoyable, and the lessons build on each other in a practical order.
This is because you’ll start learning usable words and phrases right away.
Other features of the Mango Languages course are grammar and culture notes, along with drilling — lots of drilling.
If this is a course you’re interested in, be sure to check whether you can get free access through your local library.
The frequent drilling of phrases can get you to a comfortable level with them quickly, but it can also become monotonous.
- There are a lot of free courses available
- Practice is efficient with spaced repetition
- The free courses are of varying quality
- You may need to supplement your study with other resources
- The official Russian course includes videos of native speakers
There are two ways to study a language with Memrise. One is to use one of the many free, user-created vocabulary or phrase decks.
These sometimes come with images or audio, and you’ll be able to practice them efficiently with a spaced repetition system.
Beware that quality does vary from course to course.
While it does have decent official courses, Memrise is probably best used as a source of vocabulary review and for learning new words.
These are of a higher quality than the free courses and even include videos.
The other way to use Memrise is to study one of the official Memrise courses.
Learners at lower levels will get the most out of these courses.
It’s worth noting that the full, official Memrise courses are only available through the app.
The browser versions of these courses are limited.
Partial access to these official courses is available for free, but you’ll need to purchase a subscription to get full access to grammar lessons and extra features.
- It’s easy and fun to use
- It’s free
- There isn’t much in the way of in-depth instruction
- The audio isn’t very good
- You won’t get to create your own sentences
- Practice is convenient to start or stop at a moment’s notice
The activities don’t take more than a couple of minutes to complete, and they’re fun. This makes for practice that’s convenient and enjoyable. Hard to beat!
Duolingo is completely free to use and offers courses in an impressive number of languages, including Russian.
You also won’t have opportunities to practice creating your own sentences or many opportunities to practice speaking.
This is one of the most popular language-learning resources out there, and it’s no wonder why.
However, there are some limitations to studying with Duolingo.
The audio isn’t the best you’ll find, and the lessons don’t go into great detail with explanations and examples.
- The variety in exercises keeps practice interesting
- It’s easy and fun to use
- It isn’t useful for taking your skills beyond the intermediate level
- There isn’t much speaking practice
- Short exercises make for convenient practice
It’s one of the better ones, but Lingodeer is still a gamified app and can only take you so far. Especially for practice speaking and coming up with your own sentences, Lingodeer isn’t your best option.
Coupled with the app’s in-depth explanations, variety of exercises, and ample review opportunities, Lingodeer makes an appealing option for beginner learners.
While Lingodeer excels at helping beginners build a foundation in Russian, those that are seeking fluency will need to use other resources.
This app gets several things right. For one, its fun-to-use interface and activities make it one of the less intimidating, more engaging ways to get studying.
5. BEFLUENT IN RUSSIAN
- Weekly groups calls to discuss what you’re learning
- A large lesson library
- There’s no free trial
We’ll say right away that we haven’t actually had a chance to test this course.
The BeFluent course includes weekly group calls with the BeFluent team, a large lesson library, and a thorough curriculum.
If you like the videos on the BeFluent YouTube channel and are interested in a course that comes with a community feeling, this one might be worth a closer look.
The premium course includes private coaching, for a more personalized and focused experience.
We’ve checked out the BeFluent YouTube channel and were impressed with the videos, but this is our tentative rating.