I think it’s wise to invest into your education, and language learning in particular. You might have to give up a few beers or coffees every month, but that one good book, app, or online resource may easily make the difference in how fast you progress.
That doesn’t mean that there is no high quality material for Russian learners that is free, but it certainly takes quite some time to find it, and to use it properly.
To save you time, I’ve decided to share some of my favourite free resources below:
Free Russian study resources
An interactive language learning website from the news site Russia Today. The 30 comprehensive lessons include dialogues with audio, exercises, grammatical explanations, and tests. The site also contains sections on the alphabet, pronunciation, and grammar tables.
Anki uses the so-called spaced repetition system to predict when you are about to forget new words that you're learning, and remind you just before your memory fades completely. There are many SRS applications of this kind, but the active community and extensive flashcard deck library makes Anki a particularly good choice.
Memrise is an online spaced repetition vocabulary learning website. It’s not language-specific, and you’ll have to spend some time compiling a good Japanese deck (as those shared by other users tend to be lacking compared to the content available at Anki), but the interface is very pleasant to use and there’s an equally vibrant community around the website.
The golden grail of writing practice. Write anywhere from a sentence to an essay in Russian, get corrected by native speakers, help others in return. One of the first, and certainly the most successful site of this kind. Try to write regularly and take the time to understand the corrections and your Russian writing will improve in no time.
dic.academic is an incredibly extensive collection of dictionaries, encyclopaedias and reference books. You'll need basic Russian to get through the interface, but classics such as the Great Soviet Encyclopaedia, Ushakov's thesaurus, X's etymological dictionary, and phrasal dictionary are worth the effort.
Reading Russian literature online is great, but you won't get the full educational benefit unless you mark down new words as you proceeed through the storyline. Readlang makes it super easy to create your own library of texts you come across around the internet, lookup translations, highlights words based on how well you know them, and track our progress.
Once you reach the intermediate level, you'll want to look for natural native texts in the Russian language. librusek is an incredible popular online library with old Russian classics, new releases, and even translations of foreign works. The legality of the enterprise is questionable, so proceed at your own risk.
Not quite sure how to pronounce the city of Blagoveshchensk? Meeting your Russian pen-pal for the first time and struggling to read his name? Forvo is a free collection of pronunciation recordings for vocabulary of every language, recorded by volunteer native speakers around the world.
The new addition to the excellent Stack Exchange network, Russian Language and Usage is the place to ask your intermediate-advanced grammar questions. Don’t forget to do a quick search first, as much has been answered in great detail already.
The quintessential Russian resource covering every grammar-related topic imaginable, and in great detail. For every question you might have, there is a great chance that a detailed answer has already been published on Gramota.
If you’re looking for even more tools and places to learn, check out our list of 100 resources to learn Russian and if you’re ready to give up a few lattes to learn faster and easier, be sure to visit LinguaLift.