Best Apps To Learn Russian In 2021 (Tried And Tested)

  • Lara Scott
    Written byLara Scott
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Best Apps To Learn Russian In 2021 (Tried And Tested)

Looking for the best apps to learn Russian?

Whatever your intentions are - travel to Russia, business, dating or improving your Russian literacy, you can be sure there’s an app for it.

There are tons of free and paid apps that can help you master Russian incredibly quickly.

In this guide, I’ll give you an overview of the top Russian apps available. Some of these apps provide full courses for the Russian language, and other apps focus more on reading and writing Russian, or improving your Russian vocabulary.

Keep reading to discover the best apps for Russian language mastery whether you’re already familiar with the language or a complete beginner.

DISCLAIMER: The comments below are personal opinions.

The best Russian course apps

If you want to learn Russian from beginning to end like you’re taking a class, then you should select a Russian course app.

In most cases, these apps are provided by companies that also offer courses in other languages, and they vary in terms of quality and thoroughness.

Let’s examine some of the best Russian course apps on the market.

Rocket Russian

Rocket Russian

This Russian course from Rocket Languages is the most comprehensive full-course Russian language app and highest value option in this section.

Rocket Russian might be the best app to learn Russian if you want to be carefully guided through the learning process, but this app is somewhat more expensive than its competitors.

Pros/cons: Rocket Russian features impressive dialogue sections that help you prepare for speaking Russian with native speakers. This app also includes gamification features and leaderboards that inspire you to do your best. Unfortunately the Rocket Russian community/forum could be more active and they could improve the course a lot by adding video.

Pricing: Rocket Languages offers its language courses in tiers. Tier I Rocket Russian costs $99.95, Tier II costs $249.90, and Tier III costs $259.90. Rocket Russian is offered as a one-time purchase instead of as a subscription.

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See this Rocket Russian review.


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Mondly

Mondly Russian

Mondly is a unique language app that incorporates augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR) components.

While Mondly is one of the most intriguing full-course Russian apps, some of its features seem unnecessary, and this app focuses mainly on low-level language learning.

Pros/cons: You might find it easier to learn Russian with an AR teacher in your office or when you’re fully immersed in a VR cafe setting. This type of learning isn’t for everyone, however, and certain aspects of this language app, such as its chatbot, seem more gimmicky than useful.

Pricing: There is a free version of Mondly, and paid subscriptions start at $9.99 per month. You can also purchase an annual Mondly subscription for $47.99.


Babbel Russian

Babbel Russian

The Babbel app delivers high-quality Russian course content that is ideal for students who need an edge before starting an in-person Russian language course or who want to supplement traditional classroom materials.

Pros/cons: The Babbel app gives students access to content that focuses on listening, speaking, writing, and reading Russian. The software features voice-recognition technology and interactive dialogues to promote the fast acquisition of conversational skills. The Babbel app offers no opportunities to interact with teachers or other language learners to improve conversation skills in real-life scenarios. Also, its fill-in-the-blank exercise structure can be dull.

Pricing: Access to course materials through the Babbel app is subscription based. A student can sign up to learn Russian through the Babbel app for a fee of $6.95 per month when he or she signs up for a year’s worth of access.

See this Babbel review.


Pimsleur

Pimsleur Russian

The Pimsleur app is one of the best apps to learn Russian. It delivers a comprehensive Russian learning course to students using Pimsleur’s famous auditory format. Dr. Paul Pimsleur developed the Pimsleur language learning method based on the way that children learn their native languages. By doing listening exercises, Russian language learners unlock the keys to fluent speech in shorter time periods.

Pros/cons: The app works well for students who want to focus on speaking and listening comprehension. The company recently added visual content and game-like quizzes to support different learning styles. Course materials seem outmoded to some users compared to the courses that competitors offer.

Pricing: The advertised price for a subscription to Pimsleur’s Russian language learning app is $19.95 per month.

See this Pimsleur review.


RussianPod101

RussianPod101

RussianPod101 offers students thousands of podcast-style lessons that are based on students’ learning goals.

Pros/cons: Audio and video podcasts feature native Russian speakers. Watching and listening to these tutors help a lot with pronunciation. Video production quality isn’t consistent throughout the course. Newer lessons give students a better user experience; older lessons need to be redone. The course also doesn’t cover grammatical instruction well.

Pricing: There is a free version of RussianPod101 app, and there is a subscription version that ranges in price from $4 to $23 per month. The pricing is based on a 24-month subscription period.

See this RussianPod101 review.


Duolingo

Duolingo Russian

Duolingo is arguably the most well-known app for language learning, which includes Russian.

It offers a free course for the Russian language that includes hundreds of short, personalized lessons and interactive exercises. Highly addictive and fun, but a little tedious.

Pros/cons: Duolingo strives to make language learning fun and accessible to everyone. The app’s Russian language lessons are designed as games that offer challenges and rewards as one passes certain learning milestones. Contributors of the course realize that students learn differently. The app allows students to access special Duolingo features such as interactive stories, in-person events, and podcasts that help with speaking, reading, and listening comprehension.

While Duolingo app users praise the tool, they admit it won’t make a beginner fluent in Russian on its own. Also, the Duolingo app course doesn’t follow the Common European Framework of Reference (CEFR) for languages and doesn’t issue proficiency certificates.

Pricing: Free. Duolingo Plus, which is the company’s paid version of the course, costs $9.99 per month. It includes ad-free lessons and allows users to download course materials for offline use.

See this Duolingo vs Babbel comparison.


Lingodeer

Lingodeer is a grammar-based platform.

From this list of apps for learning Russian, it might be the one that most closely resembles a traditional course, because it relies on grammar explanations alongside vocabulary study to help you understand the complexities of Russian from the get-go.

Apart from that, Lingodeer offers some side tools to help you learn Russian, such as quizzes and tests, cultural stories and flashcards.

Platforms: Web, Android and iOS.

What you’ll like about it:

  • Simple design, perfect if you like a clean platform that doesn’t feel visually crowded.
  • Great option if you’re a grammar lover and enjoy understanding the structure of a language as you go, rather than just being exposed to the language.
  • Lingodeer might be better for you if you’re an absolute beginner who likes having a structured, objective explanation of how things work before you dive in, pretty much like you would in a traditional school.
  • Linear curriculum with suggested categories, which can be an advantage if you like having order and structure in your learning.

What you might not like:

  • At least for beginner lessons, some vocabulary is introduced in isolation (not in the context of a dialogue or sentence).
  • If you like learning through immersion and not having to deal with grammar explanations, Lingodeer is not for you. The very foundation of the app relies on the importance of grammar to understand a language.
  • Might be a little too easy for intermediate and advanced learners.

Pricing: $11.99 per month, $29.99 per quarter, $79.99 per year or $99.99 for lifetime access to Lingodeer.

See this Lingodeer review.


Russian literacy (reading and writing) apps

Russian course apps usually provide information on how to read and write this language, but the apps below focus specifically on literacy.

Use the apps in this section to master the art of reading and writing Russian:

Cyrillic

Pros/cons:

Pricing:


LingQ

LingQ, by Steve Kaufmann, is one of the most popular platforms for Russian learners who love reading and building up vocabulary as they discover it in context.

It is basically a library of content from all over the web which helps you learn new words through exposure to texts in Russian. You get to interact with the text and mark the words you don’t know, so you can build your own flashcards and study the vocabulary later.

Platforms: Web, Android and iOS.

What you’ll like about it:

  • LingQ is all about learning in context and leaving grammar as an afterthought, which speaks to many language learners who love learning through entertainment.
  • Ability to import your own content and automatically turn it into an interactive lesson, just like the ones already available on the app.
  • Includes content from other popular entertainment and news platforms, such as Netflix, Medium, YouTube, Quora and more.
  • Option to learn more than 19 different languages, if you’re interested in other languages apart from Russian.
  • Dictation exercises to help you improve your listening skills.
  • Browse library by level and topic.

What you might not like:

  • Content library feels a little unorganized.*
  • It can take a little while to be able to use the platform with all of its features comfortably, as there’s a lot to learn.
  • The flashcard load can become quite overwhelming after a certain point, as words keep accumulating.
  • Premium options can feel quite costly compared to similar apps.

Pricing: $12.99 per month, $107.88 per year


Brainscape

Using proven scientific cognitive research, Brainscape delivers faster learning with its flashcard-based Russian vocabulary and verb courses that users can access through its app.

Pros/cons: The Brainscape app features a learning algorithm that allows students to access progressively more challenging verb conjugation and vocabulary flashcards based on their individual proficiencies. The Brainscape app doesn’t focus on speaking Russian in real-world conversations but concentrates on grammatical instruction.

Pricing: There is a free version of Brainscape that gives students basic access to its flashcard content. A premium version of the app is $4.99 per month based on yearly billing, and one can get lifetime access to premium membership content with a one-time payment of $129.99.


Russian Grammar

The Russian Grammar app teaches Level A1 to Level C1 students about Russian grammatical structures with thousands of multiple choice exercises for each level.

Pros/cons: This app presents comprehensive Russian grammar lessons for intermediate and advanced students. The app works in tandem with Google Translate. Users found a few errors in some of the multiple choice grammar exercises.

Pricing: Students can access Russian grammar lessons on the app for free, or they can pay $1.99 for an ad-free version of the lessons.


Other decent Russian language apps

Learn Russian by Bravolol

Bravolol’s Learn Russian app instructs students about a number of common Russian words and phrases.

Pros/cons: The app features correct pronunciation by native Russian speakers and a voice playback mechanism that allows one to compare his or her word pronunciations with those of native speakers. The app works offline. The app’s content is limited to built-in phrases. There’s no way to add new phrases for practice purposes. Bravolol’s Learn Russian app also doesn’t present its phrases in sentences to show correct spelling, grammar, and punctuation.

Pricing: The basic version of the app is free but supported by ads.


Rosetta Stone

Rosetta Stone Russian

The Rosetta Stone app gives students access to one of the most comprehensive Russian language learning tools on the market.

Pros/cons: The app brings lessons to students that are based upon common themes such as business, travel, and everyday life. For a fee, students can get one-on-one tutoring with a teacher. The app’s software doesn’t support all learning styles such as kinesthetic learners.

Pricing: The price of the Rosetta Stone app ranges from $6.99 to $11.99 per month depending on the chosen subscription period. One can get lifetime access to Rosetta Stone’s Russian language learning software through its app for a one-time fee a $199.

See this Rosetta Stone review.


HelloTalk

The HelloTalk app isn’t one of those typical learn Russian apps. It’s a global language exchange app that is designed to give Russian language learners a richer experience.

Pros/cons: With this app, Russian language learners put vocabulary words into action with the help of native Russian speakers. Students get accurate pronunciation correction in real time from Russian peers who volunteer for live conversations. The app doesn’t include structured lessons or other language-learning tools. It isn’t designed to be a stand-alone language learning tool.

Pricing: The HelloTalk app is free.


Bilingua

Like HelloTalk, Bilingua connects Russian language learners to native speakers.

Pros/cons: Besides being a language exchange app, the Bilingua app includes language learning tools such as mini quizzes and games. The app also matches students to native speakers who have similar interests. Bilingua app users report technical glitches with the app.

Pricing: The Bilingua app is free.


Busuu

Busuu Russian

The Busuu app combines powerful Russian language-learning content with some of the features of language exchange apps. The app works well on its own to improve Russian language students’ proficiency. However, the Busuu app gives maximum benefit when it’s used with formal, in-person courses.

Pros/cons: The Busuu app gets Russian language learners closer to fluency with exercises that support real-life conversation and not just vocabulary recall. The Busuu app is a serious Russian language learning app that doesn’t include many entertaining games to keep students’ interests high.

Pricing: The basic version of Busuu that a Russian language learner can access through the Busuu app is free. The premium subscription comes with more content, features, and a fee.

See this Busuu review.


Russian tutoring apps

There’s no greater way to accelerate your Russian than by speaking regularly.

Whether you’re looking for formal classes or just an instant-message “pen pal,” there are some good apps out there that hook you up with native Russian speakers.

Check out the following apps if you’d rather hone your Russian language skills through conversation:

Speechling

Speechling Russian

The Speechling app begins Russian language learning with sentence repetition but encourages more freestyle conversation as lessons progress.

Pros/cons: The app allows students to use Russian vocabulary and grammatical instruction to creatively string together sentences to describe actions in flashcard-style pictures. Students have the option to record verbal answers and get feedback from native Russian speakers. The Speechling app is not for beginners, and it’s best used with other Russian language learning tools such as a translation dictionary.

Pricing: The basic Speechling app is free. It comes with at least 15 hours of feedback for recorded speech.

Read our Speechling review.


italki

italki Russian

The italki app brings Russian language immersion to students’ doorsteps. The app allows students to take lessons from Russian teachers and converse with Russian language tutors to improve conversation skills.

Pros/cons: The italki Russian app offers students a convenient and effective path to fluency using video lessons with live Russian teachers and tutors. This app is one of the pricier options for Russian language learners.

Pricing: Students pay per lesson. Rates generally start at $10 per lesson but vary by instructor.

See this italki review.


Apps to learn Russian vocabulary apps

Whether you already have a rudimentary grasp of Russian or you only need to know a few words in this language to get by, Russian vocabulary apps can help you increase the number of Russian words you know without any conversations or coursework.

Use the following apps to brush up on basic Russian phrases and impress your friends with your basic multilingual knowledge:

Memrise

Memrise Russian

Memrise ranks as one of the best apps to learn Russian vocabulary quickly and effectively. It goes beyond flashcards and delivers challenging quizzes that make Russian language learning interesting.

Pros/cons: The Memrise app gives students access to pre-built vocabulary lessons and allows them to publish their own lessons. The Memrise app is a study aid only and won’t likely make students fluent with solo use. Also, user-generated content varies in quality.

Pricing: The basic version of the Memrise app is free. However, there is a paid premium version that offers more content and features. The prices are $8.99 per month, $7.50 per month for an annual subscription contract, and a one-time fee of $139.99 for lifetime access.

See this Memrise vs Duolingo comparison.


AccelaStudy App

Few learn Russian apps claim to prepare students for proficiency exams. The AccelaStudy app is one of them. The app includes study sets that focus on specific groupings of vocabulary words for language mastery.

Pros/cons: The app allows students to make their own study sets for a personalized learning experience. The app comes with progress tracking, and results are kept in cloud storage. Some of the best apps for learning Russian are based on cognitive research. The AccelaStudy app employs the spaced repetition learning technique in its course materials. This app is only offered on Apple devices.

Pricing: The basic version of the AccelaStudy app is free. A paid premium version of the app contains more content and features.


MosaLingua

MosaLingua is a Russian language learning app that uses the spaced repetition method in flashcard-based lessons. The lessons feature single vocabulary terms or more advanced phrases. Vocabulary terms and phrases are organized under categories such as tourism, hobbies, transportation, and shopping.

Pros/cons: Besides allowing students to create their own flashcards, the MosaLingua app comes with an extensive collection of Russian terms and phrases. Lessons are delivered in audio, video, and textual formats. MosaLingua app is ad free. The MosaLingua app locks students into the spaced repetition learning method. If a student wanted to study the vocabulary terms in a certain category more extensively in preparation for a trip, he or she wouldn’t be able to override the app’s programmed study schedule.

Pricing: The price of accessing MosaLingua Russian language learning software through its app is $4.99. This is a one-time payment that delivers lifetime access.

See this MosaLingua review.


Anki

Anki’s a flashcard app that has earned a great reputation with Russian language learners. The app allows students access to millions of Russian vocabulary terms and popular phrases. It features a high-efficiency learning algorithm that detects proficiency by how fast students respond to the flashcards and shuffles the flashcards accordingly.

Pros/cons: The Anki app allows students to generate their own flashcards. They can add image and audio files to make the flashcards more effective. Some users claim that navigating Anki isn’t as easy and intuitive as competitor apps. Also, Anki has so many features that a Russian language learner can use it without really getting the full benefit of the tool.

Pricing: The Anki app is free for Android users. Apple users must pay a one-time $24.99 fee.


How to choose the best apps for learning Russian

Finding the best Russian app is really going to depend on what your circumstances are.

If you just want to learn enough Russian to order a coffee, then a basic vocabulary app might be all you need.

However, if you’re a serious student of the language, you’ll need to choose an app for Russian that fully prepares you for speaking, reading, and writing. To start with, I suggest picking a free app that provides a basic overview of the Russian language and essential phrases.

From there, you can consider investing in a full paid Russian course that will help you develop a firm grasp of Russian (we researched the best ones here).

An app isn’t going to make you a Russian expert overnight, but each of the apps I’ve shared here can bring you that much closer.


Know of an app for learning Russian that I didn’t mention?

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Donovan Nagel
Donovan Nagel - B. Th, MA AppLing
I'm an Applied Linguistics graduate, teacher and translator with a passion for language learning (especially Arabic).
Currently learning: Greek
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