The Mezzofanti Guild Language Learning Made Simple

Review Of Russian Short Stories For Beginners (By Olly Richards)

I was just sent a copy of Russian Short Stories For Beginners by Olly Richards as part of a newly-announced collaboration with Teach Yourself.

The original book and its series has been out for quite a while now (and seems to be quite popular) but is now available as a part of the TY inventory with some enhancements and a brand new addition to the series.

Olly asked me to give a short reading on camera from an excerpt in the book so here’s the video.

(Not really a “review” but close enough). 🙂

This is part of a “reading festival” where other YouTubers and bloggers are reading from various books in the series to help promote the new collaboration.

And of course to promote reading.

My Russian literacy skills are pretty lackluster as you can see in the video (and rusty Russian having not had a chance to use it for a while) but this was fun anyway and should give you an idea of the level of the stories.


Russian high-frequency terms and vowel stress

One thing I alluded to in the video is that the emphasized vowel stress is incredibly useful.

As a learner of Russian, you’ll find that it’s not always clear which vowel should be stressed when reading. I found this feature to be the most impressive in the book.

Along with the enhancements made by Teach Yourself, the book also focuses on high-frequency terms in Russian and of the chapter I read, there’s a good level of repetition of the story’s theme vocabulary which helps with memorization.

The stories are at a good level – not too easy, not too difficult – but I would not recommend it for an absolute beginner.

As the back of the book states, high beginner to lower intermediate learners are the target audience.


The best book for beginner level Russian reading?

Overall I think it’s an excellent little supplemental resource to add to your collection.

You can order a copy of this book or any other in the series right here.

Used these books before?

Comment below and let me know what you thought!


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