Sussex Centre for Language Studies

Russian language links

If you're at the University of Sussex and interested in Russian, please take a look at the Russian Society pages.

Learning resources

  • Russian Language Learning - a literature-based online course designed at Sussex to complement Literature and History options within Russian Studies here. For each author there are biographical details and a text for study with vocabulary hints, a stressed version of the text with audio, English translation, exercises, grammar, historical background, a critical essay and video dialogues about the author.
  • Interactive Russian Reference Grammar - a comprehensive and well-presented guide, courtesy of Robert Beard. I particularly like the approach to the Cyrillic alphabet. Introduction to Russian also guides you easily through learning the Russian alphabet, picking up useful vocabulary along the way - this one includes audio.
  • Master Russian - plenty for the novice and advanced students of Russian; from language lessons to web cams, dictionaries to pen pals, alphabet to crosswords, grammar to Tolstoy.
  • Russnet is a large online Russian language learning and teaching network which includes several high quality language modules (e.g. Business Russian or a Cultural Map of Russia). It's a project of the American Council of Teachers of Russian so there is provision for teachers to maintain dedicated virtual classroom space and to make assignments for use in conjunction with the modules, plus plenty more of interest to teachers (materials, jobs, professional bodies, assessment tools etc.)
  • Ruslan have a well-designed interactive online version of their beginners' course (as well as books and audio) for learners of Russian. The site also includes listings of where to study Russian in the UK.
  • Time to Speak Russian is an endearing little course based around stop-motion animation, full of sound and images (funded by Russkiy Mir).
  • Only4Russian channel on YouTube collects videos for Russian learners. 
  • Various blogs aim at higher-level learners - try Everyday RussianОчень по-русскиRussificate or Transparent Language's Russian blog.
  • Russian Language Mentor - extensive site from the US military for intermediate to advanced students. Loads of reading and listening comprehensions, grammar review (ask your own questions) and sections on cultural and scientific literacy sit alongside crossword puzzles and linguistic oddities. Constant reminders of its origin apart, there's a lot of useful material here, all presented in a surprisingly light-hearted way.
  • Russian Language Program at Cornell University has some pioneering online multimedia materials, such as Beginning Russian through Film and Dictionary of the Human Body.
  • The CEELBAS Language Repository has open-access teaching and self-study materials for languages of Central and Eastern Europe and Russia, some specifically aimed at social sciences/humanities researchers. Languages include Bulgarian, Croatian, Czech, Estonian, Finnish, Georgian, Hungarian, Polish, Romanian, Russian, Serbian, Slovak and Ukrainian

  • and Russkaia virtualnaia biblioteka have lots of classic 19th and 20th century literature.
  • Poetry Reader for Russian Learners from Yale is an anthology of great Russian poems, from Pushkin and Lermontov to Mayakovsky. The poems are glossed and accompanied by audio files and supplementary materials on vocabulary and grammar.
  • From the Ends to the Beginning is a bilingual anthology of Russian poetry, many with audio readings.
  • - portal for the Russian language with a great deal of advanced content including a selection of specialist dictionaries and a free reference service where you can ask questions. The site isn't aimed at foreign students, so it's all in Russian.
  • S azov (Russian from Scratch) is a communicative ab initio Russian language textbook developed at the University of Wolverhampton, available as PDF files plus interactive tests on each chapter.
  • Decoding the 1920s is a free reader for advanced learners of Russian, focusing in real detail on the language of Bulgakov, Babel, Ilf & Petrov, Platonov, Zoshchenko, etc 
  • Multitran is an interesting translation dictionary which allows phrase searches, and can disregard morphology. It contains over 2m entries for more than 20 subjects, and also has a good list of subject-specific dictionaries.
  • Russian Grammatical Dictionary (Duke University) gives full paradigms for all entries, including recordings of each word form by a native speaker of Russian. 
  • Mainly for teachers:
    • Russian Teachers' Group for UK teachers to help one another.
    • MAPRYAL, the International Association of Teachers of Russian Language and Literature.
    • Teach Russian is an online resource centre for teachers of Russian as a foreign language, comprising lots of  freely downloadable materials such as class worksheets.

News & media on-line

  • Mosfilm has made a lot of their films from the 1920s onwards available to watch online for free, many with English subtitles, many great classics! Lenfilm have also put many of theirs on YouTube (unsubtitled, I think).
  • Russian Film Hub acts as a catlogue of hundreds of Russian and Soviet movies with English subtitles which can be watched for free.
  • Stage Russia films productions from renowned Russian theatre companies and distributes them in HD into cinemas (including Uckfield Picture House locally!), but also online via Kanopy, which the University of Sussex subscribes to. Includes contemporary productions of many classics such as Chekhov and Pushkin.
  • RTR Planeta is the Russian television channel available in the Language Learning Centre here - there are programme schedules online. Channel One can also be received free in the UK via satellite.
  • Russian News Online shows many publications' current headlines on one web page.
  • Ekho Moskvy - a Moscow radio station widely seen as a source for unbiased reporting.
  • Gazeta.Ru offers news in a digestible format, and plenty of other journals.
  • BBC Russian - news stories and broadcasts.
  • Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty includes news in English and Russian (as
  • TASS - the famous Russian news agency provides breaking news in English and Russian.
  • The Moscow Times - Russian news in English.
  • Zhurnal'nyi zal hosts over a dozen literary magazines and journals, including Inostrannaya literatura, which carries literature reviews and translations of foreign literature.
  • Ogonyok could be described as the Russian equivalent of Time magazine.


  • Museums of Russia - tour through Russian museums, culture and art.
  • A taste of Russia - guided tour.
  • Far from Moscow is a weekly bilingual podcast dedicated to new music from Russia, courtesy of David MacFadyen, Professor of Slavic Languages and Literatures at UCLA. Very Californian, and there's some great stuff in there.
  • MOCT is a 'bridge between Britain and Russia', with information and links on Russian education, culture and charities in Britain.

Trouble with Cyrillic?

Most of these websites use Cyrillic - your computer should cope fine (including computers on campus), but if not, consult the concise guide at Stanwardine, or read through Russify Everything. There's even an online typer, but you may want to buy keytop stickers such as those made by Latkey.

  • Paul Gorodyansky maintains in-depth information about using Cyrillic in non-Russian versions of Windows (mostly).
  • IM Translator (@PROMT Online) does a pretty good job instantly translating web pages or short texts between Russian and English, also offering an online Russian keyboard and decoding.
  • Automatic Cyrillic Converter can transliterate a web page or text into Latin script as well as converting between encodings. Here's another.