Russian Basics: Resources For Language Learners

Everything we’ve ever written about Russian, all in one place.
A woman in a tank top sitting on her couch and learning the Russian basics

The internet has made learning a language like Russian much easier. While it may have been hard to find resources for the language before, now you have a whole world of them at your fingertips. But that sets up a whole new problem: Where do you start? Enter the Russian Basics Hub! We took all of our articles about Russian and put them all in one place, which should make your life a little easier.

This article is roughly organized around what your language journey might be like. It starts with basic vocab, grammar and pronunciation tips, and gets more complicated as it goes along. Toward the end, there are quizzes and Russian fun facts that you can mix in at any time.

You might just be starting out, or you might be looking for some supplementary material to make the leap from intermediate to advanced. No matter your goals, you should be able to find something to help you out here!


There are about 200,000 words in the Russian language, compared to more than one million in English. This means that there are more words in Russian with more than one meaning. Start learning today with our award-winning Russian courses at the link in bio 🔗 #learnrussian #russiangrammar #etymology #nerdy #russianfacts #learningrussian #russianteacher #learnrussianonline #bilingual #polyglot #multilingual #babbel

♬ original sound – Babbel

Basic Russian Words And Phrases

When you’re learning a new language, it’s always good to start with “hello.” Here are our guides to the Russian fundamentals (and how to swear in Russian, because that’s also important).

How To Say Hello
Learn the most useful ways to say hello in Russian — whether you’re greeting someone formally, informally or on the other side of the country!

How To Say Goodbye
Here are a few different ways to say goodbye in Russian, depending on how well you know the person and when you may expect to see them again.

How To Address People
When do you say Вы versus ты, and what’s the deal with the patronymic? A Russian native speaker explains.

How To Apologize
More often than not, a quick “excuse me” is the polite and expected choice, but as with most things, it all depends on the context.

Conjugating Verbs In Russian
You, too, can become a master of Russian verbs. But first, you’ll have to get really clear on the ground rules.

How To Insult Someone
If you like your Russian with a bit of spice, keep reading.

How To Compliment Someone
Gift-giving is a big love language in Russian culture, but words of affirmation still matter.

How To Ask Someone Out
No matter who’s doing the wooing, overtures are appreciated, and gifts are a primo love language for Russians.

The 15 Most Common Russian Verbs (And How To Use Them)
What are the 15 most common verbs in Russian and how are they conjugated? Here’s a handy introduction for beginners!

Useful Russian Proverbs For The Cold Season
Get through winter like a Russian — with the best Russian expressions about winter and cold weather.

31 Phrases You’ll Need On Your Russian Vacation
Whether you’re starting your journey or just want a few Russian sentences in your back pocket, this cheat sheet is a great place to start.

General Tips For Learning Russian

If you’re early on in your Russian language journey, these articles will point you in the right direction. If you’re further along but running into trouble, they just might help you make the next leap forward.

5 Very Good, Very Specific Tips To Learn Russian
Why is a Russian “o” sometimes pronounced like “a,” how do you roll a Russian “r” and which false friends should you look out for? Here are our best tips to learn Russian!

How To Learn The Cyrillic Alphabet In Only 2 Days
The Cyrillic alphabet can seem intimidating, but don’t be fooled. It only has 33 letters — just 7 more than the Latin alphabet! Here’s how you can learn the Cyrillic alphabet in only 2 days.

6 Russian Words You’ll Struggle To Pronounce
Challenge number one: make it past ‘hello.’

Russian Numbers

Learning Russian could be as easy as “1, 2, 3,” but first you have to learn how to count in Russian. And once you get those numbers down, you’ll want to learn how they’re used.

How To Count To 100
Counting in Russian isn’t all that hard. Plus, it’s pretty much the only way to defend yourself against the wrong amount of vodka shots.

How To Write The Date
Drilling your Russian verbs and vocab? Sooner or later, you’re gonna have to learn how to write the date in Russian, too.

How To Tell The Time
Telling time in Russian is kind of complicated. But learning to do so will open you up to a world full of possibilities. Punctual possibilities.

Russian Vocabulary Lists

When you’re learning a language, grammar gets a lot of attention. But bulking up your vocabulary is important for learning the Russian basics too. Here are vocab lists with pronunciation guides, separated by category.

Russian Animal Vocab
You may know about Russian bears, but do you know how to say ‘bears’ in Russian?

Russian Color Vocab
Roses are красные, violets are синие, our guide to colors in Russian makes learning easier! Find out about all the colors in the радуга (rainbow).

Russian Food And Drink Vocab
Ready to get your borscht on?

Russian Weather Vocab
Whether you’re checking the forecast for Moscow or need to make small talk with a Russian, here’s a guide to Russian weather vocab to get you started!

Russian Free Time Vocab
Whether you’re hitting the gym or the local museums, make sure you know how to tell other people about it.

Russian Transportation Vocab
Whether you’re traveling across the country on the Trans-Siberian Express or just looking for local directions, you’ll need this Russian travel vocab.

Russian Emotions Vocab
What do you do with the mad that you feel? Talk about it!

Russian Tech Vocab
Russian is the second most-used language online. And if you have any interest in exploring this content, it’ll be useful to learn internet vocab.

Russian Body Parts Vocab
Don’t you want to be able to tell someone you’ve got a headache after listening to them talk, or that you used to have a nose ring in your youth?

Russian Family Vocab
Respecting your elders is key in Russian society, and you’ll probably want to learn the vocabulary terms to talk about other members of the family.

Russian Home Vocab
Home is where the heart is. And usually, there’s a bunch of other stuff there, too.

Russian Clothes Vocab
Russia’s cold, so you’ll need to bundle up with this clothing vocab.

Russian Movies, Books And Other Media

When you’re looking for ways to supplement the Russian basics, you’ll want to look at all the media there is out there. Here are our recommendations, chosen by Russian language experts.

Russian Films To Watch
Here are seven amazing Russian movies to watch that you will enjoy at a beginner or intermediate Russian level.

Russian TV Shows To Steam
Despite their names, neither Russian Doll nor Chernobyl are actually in Russian. So here’s a guide to shows that you can actually learn with.

Russian Books To Read
There’s more where the Pushkin and Doctor Zhivago came from. Here are five Babbel-recommended Russian books for students of every level.

Russian Podcasts To Listen To
Whether you’re just starting out or well on your way to knowing the language, there’s a Russian podcast here for you.

Russian Quizzes And Other Fun Stuff

Take a break from your lessons by doing something a little more fun! Test yourself with one of our quizzes or learn about some of the sillier aspects of Russian.

Quiz: Do You Know The Days Of The Week In Russian?
How well do you know your Russian weekdays? Take this quiz to test your knowledge!

Quiz: Do You Know The Colors In Russian?
Think you know all the Russian colors in the радуга (rainbow)? Take our Russian colors quiz to see how your knowledge stacks up.

Quiz: How Much Do You Know About Russian?
You might know the Russian basics, but how knowledgeable are you about the Russian language itself? Answer these trivia questions to find out.

True Or False: Can You Separate Fact From Fiction When It Comes To Russia?
Untrue stereotype, or little-known fact? See if you can guess correctly when it comes to these five little factoids about Russia.

How To Host The Perfect Russian Dinner Party
Vodka can’t carry this one alone, so you better come prepared with plenty of hearty Russian food too.

4 Russian Words That Don’t Mean What You Think They Do
These aren’t your typical loan words. Here are a few words and phrases inspired by foreign languages (but with totally different meanings in Russian).

16 Colorful Idioms That’ll Sell You On The Russian Language
In Mother Russia, wacky idiom eat you. Here are some funny Russian phrases for current and would-be language learners.

6 Struggles Russian Learners Understand All Too Well
To pronounce the ы sound correctly, all you have to do is sound like you’re getting punched in the gut.

Miscellaneous Russian Facts

There’s more to the language than just being able to understand the Russian basics. Learn about the countries and cultures that make up Russian.

How Many People Speak Russian, And Where Is It Spoken?
From Moscow to Moldova, we take a look at just how many people speak Russian in the world.

Everything You Ever Wanted To Know About Russian, Answered
Why do Russians drink so much vodka?

Top Russian-Speaking Countries To Visit That Aren’t Russia
You don’t have to go to Moscow to practice your Russian in a photo-worthy setting.

How Hard Is It To Learn Russian?
Here’s the lowdown on how hard it is to learn Russian.

A Culinary Tour Of Russia
Russian cuisine is based around all the exciting traditions of this huge country. Here we’ll introduce you to all sorts of typical and delicious Russian dishes.

10 Reasons Why You Should Be Learning Russian
Yes, Russia is a top travel and sports destination, and it’s the most spoken language in Europe, but why should you be learning Russian today?

If You Speak Russian, Can You Understand Ukrainian?
How Similar Are Russian And Ukrainian? If I put hundreds of hours into learning Russian, will it pay off in other Slavic languages like Ukrainian?

Want to learn more Russian?
Try Babbel