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Archive for the 'Success Stories' Category

How to Start Thinking in Russian

Learn 4 tools and techniques to stop translating in your head and start thinking in Russian

Going through Russian lessons is enough to get by and learn the basics of Russian, but to truly become fluent you need to be able to think in Russian. This will allow you to have conversations with ease, read smoothly, and comprehensively understand natives. To do this, you need to go beyond just completing daily or weekly lessons.

We naturally translate in our heads because it’s viewed as the easiest way to learn the definitions needed when learning a language. This way of learning can actually hinder your skills and fluency later on. If your brain has to make neural connections between the word you’re learning, what it means in your native tongue, and the physical object the connection will not be nearly as strong. When you bypass the original translation between Russian and your native language then there is a more basic and strong connection between just the Russian vocabulary word and the tangible object.

start thinking in Russian

In this blog post, you will learn the 4 important techniques to easily and naturally begin to speculate about the daily occurrences in your life. The best part is all of these techniques are supported and can be achieved through

Create Your Free Lifetime Account and Start Learning the whole Russian Language from the Beginning!

1. Surround yourself with Russian

Surround Yourself

By surrounding yourself with Russian constantly you will completely immerse yourself in the language. Without realizing it you’ll be learning pronunciation, sentence structures, grammar, and new vocabulary. You can play music in the background while you’re cooking or have a Russian radio station on while you study. Immersion is a key factor with this learning process because it is one of the easiest things to do, but very effective. Even if you are not giving the program your full attention you will be learning.

One great feature of is the endless podcasts that are available to you. You can even download and listen to them on the go. These podcasts are interesting and are perfect for the intention of immersion, they are easy to listen to as background noise and are interesting enough to give your full attention. Many of them contain stories that you follow as you go through the lessons which push you to keep going.

2. Learn through observation
learn through observation

Learning through observation is the most natural way to learn. Observation is how we all learned our native languages as infants and it’s a wonder why we stop learning this way. If you have patience and learn through observation then Russian words will have their own meanings rather than meanings in reference to your native language. Ideally, you should skip the bilingual dictionary and just buy a dictionary in Russian. also offers the materials to learn this way. We have numerous video lessons which present situational usage of each word or phrase instead of just a direct translation. This holds true for many of our videos and how we teach Russian.

3. Speak out loud to yourself
talk to yourself

Speaking to yourself in Russian not only gets you in the mindset of Russian, but also makes you listen to how you speak. It forces you to correct any errors with pronunciation and makes it easy to spot grammar mistakes. When you speak out loud talk about what you did that day and what you plan to do the next day. Your goal is to be the most comfortable speaking out loud and to easily create sentences. Once you feel comfortable talking to yourself start consciously thinking in your head about your daily activities and what is going on around you throughout the day.

With you start speaking right away, not only this, but they have you repeat words and conversations after a native Russian speaker. This makes your pronunciation very accurate! With this help, you are on the fast path to making clear and complex sentences and then actively thinking about your day.

4. Practice daily

If you don’t practice daily then your progress will be greatly slowed. Many people are tempted to take the 20-30 minutes they should be practicing a day and practice 120 in one day and skip the other days. This isn’t nearly as effective because everyday you practice you are reinforcing the skills and knowledge you have learned. If you practice all in one day you don’t retain the information because the brain can realistically only focus for 30 minutes at most. If you’re studying for 120 minutes on the same subject little of the information will be absorbed. Studying everyday allows you to review material that you went over previous days and absorb a small amount of information at a time.

It’s tough to find motivation to study everyday, but can help. It’s easy to stay motivated with because we give you a set learning path, with this path we show how much progress you’ve made. This makes you stick to your goals and keep going!


Following the steps and having patience is the hardest part to achieving your goals, it’s not easy learning a new language. You are essentially teaching your brain to categorize the world in a completely new way. Stick with it and you can do it just remember the 4 tools I taught you today! With them, conversations, reading, and understanding will become much easier. The most important thing to remember is to use the tools that provides and you will be on your way to being fluent!

Learn Russian With RussianPod101 Today!

5 Tips To Motivate Yourself While Learning A Second Language

5 Tips to Motivate Yourself

1. Schedule your time.

One of the most important factors in keeping your motivation up is developing it into a habit. Whether it be 20 minutes or 3 hours, schedule time to study every day and stick to it. Regular exposure solidifies what you learn and keeps you progressing. To make sure you stick to your routine, a great idea is to build a schedule for your day and decide that every day/Monday/weekend, you study from 6pm to 8pm. Just remember that 30 minutes a day, every day, is better than a binge 8-hour study session at the end of the week (though it’s obviously better than nothing).

2. Learn a word a day with our great Word of the Day learning tool.

Trying to learn everything at once and getting overwhelmed by the sheer number of words in your new language is not a good idea. Sometimes, even if you do learn new words, you forget them quickly because you haven’t heard them enough in context. As mentioned above, daily exposure to new words is an important factor in solidifying your target language. Our Word of the Day tool delivers you daily words and phrases, shows you how to pronounce them and use them in different contexts. Since you can get the WOTD via email, Facebook, or Twitter, this is a passive way of learning a language that fits into your existing daily social media routine. It only takes 3 minutes to review a word and practice its pronunciation, so you can do it on the way to work, in the gym, or even before you go to bed.

Click here to get the Russian Word of the Day for FREE!

3. Make friends!

Make friends!

If there’s a community of people who speak the language you want to learn in your city, start attending those events! Friendship is the easiest way to get comfortable with the slang, intonation, and mannerisms of a new language. The key to learning any language is speaking a lot, so try to find a native speaker who can be your conversation partner. Having friends that speak your target language means that you will find yourself in situations where you have no choice but to speak that language. But since they are your friends, you will be doing things you enjoy with them. So these situations will probably have little or no stress. These friendships will also mean that you have someone you can ask about language, culture, and so on.

4. Take a break!

Break time

If you’re having an off day or if your brain is already tired of studying, see if you can take a break and do something fun AND useful. Comic books, illustrated stories, and cartoons are a fun way to keep learning while reducing the target language text load for weary eyes. Plus, the images help you plant lasting seeds of memory, as researchers say humor opens up cognitive doors. This is a way to keep the target language active in your brain without the strain of studying a textbook.

Don’t get stuck with the same content though. When things start to bore you, move on. Change up your books, movies, anime, music, dramas, and so on when they start getting old.

5. Don’t give up!

As with any goal, there are going to be pitfalls along the way. You’d have to be incredibly determined to never have an off-day or consider giving up. And when you do it’s ok, but the important thing is to pick yourself up after this temporary setback and keep going. Knowing you’ve overcome a few obstacles is only going to make the moment you have your first conversation in another language that much sweeter. Like the Russian proverb says, ‘Fall down seven times, stand up eight.’

If you need more motivation, check out this list of the Top 10 Inspirational Quotes in Russian.

5 Benefits of Learning a New Language

5 Benefits of Learning a New Language

“To have another language is to possess a second soul.” – Charlemagne

Learning a new language is an achievement anyone can be proud of and it’s exciting and beneficial at all ages. It offers many practical, intellectual and aspirational benefits. A wave of new research shows the incredible psychological benefits of learning a second language. These benefits extend far beyond being able to order a cup of coffee abroad or ask directions to your hotel.

1. Learning a Foreign Language Boosts Brain Power

Medical studies have shown the positive effect learning a second language has on the brain. A foreign language is a whole new system with distinct rules, etymology, and meaning, which are just a few of the complexities of a language. Learning a new one puts the brain to work by recognizing this new language structure. As the brain works out meaning and makes full use of this new arsenal to express ideas, it sharpens its reading, negotiation, and problem-solving skills. The fact is, language centers in the brain actually grow in the process of learning a second language.

Boost your brain power!

2. Stave off Alzheimer’s and Dementia

Knowing a second language can postpone the onset of dementia and Alzheimer’s by 4.5 years. This is significantly better than the best Alzheimer’s drugs, which can only delay symptoms by 6-12 months. Brain scans have found a noticeable difference in the brain activity of bilingual seniors. Their brains work much more efficiently, more like those of young adults. Scientists believe these seniors’ brains have more reserve brain power that helps compensate for age-related memory loss.

Click here to learn how to introduce yourself in Russian!

Want to learn how to introduce yourself in Russian?
Click here to check out this FREE Russian video!

3. Improved First Language

As we go about our everyday lives, we rarely give a second thought to our own grammatical structure and vocabulary. However, when learning a new language, many people find they have a greater understanding of their first language. Learning a foreign language draws your focus to the mechanics of language: grammar, conjugations, and sentence structure. This makes you more aware of language, and the ways it can be structured and manipulated. These skills can make you a more effective communicator and a sharper editor and writer.

4. Boost Your Memory

We know that people who speak more than one language fluently have better memories and are more cognitively creative and mentally flexible than people who are monolingual. The more the brain is used, the better its functions work. Learning a new language structure entails becoming familiar with vocabulary and rules, and applying this memorized information to communication. This strengthens your memory because your brain’s ability to associate information with mnemonics has been boosted, and it is better at retaining information.

5. Improve Understanding of the World

A language is a doorway to a particular culture. Learning a new language enables a person to have a broader understanding of that culture. You will have access to a whole new array of film, music, and literature, and a greater understanding of the history and culture of the nation – and ultimately, a better understanding of the way the world works, including politics and international relations. You will be able to connect through books, TV, and the Internet and converse with a whole country’s worth of people, which broadens your horizons, interests, and views. A whole new world will be open to you.

Click here to learn new and unique Russian vocabulary and phrases with FREE Vocabulary Lists!

Open up to a while new world.

Ministering in Russian

We have a great and inspiring story Charles Fuller, a minister. His goal for studying Russian is to be able to eventually share the message of his religion in Russian.


“Здравствуйте! Меня зовут Чарльза Фаллера.


Avid Listener of RussianPod101!I am a minister, currently in seminary, preparing for the pastorate. I started trying to Russian last fall, when I began to feel led to go to Russia to share the love of God. I had seriously considered purchasing a well known brand of language software, but it is very expensive and I have very little money. I looked at and listened to several of the different podcasts that are available. Some are better than others. Russianpod 101 is, by far the best. 


While I certainly have much to learn, I hope to be ready by Summer! With access to the pdf’s I will certainly gain much more, much faster. As a result, I have been watching Russian news (HTB) podcasts and have been able to understand much more than I ever would have imagined.


Thank you, Russianpod 101, for the wonderful learning opportunity!”


Thank you for sharing that Charles!  Try your hardest until you reach your goal!


What are everyone else’s goals for studying Russian?  Share it below in the comments section or e-mail us, with the subject line, Mail Bag.

Mail Bag Contest Winner

 Добрый день!

Welcome to the new section of our blog, The Mail Bag.  This is where we’ll share stories from our listeners in the endeavors with Russian.   We hope stories from fellow students can help motivate and inspire you to begin learning Russian or give you that extra needed push and renewed sense of strength when you think it’s impossible to get become more proficient!

This week we’d like to introduce you to Gill Brown, from .  Gill had this to say about her studies:

Gill, avid listener of RussianPod101!“I started learning Russian for fun in January 2008 when I purchased my first IPOD!  A friend had downloaded a very easy Russian course which came as a podcast which was basically 3 minutes a week.  I thought it would be fun to try out these podcasts and found them a bit of a novelty with a new IPOD.  I generally have an interest in language learning and try to learn some foreign words when I travel to a new country,  but only very basics.  I found that I was very quickly learning the basics of Russian and completed this 10-week course easily, leaving me wanting to learn more.  So much so that when it finished, I really missed it!

A few months after I started learning Russian, I was on holiday whereby the language was written in Cyrillic.  I surprised myself by being able to read street signs!  Although Russian was not the language, the initial course and my speedily-growing enthusiasm and interest in Russian certainly helped me out!

I continued with my quest to learn Russian and was given extra motivation by the fact that I would be visiting Russia in the middle of 2009.  Library books were now my main source of information as well as listening to Russian and Russian songs to try and pick up words as well as various other podcasts.

In around July 2008, I discovered by accident when I was searching within ITunes for more Russian courses.  I download the first course and started to listen – I was immediately addicted.  The best feature of RussianPod101 is the fact that it is mainly audio.  I am a very busy person and find I have little time to sit down and study, whereas I listen the weekly podcasts “on the go”.

The feature of RussianPod101 which helps me the most is the Review Track.  I usually play this track on repeat mode because the repetition of words helps me to memorize the best.  When I am travelling to work on public transport or even when I am in the kitchen, I can continue to learn.  The repetition of the words is fantastic and to have the vocabulary singled out into one track means that I can then go back to the conversation track and fully understand it.  I also find the forum immensely helpful and regular post questions and messages there.

I really enjoy the two presenters, Anna and Erik.  They are perfect!  They are very clear in their speech and make the lessons so much fun. Their personal experiences are brought into the weekly lessons along with their cultural insights.  I thoroughly enjoy the humour.  My favourite was Erik singing a couple of weeks ago.  Their voices are so distinctive, I find that when I am trying to remember words away from the podcasts, I remember the words in either Anna or Erik’s voices which really helps me to get the pronunciation right!  The fact that Anna from Uzbekistan  speaks another language so well – English – and that motivates me to learn a foreign language as well as her.
The supplement to these courses, Survival Phrases is also fantastic.  I wish it would start up again.  I am now so confident that, when I visit Russia, I will be able to communicate very easily with so many travel language basics.

My only criticism – I wish the lessons were more often.  A week is a long time to wait for episode of my favorite podcast!”

This is an ongoing project, so please share your stories!  You may send these to with the subject line: “Mail Bag Story”.  Our favorite stories will win one month of free premium service and be posted here to be shared with others!

Until next time, keep studying!

Happy Holidays and Happy New Year From!

Happy Holidays and Happy New Year from everyone here at! We’re grateful to have listeners just like you, and we’re eagerly waiting for the upcoming year to learn Russian together!

And when the New Year comes around, be sure to make a resolution to study Russian with!

Have a healthy and happy holiday season.

From the Team!