15 Best Books for Learning Russian from Scratch (2018 Update)

What's the best book to use to learn Russian? List of most effective books for learning Russian.

0. Learn Russian for Everyday Life: The Big Audiobook Collection for Beginners

Screen. Learn Russian for Everyday Life: The Big Audiobook Collection for Beginners.

Do you want to learn Russian the fast, fun and easy way?

Then this huge audiobook compilation is for you.

Learn Russian for Everyday Life: The Big Audiobook Collection for Beginners is for people who want to finally speak and use real-life Russian.

You learn the must-know conversational phrases, questions, answers, social media phrases, and how to talk about your everyday life in Russian. All words and phrases were hand-picked by our team of Russian teachers and experts. By the end of this audiobook compilation, you will be able to....

1. Communicate in Russian on social media

2. Master common greetings

3. Have basic conversations with locals

3. Talk about your daily routine - from morning to night

4. Order food at restaurants

5. Ask for directions

And much more....

With this audiobook compilation, you get:

Audiobooks inside: Must-Know Russian Social Media Phrases, Top 400 Activities: Daily Routines in Russian, and 3-Minute Russian

+ 60 audio lessons in total

+ 5 hours in total

+ 319-page PDF so you can read along

+ Two bonus conversation cheat sheets

Get Learn Russian for Everyday Life

1. The New Penguin Russian Course: A Complete Course for Beginners

Screen. The New Penguin Russian Course: A Complete Course for Beginners.  This is the best book for learning Russian from scratch without teachers or classes even you know absolutely nothing about Russian. 


1. A solid understanding of Russian grammar.

2. A vocabulary of some of the most useful words in the Russian language.

3. The logical and straightforward methodology with no spoonfeeding or watered-down grammar lessons accompanied by cutesy cartoon pictures.

 4. In each lesson, you would first memorize a list of new vocabulary words.

5. You would study several concise grammar principles which were clearly explained.

6. You would examine a brief Russian text which incorporated the new vocabulary and applied the new grammar principles which you had just learned in the lesson.

7. You would translate an English text into Russian to test yourself on the new vocabulary and grammar.

8. A key which showed the correct translation of the English text into Russian, so you could check yourself.

9. The numerous additional Russian texts and conversations so that you can see how the vocabulary is used in context.

10. The answer keys at the back of the book show the Russian-English translation as well as the English-Russian translation of the exercises.

11. The translation exercises at the end of each lesson and their corresponding answer keys at the back of the book. Translation is probably the best way to test whether or not you really understand the grammar and vocabulary taught in the lessons, and this book gives you plenty of opportunities to test yourself in this manner. 

12. it's small enough to carry anywhere, unlike those bulky Russian 101 textbooks used in college classes which use a slow, watered-down, almost infantile approach to teaching the language. If you want to learn Russian, buy this book and work through the lessons.


The only major drawback is that you'll never really learn proper pronunciation without listening to native Russians speak the language (in this case join our chat with native Russians), and this book doesn't have tapes to accompany it. Other than that, however, you won't find a better book for beginners who want to learn Russian.

Get "The New Penguin Russian Course" Now!


2. Russian Learners' Dictionary: 10,000 Russian Words in Frequency Order

Screen. Russian Learners' Dictionary: 10,000 Russian Words in Frequency Order.

Many people study languages and in the process learn many words they may not actually needAny serious student of language will find such a reference most valuable.


This book literally lists the most frequently used words in order of occurance in normal conversation and writing.

It is perhaps wise to note that language is a dynamic beastie and words may shuffle in frequency of use, even inviting new words into the process.

It is a work built upon past efforts to document usage patterns, expanded to include more than simply what you would need to pass a scholastic requirement.


But remember, this is a list, not a text book.

There are examples of usage offered (for the first 600 words) as well as tenses, but no detailed explanations of application. 

Get "Russian Learners' Dictionary: 10,000 Russian Words in Frequency Order" Now!

3. Russian Complete CourseBook. Living Language.

Screen. Russian Complete CourseBook. Living Language.Complete Russian: The Basics (Book and CD Set): Includes Coursebook, 4 Audio CDs, and Learner's Dictionary (Complete Basic Courses)


The most initial rate of Russian in a line of rates of the largest American publishing house LIVING LANGUAGE.

He will help to learn to speak, read and write in Russian, will lay the foundation on which you can enhance the knowledge further.

The modern rate "Russian without problems" is based on an effective method which since 1960 is used for training in diplomatic academy of the USA. In the first fourteen chapters the most important and basic elements for beginners are selected to learn Russian.

If you are able to devote to a rate of only 30 minutes in day, then in several weeks you will be able already to learn to speak on primary subjects and to understand written … The method of natural training is the basis for a rate, that is we will begin with studying of sounds, then phrases and separate words and then offers.

And to repeat everything that you need – to listen to an audio recording after the announcer for whom Russian is native. Listen, you speak, plunge into language.

This full course covers all aspects of language – skills of oral speech, the letter and grammar.

In the book you will find the translation into English of all texts of an audio recording and short explanations in each lesson.

The first five lessons belong to an explanation of rules of a pronunciation that is a basis for studying of new words, phrases and grammar.

If you already studied earlier Russian that can use the book for repeating and as the reference book on grammar, is tables of irregular verbs and the reference book on correspondence here.

Get now! "Complete Russian Basic Course"

4. ELI Picture Dictionary Russian \ Иллюстрированный словарь "Русский язык". Джой Оливер, Альфредо Бразиоли

Screen. ELI Picture Dictionary Russian \ Иллюстрированный словарь "Русский язык". Джой Оливер, Альфредо Бразиоли.

The interesting, cheerful and entertaining illustrated thematic dictionary will be your faithful assistant in studying of Russian.


* more than 1000 words

* 43 illustrated themed pages that introduce well known topics such as home, family, school and work, as well as up-to-date and specific topics like the environment and astronomy.

* Nouns, verbs, adjectives, adverbs and pretexts.

 * The glossary lists more than 1000 words alphabetically and cross-referenced to the relevant themed page. 



5. Русский язык как иностранный (начальный курс). Меренкова Л.А., Ярось Л.Б.

Меренкова Л.А., Ярось Л.Б. и др. - Русский язык как иностранный (начальный курс) pdf

The benefit contains pourochno the distributed language and speech material.

Illustrations, photos, drawings, schemes, tables. 

the system of exercises directed to step-by-step forming at students of speech skills and abilities are widely provided.

The edition acquaints students with sound system of Russian, with the main types of intonational designs.

Grammatical material is presented in the form of typical and communicative and significant speech samples.




6. Русский язык - мой друг (базовый уровень). Шустикова Т.В., Кулакова В.А.

Шустикова Т.В., Кулакова В.А. - Русский язык - мой друг (базовый уровень)


The textbook is calculated on 300-350 hours and consists of an introduction fonetiko-grammatical course in which letters, sounds, an accent and intonation of Russian, and a basic course in detail are considered.

The first part of a basic course is devoted to studying of prepositional and case system of singular of nouns, adjectives, pronouns and numerals; aspectual-temporal system of the Russian verb.

In the second part plural of nouns, adjectives, pronouns and numerals is studied.

The textbook is universal – in is mute data of the comparative analysis of Russian and native language of pupils aren't considered.

Independent work on the Internet with use of the websites corresponding to the studied lexical and grammatical subject is offered to pupils.



7. Русский язык в картинках. Геркан И.К.

Геркан И.К. - Русский язык в картинках

In the collection lexicon, limited, urgent for the initial stage of training, corresponding to subjects is used:

family, room, audience, dining room, polyclinic, city, nature.

The book lights the following sections:

- inducement of nouns in singular (one-two values for each case),

- plural nouns in the Nominative case,

- verbs in this and past tense,

- verbal aspects,

- adjectives in the Nominative case,

- some elementary types of compound sentences.

8. Здравствуйте! Учебное пособие для курсов русского языка. Иванова Т., Федотова Н., Феоклистова В.

Иванова Т., Федотова Н., Феоклистова В. - Здравствуйте! Учебное пособие для курсов русского языка.


The benefit is intended for the foreigners having elementary preparation on Russian and learning Russian on short-term rates.

The benefit purpose - activization of language knowledge and enhancement of skills of oral informal conversation.

The benefit is expected 100 - 160 class periods (depending on terms of training and level of training of foreign pupils).






9. Illustrated Russian Grammar by Goutta Snetkov

llustrated Russian Grammar.

Covers all the key points of elementary Russian grammar.

Infographics and illustrations in the book produce visually engaging explanations.

Practice exercises.

Comprehensive table of regular and irregular Russian verbs.

Can be used for self-study or as a supplement to any textbook.



10. English Grammar for Students of Russian

Screen. English Grammar for Students of Russian.

A great book which teaches you how English grammar works so that you can understand Russian grammar! 


You get knowledge about:

  1. Parts of speech — how to identify English and Russian nouns, verbs, adjectives, prepositions and etc.
  2. Functions of words — how to identify English and Russian subjects, direct and indirect objects and etc.
  3. Grammatical terms — explanation of conjugation, case, declension, agreement  and etc.
  4. Step-by-step analysis of examples — how to get from an English structure to an equivalent Russian structure.

Each chapter of the book covers one grammar point.

In English

Grammar explained as it relates to English, anticipating concepts necessary for Russian.

In Russian

  • Grammar explained as it relates to Russian.
  • Examples with explanations of the rules applied.
  • Possible pitfalls for English speakers.

11. Грамматика русского языка в упражнениях и комментариях (Морфология+Синтаксис). Глазунова О.

Глазунова О. - Грамматика русского языка в упражнениях и комментариях (Морфология+Синтаксис)

Part 1. 

The collection of exercises including the most important sections of practical grammar, and also the theoretical material necessary for their accomplishment.

Tasks are constructed on the basis of the most frequency designs of informal conversation.

The attention is paid to the contextual and style use of language units.

The exercises, most difficult for accomplishment, are supplied with keys.

For average and advanced grade levels, and also for preparation for delivery of TRKI-2 (the humanities and journalism), TRKI-3.

Part 2. 

The second part of benefit "Russian grammar in exercises and comments. Morphology" O. I. Glazunova.

The specially formulated exercises provided in the collection will help pupils to understand how they are based in Russian of the phrase and offer what methods exist for expression of the main and minor members and what it is necessary to pay attention in case of the use of synonymous pretexts, the unions and connective words to.

The abundance of comments gives the chance to use the collection not only under the leadership of the teacher, but also for independent work of pupils.

There are keys and index. 

12. Russian-English Bilingual Visual Dictionary

 Picture. Russian-English Bilingual Visual Dictionary pdf free downloadRussian-English Bilingual Visual Dictionary of DK's bestselling series makes language learning accessible by using photographs to put the everyday vocabulary of the modern world into context.


A thematic organization of more than 10,000 fully illustrated terms labeled in both Russian and English and comprehensive two-way indexes put the perfect translation at your fingertips.

Additional feature panels include abstract nouns and verbs, as well as useful phrases that you can use in conversation once you are feeling more confident.

Russian-English Bilingual Visual Dictionary is a colorful and stimulating learning resource ideal for all levels, whether you are a student, teacher, tourist, or business traveler.

Now fully updated with new text, images, and a bold new look.



13. 750 Russian Verbs and Their Uses

Screen. 750 Russian Verbs and Their Uses.

Verbs--the key to a living language.

750 Russian Verbs and Their Uses gives you the key to a living language--verbs in context.

Verbs give speech power and movement.

Russian verbs have subtleties that usually can be appreciated only after years of study and conversation with native speakers.

750 Russian Verbs and Their Uses gives you all the correct variations and adds immediately to your command of the language.

Correct usages are illustrated in common phrases and idioms, and close attention is paid to verb aspect--a special concern to students of Russian.

Perfect for students or for businesspeople who are working to develop one of the world's most exciting commercial markets, here is the book that will help you understand and express yourself in an important and intricate tongue.


ISSA R. ZAUBER, Ph.D., holds a doctorate in linguistics from Leningrad State University. She is currently a senior lecturer in the Department of Slavic Studies at the University of Chicago. Series Editors: Jan R. Zamir, Ph.D., and Sonia N. Zamir, M.A.

14. The Big Silver Book of Russian Verbs: 555 Fully Conjugated Verbs (Big Book of Verbs Series)

Screen. The Big Silver Book of Russian Verbs: 555 Fully Conjugated Verbs (Big Book of Verbs Series)

The Big Silver Book of Russian Verbs is the most comprehensive resource available for learning and mastering Russian verbs. Designed for beginning through advanced learners, this indispensable guide will help you conjugate verbs with ease, enabling you to communicate in Russian confidently.

555 fully conjugated verbs, listed alphabetically.

Current idioms and expressions for each verb.

The Top 50 verbs, with many examples of their usage in context.

More than 4,200 verbs cross-referenced to conjugation models.

A handy guide to deciphering irregular verb forms.


15. Colloquial Russian: The Complete Course For Beginners

Screen. Colloquial Russian: The Complete Course For Beginners

Combining a user-friendly approach with a thorough treatment of the language, it equips learners with the essential skills needed to communicate confidently and effectively in Russian in a broad range of situations.

Progressive coverage of speaking, listening, reading and writing skills

Structured, jargon-free explanations of grammar

An extensive range of focused and stimulating exercises

Realistic and entertaining dialogues covering a broad variety of scenarios

Useful vocabulary lists throughout the text

Additional resources available at the back of the book, including a full answer key, a grammar summary and bilingual glossaries

Balanced, comprehensive and rewarding, Colloquial Russian will be an indispensable resource both for independent learners and students taking courses in Russian.

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