This site, Luch sveta, gives you the opportunity to hear authentic, contemporary spoken Russian related to interesting current events topics, with full transcripts and English translations. But if you find the material too advanced, or are just looking for more resources, check out some of the links below.
You may also be interested in this annotated list of good Russian-English dictionaries.
A rich, full-fledged, professionally developed, free online first-year+ Russian course. Comprehensive and engaging. Best option for an independent learner who is motivated and talented.
Originally a project of the Russian state news agency but now stands on its own. Zlata Karlova has created a wide range of resources that combine language and cultural information. In particular you can get some good practice with her intermediate-level dialogues featuring Анна and Майкл and her series of fun quizzes. There’s also her podcast series Как сказать, a collection of Russian idioms, a bunch of popular songs with texts and translations and more.
Walks you through a fun story step by step, making sure you learn along the way. Requires free sign-up. There are also other Russian modules on Memrise, mostly focused on memorizing lists of vocabulary using their quiz tools. BE WARNED that some modules contain errors — anyone can upload something to this site. The “Bookbox Stories” module is substantially better than much of the other material.
Время говорить по-русски / Time to Speak Russian
An online beginner to intermediate course centered around cute claymation videos. Developed by Moscow State University’s Centre for International Education. Great review of first-year material. Slightly confusing to navigate through each lesson, but not too hard to figure out.
Transparent Language Russian Language Blog
Great for keeping up your interest in the Russian language and culture! Entries on language idiosyncrasies, slang, cultural phenomena, etc. But probably not as good as the other sites at actually helping you learn the language, since you’ll mostly be reading about the language in English. Still, the topics are all very interesting, and you can pick up some useful vocabulary and phrases relevant to specific situations.
MORE GOOD RESOURCES
From UT-Austin. Russian rock songs and music videos with subtitles in Russian, literal English or colloquial English. Great for music lovers!
From Cornell. Great dialogues to help you acquire common language structures, especially if you practice the variations and read the “Почему?” section. However, the dialogues are very minimalist and non-contextualized (don’t expect a cute narrative!) because their main function is to demonstrate grammatical features of the language. Still, they offer excellent practice with the basic language patterns you need to master to speak Russian fluently.
Folkways is part of a family of sites associated with the School of Russian and Asian Studies (you may know them for their great range of study abroad programs). Folkways has a wealth of information on Russian food as well as language, religion, holidays, folk traditions and contemporary life. Two series of text-based, culture-focused Russian language lessons can be accessed here: “Моя Россия” and “Olga’s Blog.” Other content on the site is in English, but Russian words and phrases are liberally sprinkled throughout.
An archive of the language learning supplements to Russian Life magazine. Lots of glossed and stressed texts, with exercises, on interesting cultural topics. Best for advanced learners.
Unscripted, everyday dialogues, many with transcripts. Good for exposure to what Russian sounds like in a natural, authentic, casual setting.
Annotated Russian Short Stories
The Department of Slavic Languages & Literatures at the University of Kansas offers several very short stories by Pushkin, Tolstoy and Chekhov. Useful tools for learners include word glosses, annotations of difficult passages, stress marks and audio recordings of the text. The site also includes supplementary materials for a good intermediate-level reader based on Viktoria Tokareva’s “A Day Without Lying.”