Russian Language

This guide points you to some of the Library's main resources that will support the Russian language classes on campus and so focuses on resources to help learn Russian, as well as resources that are IN Russian.
- For a list of Russian Language classes at Carleton see the undergraduate calendar.

NOTE: Print books can be requested through the Library's Curbside Pickup service

Language Dictionaries

Grammars & Workbooks

General, linguistics, language

Reading Books in Russian:

  • Internet Archive: Out of copyright works available for free, so many classics. Search for a specific work, author, or do a keyword search. Results can then be limited to language=Russian. Searches can be done in Cyrillic or romanized alphabet. 
  • BookRix-Free Russian ebooks - can browse by categories
  • Kindle : Top 100 free Russian ebooks -You don't have to have a Kindle device to read these books, just install the Kindle app.
  • - organized by author's names: poets on left side, prose writers on right. Multiple works + biography for each author. 
  • Our own collection of literature is mostly in print, and is mostly from literary authors 
    • You can look up a specific title of a book, or you can see all the works we have by a given author by going to the Advanced Search screen, changing the "any field" to "author/creator" and looking up the author by last name, first name:
    • All titles in Omni have been romanized, so Voi̐na i mir and not Война и мир
      screenshot of Omni advanced search showing last name, first name search for an author and language limited to Russian
    • When you are looking at the full record for a particular book, you will see a Vrtual Browse function at the bottom of the screen: this is quite useful for literature since all of the books BY a certain author, and ABOUT an author are found in the same area and you can use the arrows on screen to browse through titles. You will notice that English translations of Russian texts will usually be found in the same area as the original Russian.
      screen shot showing the Virtual Browse shelf found at the bottom of each book record

Cyrillic keyboards

  • Type Russian letters - use the keyboard provided, or you can use your own keyboard and type the letters that have the same sound. So, for example, typing an "R" on your keyboard will produce 
  • Lexilogos-Russian
  • - type on your regular keyboard and it will transliterate into Russian automatically

Learning/Practicing Cyrillic

Apps for free

Apps for a fee

Scholarly journal articles

  • Omni: our easy-to-use search tool, right on the Library home page. You can limit results by language  OR
  • You can search some of our other recommended databases. Results can also be limited by language to Russian: 

News & Magazine Sources

We subscribe to a number of databases that have the full text of magazines, newspapers, and  and other news sources from around the world

  • Factiva full text news from around the world. Some important notes for finding material in Russian
    • To find the most resources you need to search using Russian Cyrillic. If you search using English words results are more limited because only extra information such as subject terms are in English. The full text of the news items are in Russian.
    • Note that the default date limit is "in the last 3 months", so change as needed
    • You can choose one or more specific sources to search, example: Izvestiya
      screenshot of factiva search screen showing a keyword search in Russian Cyrillic with a specific news source selected
    • You can choose to search news sources from one or more cities, countries, or regions. Example: sources just from Moscow, or sources from Russia
    • Very important: Remove the default language= English and add language = Russian
      screenshot of factiva search screen showing a specific region selected and language set to Russian
  • Nexis Uni - It is best to do a keyword search in Russian (Cyrillic alphabet) rather than English. Full-text of the articles are in Cyrillic and only added information such as Subject terms are in English. You can filter results to specific regions or specific sources. All dates are included by default
  • Press Reader - access over 5000 newspapers and magazines from over 100 countries. 90 day backfile only. Language or country can be selected from menu on the left, and then subcategories by topic. For example, there are almost 300 titles in Russian.
    screenshot showing a sample of Russian news sources in PressReader
  • Novaya Gazeta - known for investigative reporting
  • Noviye Izvestia - online news in Russian

Our Collection:

  • Do a Keyword search in Omni for a specific title, director, or by topic.
  • Once you get your results, limit the "Resource Type" to "videos" . (NOTE: you will probably have to click on the "Show More"  to see the video options)
  • Limit the language to Russian
  • If you only want to see videos available via online streaming, limit the "Availability" to "Available online"
  • You can request physical DVDs through our  Curbside Pick-up service.
    Showing the Videos Resource Type filter, and the availability filter


  • We also have 2 streaming video database you can search

Other Video Sources

  • YouTube: you can find a huge amount of free Russian language videos. Here are some channels that might be of interest:
    • Elena Jung- videos for various levels, includes her "slow listening exercises,” where she slowly narrates everyday activities. Videos are captioned in Russian so that you can read along.
    • Real Russian Club - includes slow Russian videos on variety of topics
    • Rush into Russian - beginner to early intermediate, clearly organized topics
  • Your favourite video streaming service, for example:
    • Netflix: just search "Russian" and you'll get a selection of TV shows and movies. Many of these default to an English dubbed version, so just change the audio to Russian and then choose your preferred subtitles: English or Russian.
    • Prime Video: search Russian and select from Russian language movies and TV shows. Use the Audio & Subtitles menu to control your viewing.
  • Moskvatv - stream Moscow TV channels online
  • Streema - Russia - livestream Russian TV stations. Stations are tagged with the type of channel

Listening to Russian music and following along with lyrics, can be a great way to improve your language skills, especially with pronunciation. Listening to audio podcasts is another way to get your ear familiar with rhythm, tone, flow of a language

General sources & Podcasts:

  • A taste of Russian - intermediate podcasts. Can download transcripts. Focus on conversations you might have every day.
  • Russian made Easy - beginner podcasts , focus on simple conversations. Can download transcript
  • Russian Podcasts - for all levels, but because the site itself is in Russian (can get Chrome to translate it for you) and the intros in the podcasts are in Russian maybe not total beginners. An easy cue for following with the transcripts: the actual conversations included in the transcripts begin after a short musical interlude. Transcripts available (beginner level ones include vocabulary with English translations). 
  • Business Russian Podcasts - from UCLA, intermediate to advanced with a focus on business vocabulary
  • Learn Russian - a whole suite of lessons, with quizzes to track completion
  • Ottawa Public Library: Mango Audio and text, each language course consists of 100 lessons. You must use your Ottawa Public library username and password to access Mango (anyone who lives in the city of Ottawa can get a free username and password, contact your local branch
    • The OPL has many other language learning resources: browse by going to their advanced search screen, limit Language to Russian and Collections to "adult language learning"

Music & Lyrics:

  • Russian music with lyrics and translation
  • Russian Songs - every week a new video is posted with lyrics in Russian and English
  • - hasn't been updated in a number of years, but for the songs they DO have you get lyrics in English, Russian, links to music videos, links to the artist's official page...
  • Youtube: keyword search title of a song, an artist , or just "Russian music" with the word "lyric" to find lyric videos. For example Let it Go from Frozen. Don't forget that in YouTube you can change the playback speed under settings if you want to slow things down a bit. 

Curate your own playlist, or discover Russian language music using your preferred way of listening to music, here are some examples:

Content last reviewed: January 29, 2021