Top-5 YouTube Channels To Improve Russian Listening Skills

Daria Komarova and her choice of channels if you want to improve your Russian.

Top-5 YouTube Channels To Improve Russian Listening Skills

It’s not a surprise that listening tasks from language coursebooks are far from real speaking Russian: vocabulary, tempo, context – all these are pretty artificial. And what can you do, if real conversation with natives is still not an option? Here, I have several pieces of advice to keep progress in your Russian listening.

#1. Travel

This channel is made by the ex-host of the famous Ukrainian-Russian travel TV show “Heads and Tails”, Anton Ptushkin. He wanted to express himself as an independent creator, choose his own travelling itinerary and rhythm. So, he started his travel blog-diary (that is more like films about him travelling alone). It is distinguished by the quality of shooting, well-thought-out scripts and Anton’s charisma. I, personally, highly recommend to watch his films about Chernobyl and, the latest, about Burning Man.

#2. Learning

And how could we do without educational content? Right, we couldn’t. “Intermediate and advanced videos in Russian with Russian subtitles” – that is how Artem Nazarov modestly describes his own channel. But behind these words there is a large number of interesting videos, in which he talks about Russian and its learning. Don't like watching videos? No problem, Artem also records podcasts. For keeping your motivation, I advise you to watch the series of videos from the Conference of Polyglots.

#3. Vlog

This one could be classified as ‘travel vlog’ as well, but Kase Gasanov also makes a lot of talking videos about different actual topics. Working as a supervisor of Russian company’s manufactories in China and getting tired of it and China itself, he changed his professional orientation to content-making. In his videos, Kase shares everything – from the family celebrations to his personal accidents during trips – through a very friendly and cozy atmosphere. To my mind, his secret in his honesty and openness to the subscribers. And, if you are into it, watch his videos about food and street food in different countries – such vocabulary always comes in handy ;).

#4. Popular Science

Yes, this channel is full of scientific vocabulary. But, if you don’t afraid of difficulties (and you don’t, do you?), you would be pleased with the quality and design of every episode, the creativity and resourcefulness of Yan and his team. How does Ikea make us buy? Could we turn off the Internet? Why is art so expensive? And many more interesting things, that are thoroughly researched and presented in understandable way with all the resources(!). My favorites are about outer space.

#5. Humor

The last but not the least, and maybe the most challenging for listening. The team of this channel makes several shows (the most frequent one called ‘Guys Try’), in which they do jokes that are always an improvisation. This is a situational comedy, often based on Russian cultural background – one more challenge, or learning advantage (for us). They also had several travelling projects, and now they have just finished another season of ‘Stand-Up Live’. Such kind of comedy content is a definite advanced level, but a great level-up in studying language as well.

Text by
Daria Komarova