Learn Russian: Russian Made Easy Ep. 1

Family and Occupations in Russian

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NOTE* – Episode downloads and extras are located at the bottom of this page.

Listen To Entire Episode

Exercises Only

If you can’t read Russian yet, lets get that out of the way. You can do it in just a few hours. Go here –> Learn to Read Russian Free Video Course

Hello, this is Mark. Welcome to Russian Made Easy. If you have any doubts about your ability to learn Russian, you can set them aside right now. The fact is, your success in the language has nothing to do with whether you’re good at languages or not. It all comes down to the method you use.

In these podcasts we’ll be using modern language learning techniques like contextual learning and pattern recognition to help you learn Russian in no time. All you need to do is just follow along…and be sure to speak out loud when prompted.

Alright, let’s jump right in. I’d like you to listen to the following three Russian words and try to guess what they could possibly mean. Even if you have no experience at all, I bet you’ll get them. Ready?

 доктор, инженер, бизнесмен

 NOTE: I’ve chosen to not sound out the Russian words in this transcript using English letters. Instead, I suggest quickly learning to read Russian so you can follow along. Here’s my free course: Three Hour Cyrillic which will teach you to read Russian in just a few hours.

 I’m going to have our native speaker say them again, and I’d like you to repeat, out loud, after he says each one. The thing is, learning a language requires participation. If you just passively listen to these podcasts, you won’t benefit much. So, throughout all these podcasts, I’ll be asking you to say things — out loud — in Russian all the time. So, please repeat after the native speaker:

 доктор, инженер, бизнесмен

You probably found it easy to understand the meaning of those Russian words. That’s because they’re cognates, that is, words that sound very similar between two languages and have the same meaning.

Repeat them one more time after our native speaker. That rolled “r” will be tricky for you at first, but we’ll perfect it a bit later. So, just try your best for now.

доктор, инженер, бизнесмен

So, in English we say doctor, and in Russian it’s: доктор

We say “engineer” but in Russian they pronounce it: инженер

And we say businessman, but in Russian it’s…бизнесмен

Now it’s your turn. I want you to fill in the Russian occupation at the end of each sentence. And please say it out loud.

Someone who practices medicine is a….доктор,

Someone who provides solutions to technical problems is an…инженер

Someone who owns a business is a…бизнесмен

Again, those are cognates. And the good news is that there are hundreds of cognates between Russian and English. In essence, it means you come into the language already knowing hundreds of useful words. We just need to “russify” our pronunciation a bit.

Alright, now let’s look at a purely Russian word. Repeat after the speaker:


One more time:


What does it mean? Well, the best way to learn the meaning is to let your brain figure it out on its own, by how it’s used in a sentence. This is what we call “Learning from context.” Let’s give it a try.

My Dad happens to be a doctor. So, if a Russian person asked my dad what he does, he’d answer with two words:

Я – доктор.

My brother, meanwhile, is an engineer. So, if a Russian person asked my brother what he does, he’d answer with these two words:

Я – инженер.

So Я translates as….I

Try saying, all in Russian: I am a doctor.

Я – доктор.

Now say: I am an engineer.

Я – инженер.

Notice how Russian doesn’t add any verb here. They literally say just:

I – engineer.

This brings up an important point. Students write to me all the time asking,

“So…In Russian they just say I engineer?? Aren’t they missing the word am?”

Here’s the thing: Languages are NOT translations of each other. They are each a unique way of using sound to convey information about the world. So, if you’re trying to tell a Russian speaker, “I ….am ….a ….. doctor” you don’t want to grab a dictionary and say “OK, now what’s the Russian word for “I”. And the Russian word for “am”? And so on. What you want to know is how they convey the idea that “I’m a doctor.”

So, do not expect Russian to have a word for everything that English has a word for. But you can expect it to have some way of expressing the same things that we need to express in English.

With that in mind, please say the following in Russian: I’m a businessman.

Я – бизнесмен.

So far so good? Great! Then let’s try two more purely Russian words. Repeat after the native speaker:

он, она

One more time:

он, она

Instead of me just telling you what ОН and ОНА mean, it’s much more effective to let you figure out the meanings on your own, by how they’re used. Again, this is what’s known as learning from context. So…

We remember that my father is a doctor, right?

So, if someone asks me what my dad does, I’d say:

Он – доктор.

And if someone asks me what my brother does, I’d say:

Он – инженер.

Do you have a feel for what it means? “Он” is one of the Russian words for “he”.

Try saying: He is a businessman.

Он – бизнесмен.

Now, any guess what OHA means?

Well, imagine my sister is a doctor, and a Russian person asks me what she does. I’d tell them:

Она – доктор.

So, OHA is one of the Russian words meaning “she.” So how would you say:

She is an engineer.

Она – инженер.

If you’re getting all these, you’re off to a great start!

V.O. And now, here’s your Tip of the Day from Russian Made Easy…

This is roughly the halfway point of this podcast and I’d like to share some thoughts about memory. In a nutshell, when learning a new language, here’s the trick to developing your long term memory:

You start by learning anywhere from three to seven new words. You need to learn them from context, and then use them in a sentence or two. So you learn it, then use it. And then, here’s the key: You think about something else.

Look out the window, for example, and describe what you see. Or go to ESPN’s website and read about last night’s game. Do something requiring all your attention. That, of course, is what I’m making you do at this very moment. The big variable is how long you’re able to concentrate on this other task and

still retain the new information you learned. But even a minute or two will suffice. Down the road, once you’ve developed your Russian vocabulary, you can do this kind of diversional thinking in Russian instead of English.

Then the final step — after that brief time out — is to try to recall as much as you can of what you just learned. If you’re able to, try writing everything out. Otherwise, just say things out loud.

So take a moment and ask yourself what were the new words and phrases we learned so far in this podcast. I’ll wait, while you find the PAUSE button.

Alright…so, how’d you do? By my count, we learned six new words, so check your list. You should have “Doctor, engineer, and businessman”

доктор, инженер, бизнесмен

and “I, he, she”

Я он она

If you remembered most or all of them, you’re doing great. So here’s your mid-podcast exam: Please say the following in Russian:

I’m a businessman, he’s an engineer, she’s a doctor.

Я – бизнесмен. Он – инженер. Она – доктор.

Ready for more? Let’s learn three more easy cognates dealing with professions. As always, repeat after the native speaker:

музыкант, студент, студентка

Try to say them again, this time before our speaker. Go!

музыкант, студент, студентка

Good job! Now here they are in context:

Anyone who plays a musical instrument can be considered a музыкант

My favorite музыкант is Paul McCartney.

So, tell me. What’s the Russian word for musician?


What about the meaning of студент and студентка? Well…

If you go to school, and you’re a male, you’re a студент,

If you go to school, and you’re a female, you’re a студентка

So we see that Russian has a male and female version of the word “student”

студент for guys,

студентка for girls.

Now that we’ve learned them by seeing them in context, let’s use them in a sentence. Tell someone that you’re a musician:

Я – музыкант

Say: She is a student.

Она – студентка

How about: Sergei is a student.

Сергей – студент

By the way, just with the tone of our voice, we can create questions with these words. For example, what do you think this person is asking?

Он – студент?

Is he a student?

How would you ask: Is Katya a student?

Катя – студентка?

Is Nikolai a musician?

Николай – музыкант?

We’ve actually covered a lot of material in this podcast, and I’m tempted to stop here to let it sink in. But there are two more reaaaaallly easy cognates I’d like to toss in. So, take a wild guess which family members these are. Ready?



I’m sure that really stumped you guys. So, tell someone:

Dad is a doctor.

Папа – доктор.

Mom is a musician.

Мама – музыкант.

I’m a student. (if you’re a guy)

Я – студент.

How would a girl say that?

Я – студентка.

Dad is a businessman.

Папа – бизнесмен.

Mom is an engineer.

Мама – инженер.

How’d you do with these? If you got most or all of these, then you’re off to a great stat already in Russian. Next time we’ll talk about the biggest mistake that virtually all language students make.

By the way, I’ve made a much shorter, practice version of this podcast. It has just the exercises, without the explanations. Grab a copy of those plus a full transcript of this podcast below. I’ll see you in the next episode.

DOWNLOADS – (right click with mouse and “save as”)

Episode 1 – Full Program

Episode 1 – Exercises Only


Please comment or share with one of the buttons below. Your support helps keep the ball rolling!

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123 responses to “Learn Russian: Russian Made Easy Ep. 1”

  1. Abdelaziz Avatar

    It’s very easy to understand this podcast. I can’t thank you enough.

  2. Nikolai Avatar

    Some folks may question this podcast and say, ‘Will this work?’ And I can confidently say, YES! I’m on my second trip to Russia, and I’ve been able to use what I learned in these lessons literally every day. Already subscribed to Russian Accelerator and am looking at RME+ for on the go use.

    1. Mark Thomson Avatar
      Mark Thomson

      Thanks, Nikolai. Eager to hear how you do in RME Plus!

  3. Zemani Avatar

    I try the first lesson just for fun and I think that I am going to continue with, it´s just well done .

    1. Mark Thomson Avatar
      Mark Thomson

      Thanks, Zemani. Let us know how you progress.

  4. David Avatar

    Hi Mark!
    I just wanted to express you my sincere gratitute for providing all this free(!!!!) content online. I already listened to the first ten episodes of “Understanding spoken russian” and now started with “Russian made easy”. In parallel, I learn vocabulary and basic phrases with Duolingo. All combined, that’s so much fun and I enjoy the feeling of making great progress! I just love your lessons and the way you explain and present the material. Thank you so much!

    On a sidenote, I would love to share with you my happiest moment so far with the Russian language: I recently learned “Crocodile Gena’s Birthday Song” (apparently a very famous Russian birthday song from a cartoon, you can find it on Youtube) and played it on the guitar and sang it to a Ukranian friend of mine for her birthday (she’s from east Ukraine, so she speaks and understands Russian), and she started crying because she was so touched. I can absolutely recommend learning this song to all other Russian students just in case you meet a Russian speaking person and it’s his/her birthday. They will be likely very happy and surprised!

    Greetings from Germany,

    1. Mark Thomson Avatar
      Mark Thomson

      Hi David,

      Yes, that Crocodile Song is definitely an important part of Russian speaking culture. Though very often they do just sing the English version of Happy Birthday.
      Thanks for sharing!


  5. Olivia Avatar

    i dont know where to find the accelerator courses and i’ve been looking for a while,

    1. RME Staff Avatar
      RME Staff

      Hi Olivia, take a look at RussianAccelerator.com

  6. Barbara Avatar

    Hi Mark,
    I was adopted from Russia when I was three and could speak it fluently. Sadly I lost the language when I came to the United States and I am only now trying to pick it up 20 years later. There has been research that says once you learn a language and you lose it, it still stays somewhere in you and you can pick it up quickly. Have you found this in other people trying out your course? I am also trying Duolingo for basic words, but I really like your podcast method! I am so excited to try lesson 2 tomorrow!

  7. Mel Avatar

    I just learn 2 episodes from your podcast and i found it was easy to follow. So, i decide to continue learning. Thank you to make it easy, Mark

    1. Mark Thomson Avatar
      Mark Thomson

      Glad to hear it, Mel. Keep up the great work!


  8. Heath Avatar

    I’m on lesson 10 so far. Just had a conversation with a Russian speaker. When they said “Ya pennimyoo” I was very happy. Great presentation and it works!

    1. Mark Thomson Avatar
      Mark Thomson

      Thanks, Heath! Congrats on that. It’s a great feeling, isn’t it? Not so much speaking and being understood, but hearing and understanding. Anyway, very cool, and you dserve the credit. The payoff for your hard work!

      Cheers from Ukraine,

    2. Barbara Avatar

      Congrats! I hope I can get to your level one day 🙂

  9. Charlotte Avatar

    I have already learned so much Russian words and sentences from your podcasts! It really is Russian made easy!

    1. Mark Thomson Avatar
      Mark Thomson

      Keep up the great work, Charlotte. We’ll turn you into a confident conversational speaker of Russian.

  10. Justin Avatar

    Hi, Mark. I love your program so far and am gearing up to purchase the Accelerated course. I downloaded the RME app for IOS through the Apple store, but there seem to be bugs. The audio won’t play and it won’t show up with the other apps in settings. I deleted and reinstalled three times and restarted my phone, etc. Just FYI. Loving the course content from the web and podcast! Excellent work!

  11. Monti Fitzgerald Avatar
    Monti Fitzgerald

    I can not access anything on your site, error message says my ip address is blocked. I’m from Canada.

    1. Support Avatar

      Hi Monti, We were getting too many bots from the form that gave the i.p. address error message, so for now I moved the videos to the sidebar on the right side while we fix it. You can take a look at the collection of videos in the right-hand sidebar, under the How to Learn Russian Fast headline. The videos located there are the same as the ones that would have been sent. 

  12. Clinton Avatar

    Hello Mark! I’ve looked through the other posts and didn’t see where you’d addressed this question, but in the event I looked directly at the answer and didn’t see it — and it wouldn’t be the first time I’ve ever done that — please forgive me. My question is about the hyphens. Я – инженер for example. Is the hyphen proper Russian punctuation, or is there another reason you’re adding them? Thanks in advance for your help, and thanks for this podcast.

    1. Mark Thomson Avatar
      Mark Thomson

      Hi Clinton,

      The — is indeed grammatical.

  13. Sali Avatar

    Wonderful! I am just starting out and searching for a helpful Russian website, I will definitely listen to yours every day! Thanks!

  14. Clinton Avatar

    Thanks for this site. I’d heard about this method of teaching once before. I’d heard of it from a lady I knew whose first language was Portuguese, and this was the method she used to learn English. She made a lot of sense when she described it. As children, we do not question why “I do” but “he/she does”. We hear it, learn it and say it. She gave me the name of the series she used, but when I researched it, I found that Russian was not included. Finally, I’ve found it. Thanks again!


    1. Mark Thomson Avatar
      Mark Thomson

      Thanks, CLinton. I actually developed the system myself, but it doesn’t surprise me that others would’ve happened upon similar teaching styles.
      Hope to see you in R.A. when you finish RME.


  15. Jerry Avatar

    My wife and I started this course a few years ago and have progressed on to the paid for courses. We’re very happy with these lessons, they work well for us. Our Russian sponsor is quite pleased with our knowledge of Russian…which is good as since we started this course we decided to move to Russia.

    I’ve recommended this course to a number of people, if any of you are reading this…WELCOME!

    Now I have to get back to talking to the builders finishing up our new house so we can more in when the border opens.

    1. Mark Thomson Avatar
      Mark Thomson

      So happy for you guys, Jerry. And the house is looking awesome. Spasibo bolshoe for all the good PR!


  16. Urs Schmied Avatar
    Urs Schmied

    Hi Mark,
    as a paid up RA member I can’t reach your support any more since the last update of the website.
    Please un-spam my e-mail ….89@bluewin.ch.
    Thank you,

    1. Support Avatar

      Hi Urs, please send an e-mail to support (at) russianaccelerator.com or via our contact page you can send a message directly on FaceBook.

  17. Claire Avatar

    Hi Mark, your podcasts on Spotify have been so incredibly helpful. My question is, to become more fluent more quickly, do you suggest I purchase your course and start or would it be the same to finish the podcasts and then purchase? I want to learn as quickly as possible. I have only been learning for two weeks and started with Duolingo, then moving to your podcasts. Thank you so much!!

    1. Mark Thomson Avatar
      Mark Thomson

      Hi Claire,
      Thanks for the kind words about my Russian Made Easy podcast. So glad you’re enjoying it. And yours is a common question. What most members end up doing is both at the same time. So, they’ll do a few lessons of R.A. and then an episode of RME…back and forth like that. You can learn more about RA here…

      …but there’s no hurry. We’ll be here whenever you’re ready to sign-up. Meantime, keep up the great work!

      Kind regards from Ukraine,
      Mark ThomsonPres. Russian Accelerator

  18. Meghan Avatar

    Mark, thank you so much for your excellent lessons! I am having a wonderful time learning this new language and you are a great instructor. Learning to read the Cyrillic alphabet was so much fun and so rewarding. I can’t believe how quickly I was able to learn. I am eager to continue with my lessons! You have saved me from boredom!

    1. Mark Thomson Avatar
      Mark Thomson

      Привет Мейган!

      So gladyou’re enjoying my RME podcast. Hope to welcome you to my Russian Accelerator on eday.
      til then..
      Keep up the great work!

  19. John Avatar

    Hi Mark and the Team.

    I can recommend the accelerator course, started with it many years ago. It’s logical, quite easy and if people take your advice re flash cards, it’s actually simple to develop a good vocabulary, fast!
    I’m using this as a refresher and going to adapt it to learn Ukrainian as my wife needs to go back to her home for a year and lives in a very strong Ukrainian speaking city. With cyrus the virus, I figure in 6 months when I am able to travel, I’ll have a good enough grasp of it

    1. Mark Thomson Avatar
      Mark Thomson

      Hi John,

      Good to hear from you. If it’s been a while, you should re-visit R.A. We added a killer new podcast exclusive to R.A. Features new native speakers, new examples of use, and new Russian song and TV clips. Also has a ‘Russian Immersion’ section in each episode. Anyway…safe travels. Thanks for popping in!

  20. Christoffer Avatar

    I just want to say HUGE thanks for taking time and moving at a suitable tempo.
    You make russian sound possible to learn. Five or six years ago I actually bought a school book to learn it but gave up because it skipped the basics.
    I have one problem and that is getting when to use ”ya bodu” and ”ya hochit”, thinking of the restaurant episode, I seem to mix them up often.
    Thanks for an A+ pod

    1. Mark Thomson Avatar
      Mark Thomson

      Thanks, Christoffer. And yes, it is **definitely** possible to learn Russian. And pretty quickly, too. But you have to use the right techniques. Finish the podcast and then i hope you join my Russian Accelerator course. Meantime, keep up the great work!


  21. LaDawn Milton Avatar
    LaDawn Milton

    I’ve been listening to your podcasts on my way to work at least 3 days a week for the past 3 weeks. While I’m at repeating lesson 3 to make sure I’m comprehending and remembering, your lessons are much better than any other methods I’ve tried!

    1. Mark Thomson Avatar
      Mark Thomson

      Спасибо Ладоун!

      Glad you’re enjoying my podcast. I hope you’ll check out Russian Accelerator. It’s my premiere online, video course.
      I promise, we’ll turn you into a confident, conversational Russian speaker.
      You can learn more about it here…


  22. Vic Avatar

    Hello, what other languages can you provide with your fabulous teaching techinics?

    1. Mark Thomson Avatar
      Mark Thomson

      We also teach Japanese. Please search app stores for “2 Hour Hiragana” and “2 Hour Katakana”.
      Or our conversational course, “Japanese Mastery Method” http://japanesemasterymethod.com/

      Thanks for asking!

  23. Astrid Cañas Avatar
    Astrid Cañas

    I have been following the course for months on Spotify, so slowly. I recently found your RME webpage, and I have started again. I am absolutely grateful, I feel I can identify words when watching movies. Thanks Mark, in these quarantine times, your voice helps me to focus on my capacities and not in the feeling of helpless and despair we all all experimenting.

    1. Mark Thomson Avatar
      Mark Thomson

      You’re very welcome, Astrid. Stay safe and study hard. We’ll all get through this together…

  24. Chris Avatar

    Thank you very much this helped me to learn Russian the easiest way as possible!

  25. Drew I Tillman Avatar

    Have used a number of online russian programs and Mark’s seems to be the most enjoyable and effective. Just listened to a few hlessons in spanish with Pimseleur and was frustrated within a few minutes. They probably have the same approach with all their languages. Uninstalled within half hour. Mark has the approach and the results. Drew

    1. Mark Thomson Avatar
      Mark Thomson

      Hi Drew,

      Thanks for the kind words. The problem with Pims i that they get a general translation of the Russian phrase they want you to learn. That’s not good. As you’re discovering in my podcast, you need to learn a super-literal translation for each phrase…it’s the only way to know what you’re really saying in Russian. And it also lets you use each word properly, in novel phrases down the road. Anyway, let me know how you progress through RME and I hope to see you in my premiere course, Russian Accelerator, when you graduate from RME. Cheers from Ukraine, Mark

  26. April Avatar

    Having a blast learning something. It is taught in a way that I can remember.

    1. Mark Thomson Avatar
      Mark Thomson

      Love the enthusiasm. Hope to see you in my Russian Accelerator course once you finish RME!

  27. Thit Avatar

    Здравствуйте Mark!
    I just finished the episode 10 “exam”, and I was surprised at how much I remembered! I really enjoy your style of teaching, who knew learning grammar could be so easy – I’ve always had teacher tell me that I need to memorise verb-endings and what not, but your technique makes so much more sense!
    I will continue on with the podcasts, and then I will definitely try out the accelerator course!

    1. Mark Thomson Avatar
      Mark Thomson

      Молодец! (muh-luh-DYETS) = Great job! Way to go! Nicely done! (etc)

      So glad you’re enjoying the podcast. I look forward to welcoing you to my Russian Acelerator course onc you ace the final exam!


  28. Josh Avatar

    I thought this would be a long shot but i now think this is achievable. I have only completed up to Episode 6 but fill i have a solid foundation. My next step is to make flash cards up to were i am at before proceeding.

    1. Mark Thomson Avatar
      Mark Thomson

      So glad to hear, Josh. And when you’re done, I hope to see you in my Accelerator course!
      Keep up th great work,

    2. Sharon Avatar

      Hi Josh, I too have started using flash cards as I fell upon the “Leitner box” principle….. Am on Day 12. It’s hard remembering words and I now understand the different methods of remembering and Marks course has been very helpful. I’m collecting words from Marks podcast RME and I also use Daria (Real Russian Club) which is a very different beginners course but equally as good and enjoyable. Thank you Mark. I will keep going with RME and then progress to your accelerator course. My memory retention is still very poor but it must be better than it was in May which was when I started as I can use various words spontaneously. It’s very enjoyable learning and learning around the Russian language. THANK YOU MARK

  29. Purcell Avatar

    So far so good. Я really like this learning process.

    1. Mark Thomson Avatar
      Mark Thomson

      Thanks, Purcell. Hope to see you in my Russian Accelerator course when you’re done. 🙂

  30. TBC Avatar

    I’m using your podcasts to learn basic Russian. They’re extremely helpful, and really, really well thought through–they actually look, forgive me, like you put tonnes of thinking behind this idea (and it’s a great idea!) Honestly, thank you so much for that–it’s hard, you know, finding sites that teach languages well online, but yours definitely does it. 🙂

    1. Mark Thomson Avatar
      Mark Thomson


      Thanks for the kind words about my podcast. So glad you’re enjoying it.
      And yes, it was both a mountain of work and a labor of love. Russian is such a beautiful language,
      it’s a real pleasure to share it with others.

      I hope to welcome you to my Russian Accelerator video course one day.
      Until then,

      Kind regards from Ukraine!

  31. Will Avatar

    hi Mark
    thanks for the podcasts , they are great .
    I am off to the world cup in June so want to rush through some basics but fear I have left it late. Anyway have you thought of a podcast for World Cup travellers ?

  32. Chris Avatar

    I learn by reading; it somehow helps me to hear the words. So this method you present is super helpful. Is there a way to pause the audio as I read the the webpage without scrolling to the top? I’m afraid as the lessons get more complicated this might be an issue. I suppose I could download the lesson and pause from a separate player, but if there is a simpler method I would appreciate any advice.

    1. Mark Thomson Avatar
      Mark Thomson

      Glad you’re enjoying the podcast, Chris.

      Regarding the audio player and pausing, I don’t know what device you are using
      but your idea to read and have a separate audio player open may work.
      Also, if you are on a desktop computer, you could have two browser tabs open at
      the same time. One could be at the top of the page with the audio, and you could
      scroll in the other browser tab.

  33. Arya Avatar

    It is great! I think this is the best way of learning Russian. I have tried some ways before but they were not as good as this one. I am not native in English and my native language is Persian but I can learn great! 🙂
    Thank you

    1. Mark Thomson Avatar
      Mark Thomson

      Killing two birds with one stone!

  34. Sergio Avatar

    I arrived here because … I had decided to learn the Russian alphabet as a first step to learn the language. Looking for applications for my phone I found RusAlphabet and I was delighted with the method used, so I decided to visit you on your website. Great decision, indeed. The funny thing is that I was already developing a similar system to learn the Japanese syllabaries (hiragana and katakana), but your method is simpler, so I’ll adapt what I was doing.

    My English is not too good, but I find it interesting to practice it by learning a third language.

    Thank you for existing. A big hug.


    1. Mark Thomson Avatar
      Mark Thomson

      Thanks, Sergio!

      Actually, I helped design two Japanese reading apps. One is called ‘2 Hour Hiragana’ and is similar in style.
      You can get it in the app store located here:

      or search 2 Hour Hiragana in Google play for Android. There are links in the Hiragana app
      to the Katakana app so he can learn that when done with Hiragana.



  35. Verica Avatar

    Great! My mother language is Serbian. My second is Russian, but I forgot a lot. My third is English, and now I’m back to learn Russian again. This is the best method I came across! I wish there were websites for other languages like this one. Thank you, Mark!

    1. Mark Thomson Avatar
      Mark Thomson

      Thanks, Verica!

  36. Tunde Avatar

    This is an awesome material to learn with, I am really excited about learning more. Keep up the good work.

  37. Robin Shankland Avatar
    Robin Shankland

    After many (intermittent) attempts to learn Russian I’d pretty much decided that although the language itself was not terribly difficult to master; the methods of teaching it were! Needless to say, I’m so glad to have FINALLY found a teaching method “in tune” with how most of us actually learn language. Outstanding Job and Thank You for making this available.

  38. Roberto Avatar

    Thank you Mark I start with you APP learning the alphabet and I can read don’t know what I say but with lessons I get motivated to continue learning. This will be my second language to learn I am Argentinian and living in Canada and marriage to a Russian woman and she doesn’t know I try to learn Russian – Hope I learn some before she come from Russia.
    Thank you for this opportunity.

    1. Mark Thomson Avatar
      Mark Thomson

      My pleasure, РОБЕРТО!

  39. Iuri Avatar

    Mark, thank you for making this lessons available, they are great! I also learned the cyrilic alphabet with your videos on Udemy, fantastic! You are a good person. Cheers from Brasil!

    1. Mark Thomson Avatar
      Mark Thomson

      Hi Luri,

      Thanks for your kind words about my Russian Made Easy podcast.
      So glad you’re enjoying it.

      I hope you’ll check out Russian Accelerator. It’s my online, video course. You can learn more about it here…


      All the best!

  40. Waldo Avatar

    Do you have your mnemonics for Russian in a pdf file? Your example of “Not for all the TEA in CHIna” was excellent.

  41. Simon Avatar

    Thank-you for this great resource! I’ve only been learning for a couple of months, trying various different approaches. I think I’m doing ok so far but your approach here (I’m only 3 lessons) seems like a very good way to boost my take-up of the language, and I appreciate that each lesson is not too long, making it easier to fit around other demands. And I’m VERY happy to see that, despite the “Made Easy” title, you have chosen to use Cyrillic rather than transcription (most of my effort so far has been to get to grips with the alphabet, reading and spelling, and some vocab).

    Thanks again!

    1. Mark Thomson Avatar
      Mark Thomson

      Привет Саймон

      If you’re still working on the Cyrillic alphabet, please check out my free app
      called ‘Russian Alphabet Mastery’. Here’s a link to it on iTunes:



  42. Jenny Avatar

    This is the best Russian language course that I have ever seen. I can see this as a very successful app if sold. When is the app coming out?

  43. Tatiana Avatar

    Thank you very much for your lessons! Your teaching method is effective and it works! I’m from Rome, Italy, and I’m sorry for my bad english… With your helpful podcast I could learn two languages!
    So, I’d like to thank you again.
    Tatiana (Yes, I have a typical Russian name) 🙂

    1. Mark Thomson Avatar
      Mark Thomson

      Is Tatiana also a common Italian name?

  44. samad Avatar

    how I can get the text of audio lessons -I say it because my English isn’t well so I will learn both of them at the same time

    1. Greg T Avatar
      Greg T

      Hello, You can read the main body of the blog post or download the pdf at the end of the lesson.

      Hope that helps!

  45. DÁnder Avatar

    I’m guessing the audio portion no longer works??

    1. Greg T Avatar
      Greg T

      Hello, Audio seems to be working of from here. Are you getting an error
      message of some kind, or is the audio in this lesson just not working for you?
      Please try a different browser and see how that goes.

  46. Samad Avatar

    I’m from Islamic of republic of iran and I decided to immigrant to Russia I really need helpful and active website like your own side special thanks are owed to your help

  47. Alberto J Avatar
    Alberto J

    I can’t even begin to explain how easy you have been describing this for me. I already knew how to write and pretty much understand Russian language but you nailed it on the grammar for me. I went from a letter grade C in my Russian II class at my university to an A.

    1. Mark Thomson Avatar
      Mark Thomson

      Glad I could help!

  48. Lauren Avatar

    Hi Mark,
    I wanted to leave a quick post saying that Ive really found your podcasts helpful! I have been trying out a few different Russian learning methods, and your approach has made the most impact. I typically listen to 2-3 podcasts a week while commuting to work.
    Thanks again!
    – Lauren

    1. Mark Thomson Avatar
      Mark Thomson

      Thanks, Lauren! Please let me know how you do on the mid-term and final!

  49. Shubham Raut Avatar
    Shubham Raut

    This is a really great way to learn! I had already learned the Cryllic script and I knew some 250 words before starting with this. So this was a cake walk. But I am finding learning ahead via the traditional way to be difficult. I see this method as promising and I will continue listening to your podcasts. Thank you for this.

  50. jim martin Avatar

    Hi Mark – 1st thank you for a good podcast – I have tried a few but your approach to grammar rules – rules.
    This is a strange request but in one episode you mention you live in Ukraine. My wife and I will be in Kiev soon as part of me researching the stalinist wedding cake skyscrapers (7 sisters) and their related buildings. Hotel Ukraine in Kiev is an interesting example of this and very different from the others. I am very interested in how local people relate to these buildings and how important they are or are not. I have recently been to Hotel International in Prague and found a sense of dislike or ambivalence towards it there. I am soon to go to Moscow and re-visit the ones there as well as the ones in Warsaw, Bucharest and Riga. I would be very grateful for any views you may have or advice you may wish to share. My interest is based round a personal desire to see them and to produce some kind of record in an artistic form.
    I would like to thank you again for the very helpful podcast.

    1. Mark Thomson Avatar
      Mark Thomson

      Hi Jim,

      Thanks for the kind words. And amazing coincidence that you ask about the 7 Sisters. As I write, one of the seven is visible out my hotel window. We are staying in the Mercure Hotel here in Warsaw. ANyway, I dont know much about how the locals think of them. Personally, I think the architecture is amazing.
      Anyway, I think taking trips and asking people directly is the way to go.
      Thx again,

  51. Leesa Avatar

    Brilliant teaching method! Thank you.

    1. Mark Thomson Avatar
      Mark Thomson

      Spasibo, Leesa! Let me know how you do on the mid-term and final of the series!

  52. bob Avatar

    full podcast trasncript link is broken for episode one

    1. Mark Thomson Avatar
      Mark Thomson

      Hi Bob, Thanks for the heads-up. Fixed the link. Please have a look.

      1. bob Avatar

        looks great now, thanks for the fast response! and thanks for the great podcast/teaching!

  53. Nat Avatar

    Thanks – this is great! I’ve been trying to learn Russian through Rosetta Stone for ages now and I’ve been getting nowhere – their “full immersive” way of teaching and not explaining what I’m learning to me in English at all was very frustrating and confusing. This, on the other hand, I’m actually getting! I’ll be loading all of these mp3s up onto my phone to listen to at all times!

    Is there any page where I can download the mp3s from all lessons, though? It’ll be a bit tedious to download page by page.

    Thank you!

    1. Mark Thomson Avatar
      Mark Thomson

      So glad you like it, Nat. Yes, R/S is a very frustrating program. It’s honestly a very outdated concept.
      My main course (which this podcast is a primer for) is called ‘Russian Accelerator’ and we consider it the ANTI-Rosetta.
      We teach, we explain everything…and we actually make you conversational in Russian.

      As for downloading all of them at once…good question. I’m not the tech guy on the team, so look for a reply from one of them a bit later.
      Enjoy the podcasts!

    2. Mark Thomson Avatar
      Mark Thomson

      Hi Nat, Technical support said there is no way to download all the files at once from this site, but if you go into i-tunes you can then load the podcast episodes all at once (if you have an i-pad, pod, etc. Here’s the link to the main page for the podcast.


      Hope that helps!

  54. Eric Avatar


    Amazing podcast. I feel like i have really learned a lot in the past month listening to the podcast.

    I am nearing the end, in the mid 20s episode and am a little scared I wont know where to go after I finish episode 30. I feel like wherever I will go next might not be necessarily where we left off in your course so I am not sure which is the best route to take

    Any recommendations?

    1. Mark Thomson Avatar
      Mark Thomson

      Hi Eric,

      Thanks for writing. So glad you’re enjoying the podcast. Russian Made Easy is actually just a primer for our online video course called ‘Russian Accelerator’. (I plug it here and there during the podcast, but try not to overdo it. 🙂

      But you can check it out here, and try it for three weeks for $1…


      Thanks again for your support,

  55. Mohammed Avatar

    you are amazing man. I love your pod you are making things easier than other podcasts.

  56. Doug Avatar

    Enjoying this so much, have tried several and Mark your teaching method is right on. I am studying several languages aside from my native English, a daunting task. I have an interest not only in the language but also in the Cyrillic alphabet and the way to write in Russian…everything in the course is very helpful. My intention is to get these podcasts and then try your Russian Accelerator course to become fluent in the language. I have many Russian friends, they have commented that not only have I learned an impressive vocabulary, but also am PRONOUNCING in a very Russian manner…pretty great. Thanks again.

    1. Mark Avatar

      Hi Doug,
      Thanks for the kind words of support. I also have a free app where you can learn to read the Cyrillic (Russian) alphabet in just a few hours.
      You can get it here on iTunes: https://itunes.apple.com/cy/app/russian-alphabet-mastery-learn/id762218971?mt=8

      Hope to see you in Russian Accelerator!

  57. john Avatar

    Hi Mark,

    Thank you for these.

    I’m going to use this in conjunction with the course I purchased.

    These are perfect for my drives and jogging time.

    1. Mark Thomson Avatar
      Mark Thomson

      Hi John,

      Be sure to practice out loud (even while jogging).
      Let us know how you do on the finalexam (Podcast #30)


  58. Gabriele Bariletti Avatar
    Gabriele Bariletti

    This i a very nice method and not only to learn Russian… but to practice myself in english speack too!

  59. Ann Avatar

    Hi Mark; I’m still using your programme ‘Russian Accelerator’ – just happen to be a slow learner but hopefully this time next year I’ll be enrolling in the more advanced course. I only recently discovered the podcasts and have downloaded some on to my ipod. They are terrific thank you!

    1. Mark Thomson Avatar
      Mark Thomson

      Hi Ann!

      Glad you’re enjoying both courses. I tried hard to make the podcast independent, yet complimentary to Russian Accelerator.

  60. Michaela Avatar

    Hi! I’m not as new to the language as some of the other people here but I thought this would be a great add-on to another website I’m using that’s really helped. I know a lot of vocabulary and I can read it decently but I needed something to help me with the grammar, as I’m not even good at English grammar! This first episode definitely helped me out a whole lot to understanding how to form sentences. Thank you!! Also, what would be a good way to remember the vocabulary and such that I’ll be learning in later lessons? I use flashcards and they seem to help a lot but since you’re so good at teaching, maybe you know a better way?

    1. Mark Thomson Avatar
      Mark Thomson

      Handmade flashcards on good old cardstock are — in my opinion –the best way to study. Superior to all forms of digital flashcards, and flashcard apps I’ve encountered.

  61. Drew Avatar

    Id like to thank you mark as i am russian myself but i cannot speak in russian because we moved to australia and my father has forgotten the language id been looking for effective ways to learn and your method is the best ive found so thank you very much

  62. Chuck Avatar

    How come I can’t seem to listen to the podcast or download the file? A little help is appreciated.

    1. Greg T Avatar
      Greg T

      Hi Chuck, Scroll down to the bottom of the page and you will see download links. Try right-clicking on them to download the episode. Also, this podcast is currently available in i-tunes. Search “Russian Made Easy” If you have i-tunes you should be able to listen there as well. Hope that helps! RME Support

  63. Keiran Avatar

    This is just brilliant, I have always wanted to learn Russian and meeting a Russian girl sort of requires me to 🙂 she helps me but like you said native speakers aren’t great teachers, i’ve only finished podcast 1 but can’t wait to do them all!!! THANKS MARK

  64. Alize Avatar

    Great method!

    I will start my russian classes next saturday and decided to make the first step to know where I am going.

    I can’t believe I’ve learned 11 words! kkkkk

    I also can say it’s very good because I’m not a native english speaker. I’m from Brazil and NOT fluent in english, still… 🙂

  65. Gertrude Colvan Avatar

    Could this be a supplement to Russian Accelerator course?

  66. Aboubakr Avatar

    I’ve been hitting on Russian from time to time, so I can read the letters, although I still need to work on russificating my pronunciation, and I know how to conjugate some verbs in the present tense using the simple pattern, but I stopped learning about 2 years ago, and here I am again starting with your lessons, even reviewing the very first one, which I stumbled upon it by accident in the iTunes’ podcasts.

    Gonna listen to them all, and looking forward for more, you’re opening up my appetite one more time 🙂

    Wish you success in your project, really great work indeed.

    1. Mark Thomson Avatar
      Mark Thomson

      Thanks, Aboubakr! And don’t hesitate to write with any questions. We’re here to help you learn Russian!

  67. Katah Avatar

    I started in the winter 2012, but then had to much work to do during the summer months, I thought I would get back to it in the fall, but somehow, the motivation was not there. I was also having trouble with the teachign method of the school I was taking classes at…they had a different approach that did not quite work for me. I found your web page through FB.
    I know how to read, but have not learned much vocabulary (or at least I have not memorized any)…I have hope again !!

    1. Mark Thomson Avatar
      Mark Thomson

      Glad to hear we’ve given you hope again. And I understand your complaint about learning in a school. Often the lead instructors are native speakers and that’s the underlying problem: Native speakers are usually terrible at teaching their own language. Yes, they’re great at *speaking* Russian. But that in no way makes them experts at *teaching* Russian.

  68. Katah Avatar

    just did your first lesson, and I like how you present things. thank-you!
    I will try to practice these words today , and do the second podcast tomorrow.
    maybe this is finally the right method for me!! (I have tried a few and was always getting stuck, or overwhelmed!).

    1. Mark Thomson Avatar
      Mark Thomson

      Hi Katah, Glad to hear you’re off to a good stat with the podcast. How long have you been trying to learn Russian?

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