Learning the Russian language thanks to films with subtitles

Russian language

There are many techniques for learning any new language, including Russian. But no matter which one you choose, there must be an immersion into the language environment. If you can’t afford to go to a country where people speak that language or can’t find natives around, there is one excellent way to stick with one’s comfortable couch and still learn effectively: Soviet movies in English.

Soviet films with English subtitles

Soviet and Russian films in English, along with TV shows and soaps, are great for learners of all levels because they allow hearing words from natives. Thanks to the subtitles, learners will grasp the meaning of what is said and will effectively make parallels between a new word they don’t know and it’s meaning in English (or their native language). 

How to learn Russian by watching movies? The Internet provides a lot of opportunities for modern learners, making it possible to pick films/soaps by:

  • genre
  • length
  • amount of dialogues (it’s possible to find out after reading a description on some film review website)
  • the year of release (the older a film is, the farther it is from modern realities and such a film can be even odd to modern viewers because people in the past had other values, behavior, and restrictions)
  • the modernity of language (watching some historical film trying to learn Russian by watching movies, it is possible to hear a lot of words that are now out of circulation or with the meaning that had already changed). 

Basically, all this information is available in film descriptions online but if you don’t have time to find out and read a lot to begin, as well as to select, which movies to watch — simply jump to the last chapter of this text to find out 10 good films to spend time with. The years of their production span widely, as well as the genres, so you will have a rather broadly distributed vocabulary inflow after watching these Russian films with English subtitles.

Memorising techniques that really work

You shall not think that watching per se is enough! No! That’s actually one step. The next one is to scrupulously write down all things new to you:

  • words
  • expressions
  • word combinations
  • sentences.

And then you shall learn them. Because you watch Soviet films in English, matching those with their meanings won’t be difficult. What you shall do is as follows: 

  1. Say words/sentences with your mouth to train your pronunciation.
  2. Read the meaning.
  3. Remember.

Repeat as many times as necessary. Use cramming as a mantra (if necessary). When you remember everything new in one movie — it’s a great achievement! Here, you can treat yourself to something delicious and move on to the next Russian film in English.

There is another approach — just watch everything in a row (trying to repeat the sounds, however). But if you won’t learn by heart, the effectiveness of that is much lower than in the approach described above.

Top 10 best Soviet films

  1. Officers
  2. Carnival Night
  3. Love And Pigeons
  4. Welcome, Or No Trespassing
  5. The Three Musketeers
  6. Burnt By The Sun
  7. Fate Of A Man
  8. The Cranes Are Flying 
  9. Amphibian Man
  10. Stalker.