Can you learn Russian on YouTube?
The answer will shock you.
In this quick guide, you will learn 1) Russian YouTube phrases, and 2) How to learn Russian on YouTube, or if it’s even possible.
Part 1: Russian YouTube phrases
First, you will learn some Russian YouTube phrases. Why? Well, lots of people take to YouTube to learn things. How to tie a tie. How to unclog a toilet. And of course, for learning Russian.
And let’s say you’re learning Russian on YouTube. You’d want to be able to talk about that in Russian. For example, you’re talking to someone about how you learn Russian and want to explain what you watch, what channels you like and so on. So, here are some phrases first.
1. I learn Russian on YouTube
- Я учу русский с помощью Ютуба
- Phonetics – ya uchu ruskiy s pomash’yu yutuba
2. I like watching Russian videos
- Я люблю смотреть видео на русском
- Phonetics – ya l’ubl’u smatr’et’ vid’eo na ruskam
3. I listen to Russian videos
Just in case you’re the kind of person that leaves videos on in the background and just listens.
- Я слушаю видео на русском
- Phonetics – ya slushayu vid’eo na russkam
4. My favorite channels are X, Y and Z
What are your favorite YouTube channels? Here’s how you list them out in Russian.
- Мои любимые каналы это X, Y и Z
- Phonetics – mai l’yubimye kanaly eta X, Y i Z
Now, how do you watch YouTube videos? Some people use their computer. Some people use their phones.
5. I watch YouTube on my computer
- Я смотрю Ютуб на своем компьютере
- Phonetics – ya smatr’yu yutub na svaem kampyutere
6. I watch YouTube on my phone
The key word here is “telefon.” The reason for the “e” after “telefone” is because it gets conjugated. Or, you can just say iPhone.
- Я смотрю Ютуб на своем телефоне
- Phonetics – ya smatr’yu yutub na svaem telefone
7. I like to watch videos about ____
- Мне нравится смотреть видео о/об ____
- Phonetics – mn’e nravitsa smatr’et’ vid’eo o/ob ____
Note: Use “об” if the following word begins with “А,О,И,У,Э”. With the rest use “о”.
Now, let’s get to the main question. Can you learn Russian on YouTube? Here’s how to ask and answer that.
8. Can you learn Russian on YouTube?
- Можно ли выучить русский с помощью Ютуба?
- Phonetics – mozhna li vyuchit’ ruskiy s pomash’yu yutuba?
9. Yes, you can learn Russian on YouTube
- Да, можно выучить русский с помощью Ютуба
- Phonetics – da, mozhna vyuchit’ ruskiy s pomash’yu yutuba
10. No, you can’t learn Russian on YouTube
- Нет, нельзя выучить русский с помощью Ютуба
- Phonetics – n’et, nel’z’ya vyuchit’ ruskiy s pomash’yu yutuba
Part 2: How to Learn Russian on YouTube… and Can You?
Well, first you have to understand what YouTube is: entertainment. And to keep you watching. it will serve up EVEN MORE entertaining things which are distractions. Like, right after your Russian video, there will be a cat video. Or dogs doing things video. Or people falling out of trees video.
So, entertainment and distraction. Can you learn like that?
The answer isn’t a hard yes or no. Yes, it’s good to capture your attention with something entertaining. Kind of like starting a speech with a joke. But, if you’re watching a video for the sake of entertainment and wanting to know what happens next, you certainly are NOT in a learning state of mind. You may think you are… but unless you have a dictionary, pen and paper out and are rewinding the video every second so you can write things down, you’re not.
Passive learning (just watching or listening, without real engagement) can work when you’re reviewing old information.
But to learn new words and grammar rules – you need active learning. You need to pause, look up words and break things down. And that’s something NOONE does with entertainment.
The big downside of trying to learn with YouTube is distraction. Distraction coming from all the fun videos that they want you to watch next. Cute kittens. Dogs. People falling out of trees.
You may think you’re smarter than the YouTube recommendations… but no. They make a lot of money from keeping you engaged and watching. So, you’re always looking to hook you onto a new video.
And the thing is… learning and distraction don’t go together.
So, in that sense, trying to learn with YouTube is like trying to go on a diet when your family only eats pizza. Or trying to work out from the comfort of your own home. Doesn’t work. You need separate spaces.
There are some solutions though.
First, if you want to learn Russian, don’t make YouTube your first choice.
And if you insist on using YouTube (it’s free after-all. Well, free to use. But you will PAY with attention and time), then get a browser extension that blocks the sidebar.
So, can you learn Russian on YouTube? Not if you’re distracted. Not if you’re caught up in the entertainment. But. if you try the distraction-free plugins, it may work. And if not, get a Russian learning program or a textbook.
– The Main Junkie