Russian After Duo
Where should I go to learn Russian after Duo is complete?
Obviously there's a ton still to learn with Duo alone, reviewing and picking up on things I completely missed the first time. :) I've also had some Russian immersion and classes outside Duolingo, which have helped a great deal. But does anyone know of a good online program - free or paid - where I can continue my studies at a more advanced level? I've been looking for this for a while, but haven't found anything yet.
Thanks in advance for any suggestions!
I'm doing a course on Memrise called (hilariously) Top 10,000 Words Part 1 as well as slowly going through the Russian stack of words on Lingvist. Both are free, and available both as web versions and as apps (at least for Android).
These will be particularly useful for expanding your vocabulary for reading, but if your main interest is learning to speak, you'll need other resources.
iOS as well; I'd think of those two options Lingvist is would be my pretty obvious choice to recommend to someone just finishing the tree. Some of the fairly early vocab in the 10,000 words course just drove me up the wall trying to retain, and if one hasn't mastered case use / conjugation, then at least Lingvist is still providing exposure to that.
Curious for differing perspectives, though. My longtime difficulty retaining Russian vocab may be playing into this judgement. Now a year+ post finishing the tree that Memrise course is going a lot more smoothly.
Yeah, I started the 10,000 course back before I started the tree (as a truish beginner), and I was going crazy at 50 items. Now I'm OK juggling 3,000 items.
Lingvist is more boring and needs more focus than Duolingo or Memrise, but it's pretty darn effective. And their subtle grammar hints within the lesson are pretty good at reminding me that I should really study the grammar at some point, and making me curious about the grammar rather than just dreading it.
You've gotten good advice so far.
One resource that hasn't been mentioned is 3ears.com
The Slow Russian Language Podcast is a fun adjunct.
LingQ is a good option focusing on reading. BliuBliu is another paid option, but it doesn't give the same level of control of what you read. Learning with Texts as a free option in a similar vein; Benny Lewis (of Fluent in 3 Months fame) has done work to make it more user-friendly.
I'd imagine that by the end of the Russian course, you'd be ready for immersion. I'm only at level 10 but I can already begin to pick up quite a few words listening to news broadcasts or overhearing conversations between native speakers, and I'm beginning to be able to say a few things to my Russian friends, and my dad who also speaks Russian but is not a native speaker. My spelling is also getting good enough that sometimes, I can hear a word that I don't know, and correctly spell it and look it up (google helps because it often guesses and corrects small spelling mistakes).
And I am only a little more than 1/3rd of the way through the course. I'd imagine that by the end of the course, you probably have most of the core skills that you'd need to approach this in a more immersive way...find and connect with some native speakers. There is never a shortage of Russians wanting to learn English, so find a language partner, and there's lots of Russian media that you can get online for free too! Even if you can't go to any Russian-speaking area or meet any native speakers locally, there are lots of options for a more immersive experience.
I'm lucky that I live next to a university and I tend to meet a handful of Russian people over the course of each year here, so I have some opportunities to speak with them. I also run RateTea, and Russia has an active tea culture so I frequently encounter Russian text and writing online in the course of my work.
Seek it out if you don't encounter it on your own!
All the advice so far sounds good to me, depending on what you want. Being mostly interested in reading, I'd recommend books (even w/ shipping from Russia they are cheaper in price--and generally in quality--then books manufactured in North America and Western Europe) and audiobooks (on CD, or they're downloadble inexpensively, although I have not tried that yet); these will definitely increase your vocabulary. If classics are what interest you, there are plenty of texts and some audio available online for free.
The Pushkin Institute courses look good, but all I've done so far is take the test to see which level to start at; nevertheless, FWIW, the results seemed accurate to me.
Don't neglect, should you not be doing it already, the English for Russian speakers course here on Duo, which will provide plenty more translation into Russian, just what is needed after the Duo English for Russian speakers course.
[Added] Piguy3's suggestions of LIngQ and BliuBliu are really good for reading and listening (although I don't like BliuBliu's time-slicing for the free version--but if you like the site, a "premium" subscription is worthwhile). Readlang is great for reading texts online (w/ dictionary help a click away). Russian Podcasts is a good site too; look under ПОДКАСТЫ on the menu bar--but be warned that sometimes the material take a r-e-a-l-l-y long time to load.
I don't know what level you can get with Duolingo, but I'd reccomend you just to start read and ask questions to natives, if you don't understand something. You can easily find a few friends on FB or VK. Many russian-speaking teenagers (somewhere between 12 and 35 y.o., heh) are glad to communicate with foreigners and help them in their language studies. Also you can ask questions on HiNative.
You can go to other sites to play word games, watch videos, some libraries have Russian books or check in your area for stores that cater to the local Russian immigrant population.
italki is a really great resource for taking language skills to the next level, too. but I suppose it depends on what your focus is. Do you want to interact conversationally? Professionally? Are you more interested in reading untranslated literature or news/websites?
Thank you so much everyone!! I will be looking all these up and trying them out over the next few weeks. I really appreciate you taking the time to type all this out and make it available to me.
Find a native speaker or... Paid service you said, my advice is to buy a ticket to Kalingrad (Western Russia) and stay there for a week or two. If you can allow yourself for such a trip it would help you a real lot.