How to Watch Russian films in a ‘learning mode’

Learning through films is a powerful method as it involves images, sound, and emotions. The visual content is engaging and helps comprehension. The audio content will help you develop a general sense of the language sounds and improve your pronunciation. More importantly, a film makes you connect with the actors; it evokes emotions of love, empathy, admiration, anger etc. Research in neuroscience has shown that information tagged with strong emotional value is more easily learned and recalled from our memory. Also, films is an excellent way of immersing into the culture, history, and mentality of a country.

But how can we watch a film in a ‘learning mode’? The setup that has worked in my case is three windows opened on the screen: actual film with English subtitles, transcript in Russian and a Google Translator like below:


I suggest that you watch trying to understand as much as possible without looking at the subtitles. When you have an unknown word, press pause and look at both translation and transcript on the left. You can find the transcript of many Russian films on Vvord or here. Google Translator is very useful to confirm you match correctly the translation with the corresponding word on the left. Also, it points you to the initial form of a noun or verb which you can then investigate more or hear by pressing the ‘play’ button. On the picture above, ‘квартиру’ is the accusative form of the noun ‘квартира’ (apartment).

It is understandable that it would be tiring or impossible to translate every single word, hence, feel free to skip through so your learning has a flow and you feel happy. In the beginning, just focus on the unknown words that you manage to guess, or the ones you are curious to learn. You can always watch the film again and build on more vocabulary.

Below, you can find the links to some popular Russian films which you can watch using the above method. Enjoy!!!


Link to the film Transcript in Russian
Ирония судьбы 1/2, Ирония судьбы 2/2 Transcript
Москва слезам не верит Transcript
Служебный роман 1/2, Служебный роман 2/2 Transcript
Жестокий романс Transcript
Афоня Transcript
Любовь и голуби 1/2, Любовь и голуби 2/2 Transcript
Вокзал для двоих 1/2, Вокзал для двоих 2/2 Transcript
Двенадцать стульев 1/2, Двенадцать стульев 2/2 Transcript
Формула любви Transcript
Покровские Ворота Transcript
Бриллиантовая рука Transcript
Джентльмены удачи Transcript
Кин-дза-дза 1/2, Кин-дза-дза 2/2 Transcript
Питер FM Transcript
В бой идут одни старики Transcript
Осенний марафон Transcript
Три Плюс Два Transcript
Операция “Ы” и другие приключения Шурика Transcript
Иван Васильевич меняет профессию Transcript
Кавказская пленница Transcript
Семнадцать мгновений весны Transcript
Прогулка Transcript

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