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How can I improve my Russian vocabulary?

I've noticed that my biggest problem with learning Russian has been my inability to remember vocabulary. I can remember (most of) the rules for which gendercasetense gets what ending, but I spend far too much time looking up words in a dictionary.

Does anyone have any recommendations for effective ways to learn foreign language (particularly Russian) vocabulary I'm well aware that there's no shortcut to learning a language, but maybe some of you have some useful suggestions!

Thanks a lot!


If you can remember Russian grammar rules then you have good memory. That's great. I think you need to start making a list of words (or small cards) and trying to remember them instead of looking them up in the dictionary every time.


Next time you find myself looking up a word in a dictionary, think if that word is useful for you in the future. If yes, add it to a list of words that you want to memorize. Try to create a list with about 20-30 new Russian words along with their English translations.

Write out 20 to 30 new words in a column. Put foreign words on the left and their translation to your native language on the right. Now read the whole list line by line and try to remember the words. Then take a 10-minute break. Then repeat them again and take another 5-minute break. Keep doing that several times until you feel that you remember the words.

( If you don't like lists, it may be a good idea to make small cards with Russian words on one side and their translation on the other side )

Finally, review your word list in 10 hours. Then review it each 24 hours until you have at least four revisions. The key is to review your list at least four times. By that time you will have the words committed to memory quiet well.

I hope this method will work for you!

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