For some, learning languages comes easy. Not so much for others. If you add in a totally new alphabet, like the Cyrillic alphabet used in Russian, the difficulty can become even more profound. An app aiming to teach such a language needs to break things down into bite-sized chunks and make it simple to find the important lessons. MosaLingua's app to learn Russian hits some high marks, but isn't perfect.
With our busy lives, who has time for learning a new language? You do, actually, with the help of MosaLingua.
The basic premise of learning Russian with MosaLingua is the use of flash cards. This is a tried and true method that language learners have been utilizing for years, and it makes sense. In the Learn to speak Russian quickly with MosaLingua app, you choose the first thing you'd like to do in Russian, like traveling, speaking and socializing, working and doing business, and so on. You can also choose to work on improving your grades, passing an exam, or getting ready to study abroad.
Next you select your level of expertise with Russian. I chose entry, since I've never studied the language before. If you aren't sure, there's a level quiz you can take.
Once you make your choice, MosaLingua creates a custom learning plan just for you. Since I chose to learn speaking and socializing, my learning plan began with conversational basics.
Each word or phrase is on its own flash card, which you can listen to and then record for yourself. Flip the flashcard over, and you see the word in the Cyrillic alphabet along with its English translation and transcription. This is key to helping you learn the phrase, but I feel my learning course should have begun with the alphabet.
The only app you need to learn Russian, in a hurry or a little bit at a time
Frustrated with the flash card quizzes encouraging me to spell words using an alphabet I didn't know, I set out to locate some help with the Cyrillic alphabet. I found it, but I had to dig far deeper than I really should have.
To get help with the alphabet, you tap Explore, then Lessons. From there, choose Russian Lessons and then The Russian Alphabet. Just my opinion here, but this is something that should have been at the forefront of the app's curriculum, not buried in a list of mostly locked lessons.
Once you find it, though, the tutorial on the Cyrillic alphabet is quite handy and easy to follow. It explains how the alphabet is comprised, including key differences between the Russian alphabet and the English one.
The lesson begins with describing the letters that are identical between our Latin alphabet and the Cyrillic one. It provides you with a few words using those letters, so you can quickly pick up the alphabet.
Next, the app talks about "the false friends." These are letters that look like ours, but are pronounced differently. Again, you're provided with words using those letters, so you can see them and hear them pronounced.
Finally, the tutorial breaks down the letters totally different from our alphabet, including Greek characters and the "mirror letters," characters that appear to be mirror images of common Latin letters. Following the same pattern as previously, MosaLingua gives you the list of letters along with words using those characters.
Learn to speak Russian quickly with MosaLingua is a great primer for getting down the basics and essentials of the Russian language. It even dives into some advanced topics, for increasing your fluency. The app isn't perfect, though, and could use a bit of reorganization to make it easier to learn the Cyrillic alphabet.
Explore other topics
You'll be prompted to choose where you want your learning to begin. However, you can also explore other topics to customize your curriculum
Learn from flash cards
MosaLingua breaks learning down into simple flash cards, usually a word or phrase at a time.
Learn the Cyrillic alphabet
One of the most daunting parts of learning Russian is the new alphabet, but MosaLingua has an excellent tutorial on Cyrillic. Unfortunately, you have to hunt for it.