March 10, 2013
Publisher Penton Overseas
Price Varies, because out of print
Skill Level Beginner, Intermediate, Advanced
VocabuLearn Russian, once published by Penton Overseas in CD format, is no longer offered through that company, but it may soon find a second life on the Internet, as VocabuLearn for a number of other languages has.
VocabuLearn is a leisurely way to acquaint yourself with a language’s pronunciation and basic words and expressions. Against a serene background of classical music, you listen to slowly, carefully enunciated vocabulary lists that give you opportunities to guess at translations, pronounce words, hear the correct pronunciations, and try again.
VocabuLearn Russian lessons are divided up by parts of speech, and sometimes you go from Russian to English, sometimes from English to Russian.
There are three levels for Russian. If possible, I wouldn’t recommend you purchase more than one level of VocabuLearn Russian at a time, because at a certain point, one can run out of steam for this kind of stuff. Recitations of vocabulary tend to become tedious after a while.
Now here’s the thing: it is currently hard to find VocabuLearn Russian for a good price. Today, as of this writing, the best price I see is $120 for a 12-CD set, meaning all three levels, on Amazon.com. That’s about double the original retail price, but at the moment you don’t have a whole lot of options. Although VocabuLearn for some other languages is being offered via MP3 downloads on iTunes and through sites such as Audible, I don’t yet see that for Russian.
If you want VocabuLearn Russian but (understandably) wish to pay less than $120, be resourceful in your online searches. Prices can vary day to day, and new sources often materialize unexpectedly, so persistence may pay off. And, if you want to avoid paying altogether, try your local library; my first VocabuLearn encounter ever occurred at the New York Public Library back in 2009.