I would like to share with you a website where you will find simple Russian texts / простые русские тексты. They were written by Ilya Frank’s reading method / по методу чтения Ильи Франка. I found stories which are good for beginners /для начинающих. You can download them for free / скачать их бесплатно.
Each text is broken up into small excerpts. The adapted excerpt with inserted literal English translation and brief lexical comments comes first. The original text follows untranslated with no prompts.
These texts are here - english.franklang.ru. Click on the button Russian on the left side. One more click – and you see Russian Through Real Stories: Tales From Zaikina. English translation by Oleg Svistunov. You can download these simple Russian texts, or read them. These stories are examples of everyday spoken texts. You will not see neither difficult words, nor scientific terms. It is just happy memories and funny tales about children and animals. Yes, some words are too long for English native speakers. For example, “трёхколёсный” – “three-wheeled”. Sometimes, it is difficult to catch some cultural background. However, these are the only difficulties.
Russian website of Ilya Frank includes 36 languages: from Spanish to Sanscrit. Speaking honestly, that is a very popular method to learn languages for free here, in Russia. Of course, it is just reading, without mp-3 files or audio books. But this method helps to concentrate your attention on some specific goals. For example, you wish to learn new words/ выучить новые слова, or to see the structure of sentences / увидеть структуру предложений.
Naturally, at first you will be overwhelmed by the torrent of unknown words and forms. Don’t be discouraged: no one is testing anyone here. As you read (it may happen in the middle of the book or as you’re approaching the end) everything will “fall right into place” and you’ll probably be surprised: “Why do they provide the translation and the dictionary form of the word again when it’s already clear!” When you reach the “underderstood without saying” level, it’s worth changing the order in which you read: the unadapted excerpt first and the translated part second.
I believe, Ilya Frank’s reading method can be very productive, if you really wish to learn Russian for free / выучить русский бесплатно. I read such texts, when I have some time to learn Serbian and Slovak. For me, it is the best way to find connections between different words.
Also, I would like to share with you one of my favourite Russian / Soviet cartoons Трое из Простоквашино / Three from Prostokvashino. Простоквашино is a village. This name refers to a product made of fermented (sour) milk – простокваша. Просто = simple. The root “кваш” refers to the verb квасить = to make sour. The ending “a” means feminine gender and 1 declination.