Machine translation

Our landlord Oleg speaks very little English. He prefers to speak Russian, but also speaks Ukrainian. We speak very little of either language. This can be awkward. At first, we relied on tolerant Russian-speaking friends to relay messages back and forth by phone. But then it occurred to me that Oleg might have an e-mail account, and we might be able to use the automated capabilities of Google Translate.

And it works! More or less. When Oleg needed me to read the electric meter the other day, I got this message:
Hello, Deniel’.
You will report, please, testimonies of electric meter for payment of electric power.
With kind regards.
Stepanenko Oleg.

A few weeks ago, we used such an exchange of e-mails to arrange some electrical repair work in the apartment. After I sent Oleg a message that the light had been successfully repaired, I received this charming response:

Hello, respected Daniel’.
Thank you for reports. I understood text without problems. I suppose that our mailbox and translators is a good alternative to linguistics.
I congratulate you and Your nice women with Thanksgiving Day .
Wishing you in successes in work, large health and happiness.
Good-bye.
Oleg Stepanenko and all my family.
Happy holiday

Thank you, Oleg! And thank you Google!


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