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Russians, Iowans bridge language barrier over Deere discussions

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

When Russians and Iowans had trouble communicating, the Internet came to the rescue.
When Russians and Iowans had trouble communicating, the Internet came to the rescue.

As it turns out, a farming couple in rural Northwest Iowa and two Russian agricultural laborers do not share one-another's language, but the geographically separated friendship is strengthened by John Deere tractors.

The Le Mars Daily Sentinel reports Ellen and Mark Plendl of Orange City further deepened their relations with comrades Ganzhin Sergey and Valeriy Mikhaylovich over discussions about farming and ice cream. Mark toured Russia in 2006 with six additional farmers as part of a Deere program. At a farm midway between the China border and the Sea of Japan, Mark met Sergey and the two agriculture enthusiasts have maintained contact.

"What's neat about this is the relationship that's being established," Ellen told the publication.

The mechanic and farm equipment operator came to the U.S. in mid-January so they could attend farm shows in the Midwest. Before returning to Russia, they opted to visit their friends who farm in Plymouth County. While at the Plendl farm, the Russian men observed the Deere equipment but did not understand the verbal instructions on how to repair a mechanical issue.

The theater of operation then moved to the universal language known as the Internet.

"All of a sudden they were talking the same language," Ellen said.

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