Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Notice in our mailbox about Cyprus sewerage works...

A couple of days there was a piece of paper stuck in our mailbox that wasn't the usual junk mail. It was an A4 sheet headed "IACOVOU-ZEMCO JOINT VENTURE" with an address and other contact details underneath, all in English.

The rest was in Greek. And while I could probably have figured out what it said with the aid of a dictionary, I knew from previous experience that it would be a lengthy and tedious exercise, so I thought I'd try Google Translate, instead. It even allows phonetic typing, so I started by typing the words with their English equivalent letters, although after a couple of paragraphs I switched to typing in Greek as it was easier.

In a nutshell, the letter said that sewerage works were due to start in our street on June 29th, and could last up to three weeks. They apologised for the inconvenience, and asked that people move their cars and keep their children out of the way. Then there was a note that residents can't yet connect their own houses up to the new sewarage system.

However Greek still seems to be fairly formal when written, so that brief paragraph took up a whole sheet of paper. I was surprised at how readable the translation was. So for anyone else who happens to have received this piece of paper and wonders what it says, and for the sake of posterity, here's some of the translation - after the bit that simply tells us what date they're due to start working and how long it should take.

Conducting this work will cause some discomfort which we will try and minimise, and for which we apologise. Your co-operation and understanding are useful and necessary.

Please park your car away from the area of construction work for both the uninterrupted passage of machinery and safety of your vehicle. And to avoid delays in the execution of the work.

Great attention will be given to safeguarding your children, who should be kept away from the dances of the work and the handling of machines, to avoid accidents.

In case of error, please contact the responsible security person (name, number)

Please, at this stage, note that the network of sewerage and rain water is not in operation, so you must not connect your premises to the sewerage system without permission of the Larnaka Sewerage Council. They will inform you in due course.

Other than the 'dances' of the work (and the concept is rather appealing...) I thought the automatic translator handled it extremely well. And it was much quicker than sitting down with a dictionary to do it myself.


Today is June 29th, and it's nearly 5.00pm. And other than some red dots being painted down the centre of our street, to mark where it will be dug up, nothing has happened so far...

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