I have a 100% Korean friend who knows zero English. He writes only in Korean and reads my G+ posts using Google Translate. He replies in Korean, I use Google Translate and I usually reply in translated Korean. He’s a Theoretical Physics student in South Korea and has some of his own ideas that we’ve discussed through the years. Google Translate is far from perfect and it is terrible at Korean, but it has been enough to facilitate discussions on physics, girlfriend problems he had, complaining about his mother and father and siblings, art and beauty.
So, Google Translate does a fine job of getting concepts across, even if it gets the details / word orders wrong.
Yes. Gender accord is often a difficult issue for native English speakers who will complain that “Why is a house a woman!?” and teachers have to explain that in English, we call a “ship” a “she” because a ship is a container, which students are only partially convinced with.
I remember fellow students complaining when I was learning French, then Spanish, then Russian later on, none of which I became that good at speaking or writing.
Anyway, Andrei, I’m beyond thrilled for you. I’m honored to have been with you on a small part of your journey here. Had I gone into the field, I would be experiencing the same kinds of ups and downs as you. I didn’t so you gave me an opportunity to “live through you” instead. Your victory feels like my victory. You earned and gained the prize!