How do you say “Plug and Play” in Russian?

We got this new Samsung flat panel TV, and when I first turned it on it went straight into a “first time setup” sequence. The first question that appeared on the OSD (On-Screen Display) was which language I wanted for the OSD; I started scrolling among the options, and my finger slipped and hit the “enter” button when the option “Russian” was selected. The OSD obediently changed to Cyrillic script, and presented me with the next setup dialog. In pure Russian. Yay.

Unfortunately, there was no “Back” button with a universally understood back arrow, so there was no way I could go back and un-choose Russian; or if there were, it was described in Russian right in front of me – and I don’t know this language. I tried mucking around the interface at random, but to no avail. I thought of reverting to factory settings, but the manual said I need to find the option “Plug and Play” – and I really couldn’t say what that phrase looks like in Russian, even if it were written in Latin characters, which it wasn’t.

And there things stood, until I remembered that Samsung had delivered the TV with three copies of the manual, in English, Hebrew and Russian. By carefully using this as a Rosetta Stone, I managed to find the equivalent Cyrillic words and finally found them in the UI. Once reset, I was back with an OSD I could read.

Poor interaction design, Samsung!…

3 Responses to “How do you say “Plug and Play” in Russian?”


  1. 1 Ilya

    You see, Nathan, how it’s important to know Russian! But don’t despair. Even many Russian speacking living outside of Russia don’t know how to say in Russian most of the common computer terms. I’m one of them. Search me, I could not figure out how to say “PnP” in Russian. And many more. When I see some Russian terms, I could not guess the English equivalents. Lucky you, you had a Hebrew version!

  2. 2 Brent F.

    The computer nerds have an exact word for a design feature that makes it all to easy to shoot yourself in the foot. It is called a ‘Pistol’ As in the ease of which I can select Russian language and lock myself out of English menus does make for a nice pistol. Another example of a pistol on Linux is the command ‘echo “root-password” |sudo -S rm -rf /’ Which goes into root via standard input and recursively deletes everything on the hard drive.

  3. 3 Nathan Zeldes

    Ah, Brent, but that’s what makes Unix so cool, isn’t it? The unlimited destructive power it confers on the initiated?… 🙂

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