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I have a Russian coworker whose last day at work is today. I would like to essentially say the equivalent of "It has been a pleasure working with you." However, I've heard that is sometimes rude unless you have worked with them directly for an extended period of time.

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    I think this is one of those strange rules like "Never present a pen to a programmer - he (or she) may think this is an insult". – Artemix Jan 26 '15 at 15:34
  • Do you believe there is a better alternative? – lousando Jan 26 '15 at 15:36
  • Do you know Russian, or is this just like the Pope saying some stuff he learned by heart? If you know Russian, please share what you have come up with yourself. If not, please read the help pages. – Stefan van den Akker Jan 26 '15 at 15:36
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    If you want to make an impression that you are sincere, say it in English - or in any other language you are fluent in! Otherwise, Было приятно работать с вами! – J-mster Jan 26 '15 at 15:50
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    Thank you and sorry for the bad question setup, I will follow the posting rules more strictly next time. First time poster and will likely stay and help others around. – lousando Jan 26 '15 at 15:59
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Literal and perfectly acceptable translation: "Было приятно с вами работать" (bYlo pr'iyAtna s vAm'i rabOtat'). The last "t" is soft, as in the word tea. The "m" is soft as in the word me. The soft "r" in "pr'iyAtna" has no analogue in English.

You can also say "сотрудничать" (satrUdnichat') instead of "работать", which to some degree would imply collaboration and partnership more than being employees of the same company and working alongside each other.

There is nothing rude about it. I can't think of a situation when it would be appropriate in English and rude in Russian. It does sound a little like a loan phrase, so to speak. Which it is.

"Да свидания, этот судаволствем" (from your comment) means something like "Good-bi, this one withpleasur", if it means anything :)

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  • On "rudeness": It sounds fake/insincere in Russian. I can't imagine hearing this expression from a friend. It is like "Have a nice summer" in a yearbook – it may lead to homicidal invisible girls. – jfs Feb 10 '15 at 4:40

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