2

For example,

"Cannot add comments to this post; site is read-only" 
"This post has been deleted; deleted posts can't be voted on"

Could be translated as:

«Сайт в режиме только для чтения — добавление комментариев невозможно»
«Сообщение удалено — голосование за удалённые сообщения невозможно»

Does it look right to you?

3

Yes, here it looks correct.

The rule:

Тире ставится между предложениями, не соединёнными посредством союзов, если второе предложение заключает в себе результат или вывод из того, о чём говорится в первом, например:

  • Хвалы приманчивы — как их не пожелать? (Крылов).
  • Солнце взошло — начинается день (Некрасов).

Semicolon is not very popular mark in Russian, avoiding it is generally a right way.

  • What is the source of the quote (I see tons of sites in search results have it)? Could you provide some reference for the idea from the last sentence in your answer? – jfs Mar 9 '15 at 20:55
  • I used this for quick search: therules.ru/#q=тире – Sergey Kirienko Mar 9 '15 at 21:04
  • I know nothing what is considered a good source here. therules.ru -- is it an authoritative reference? – jfs Mar 9 '15 at 21:10
  • 1
    I am pretty sure gramota.ru has it. Books by Dietmar Rosenthal is what people often use because he was of the most authoritative figures concerned with practical use, interpretation of rules and style. The rules themselves you can find in the latest edition of Правила русской орфографии и пунктуации. (the last mojor revision was back in 1956) – Shady_arc Mar 9 '15 at 21:54
  • 1
    @J.F.Sebastian I am pretty sure it has it somewhere. Look in "Знаки препинания в бессоюзном сложном предложении". Note that Лопатин is also an authoritative figure, since, even if unofficial, many dictionaries edited by him are a de-facto standard for modern writing. After all, the language changed somewhat over the course of these 70 years. Many words we use did not even exist back then, and you still want to have some resonable advice on their spelling. – Shady_arc Mar 10 '15 at 0:33
1

as far as I know, one need to use a colon in the first sentence instead of a dash, because a colon is used if the second part of a complex sentence has some explanation or reason for what is said in the first part. So:

Cannot add comments to this post (some fact)
site is read-only (reason for the fact from the first part)

Добавление комментариев невозможно: сайт в режиме только для чтения

In your example you swapped parts in the translation, so it is correct to use a dash there.

Сайт в режиме только для чтения — добавление комментариев невозможно

I used this reference 4-5plus.ru, (clause 3.2):

3.2. Если вторая часть указывает на основание, причину того, о чем говорится в первой части (между частями можно вставить потому что):

Всю дорогу до хутора молчали: говорить мешала тряская езда.

In English:

3.2. if the second part points to basement, foundation, reason for what is said in the first part

Всю дорогу до хутора молчали: говорить мешала тряская езда.

All the way to a hamlet was silent: a bumpy way prevented a talk

0

Rules for semicolon in Russian language are quite complicated, but generally are: use semicolon instead of comma when you have too many commas in your sentence.

In your case there are no commas, so no need to use semicolon (from Russian point of view).

-1

For your examples, especially the second one I definitely would use just a comma. Dash does not look correct here.

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