My friend, Kevin Hawkins, is on a Fulbright in Russia. His most recent post mentions smarty-pants phones:
I sent and received my first SMS messages yesterday with another Fulbrighter. You see, in Russia and Europe it’s much cheaper to send SMS messages than actually talk on the phone (which, I’m finding, can become quite expensive), so people communicate that way a lot. Since people only think I’m a techie, they have no idea that I’m a total cellphone novice. So, as with most text messaging systems, it guesses what word you’re trying to type based on the combination of keys you press. As it turns out, mine only has a Russian vocabulary no matter what language you set the interface to. Yesterday I couldn’t figure out how to override its guesses, so I had to improvise when it guessed something other than what I wanted to write. Figured it out now.