updated 3/18/2008 6:52:47 PM ET 2008-03-18T22:52:47

Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice speaks Russian, and for a while Tuesday she seemed to forget that not everyone is bilingual.

Rice gave a Russian translator fits when she gave a nearly five-minute outline of the day's meetings she and Defense Secretary Robert Gates had with Russian officials. On and on she went, in English, while the translator scribbled furiously, waiting for his turn to tell Russian reporters and a television audience what she'd said.

Usually, officials say a few sentences in their native language, wait for the translation and then continue.

"Oh, sorry, sorry, sorry!" Rice exclaimed when she realized the translator's predicament. "I forgot!"

The man did his best, giving a Russian summary of Rice's remarks punctuated with helpless little waves of his hand to show he hadn't quite gotten down every word.

"Close enough," Rice said in English.

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