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Off topic: Using someone's name when addressing them in an email
מפרסם התגובה: Lucinda Hollenberg

Rad Graban  Identity Verified
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It is to me Apr 20, 2008

Kathryn Litherland wrote:

If the trainer is sending out the same e-mail to several people all at once, is it really all that more indicative of a personal relationship if he or she had pasted in the identical e-mails and typed in your individual name in the salutation? I used to work as a managing editor, which I imagine is similar in a lot of ways to the sorts of work done by PMs at translation agencies, and a lot of the "personalized" e-mails that I send out were computer-generated anyhow--they were not so much an indication of my personal interest in or having a relationship with the recipient, as they were an indication that I knew how to build a nifty relational database and integrate it in with Microsoft Word!

I've got no "personal" beef with mass mailings. There are times when they are appropriate.


It is to me. A trainer can't have an "orientation session" with more than one person at the same time. There were suggested days and times as well as my language combination mentioned in the body of e-mail, so I believe it was sent just to me.
I get group e-mals as well and I don't mind them if PM has a text to be translated into tens of languages and if he/she starts with appologizing.


 

CristinaPereira  Identity Verified
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Culture Apr 20, 2008

What an interesting topic, as I was wondering about this issue for some time, even if not really related with the original post. I think this is mass-mailing and I've got no problem with that. Sometimes I "receive a "Dear all" message too. Well, I hope this is the case.

I’m more interested in the way different cultures deal with this kind of approach. I've had "Hello", "Dear Cristina", "Hi Cristina", "Dear Ms. Pereira" and... the most awkward to me, “Dear Pereira". I understand
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What an interesting topic, as I was wondering about this issue for some time, even if not really related with the original post. I think this is mass-mailing and I've got no problem with that. Sometimes I "receive a "Dear all" message too. Well, I hope this is the case.

I’m more interested in the way different cultures deal with this kind of approach. I've had "Hello", "Dear Cristina", "Hi Cristina", "Dear Ms. Pereira" and... the most awkward to me, “Dear Pereira". I understand this has to do with culture and I don't resent it (most of the times), but sometimes I wonder if I might be offending someone with my own way of approaching them. Usually, I do what they do: if they “dear” me, I’ll “dear” them too. Then usually it tends to be “Hi”. But when I received a reply in French saying just this: "Bonjour./Merci./Cordialement", I really thought this was too impersonal. But then, I figured out, it's just a matter of culture, I should not resent it. This might be a different matter, of course, but is there a ”standard” way in an English-speaking (not exclusively native) approach as far as this issue is concerned? I mean, as English is usually the language used for a lot of non-English natives in our industry (and others, as well), what should be the etiquette to be followed?

Gender is another issue too (sometimes). Just to share, once a potential Japanese client approached me saying: I am XXXX YYYY (Ms.)”. Good way to know the person was a She, as I couldn’t figure it out in any way. Some sign of professionalism here?

I hope no one gets offended by the nationalities I mentioned, I just wanted to show the differences between cultures, I respect them all.

Personally, I prefer to be approached by my first name, but then again, in other cultures it may be regarded as offensive.

Kind regards,

Cristina
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Samuel Murray  Identity Verified
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Some people take offence at sex Apr 20, 2008

CristinaPereira wrote:
Gender is another issue too (sometimes). Just to share, once a potential Japanese client approached me saying: I am XXXX YYYY (Ms.)”. Good way to know the person was a She, as I couldn’t figure it out in any way. Some sign of professionalism here?


There are those whose attitude it is not to mention their gender because they feel that their gender has nothing to do with their professionalism. Well, you can't please everyone.


Christine Andersen
 

George Hopkins
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Suzie Apr 21, 2008

I like Harry's contribution ... but please do not call me Suzie.

I received one of the often pathetic emails from an agency in which they even mentioned Robin. When asked who on earth this Robin was, male or female, they didn't know. So I continue through life not knowing.

I prefer sex to gender, saving gender for grammatical applications.


[Edited at 2008-04-21 11:34]


 

Christine Andersen  Identity Verified
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Only my enemies call me Chris... Apr 22, 2008

This was one of my standard retorts in the 60s and 70s. The du/De discussion was raging in Denmark (= tu/vous in French or du/Sie in German etc.) and the intimate 'du' became universal. The older generation protested in vain, and now if you say De, except to the queen, people think you mean the plural, because it sounds the same.

In English the change happened a century or two earlier, and went the other way. We only use the intimate 'thou' to God, and even that has largely been pha
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This was one of my standard retorts in the 60s and 70s. The du/De discussion was raging in Denmark (= tu/vous in French or du/Sie in German etc.) and the intimate 'du' became universal. The older generation protested in vain, and now if you say De, except to the queen, people think you mean the plural, because it sounds the same.

In English the change happened a century or two earlier, and went the other way. We only use the intimate 'thou' to God, and even that has largely been phased out. 'You' is linguistically the 'polite' form.

But in the name of equality, everybody's name was shortened, whether they liked it or not. It was Chris, Dick, Sue, (or Suze, yuck!) Dave, Bob and Maggie (which I find ugly, couldn't they use Meg? Although in some accents Maggie does actually have an attractive lilt...)

There is more respect for personal names, but otherwise the rules seem to have gone completely, and you can't win!

At school (in the 60s) we learnt to write either the first name alone (strictly to family and close friends), or title and surname. One English teacher told us categorically that using both names was 'vulgar'. I can't imagine what she would have said about 'Hi!' ... But she hated anything to do with 'regards'. ("What do you do with your second-best regards?")

It was easy enough to write Dear Mr Andersen.

But Miss, Mrs or Ms as 'appropriate' was tricky in those feminist days. Half the feminists hated Ms and it was none of your business whether any of them were married!

Adopting the 'continental' principle that any woman over 30 was automatically 'Madame' or 'Sehr Geehrte Frau ...' did not work either.

I really warm to anyone who takes the trouble to write "Dear Mrs Andersen"

I don't actually know what is taught today as the polite forms of address in the UK or USA. I answer roughly in the way I am addressed in the e-mail, though I still cringe at 'best regards'! I hope someone will contribute some guidelines.

I have learnt to accept anything as long as they don't call me Chris!

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Samuel Murray  Identity Verified
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...and Miss Anderson? Apr 22, 2008

Christine Andersen wrote:
I really warm to anyone who takes the trouble to write "Dear Mrs Andersen"


And what about Dear Miss Anderson?


 

Susan van den Ende  Identity Verified
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Always a name, unless it's a multilingual job Apr 22, 2008

As a PM, I try to take care to always use a name when sending out an e-mail to one of our translators. If it happens to be a multilingual job, I might use both names or, with more languages, give a list of who-does-what language, so that translators know they're not the only ones working on a project. The profession can be impersonal enough without mass mails, and just makes it more fun - and not just for the translators, but for me as well!

Apart from that essential occasional smi
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As a PM, I try to take care to always use a name when sending out an e-mail to one of our translators. If it happens to be a multilingual job, I might use both names or, with more languages, give a list of who-does-what language, so that translators know they're not the only ones working on a project. The profession can be impersonal enough without mass mails, and just makes it more fun - and not just for the translators, but for me as well!

Apart from that essential occasional smile behind the comp, there's another added benefit to this approach though: the more contact, the better I get to know the translator. If someone, for instance, just chattily tells me he or she has a passion for watersports, I know whom I'll send a text on sailing if one comes in - fun for the translator, as it's a text on a favourite subject, and better quality for the client, as he'll get a translator who knows what he's talking about. And that contact... starts with a name! So, the only time we ever send mass mails for a single language combination because there is some crazy rush (to translators who have worked with us before, mind you), we state that explicitly at the beginning of the job offer - might happen about once every 2 months.

As to what name or salutation to use, I usually go for Dear/Beste + First Name for a first-time contact (including the full signature in my e-mail), shifting to Hi/Ha + First Name as soon as I get to know the translator better (leaving out that signature from then on) - but I'm open to suggestions there!

Best,

Susan
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Lincoln Hui  Identity Verified
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I don't expect it Feb 22

But an email that addresses me by name will generally get a response even if I'm not interested, and an email that doesn't address me by name will generally not get a response unless I'm really interested.

Kevin Fulton
 

Matthias Brombach  Identity Verified
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That could be... Feb 22

Lincoln Hui wrote:

But an email that addresses me by name will generally get a response even if I'm not interested.

...the solution to get an answer to the still open question that we expect from you in one of the other threads. Mervyn, what do you think?


Mervyn Henderson
expressisverbis
 
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