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Korrespondenz auf Englisch - Modern English: Lebendige Korrespondenz

Schlagwörter: Korrespondenz auf Englisch, Amtsenglisch vermeiden, Amtenglisch vermeiden, Englisch Schreiben, Schreiben auf Englisch, Briefe auf Englisch, Englische Briefe

When writing letters and e-mails, many professionals continue using old-fashioned rules of style that arose out of communication etiquette defined 50 years ago. The world has changed. Instead of lending your correspondence a professional air, these stylistic embellishments do little more than create the impression that you and your firm are old fashioned, out of date, out of style and difficult to communicate with. If you want your company to look solid and traditional, there are other ways to do it. Your communication style isn't one of them.


The date


There's nothing more exasperating than looking at a letter with a date like 02.04.2010 and not knowing if February or April was meant. This is an especially important issue when you consider that business correspondence is archived. Because so many date formats are used around the world, the right thing to do is make the date of your letter plain at first glance. Use the following format:

DD Month YYYY

04 February 2010


The subject

The subject should be in bold and come before the salutation. Limit it to one line. Half a line is better.


The salutation

In English, the days of Sehr geehrte Damen und Herren are long gone. Starting a letter with Ladies and Gentlemen is also outmoded. Paper-based correspondence should start with one of these:

Dear Sirs,

Dear Sir or Madam,

Dear Mr/Ms/Mrs/Miss LastName,

Dear Colleague/Partner/Etc.


You may have also seen To Whom It May Concern in use. While not negative, this is completely impersonal and won't make a good first impression. Forget about this one.


The reference to previous correspondence or contact

If you are responding to previous correspondence or contact, you should briefly mention this. Here are a few good ways to start:

Thank you for your letter about/request
ing/enquiring...

I recently wrote concerning your account status, but have still not heard from you.

It was a pleasure to meet you at...

Jennifer Stigson at Maritime Technologies suggested I write to you to...

Your ad in Trendsetter Magazine recently inspired my curiosity.



The opening line

I'm writing to enquire about the pricing and availability of a few of your products.

I'd like to learn more about...

I'm writing this formal complaint to document a situation that has developed in our business relationship and to request resolution of the matter.

I appreciate your patience in waiting for my response and apologise for the delay.

I'm writing to inform you that we've decided not to accept your recent proposal. After reviewing a number of products, our team selected a solution that fits our needs more closely.



The closing

Avoid formal closings like Please don't hesitate to contact me should you have any questions or comments. Such formulations are bureaucratic. Instead, be direct and personal. It will help build the relationship. Sound like a person. Sound positive and friendly:

If I've forgotten anything or if you have any questions, please call me anytime at OO1 49 555 5555.

Instead of I would appreciate your attention to this matter, write:

I'd be really happy if you could help me sort this out in short order.


The farewell

The number of Web pages devoted to Yours sincerely and Yours faithfully is enough to overload Google. Forget these staid constructions. Instead - even in paper-based correspondence - use one of the following:

Best Regards: For people with whom you have a purely professional relationship and for strangers

Kind Regards: For people with whom you have a familiar professional relationship (Best Regards here is also OK)

All the best: For people with whom your relationship is quite friendly

You don't need to know about any other farewell rules except:

Don't use the simple Regards. It leaves the impression that you didn't bother to take the time to sign off properly.


General rules

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