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Poll: What do you think when you receive an informally written email from a new unknown client?
Autor wątku: ProZ.com Staff

Chun Un  Identity Verified
Makau
Członek ProZ.com
od 2007

angielski > chiński
+ ...
A proverbial 'pinch of salt' always helps... Apr 17, 2013

that's my attitude towards any offer, regardless the formality of the email. Of course, a very badly written one (formal or informal) would raise suspicion as far as I am concerned.

 

Catherine De Crignis  Identity Verified
Francja
Local time: 04:56
Członek ProZ.com
od 2012

angielski > francuski
+ ...
Calling by 1st name in the UK Apr 17, 2013

Nikki Scott-Despaigne wrote:
I feel invaded when someone in a business or official capacity uses my first name, particularly for an initial contact. My UK bank manager does that and so do many official bodies in the UK.


This change you describe whereby in a recent past people needed to speak before they could become on 1st name terms remind me of this : I was once taken down a peg by a UK lady for calling her by her first name ; deep down I knew I was pushing my luck a little because she sounded middle-aged, on the other hand it came out spontaneously and I didn't want to make her feel as if I thought of her as ancient ! This was a professional first phone call situation where I was the service provider...
Oh dear, this is probably totally off-topic.

Catherine


 

neilmac  Identity Verified
Hiszpania
Local time: 04:56
hiszpański > angielski
+ ...
Other Apr 17, 2013

I think "hmm....". I reckon I can spot most scams or junk mail so am not overly concerned about the "Nigerian banker" angle. I have occasionally received requests in ropey English from non-native speakers, but they usually turn out to be genuine, so it's not really an issue either.

Apart from that, almost all my clients are Spanish and they tend to be quite formal, using the "usted" verb forms early in the relationship, although I prefer to drag them down to my level of informalit
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I think "hmm....". I reckon I can spot most scams or junk mail so am not overly concerned about the "Nigerian banker" angle. I have occasionally received requests in ropey English from non-native speakers, but they usually turn out to be genuine, so it's not really an issue either.

Apart from that, almost all my clients are Spanish and they tend to be quite formal, using the "usted" verb forms early in the relationship, although I prefer to drag them down to my level of informality ASAP. It also takes me longer to formulate a reply in formal Spanish, which is another reason for my preference.
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Tina Vonhof
Kanada
Local time: 20:56
Członek ProZ.com
od 2006

niderlandzki > angielski
+ ...
Informal Apr 17, 2013

What do you mean by 'informal' ?

 

DianeGM  Identity Verified
Local time: 05:56
Członek ProZ.com
od 2006

niderlandzki > angielski
+ ...
Other ... Apr 17, 2013

Like Mary said, I wouldn't necessarily think anything good, bad or otherwise just by being addressed by my first name, for example. I'd be more concerned about other details of the job offer.

 

Gilla Evans  Identity Verified
Local time: 03:56
hiszpański > angielski
+ ...
Do not pass GO, do not collect £200 Apr 17, 2013

It's not so much emails addressed to me by my first name as ones that are signed off with only a first name and then no further information such as a signing off block with a full name, company name and details. That's fine for someone I am already working with and know all about, but not for an introductory email. They go straight into my SPAM folder.

 

Jose Arnoldo Rodriguez-Carrington  Identity Verified
Meksyk
Local time: 21:56
angielski > hiszpański
+ ...
Informal is not the same as badly written Apr 17, 2013

Noni Gilbert wrote:

So I will at least read the message. By now I'm not bad, I reckon, at sniffing out the suspicious!


I don't mind if a person is not able to communicate perfectly in English and writes badly, but I don't think that is the same as being informal. I expect the normal formalities for a first communication from people who do not know me. As Julian says, if I see a smiley in such an email, it is almost certain to go straight into the trash bin.


 

Monika Rozwarzewska  Identity Verified
Wielka Brytania
Local time: 03:56
Członek ProZ.com
od 2006

angielski > polski
+ ...
Exactly my point Apr 17, 2013

Noni Gilbert wrote:

The client may not fully grasp register in English

I am not a native speaker of English myself and I do understand that tone and register is something really hard to master. Some PMs think that being "friendly" is a good way to start doing the business, or it's just in their culture that it's ok to address to me "dear" (maybe it is a very literal translation of a word they would use in exactly the same situation in their language?)


 

Szymon Metkowski  Identity Verified
Polska
Local time: 04:56
Członek ProZ.com
niemiecki > polski
+ ...
I would check the content Apr 17, 2013

I don't mid calling me by my first name in the e-mails, but I really think smileys do not fit with professional correspondence. I also do not judge the firm by a particular PM and his or hers communication skilss, although I'm quite alergic to questions like 'Are your rates negotiable?' at the first contact. I marked 'I would check the content' but first of all I would check the company. If it has a good blue board record I would consider the offer.

 

Allison Wright (X)  Identity Verified
Portugalia
Local time: 03:56
Hi! - Bye! Apr 17, 2013

Hi!
without my name after it which does not look like spam gets a stiff "Dear Mr/Ms" response explaining that I cannot accept any new work because of current obligations.

I do read all the way through the message, though, and try to figure out why on earth I have been the recipient of such correspondence. Obvious spam is deleted immediately.

As others have said, I take each inquiry on its merits.

(As regards non-spamming native English speakers who
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Hi!
without my name after it which does not look like spam gets a stiff "Dear Mr/Ms" response explaining that I cannot accept any new work because of current obligations.

I do read all the way through the message, though, and try to figure out why on earth I have been the recipient of such correspondence. Obvious spam is deleted immediately.

As others have said, I take each inquiry on its merits.

(As regards non-spamming native English speakers who choose to be overly informal on first contact: Somewhere in my head, I hear my mother's voice telling me that just because other people have bad manners does not mean that you have to relinquish your good ones. That's mothers for you! )
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Triston Goodwin  Identity Verified
USA
Local time: 20:56
hiszpański > angielski
+ ...
I do consider the offer... Apr 17, 2013

But it depends strongly on where the e-mail is coming from. Specifically, the only time I would consider it is if it came from a gaming company, which are more informal in their communications, in my experience.

A new PM with one client wrote me the other day, the subject of the e-mail was "DUDE!!" (He was very excited)

If the e-mail comes from anywhere else though, all my reds flags come up and alarms start sounding.


 

mtmlinguasoft
Local time: 22:56
angielski
Using greeting "Dear" Jul 23, 2013

In the US a formal letter to someone with whom you are unfamiliar typically begins, "Dear Ms. X"

But in everyday speech if I were to call someone "Dearest" or "My dear" or say someone is "dear" to me, it's connotes a more intimate relationship.

So I fear that "Dear" may read as the equivalent of "Darling" or "Sweetheart" in other languages! Which is presumptuous to say the least, when one is meeting someone for the first time...

But it's such a long-standin
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In the US a formal letter to someone with whom you are unfamiliar typically begins, "Dear Ms. X"

But in everyday speech if I were to call someone "Dearest" or "My dear" or say someone is "dear" to me, it's connotes a more intimate relationship.

So I fear that "Dear" may read as the equivalent of "Darling" or "Sweetheart" in other languages! Which is presumptuous to say the least, when one is meeting someone for the first time...

But it's such a long-standing convention I will have to assume that most readers of English "get" it. There's no good alternative other that "Hi, Ms. X" which contradicts itself.
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