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letter/email writing

Japanese, general discussion on the language

RE: letter/email writing

Postby Yudan Taiteki » Thu 10.04.2007 1:04 pm

In my experience even native Japanese speakers have a lot of trouble knowing what to do with e-mails -- one of my friends e-mailed a company she was applying for a job at, and the person responding (who she had never met or had any contact with before) began the e-mail with いつもお世話になります.
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RE: letter/email writing

Postby queshaw » Thu 10.04.2007 9:36 pm

saraLynne wrote:
You might want to consider getting Firefox internet browser with the Rikaichan plugin. It's a time saver.


Ooh! Thanks, that's great.

saraLynne wrote:
垂キ is the dictionary form of what you see above, 垂オます
It means "to be called" so you are saying "I am called [name]"

返信 - へんしん - reply. The ご before it is an honorific.
連絡 - れんらく - communication (in this context) 連絡いただき- the communication I recieved


Thanks.
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RE: letter/email writing

Postby Harisenbon » Fri 10.05.2007 1:44 am

Yudan Taiteki wrote:
one of my friends e-mailed a company she was applying for a job at, and the person responding (who she had never met or had any contact with before) began the e-mail with いつもお世話になります.


I think that's just politeness. Almost all companies do that, because you never know if that person has had some contact with your company in the past, or whatnot. It's a safe catch-all phrase.

Which is why it's not rare to see something like

XX株式会社
OO様

いつもお世話になっております。
AA社のBBと垂オます。
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RE: letter/email writing

Postby dmizer » Fri 10.05.2007 6:39 am

To address the contents of the email itself, you mentioned something earlier about breaking the ice. This would be something you might do in a personal email to a friend to whom you might later request a favor. In a business or formal email, you're better off to just get down to business.

Short is better. Probably 90 percent of the email I receive is less than 20 lines total because the general feeling is that if there's more to say, it's preferable to meet about it in person.

You would not use a daily greeting (おはようございます・こんにちは・こんばんは・おやすみなさい) in an introductory email. If you write email to the same person often, this is acceptable, and you would use the term appropriate to the time of day during which the email was sent. Like so:
おはようございます。 dmizerです。

or if you want to be general and not specify the time of day, just use this:
お疲れさまです。 dmizerです。

Something I haven't seen mentioned here yet, but is fairly standard is that the very last line of almost all email is simply: 以上 (that's all/nothing further/the end)

It seems strange at first, but you should not close with your name as like in an English email.
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RE: letter/email writing

Postby Harisenbon » Fri 10.05.2007 7:26 am

It seems strange at first, but you should not close with your name as like in an English email.


I disagree. In every business email I've ever received (and in multiple books on business etiquette) it says to put your name, 部署, etc at the bottom of the mail.

I've also never been too fond of people who just write 以上 without any sort of closing statement (except in the case of co-workers) as it seems too stark and rough to be used for anything other than a report of information. For anyone you wish to stay on good terms with, or who is of higher status than you, you should definately put a closing phrase.
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RE: letter/email writing

Postby dmizer » Fri 10.05.2007 8:28 am

Harisenbon wrote:
It seems strange at first, but you should not close with your name as like in an English email.


I disagree. In every business email I've ever received (and in multiple books on business etiquette) it says to put your name, 部署, etc at the bottom of the mail.

While that may be true, the reality is that I don't remember receiving a single email this way. That's including email from clients, distributors, and new employees, as well as from potential employers while interviewing for jobs. In fact, the only time I've ever received email with that formality at the end is when the author is writing me directly, in which case they are intentionally imitating western letter format through the entire email.

I'll admit though that 以上 may be a convention I'm not completely familiar with, but it has always seemed to me to be fairly universal.
Last edited by dmizer on Fri 10.05.2007 8:29 am, edited 1 time in total.
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