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Thread: Letter or email opening and closing phrases

  1. #1
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    Letter or email opening and closing phrases

    In English a letter to a friend usually begins with "Dear _____" and ends with "love", _________. How is this written in Italian? "Caro" seems to be the translation for both, but does that imply romantic love? I am corresponding with an Italian whom I know casually -- his English is better than my Italian -- but we are writing in both.

    Grazie mille tutti.

  2. #2
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    Re: Salutations and Closings to Letters

    In italian you usually begin a letter with "Caro/Cara" and it doesn't imply romantic love.
    When you end a letter you may use more than just one expression which could be:

    spero di sentirti presto! hope to hearing from you soon
    con affetto, (which is the translation of "love" but may be considered a bit ..mmm...romantic? or maybe it is just used with people we really love, like old friends)
    Un bacio / baci which is "kisses"

    I don't have many ideas today.. someone else will surely give you other suggests!

    Bye!
    Silvia

  3. #3
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    Re: Salutations and Closings to Letters

    mmpnyc,

    here I can only speak for myself, since I guess it's a little bit personal.

    I'm not calling you dear/dearest, since I barely know you

    Actually, I don't know you at all, so I don't want to sound like a hypocrite

    Caro or carissimo (dearest) is for a male and cara or carissima (dearest) is for a female. Informally, you can also say:
    Hi Amanda,
    Ciao Amanda,

    or start with your friend's name:
    Amanda,
    ...

    To close a letter/email you can use (depending on your kind of intimacy):
    A presto
    Con affetto
    Saluti
    Ciao
    Ci sentiamo
    Fatti sentire
    and lots more!
    (Italians like to be creative )
    Please do not PM me, my PM box is full. You can send an email instead.

  4. #4
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    Re: Salutations and Closings to Letters

    Hello guys,

    I think that about the close Silviap has benn as exaustive as usually she is.
    If I may be so bold as to dare to add anything to her opinions, I would suggest an ironic (not mocking, just smart) form of addressing to someone by letter:

    Egregio ......

    Illustre ........

    ....... all the vocatives (it.: vocativi)

    That may be funny to begin a letter in a rather formal attitude... if you have no better idea....

    Bye all

  5. #5
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    Re: Salutations and Closings to Letters

    muriel, that sounds fun

    Egregio, Illustre, Illustrissimo, Stimatissimo... (male)
    Gentilissima, Stimatissima... (female)

    but with a big big smile included
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  6. #6
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    Re: Salutations and Closings to Letters

    What would you typically use in Italian for formal correspondence?

    As an aside, it is generally considered antiquated and sometimes even offensive to use "Dear Sirs" in the US. The salutation should either be specific to a name of an individual or generic/non-gender specific.

  7. #7
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    Re: Salutations and Closings to Letters

    Quote Originally Posted by DesertCat
    What would you typically use in Italian for formal correspondence?

    As an aside, it is generally considered antiquated and sometimes even offensive to use "Dear Sirs" in the US. The salutation should either be specific to a name of an individual or generic/non-gender specific.
    Egr. signor/signora ....... o Egr. dott./dott.ssa .....
    Cortese [idem]
    Gentile [idem]
    Spett. per ditta/azienda/cooperativa/associazione...

    Quindi tanti altri modi, penso che in Italia riceva cospicua considerazione l'uso appropriato dei vocativi (sig. - dott. (dr. se medico) - prof. - avv. - .... ).

  8. #8
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    Re: Salutations and Closings to Letters

    Quote Originally Posted by DesertCat
    What would you typically use in Italian for formal correspondence?

    See Silvia's post #5

    As an aside, it is generally considered antiquated and sometimes even offensive to use "Dear Sirs" in the US. The salutation should either be specific to a name of an individual or generic/non-gender specific.
    Such as 'To Whom It May Concern'

  9. #9
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    Re: Salutations and Closings to Letters

    I wouldn't use "To whom it may concern" anymore if I had anything to go on. Even a blind letter to a prospective employer for example, if you can't get an actual name (ideal, of course) could be addressed "Dear Human Resources Executive." The less remote and "form letter" your greeting can be, the better.
    That's an L (Lsp)

  10. #10
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    Re: Salutations and Closings to Letters

    To Whom It May Concern is still used for circular letters:

    A tutti gli interessati

    or (if we're talking of customers)

    A tutti i Clienti
    Loro Sedi
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  11. #11
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    Re: Yours Sincerley

    You may find this site useful.
    Last edited by Jana337; 23rd April 2007 at 8:50 AM. Reason: Merging.

  12. #12
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    Re: Letter or email opening and closing phrases

    For Desert Cat,
    Can Dear Sirs really be even offensive? Would ''Gentlemen:'' any better as opening of a letter? Thks

  13. #13
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    Re: Letter or email opening and closing phrases

    Quote Originally Posted by accordion View Post
    For Desert Cat,
    Can Dear Sirs really be even offensive? Would ''Gentlemen:'' any better as opening of a letter? Thks
    In the UK it wouldn't be considered offensive. We use Dear Sirs as the opening salutation of a very formal business letter when we address it to the company, not to a specific person (in which case we'd write Dear Mr./Mrs./Ms. XXX).
    Personally, I use "Gentlemen" in e-mails when I know who I'm writing to and I'm sure they're all men.

  14. #14
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    Re: Letter or email opening and closing phrases

    Quote Originally Posted by accordion View Post
    For Desert Cat,
    Can Dear Sirs really be even offensive? Would ''Gentlemen:'' any better as opening of a letter? Thks
    Yes, Desert Cat is correct with regard to today's accepted best practice in the US. It is passé at best and offensive at worst to presume gender when none is known in business correspondence.
    That's an L (Lsp)

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by lsp View Post
    Yes, Desert Cat is correct with regard to today's accepted best practice in the US. It is passé at best and offensive at worst to presume gender when none is known in business correspondence.
    I'm realizing how time goes by! When I was young the teacher said that in business correspondence British English uses ''Dear Sirs,'' as opening and American English ''Gentlemen:''( meaning in both cases Ladies and Gentlemen) as we currently use in Italian ''Egregi Signori'' meaning both genders. It seems that nowadays with the politically correct I was running high risks with those letter openings! Can anybody give me a hand for future safe business correspondence? Thanks a lot.

    Quote Originally Posted by accordion View Post
    I'm realizing how time goes by! When I was young the teacher said that in business correspondence British English uses ''Dear Sirs,'' as opening and American English ''Gentlemen:''( meaning in both cases Ladies and Gentlemen) as we currently use in Italian ''Egregi Signori'' meaning both genders. It seems that nowadays with the politically correct I was running high risks with those letter openings! Can anybody give me a hand for future safe business correspondence? Thanks a lot.

    Any other final hints about the correct use of commercial letter openings in the UK and in the USA?
    Thanks a lot!
    Last edited by Paulfromitaly; 26th February 2010 at 5:28 PM.

  16. #16
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    Re: Letter or email opening and closing phrases

    Quote Originally Posted by accordion View Post
    Any other final hints about the correct use of commercial letter openings in the UK and in the USA?
    Thanks a lot!
    Ci sono un sacco di siti utili. Dai un'occhiata a questo, per esempio.

  17. #17
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    Re: Letter or email opening and closing phrases

    Grazie, London Calling, ma mi rimane sempre il dubbio, dopo quanto scritto da Desert Cat (negli USA puo' essere ritenuto persino offensivo ''Dear Sirs'') perche', qualche annetto fa, in America, l'insegnante diceva che il nostro ''Egregi Signori'' o il tedesco ''Sehr geehrte Herren'' o il francese ''Messieurs'' che, fino all'arrivo del politically correct, si intendeva riferito ad ambo i sessi, andava tradotto in British English come ''Dear Sirs'', e in American English come ''Gentlemen:'' (con i due punti) nelle lettere commerciali. Certo, il mondo cambia ma qual e' la parola definitiva in proposito ora nel 2010?? Grazie del consiglio e un cordiale saluto

  18. #18
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    Re: Letter or email opening and closing phrases

    I have to confess that I am rather dismayed to learn that Political Correctness in the USA has reached such levels of idiocy that "Dear Sirs" is regarded as offensive. I would like to address this note to the entire business community (male and female) of North America.
    Dear Sirs, I gather that some of you may be offended by the word "sir" or "sirs" as a formal salutation, since, in your closed minds, it implies masculine gender.
    "Sirs" is a shortening of the old English form "Sires", which has been in use as a polite form of address since the 15th century. It is not gender specific since it derives from the Latin 'seior' meaning "older, elder" . In any case, in modern English "he embraces she". Please stop trying to ruin our language with PC nonsense. Yours sincerely, an Englishman.

  19. #19
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    Re: Letter or email opening and closing phrases

    Quote Originally Posted by CristoferoJ View Post
    I have to confess that I am rather dismayed to learn that Political Correctness in the USA has reached such levels of idiocy that "Dear Sirs" is regarded as offensive. I would like to address this note to the entire business community (male and female) of North America.
    Dear Sirs, I gather that some of you may be offended by the word "sir" or "sirs" as a formal salutation, since, in your closed minds, it implies masculine gender.
    "Sirs" is a shortening of the old English form "Sires", which has been in use as a polite form of address since the 15th century. It is not gender specific since it derives from the Latin 'seior' meaning "older, elder" . In any case, in modern English "he embraces she". Please stop trying to ruin our language with PC nonsense. Yours sincerely, an Englishman.
    This is exactly what I think, English is based on Tradition. An Italian Englishman.
    Last edited by Blackman; 27th February 2010 at 11:57 AM.
    "Hard work pays off in the long run but procrastination pays off right now.", Phil....Ah, correct my English please...

  20. #20
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    Re: Letter or email opening and closing phrases

    Thank you very much, CristoferoJ, of your explanation. I share your opinion regarding the stupidity of PC! So in Italy we should not say that Berlusconi is a short man. No, he is.... lacking in vertical extention!!!!
    Best regards.

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