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How to address people formally

Discussion in 'Italian-English' started by modgirl, Sep 3, 2005.

  1. modgirl Senior Member

    USA English, French, Russian
    I don't speak Italian at all. However, this morning, I received a business e-mail from someone in Italy whose first name is Simona. I also have the person's surname and obviously want to address the person formally.

    Very generally, is Simona a woman's name?

    If so, what is the proper salutation for a woman in Italian? Let's pretend her name is Simona Jones. How would I write the equivalent of "Dear Mrs Jones"?
     
  2. Alfry

    Alfry Senior Member

    Italy
    Italian
    Buongiorno Signora Simona Jones,

    buon pomeriggio in the afternoon or buona sera in the evening

    or even
    Gentile Signora Simona Jones....

    yes, it's definitely a woman's name
     
  3. modgirl Senior Member

    USA English, French, Russian
    Alfry, grazie.

    Since I don't know when she'll open her e-mail, perhaps "Gentile Signora Simona Jones" sounds best.

    However, do I still use her first name? In American English, although an envelope would be addressed to "Signora Simona Jones" (Mrs Simona Jones), the letter would be addressed to "Mrs Jones" (no first name).
     
  4. Alfry

    Alfry Senior Member

    Italy
    Italian
    I'd go for
    Gentile signora Jones,
    anyway that whouldn't make a big difference.

    Let's wait for others' opinion ;)
     
  5. Alfry

    Alfry Senior Member

    Italy
    Italian
    by the way
    another way to write Signora is Sig.ra, so
    Gentile Sig.ra Jones,
     
  6. modgirl Senior Member

    USA English, French, Russian
    Hey, I just noticed something. She addressed her letter to me: Mrs Jane Smith. Interesting! Maybe I should just do the same.

    Just one more question. Obviously, I have no idea what her marital status is. Do Italians use "Signora" to formally address any adult woman, just as French do with "Madame"? My guess is yes. However, in the US, calling an American woman "Mrs" without specifically knowing that she is married could get a person in a lot of trouble!
     
  7. Alfry

    Alfry Senior Member

    Italy
    Italian
    I was taught to use "signora" to address a woman when she's more than 18.
     

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