Well received or received well.

Discussion in 'English Only' started by Porteño, May 23, 2011.

  1. Porteño Senior Member

    Buenos Aires
    British English
    Good morning one and all.

    I frequently receive emails acknowledging receipt of work done that read "Well received". To my mind, this is not the right expression in the circumstances. As I see it, 'well received' can only be used for abstracts such as speech, performance, apology, etc. For example, "the Queen's homage to the Irish who fell in the 'troubles' and both World Wars was well received." I don't see that it can be applied to a physical object such as work, a parcel, a letter, etc. For those, I have been mulling over "received well", although it doesn't sound right and I'm not certain that it even exists. The correct text would be to acknowledge receipt, but that's rather formal. "Received OK" might fit the bill here.

    I would be interested in hearing views from other native BE speakers and also whether there are any differences with AE in this context.

    Have nice day!
     
  2. MuttQuad

    MuttQuad Senior Member

    New York, NY
    English - AmE
    In the US, we'd say "Received OK" or "Receipt Acknowledged" or Received in Good Condition." I don't think "well received" would be used here for a delivery of work.
     
  3. suzi br

    suzi br Senior Member

    Stoke on Trent
    England and English
    I'd just say I got your post/ email / letter /parcel

    or your letter /parcel / message arrived OK.
     
  4. Porteño Senior Member

    Buenos Aires
    British English
    Thanks for your input MuttQuad and suzi br. You pretty well confirm my opinion. How about 'received well´? Do you agree that this would not be a correct usage?
     
  5. suzi br

    suzi br Senior Member

    Stoke on Trent
    England and English
    :thumbsdown:
    It sounds like something a non-native speaker would say .. it's not exactly wrong, just not quite right ... so I'd give it miss.
     
  6. Porteño Senior Member

    Buenos Aires
    British English
    That's exactly what I thought, too. Thanks.:)
     
  7. Michael J.W. Beijer Junior Member

    Lewes, East Sussex, UK.
    English - UK/US and Dutch - Netherlands.
    Hi Porteño,

    Sometimes people also use the phrase 'in good order' to mean something similar, such as 'We have received your CV in good order.' However, in good order is a bit much when it comes to a CV. This is more something for an order, or along the lines of 'We have received the items in good order'.

    Michael
     
  8. JulianStuart

    JulianStuart Senior Member

    Sonoma County CA
    English (UK then US)
    It would be helpful if you told us something about the senders of such emails. It sounds like something I might expect from someone who spoke Indian English, although I've not seen it myself. (There is a wiki on the subject, and they frequently "revert back" instead of reply and use "prepone" a lot, so your phrase is no less unusual in BrE/AmE than those examples).
     
  9. PaulQ

    PaulQ Senior Member

    UK
    English - England
    It could be that the person writing "well received" means, "The work in the email was appreciated by those who required your report."
     
  10. JulianStuart

    JulianStuart Senior Member

    Sonoma County CA
    English (UK then US)
    I just looked again at the "work done" in your first line. Do you write things that others will see and comment on, as PaulQ suggests?
     
  11. Porteño Senior Member

    Buenos Aires
    British English
    Precisely. I do translation work and send it to the person who requested it. That's when I get this weird reply.:).
     
  12. PaulQ

    PaulQ Senior Member

    UK
    English - England
    It sounds as if they like your work. Stop saying that they are weird! :D
     
  13. Michael J.W. Beijer Junior Member

    Lewes, East Sussex, UK.
    English - UK/US and Dutch - Netherlands.
    That's exactly where I keep hearing it. I am also a translator and it's always project managers that use this strange phrase.

    'Thank you Mr Beijer, we have well received your translation...'

    I think it might be from Dutch (or German):

    E.g., in Dutch:

    'Wij hebben uw CV goed ontvangen en zullen u contacteren wanneer er een vacature is die aan uw profiel beantwoordt.'


    can be translated, literally, as:

    'We have well received your CV and will contact you if there is a vacancy that matches your profile.' (incorrect)

    in this context, 'goed' just means good, well or properly ... something like that

    'We have received your CV and will contact you if there is a vacancy that matches your profile.' is what I usually translate this as.

    Another (correct) version might be: 'We hereby acknowledge correct receipt of your CV and will contact you if there is a vacancy that matches your profile.'

    Michael
     
  14. Parla Senior Member

    New York City
    English - US
    "Well received" is often seen/heard in a report on, say, a government announcement (people in general liked it) or a speech (the audience cheered and applauded). If someone said it about work I had submitted, I'd take it to mean that a number of people had read it and they all thought it was well done.

    Simple acknowledgement of receipt wouldn't use the word "well". I'd expect, "your ms. arrived" or "we received your report" or "thanks for the information".
     
  15. Porteño Senior Member

    Buenos Aires
    British English
    That's precisely what I thought.:)
     
  16. JulianStuart

    JulianStuart Senior Member

    Sonoma County CA
    English (UK then US)
  17. Michael J.W. Beijer Junior Member

    Lewes, East Sussex, UK.
    English - UK/US and Dutch - Netherlands.
    @JulianStuart:

    He already said who they are: people who request translation work, which ties in nicely with what I said above. Project Managers from translation agencies often use this phrase. They are very often people who are using English while it is not their native language. As I said above, it most likely derives from German or Dutch. See my post above.

    Michael
     
  18. JulianStuart

    JulianStuart Senior Member

    Sonoma County CA
    English (UK then US)
    That does not tell us whether they speak English well or not, only that they work for a company that requests translations :( We don't even know whether the translations are to or from English :eek:. I agree it may well be that the phrase is being used by someone whose native language is not English. There is no reason for Porteño to conceal the information - and it may be important for the discussion. For all we know, this may well be a storm in a tea-cup if the writers of the email had passed the work on/around and received many compliments on the translation. Then it is a perfectly good, and not at all weird, phrase. Context is always important in threads on the forum and this case is no exception.
     
  19. Porteño Senior Member

    Buenos Aires
    British English
    The fact of the matter is that they are probably Argentine, so English is not their native language. However, the owner of the company is from New Zealand, but he probably doesn't look at mundane emails related to contacts between the company and the translators. This has absolutely nothing to do with compliments or such, it is merely a standard form of acknowledgement from the Project Managers for having received the translation. I hope that clears up your problem Julian.
     
  20. JulianStuart

    JulianStuart Senior Member

    Sonoma County CA
    English (UK then US)
    Thanks for the context.

    I didn't have a problem - it was your thread :D.

    If you had provided this information in your first post, we could have saved a bit of time coming to the (now, seemingly inevitable) conclusion that "well, they're not native speakers so that's why they use a non-native phrase in their standard form of acknowledgement". It seems you have cleared up your own problem:D I wonder whether there are other "anomalies in "Argentine English"!
     
  21. Porteño Senior Member

    Buenos Aires
    British English

    Actually, I thought the matter had been cleared in my last thread of 24 May, 2011, so I was somewhat surprised to see it rise from the ashes!:cool:
     
  22. JulianStuart

    JulianStuart Senior Member

    Sonoma County CA
    English (UK then US)
    You are right - I hadn't noticed the dates of the posts ......... :eek:
     
  23. Porteño Senior Member

    Buenos Aires
    British English
    :thumbsup::)
     
  24. xgll004 Senior Member

    Shanghai
    Chinese
    I saw a lot of "well received" in emails to tell me some documents have been received but I don't think that is a proper way to say that.
     
  25. suzi br

    suzi br Senior Member

    Stoke on Trent
    England and English
    Indeed, it is not a phrase a native speaker would use to say the have had your emails. My original reply still stands, see post #3

    Tne phrase has a specific meaning, see post 9.
     

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