Bonjour & Bonne journée (dans un email)

Meya

New Member
Please remove this account
Salut,

Je n'aime pas trop les salutations trop formelles (et complètement surfaites).

En français, quand le contexte est un minimum formel, j'utilise simplement:

Bonjour,
[...]
Bonne journée,

(Même pour les études et le boulot).

(Pour les contextes moins formels, j'utilise "Salut"/"Cyao", comme ici ^_^).

En anglais, pour l'instant j'ai surtout eu affaire à des services techniques informatiques, des responsables de sites Web orientés informatique/jeu vidéo, etc., donc j'ai pu m'en tenir à "Hi"/"Cya" (enfin quand il s'agissait d'une demande, je finissais généralement par "Thanx in advance", en omettant le "cya"... -qui est probablement un peu trop informel).

Cependant, je commence à avoir des contacts un peu plus généraux, et j'aimerai bien trouver le meilleur équivalent à mon "Bonjour"/"Bonne journée".

"Hello" me paraît encore un peu trop informel, par rapport à "Bonjour", mais je ne suis pas sûr que ce sentiment soit forcément justifié... Mais je n'ai pas envie d'utiliser "Good morning"/"Good afternoon" (je veux quelque chose de standard, ne pas avoir à me préoccuper de l'heure, surtout que par email, ça ne veut pas dire grand chose, surtout quand j'envois à l'autre bout du monde...). Je crois pas avoir souvent vu "Hello" au début d'une lettre ou d'un email... c'est utilisable dans ce contexte?

Pour la fin, "Good day" a l'air bon, mais j'ai encore quelque doute sur son utilisation possible dans une lettre ou un email... la version longue, "Have a good/nice day" fait plutôt vendeur qui lance ça à ses clients quand ils ont payés, donc je préfère la version courte, mais je me dis que c'est peut-être pas une vision vraiment générale de l'utilisation de ce terme... (en tant que non-anglais, il y a certaines expressions que je n'entends que dans certains contextes précis, et j'ai peut-être un peu trop associé, à tord, certains termes avec certains contextes précis).

Est-ce que:

Hello,
[...]
Good day,


... conviendrait?

D'autres idées? (encore une fois, j'aime pas les expressions trop formelles... "Regards" & co, c'est déjà trop pour moi :p)


Merci d'avance,


Cyao :)
 
  • pomme

    Senior Member
    French, France
    L'equivalent est "Have a nice day". Dans ma boîte pour les mails pros on utilise "Kind Regards"
     

    Meya

    New Member
    Please remove this account
    seanyjmuc said:
    "Hi" - comme salutation
    Would you say "Hi" to a possible future employer with whom you never met? As said, I don't feel like using really formal greetings, even for employers, but isn't "Hi" a bit too informal?

    I feel ok using "Bonjour", instead of things like "Monsieur le directeur/responsable [...]" (well, I sometimes use this, when I feel like to), but "Hi" seems too informal to me.

    Well, as said, I'm not a native English speaker, so maybe I'm mistaken.

    seanyjmuc said:
    Fin du courriel/de la lettre
    "Cheers"/"Take care"/"All the best"
    "Cheers" and "Take care" seems too informal to me, and I don't like the connotation of "Cheers" (party, drinking, etc. :p). "All the best" is too much for me... I don't care that much about their life and well being... and I don't want to lie. I dont mean this aggressively, I'm just neutral. It's their own life. I just want to use the minimum politeness so they'll think "this guy isn't too much into useless superficial greetings, but that's ok"... and not "he is a bit rude...".

    Still, even if I'm not too much into "useless superficial greetings", I feel it is an important part of the communication process... and that's why I'd like more opinions, before choosing what I will use for all my mails/emails...


    Anyway, thanx for your suggestions ^_^


    Cya.
     

    NYCPrincesse

    Senior Member
    English, USA
    If you are writing to a prospective employer, I would certainly NOT use "Hi" and "Cheers".
    But if you are looking for the level of formality which falls between that and "Monsieur le directeur/responsable [...]" you can still say, "Dear X" and use a first name. Or omit the "dear" all together and just say "John, ..." "Hello John," would be a little less formal, but not as informal as "Hi".
    To say goodbye, a simple "Best," will do (the short form of "Best Wishes" or "Best Regards".)
    Is this what you are looking for?
     

    seanyjmuc

    Member
    English, UK
    Meya said:
    Would you say "Hi" to a possible future employer with whom you never met? As said, I don't feel like using really formal greetings, even for employers, but isn't "Hi" a bit too informal?

    Apologies, I fully misunderstood your original point. For "Bonjour", go with "Dear Mr/Mrs X" and for "Bonne journée", go with "Best regards/Kind regards/Warm regards." "Best" sounds too dull and dry to me. Best what?

    Sorry, just a pedantic Englishman...

    In all, don't get too hung up on the way you should address people in English. Although you do need to show some respect, there's no need to go overboard.
     

    Meya

    New Member
    Please remove this account
    pomme said:
    L'equivalent est "Have a nice day".
    Ca fait pas trop oral? (comme dit dans mon premier message, ça me fait surtout penser à un vendeur qui lance ça à un client, quand il s'en va... mais encore une fois, est-ce que c'est la réalité ou bien c'est moi qui n'a qu'une vision limité de cette expression?).

    Quoi qu'il en soit, ça fait aussi un peu long, et c'est pour ça que je me penchais sur "Good day" (answers.com/good+day)... mais je l'ai rarement vu ou entendu, alors je me demandais si ça pouvait bien passer dans une lettre (courrier/email)... apparemment, ça peut s'utiliser aussi bien pour dire bonjour, qu'au revoir... (plus souvent pour au revoir, d'après wordreference.com/definition/good_day et quelques autres définitions...), donc ça a l'air de pouvoir convenir... niveau formalité, c'est au même niveau que "good morning/afternoon", d'après answers.com, donc ça me convient bien aussi de ce côté là...

    ... mais comme je l'ai rarement entendu, j'aurai aimé confirmation pour l'usage, et voir s'il y a mieux.

    pomme said:
    Dans ma boîte pour les mails pros on utilise "Kind Regards"
    Le "kind" me convient pas ^_^ (comme "nice" pour au-dessus, d'ailleurs). Je trouve ça trop personnel... Je recherche quelque chose d'assez détaché, en fait.

    NYCPrincesse said:
    If you are writing to a prospective employer, I would certainly NOT use "Hi" and "Cheers". But if you are looking for the level of formality which falls between that and "Monsieur le directeur/responsable [...]" you can still say, "Dear X" and use a first name. Or omit the "dear" all together and just say "John, ..." "Hello John," would be a little less formal, but not as informal as "Hi".
    Yeah, but I won't always know their name... (first contact, or when I write a mail to some department of an organization -i.e. not to someone in particular), and I'd like not having to think about all this, so a generic expression would be better for me ^_^

    About "Dear", it the same as "Kind" and "Nice". I feel this is too friendly (not too informal, but this is trying to establish a friendly relationship, and I would prefer to keep my greetings more neutral).

    NYCPrincesse said:
    To say goodbye, a simple "Best," will do (the short form of "Best Wishes" or "Best Regards".)
    As said to seanyjmuc, I feel "best" is too much for my personality :)

    seanyjmuc said:
    In all, don't get too hung up on the way you should address people in English. Although you do need to show some respect, there's no need to go overboard.
    Even for British people? (well, not that I believe there is such a big difference, but I feel more confident using "hi" with American people, than with British people, for example).


    Anyway, let's summarize:

    - I'd like something neutral (no "nice", "dear", "kind", "best", etc.);
    - I'd like something short ("Have a nice day" feels just a bit too long, for example);
    - I'd like something not too informal, but not too formal either... ("hi" is too informal, but "Monsieur le directeur/responsable" is too much... "Hello" is probably about the level of formality I'm seeking, but something just a tiny bit more formal might be better).


    ... and then, no one gave me his thoughts about:

    Hello,
    [...]
    Good day,

    :)

    Can I use "Hello" when writing a letter to a prospective employer? (I mean, it's perfectly alright if they think I'm not too much into formalities, but if they think I'm rude -or know I'm not a native English speaker and think I just don't know how to greet someone-, it's not ^_^). Can it be used to greet someone you never met, by email? (like contacting the commercial service of some organization, about their product, as a customer).

    Is "Good day" ever used in letters? (to say good bye).


    Sorry for my insistence, but I'm searching for something quite specific ^_^;

    And thanks for your messages which helped me defining more precisely what I wanted ^_^


    PS: Qui a édité le titre de mon premier message? :p Mon message n'est pas simplement à propos de "Bonjour / Bonne journée", puisque je cherche aussi d'autres idées... et il ne s'agit pas simplement de ces expressions en général, il s'agit de leur usage au sein de lettres/emails ^_^ D'où le titre que j'avais mis: "Equivalent anglais à Bonjour/Bonne journée dans un email ou une lettre".

    Moderator note : Your title has been edited, in order to facilitate further searches on the same topic, and this is to avoid confusion. Please have a look at our forum rules. Thank you for your attention.
     

    Aupick

    Senior Member
    UK, English
    Hello,

    Just a couple of points (I get lost after a while :eek: )

    Dear is about as neutral as you can get and won't ever be too friendly. It's different from cher, which gets dropped when you start getting formal in French. In English you can use dear to everyone from the Prime Minister to your best friend, including your lover, your boss, the local newspaper or your diary. The only problem I can see is that it has to be used with a name.

    For emails I like NYCPrincesse's suggestion of just using a name. It's snappy and modern, but again you have to know that name. I also think it's better when you're initiating an exchange than when you're replying. Otherwise, I think Hello would be OK.

    For letters (especially to a prospective employer) I wouldn't use anything other than Dear X. If you're writing to a prospective employer, you have to find that person's name. In other situations if you don't know the person's name I wouldn't hesitate to use a "Dear Sir" or a "Dear Madam", but maybe other people have reservations.

    As for ending, Regards seems to be what you're looking for, especially for email but also for letters. You don't need the kind or the best in front of it, which are a bit much. A simple Yours works well, too, in my opinion, although it's a step more formal.

    I've never heard Good Day in a letter and it sounds funny to me. It's still too oral (although not as bad as "Have a nice day") and it sounds confusing on the page because you don't have the intonation to indicate whether you mean hello or goodbye. I'd avoid it.

    Regards,
    Aupick
     

    Meya

    New Member
    Please remove this account
    Aupick said:
    Dear is about as neutral as you can get and won't ever be too friendly. It's different from cher, which gets dropped when you start getting formal in French. In English you can use dear to everyone from the Prime Minister to your best friend, including your lover, your boss, the local newspaper or your diary. The only problem I can see is that it has to be used with a name.
    Hum... It might be understood as neutral, when used as a salutation, because the meaning, as a salutation, has been diluted, but the general definition still hold the meaning of near, beloved, greatly valued, precious, highly regarded, etc., and I care about the other meanings of an expression, when I want to use it as a hint to my personality (even if most people will not even think about it, I'm quite aware of this :p).

    In this case, I don't like values like esteem, so I don't want to use this term (anyway, most of times, I don't know much, if anything, about the person I'm trying to contact, so this would mean nothing, and I don't like it ;p).

    Aupick said:
    For emails I like NYCPrincesse's suggestion of just using a name. It's snappy and modern, but again you have to know that name. I also think it's better when you're initiating an exchange than when you're replying.
    I'd like not having to find the name of my contact, nor using multiple expression, depending on the fact I know their name or not. Anyway, I don't like addressing people by their name, in a letter/email, even if I know them well.

    Aupick said:
    Otherwise, I think Hello would be OK.
    I'll try to find expressions we didn't already talk about... otherwise, I guess I'll take "Hello", indeed ^_^

    Aupick said:
    For letters (especially to a prospective employer) I wouldn't use anything other than Dear X. If you're writing to a prospective employer, you have to find that person's name.
    I really don't feel like addressing strangers by their name (although I'm quite aware this is the norm -I often read about it in informations about writing a motivation letter).

    Aupick said:
    In other situations if you don't know the person's name I wouldn't hesitate to use a "Dear Sir" or a "Dear Madam", but maybe other people have reservations.
    Too much for me. (In French, when I write "Monsieur le directeur/responsable", it really is a reflex, and not something I really feel like writing... anyway, the importance of this reflex is diminishing).

    Aupick said:
    As for ending, Regards seems to be what you're looking for, especially for email but also for letters. You don't need the kind or the best in front of it, which are a bit much. A simple Yours works well, too, in my opinion, although it's a step more formal.
    Regards imply esteem, and I don't like it, as said above ;p "Yours" is far far too much for me :p


    I know I might take the original meaning of these expressions too much into account, that their meanings has been greatly diluted, as salutations, and that most people won't ever think about it, but I still feel I don't want to use just anything.

    Aupick said:
    I've never heard Good Day in a letter and it sounds funny to me. It's still too oral (although not as bad as "Have a nice day") and it sounds confusing on the page because you don't have the intonation to indicate whether you mean hello or goodbye. I'd avoid it.
    Well, if there isn't the intonation, there is the emplacement ^_^ It feels a bit funny to me too, but I guess this is just because it might be a bit more uncommon, rather than it being a erroneous usage of the expression... I have to think about it ^_^


    Sorry about being picky :p Feel free to give up on my case ^_^;;
     

    Auryn

    Senior Member
    France, French
    Meya said:
    Hum... It might be understood as neutral, when used as a salutation, because the meaning, as a salutation, has been diluted, but the general definition still hold the meaning of near, beloved, greatly valued, precious, highly regarded, etc., and I care about the other meanings of an expression, when I want to use it as a hint to my personality (even if most people will not even think about it, I'm quite aware of this :p).

    In this case, I don't like values like esteem, so I don't want to use this term (anyway, most of times, I don't know much, if anything, about the person I'm trying to contact, so this would mean nothing, and I don't like it ;p).
    "Dear Sir/Madam" is a perfectly normal way to begin a letter to a complete stranger. "Dear" simply isn't the same thing as "cher"; there's nothing affectionate about it (especially when the letter is from the taxman!).

    It seems you're letting your French sensitivities run away with you ;)

    I'd like not having to find the name of my contact, nor using multiple expression, depending on the fact I know their name or not. Anyway, I don't like addressing people by their name, in a letter/email, even if I know them well.
    Be careful... By refusing to use expressions that are the norm in English-language letter-writing, you run the risk of appearing blunt or even rude. I write things like "Dear X" and "Kind Regards" to my employer's accountant, it doesn't mean we're going out to dinner tonight.

    Regards imply esteem, and I don't like it, as said above ;p "Yours" is far far too much for me :p
    Doesn't "bonne journée" imply esteem? By wishing the person a nice day, you want to appear nice. Why is this OK in French but not in English?

    "Good day" at the end of a letter or email doesn't work (it makes you sound like an Australian as well!). You'll have to use what English speakers are using.
     

    lyrwriter

    Senior Member
    English (US)
    Auryn said:
    "Dear Sir/Madam" is a perfectly normal way to begin a letter to a complete stranger. "Dear" simply isn't the same thing as "cher"; there's nothing affectionate about it (especially when the letter is from the taxman!).
    As a native English speaker, I have to say that I think Auryn has hit the nail right on the head! The word "dear" (when used as a salutation) doesn't necessarily have the connotations that "cher" does, especially if you combine it with a title to make it "Dear Sir/Madam" (that sounds very dry and impersonal). If you want something a little more human than that, but not as personal as "Dear John", address the person by their surname (i.e. "Dear Mr. Smith"). This is the one I would suggest. You mentioned you don't like addressing people by their name, but you didn't mention which one. If you have the opportunity to do so, I would definitely suggest using the surname.

    "Dear" is a nice flexible word, too, and context has a lot to do with its meaning. If you do use it while addressing a letter to your sweetheart, he or she will understand that you mean it affectionately.:D

    "Kindest regards" is polite, and probably impersonal enough to suit your purposes. Saying something like "best wishes" or "best" (as some people suggested) sounds a little more friendly, as though you sort of know the person.

    So:
    Dear Mr./Mrs./Ms. _____________

    yada
    yada
    yada

    Kindest Regards,

    _______________

    Seems perfectly reasonable to me...it implies respect for your client, but doesn't necessarily imply that you have/want any sort of communication or relationship beyond a professional one.

    Hope that helps!

    P.S. Also, have you considered "Sincerely"? That's also a widely-used, moderately-impersonal closing...
     

    Meya

    New Member
    Please remove this account
    Auryn said:
    "Dear Sir/Madam" is a perfectly normal way to begin a letter to a complete stranger. "Dear" simply isn't the same thing as "cher"; there's nothing affectionate about it (especially when the letter is from the taxman!).
    It depends on the context in which "dear" is used, and I'd like the expressions I use as salutations not to depend that much on the context ^_^ (and again, if it can be understood as neutral in some contexts, this is because the meaning has been diluted).

    Auryn said:
    Be careful... By refusing to use expressions that are the norm in English-language letter-writing, you run the risk of appearing blunt or even rude.
    This is why I came here to ask if there was something in between ^_^ and as said, I don't care if people think I'm not into formalities... if fact, I want them to think I'm not... but I don't want them to think I'm rude... (well, if they are just too conceited, I would be pretty happy if they were shocked because I don't address them like they are used to be :P -and if I was trying to get a job, that would be perfectly alright, because I prefer to avoid working with people like this ^_^;).

    Auryn said:
    Doesn't "bonne journée" imply esteem? By wishing the person a nice day, you want to appear nice. Why is this OK in French but not in English?
    I don't want to appear nice, when I say "bonne journée". This is just my wish, and I mean it, even when I don't know/like the person I'm contacting. However, I just cannot mean it, if I say "best wishes", "regards", "dear sir", etc., even if the person who will receive my message most certainly won't think of these expressions as anything important.

    Auryn said:
    "Good day" at the end of a letter or email doesn't work (it makes you sound like an Australian as well!).
    Isn't it "G'day" (the contraction), what Australians are used to say? Anyway, it's not that big a problem if I sound like an Australian :P

    About it "not working", is this because you are not used to it and you think most people aren't either?

    It sure might not be ideal if people are not used to the expressions I use, in the context where I use them, but it shouldn't be a problem, if there isn't any other reason not to use it.

    Auryn said:
    You'll have to use what English speakers are using.
    Sorry, not only am I picky, but I am very stubborn :p

    lyrwriter said:
    As a native English speaker, I have to say that I think Auryn has hit the nail right on the head! The word "dear" (when used as a salutation) doesn't necessarily have the connotations that "cher" does, especially if you combine it with a title to make it "Dear Sir/Madam" (that sounds very dry and impersonal). If you want something a little more human than that, but not as personal as "Dear John", address the person by their surname (i.e. "Dear Mr. Smith"). This is the one I would suggest. You mentioned you don't like addressing people by their name, but you didn't mention which one. If you have the opportunity to do so, I would definitely suggest using the surname.

    "Dear" is a nice flexible word, too, and context has a lot to do with its meaning. If you do use it while addressing a letter to your sweetheart, he or she will understand that you mean it affectionately.:D
    This is the problem :p I don't want the expressions I use as salutations, to vary depending on the context :p

    lyrwriter said:
    "Kindest regards" is polite, and probably impersonal enough to suit your purposes. Saying something like "best wishes" or "best" (as some people suggested) sounds a little more friendly, as though you sort of know the person.

    So:
    Dear Mr./Mrs./Ms. _____________
    [...]
    Kindest Regards,
    _______________


    Seems perfectly reasonable to me...it implies respect for your client, but doesn't necessarily imply that you have/want any sort of communication or relationship beyond a professional one.
    This is because the meaning of those expressions has been diluted :p As far as I'm concerned, I just can't think of "Kindest regards" as "professional" :p and I don't want to use it, if I do not feel it is right :p (and there is the problem of non-native English speakers I might contact in English, who might also understand the expressions as more personnal than native English speakers...).

    lyrwriter said:
    P.S. Also, have you considered "Sincerely"? That's also a widely-used, moderately-impersonal closing...
    Too much for me too :p


    Ok, I guess we talked about most existing common expressions ^_^;; Let's just stop here, I will think about all this by myself, and decide what I want to use ^_^


    Thanks for your contributions, it really helped me defining more precisely what I wanted :p


    Bye :)
     

    Aupick

    Senior Member
    UK, English
    Just a couple more comments before I "give up on you".
    Meya said:
    It depends on the context in which "dear" is used, and I'd like the expressions I use as salutations not to depend that much on the context ^_^ (and again, if it can be understood as neutral in some contexts, this is because the meaning has been diluted).
    This is just plain untrue, as we keep trying to point out. "Dear" is always a bland, neutral, meaningless expression that merely announces that "this is a letter". If you want to resurrect any sentiment in the word, you have to precede it by "My" ("My dear Imogen, how are you?") or add on "-est" ("Dearest Timothy, I miss you so much").
    Meya said:
    Isn't it "G'day" (the contraction), what Australians are used to say? Anyway, it's not that big a problem if I sound like an Australian :P
    It's the expression that sounds Australian, not this faux transcription of it. (The main difference between an Australian and a British pronunciation of the expression lies in the vowel sound of "day", not in the "ood", which is dropped in both accents.)
    Meya said:
    This is the problem :p I don't want the expressions I use as salutations, to vary depending on the context :p
    Everything depends on the context.
    Meya said:
    This is because the meaning of those expressions has been diluted :p As far as I'm concerned, I just can't think of "Kindest regards" as "professional" :p and I don't want to use it, if I do not feel it is right :p
    The problem, as I see it, is that you're forgetting your audience. A letter is a communication between two people, not a literary composition, and what you think you say is far less important than what the reader, the recipient, thinks you say. Any letter you write will aim to get the other person to do something. If you want to achieve this, you have to meet them half way.

    You can create your own salutations if you like, but you risk antagonizing your readers by not using any of the standard salutations ("What?! Meya doesn't think I'm worthy of a 'Dear' or a 'Regards'"?!) and confusing them with what you do use, just as I would if I started a letter in French by saying "Allo allo?" because it's less "stuffy" than all that "je vous prie d'agréer, Monsieur" nonsense. At best, as a foreigner, people will assume a gap in your learning of English. At worst they'll take your stubborn, "innovative style" for arrogance. I think English already has some bland, neutral, professional, non-committal ways of opening and closing letters, and they've been mentioned in this thread. I'm not quite sure why you insist on seeing sentiment where native speakers see none.

    Just my thoughts. You'll do as want, but at least I got this off my chest.
     
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