Norwegian: Business Email

arika

New Member
English - Australian
I am writing an email to a company in Norway I have been referred to asking about a work placement. I was wondering if anyone could help me with some basic phrases for a Norwegian business email, such as translations of the following - I have put my attempts in brackets:

- I hope this email finds you well. (Jeg håper denne e-posten finner deg godt - would this phrase even be said in a Norwegian email? Or "I hope you are well"?)

- I am writing to ask you if I could shadow you on XYZ.... (Jeg skriver for å spørre deg...)

- I speak multiple European languages, so I understand a lot of Norwegian already. I would be happy to work in Norwegian if selected. (Jeg snakker flere europeiske språk, so jeg kan forstå mye norsk. Jeg jobber gjerne på norsk - not sure if this is really future tense?)

- Thank you very much for your time and I look forward to hearing from you soon. (Tusen takk for tiden din, jeg ser frem til å høre fra deg snart)

Takk for hjelpen!
 
  • myšlenka

    Senior Member
    Norwegian
    Hi arika
    This is not really my area of expertise, but as a general rule, you can cut away almost all empty phrases of formality that are used elsewhere. Cutting them away is probably easier said than done if you are used to a higher degree of formality but phrases like:
    - I hope this email finds you well. (Jeg håper denne e-posten finner deg godt - would this phrase even be said in a Norwegian email?
    would make it look like spam, an English text just run through google translate. And this phrase
    "I hope you are well"
    translated to Norwegian and put into a formal email would, at least to me, sound too intimate (as if you already know the person you are writing to). That being said, the receiver might find it charming with a certain foreign touch, but there is probably a fine line between "a certain foreign touch" and "this email has been put through google translate for multiple languages and is sent out in the millions".

    My advice is:
    - use a greeting (if possible): "Hei, xxxx".
    - finish off with something like "med vennlig hilsen".
    - drop other formalities.
    - keep the rest simple and clear.

    I bet someone else in here will have advice for you too. In any case, I think it would take a lot for a Norwegian to find an email rude :)
     

    winenous

    Senior Member
    English - British
    It must depend a lot on what type of company you are applying to, but bear in mind that some Norwegian companies use English extensively. So the fact that you have good native English, and languages[1], might well be more important to them than that you understand Norwegian. If it is a large company with international business, they might even find it a bit odd, and perhaps a tad condescending, that a foreigner uses Norwegian in such an email. I might be completely wrong for the the company you are contacting, but I think it is at least something to consider.

    Even if the body of the email is in English, ending in "med vennlig hilsen" would be a nice touch IMO. And if you use English I'd cut out the "I hope this email finds you well" anyway - perhaps it is a European thing, but I too would think it spammy and insincere unless you know the other person well.

    [1] My first language problem working in Norway was reading German faxes. Our German client just assumed that was OK to use German, and my Norwegian colleagues were surprised that I could not read business German. But no one in my office had any expectation that I should be able to understand Norwegian.
     

    raumar

    Senior Member
    Norwegian
    Hi Arika,

    I am a bit puzzled by your sentence "I speak multiple European languages, so I understand a lot of Norwegian already." This does not really make sense. If you speak, for example, French, Italian or Polish, this does not help you to understand Norwegian. The only European languages that enable you to understand Norwegian are Danish and Swedish, so if you speak any of these languages, you should write that explicitly.

    I agree with the advice you have received from the others. If you write in Norwegian, some of the English polite phrases seem both insincere and too intimate if you try to translate them. But the best solution may be write in English. Take, for example your sentence "Jeg håper denne e-posten finner deg godt". This is nonsense in Norwegian, or it means something like "I hope this email is able to locate you". Such sentences undermine the point you try to make - that you understand Norwegian.

    "Jeg skriver for å spørre deg", "Jeg jobber gjerne på norsk" and "jeg ser frem til å høre fra deg snart" are correct, but "Tusen takk for tiden din" doesn't sound quite right to me.
     

    serbianfan

    Senior Member
    British English
    I am writing an email to a company in Norway I have been referred to asking about a work placement. I was wondering if anyone could help me with some basic phrases for a Norwegian business email,
    Arika, you received a lot of advice here, so it would be interesting to hear what you decided - whether to write your email in Norwegian or English.
     
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