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 »  Articles Overview  »  Business of Translation and Interpreting  »  International Business Emails - Do and Don't

International Business Emails - Do and Don't

By vptrans | Published  08/6/2005 | Business of Translation and Interpreting | Recommendation:
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Using email for international communications means no postal delays and no rambling charges for mobile calls.Email divests distance of the time element,spanning time zones and cultural differences.

If you send an email that arrives after the end of your recipient's business day or on a public holiday it won't be answered right away. So, try to be patient before resending the email or writing a follow up message.

However, as a general rule, checking and answering your emails at least once a day will keep you from missing emails and losing possible job assignments.

When sending an international email that includes dates and times please use the date and time conventions of the country you are writing to. Currency signs should also correspond to those used in the respective country. For email to locations outside your country, also list the international dialing telephone codes and contact info.

Be careful about your personal use of humor (and innuendos) in international emails, unless you want to risk offending your contact. Different cultures have different perceptions of what is fun or appropriate and written off-key remarks can leave a lasting negative impression.

Do not complain about your technical difficulties in an email to a customer. Try to avoid asking the customer to resend files in order to gain extra time. Telling a white lie about not receiving an email is a don't that is certain to make your customer wonder about your professional integrity and ability.

Last but not least, whatever you do, do not tell your life's story or love problems in an email to a customer, whether it be a new or established one. Some translators, even excellent ones, tend to unconsciously view emails as diary entries and write personal details that would normally remain undivulged even between soulmates, and especially vis-a-vis business customers.

Oh, yes, and one final Do: A final spellcheck, that is a very good thing which is sure to leave you with a satisfied sense of completion.

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