没有比英国更喜欢收发邮件的国家了,家人亲人同事私事公事无论巨细,都爱说drop me a few lines. 国外很流行的手机聊天软件What’s Up(相当于我们的微信)在英国的市场普及率远远低于欧洲其他国家,为啥?因为人家英国人觉得有个邮箱地址即可天下无敌。那么怎样写出让英国人都觉得漂亮的邮件呢?因为工作原因,我每天都收发很多英文邮件,和大家谈谈我的感受。

Principals:

写邮件基本原则:

1. Who Is Your Reader? 写给谁看?

First of all, think of who your reader is before you write the email. Professional emails usually have a neutral tone; bad grammar and an over-friendly style will not be acceptable. Note the difference between Informal and Formal.

在写邮件前的第一件事!想想这封邮件是写给谁看的。专业的邮件一般采取中立的语气;糟糕语法或过分客气都是不可取的。请注意正式语气和非正式语气之间的区别。
Examples:

Informal– Thanks for the email. / Yes, I got your email.

Formal– Thank you for your email received 15 February.

Informal– Sorry, I can’t make it.

Formal– I am afraid I will not be able to attend.

Informal– Can you…?

Formal– I was wondering if you could….?

2. Be Polite! 要有礼貌!

You can be direct, but always have to be polite. Your reader might find your directness rude and sometimes offensive, especially when you are writing in another language. But by adjusting your tone, you are more likely to get a more positive response from your reader.

你可以直截了当,但是任何时候都要保持礼貌。收到这封邮件的人可能会觉得你的直接是粗鲁的,有时甚至是冒犯的,尤其是当你用非母语写作的时候。但是通过调整你的语气和态度,你更有可能从收信人那里得到积极的回应。
Examples:

Direct– I need this in half an hour.

Indirect and polite – Would it be possible to have this in half an hour?

Direct– There will be a delay.

Indirect– I’m afraid there will be a slight delay.

Direct– It’s a bad idea.

Indirect– To be honest, I’m not sure it would be a good idea.
Don’t copy the slang language from those American movies! Even average Americans won’t talk like that, not mention the Brits. Be educated!

千万不要学那些美国电影中的俚语行话!即使是普通的美国人,他们也不会那么说,更不用说那么傲娇的英国人了。记得你是受过高等教育的!

3. Be Positive! 要积极向上!

Your email is the image you create about yourself. The words you use show your attitude to life, so choose your words wisely. Deliver the positive messages to your reader if you would like the positive in return.

你的邮件是你为自己创造的形象。你所使用的语言文字反映了你对生活的态度,所以在选词造句式要聪明些。如果你想从邮件接收者那里得到积极的回应的话,就首先要传达积极的信息给他们。
Examples:

Positive: helpful, good question, agreed, together, useful, I’d be delighted, mutual, hope, benefit, opportunity, excited, happy…

Negative: busy, crisis, failure, forget it, I can’t, it’s impossible, waste,
hard, difficult, reject, refuse, bad, poor…
前一阵很火的那个段子是If you want to say Thank you, don’t say Sorry. 就正是这个意思。同一个场景,我们可以用正负两种方法来表达,就像那个著名的半杯水。选择有正能量的那个。

4. Re-Check the Grammar 再三检查语法

Give yourself time to check your email; Re-read and edit what you’ve written before you click the Send button. Be very careful of basic grammar, spelling, capital letters, punctuation, expression and tone. A mistake could cause misunderstanding, be embarrassing, or even offensive.

给自己留些时间去检查下写好的邮件;在发送之前一定反复阅读和编辑邮件。仔细检查基本语法、拼写、大写字母、标点符号、表达和语气等。一个小小的错误都可能导致误解、尴尬、甚至冒犯。
Tips: KISS principal

Keep It Short and Simple.
Use short and easy sentences. Long sentences can often be difficult to read and understand. Don’t try to translate directly from your own language. This can often lead to confusing sentences.

谨记KISS(保持简短)原则,使用短句子和简单句。长语句比较难懂也不好理解。永远不要先写好中文,再把内容翻译成英文发过去,这样只会导致一些不明就里的语句。

5. Make it Roll 一来一回,鼓励反馈

Try to get some feedback on the emails that you write. Encourage your reader to write back of your email, usually by raising a few questions. This is how the communication starts.

试着为你的邮件争取反馈,鼓励你的邮件接收者回信给你。在邮件里多问几个问题是个很好的办法,这是交流的开始。

Structure:

邮件基本结构:

1. Subject Line 邮件主题

Always have a subject line that summarizes briefly and clearly the contents of the message.

一定要有清晰明确地总结出邮件内容的主题。

If you are replying an email discussing the same topic, better always start by following all the previous emails. Don’t need to change the subject. This would help to sort your emails and solve your problems in the future.

如果是同一个主题,你在继续追踪回复,就不需要更改主题,直接回复并把之前所有的相关记录附上。这有助于你日后整理邮件和处理问题。

Note: cc your emails to your team member is very helpful.

注意:把邮件抄送给你的团队其他人非常重要。中国人不太喜欢用抄送这个功能,或许更因为我们连邮件也少写,但是如果某项工作是多人都需要参与的,尤其当要涉及另外一个人加入时,把整个带有历史纪录的邮件一同抄送出去,是非常有必要的。

2. Appropriate Salutation 对方称呼

Don’t forget the salutation of your receiver in proper way. You can start with “Dear Mr./Ms./Prof./Dr. [Full Name]” to senior people in high position. If in doubt, “Dear [First Name]” will usually work just fine.

邮件以对方合适的称谓开头。对方如果地位或资历较高,你可以写“亲爱的xx(全名)先生/小姐/教授/博士”。如果不是很确定的话,通常就用“亲爱的xx(名)”即可。

Check the name carefully before write down, don’t make a typo. Don’t forget the comma following the name.

在写下名字前要仔细检查,不要有拼写错误。不要忘了名字后面要加逗号。

3. Warm-Up 寒暄问候

Warm up your email by greetings or expressing your thanks, and self-introduction necessary if it is the first email you write to the receiver.

接下来一般要寒暄问候或者表达感谢来暖场。如果是你给对方写的第一封邮件,不要忘记做个自我介绍。

是的,英国人非常热爱谈论天气,邮件里也不例外。说说天气作为warm-up永远不会出错。当然,如果你们的邮件来回频率比较高,那就多想点别的有聊的,圣诞节啊,春节啊,周末啊,出去玩啊什么的,一两句就够。对方会觉得很亲切。有个英国朋友就和我说过,邮件里一上来就就事说事的,只有中国人和德国人。(算优点么?)
Example:

Dear John,

It was very niceto meet you at the XXX Conference in Hong Kong last week. Greetings fromfrozen Beijing. I miss the warm weather we had in Hong Kong so much!

Thank you for contacting me/ providing so much useful information /your prompt reply/getting back to me/ your feedback…

4. Email body: Get Straight to the Point 意愿清晰明了

Explain why you write the email, or report the updates of the issue you both concern, or state the information you want to confirm, or raise questions you ask for help or clarify CLEARLY.

邮件正文用来解释你写这封邮件的用意,告知对方你们共同关心事情的最新情况,陈述你先要和对方确认的信息,提出问题寻求帮助或者希望得到对方进一步解释……所有这些的统一要求就是要清楚明确。
Tip #1.Keep it short 短一点

Try to keep your email short. Make the paragraphs short too.

尽量使邮件简短,段落内容也要尽量短。

Tip #2. Use Numbered Points 用数字列举要点

If you’ve got several questions or points to make, it’s very helpful to number them. Don’t number too much however in one email.

如果你有几个问题或者要点要说明,用数字一条条列举出来会很有帮助。但是同一封邮件内不要列举太多项。

5. End and Your Signature 结尾及签名

Emails usually end with best wishes to their readers. Also you can say thanks again to them.

邮件通常以祝福结尾,当然你也可以再次表达你的感谢。
Examples:

Thank you again for everything you’ve done.
Thank you for all your assistance.
Thank you a lot in advance.
Looking forward to working with you.
See you soon after Spring Festival!
See you in Zagreb!
And don’t forget your signature! Your full Chinese Pinyin name as signature is preferred in serious emails.

不要忘记你的签名!正式场合的邮件中,推荐使用你的中文全名的拼音。很多外国人现在更乐意使用对方的原本的名字,而不是他们的western names,里面更多表示的是对对方的尊重。但是在business场合,有个能让别人瞬间识别的名字能加大被记住的可能性。

按我的经验来说,如果是初次见面,介绍你的英文名,之后,就可以大方的教他们说你的中文名,并且带俯视感的去再三纠正他们的发音。

虽然现在国内不管是学校还是公司,都已经进入假期模式,但是1月在英国正是他们的圣诞长假结束,一切恢复正常运转的开始。所以,正式进入放假之前,别忘了写个邮件,告诉他们我们过春节去啦!
Example Email:

Subject: Re:March visit schedule

Cc to: Sue

Dear John,

Thank you for your last email.  Hope you are doing well. Beijing this week is luckier to have much more sunshine and less polluted days. And it is the exciting season to travel: Chinese spring festival is coming this weekend.

Regarding to your Beijing visit schedule this March, I’ve already cc’d our email to Sue, who will help to book the flights and hotel for you. @Sue, could you please talk to John directly for more details. Thanks for helping.

However, as I just mentioned, spring festival is here, which is of the same significance forus as what Christmas is for you. I’m afarid the work is slowing down in China, and many companies have already started their holidays. And I will be out of office from February 6 to February 14 too. Hopefully we will fix your flights and hotel this week, and continue to discuss more of the agenda after Spring Festival.

Also, do you have any preferred supplier company to visit this time, which we may help to arrange? Anything else in your mind, please let me know.

Happy Spring Festival and Happy Chinese New Year of Monkey to you. And looking forward to seeing you in March!

Warmest regards,

Alice
看看这封完整的example email,对照一下,是不是要点都get到啦?再写下封邮件中除了继续谈日程,是不是能很愉快的聊天,谈谈供应商,春节,还有猴年? 孩儿们,快快操练起来吧!

作者: 英国范儿 | 微信: uktastes
简介: "英国范儿"微信公号是由几个非常热爱英国的主页君运营。他们对不列颠怀有深深的感情。他们都是非常好玩的人,有人中英文俱佳,有人喜欢比较东西方文化,有人行文嬉笑怒骂、中英文典故信手拈来。无论是稗官野史、风土人情、或是英文掌故,他们都能说得图文并茂、妙趣横生。
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