E-mail in French

Nov 3rd, 2002, 08:40 AM
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E-mail in French

Can anyone tell me if the French are less formal in signing off e-mails, or should I use the "Je vous prie d'agreer ..." format? Any suggestions as to what I should use?
Nov 3rd, 2002, 09:04 AM
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Maybe it depends on what you expect from the recipient.

A l'attente de votre réponse,


Je me patiente de votre réponse,

Nov 3rd, 2002, 09:04 AM
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Le Grand Vefour replied with the formal closing when I emailed for reservations. All I know.
Nov 3rd, 2002, 09:08 AM
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My experience is that the French are more formal, even with e-mail.
I wouldn't hesitate to use the "Je vous prie d'agréer" format.
Nov 3rd, 2002, 09:24 AM
Eye Spy
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One never writes: Je me patiente de votre réponse. This is not correct at all.

It depends on if you are a man or a woman. The French tend to be more formal in correspondence -- or what is perceived as more formal to us is second nature to them.

If you are a male, you can use the following "formules de politesse" in this general situation, although there are others but too numerous to list:

Je vous prie d'agréer, Monsieur, l'expresion de mes sentiments distingués; or
Veuillez agréer, Monsieur, l'expression de mes sentiments distingués.

If you are a female:

Veuillez croire, Monsieur, à ma considération distinguée; or
Veuillez croire, Monsieur, à ma parfaite considération (too formal in this case).

Remember: une femme n'envoie jamais de sentiments à un homme (sauf à un prélat), mais ses souvenirs les meilleurs ou amicaux ou encore l'expression de sa vive admiration, de sa considération distinguée ou très distinguée, ou de sa parfaite considération.
Nov 3rd, 2002, 09:34 AM
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It depends whom you are e-mailing. Emails I get from French friends don't end that way and aren't formal at all. If it's a business email, you should end it the same way you would if it were a regular paper letter, I'd say--I don't think it makes any difference that it is an email vs. paper letter or FAX, that is just the method of transmission, it doesn't affect the content.

The emails I get from French hotels where I have a relationship aren't that formal, but some others have been if I've never stayed there. Emails I get from French hotels, even formal ones, have not used that phrase in ending, however. Here is an exact quote from one of them, a hotel where I'd never stayed before, in a letter where we were confirming a reservation (which was written to them in French):
<<Dans l'attente de votre réponse, et espérant avoir le plaisir de vous accueillir prochainement, nous vous adressons, Madame, nos meilleures salutations.>>

I usually am more formal in my first email to a hotel, but I may use this as an ending in a second correspondence or a place I know (and I've received this type of closing from hotels where I've stayed before from a reservation clerk I had previous contact with, also):
<<Avec mes salutations sincères,>>

If it's someone I know, an acquaintance or friend, I would end differently, of course--maybe just amicalement.
Nov 3rd, 2002, 09:43 AM
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We have received e-mails from a wide range of people--friends, hotels, business acquaintances of my husband's that are simply signed "Amicalement,"
Nov 3rd, 2002, 09:44 AM
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Slowly but steadily the ending "Cordialement" is popping up in e-mails in France as well.
You can use it perfectly well when dealing with hotels etc.. Save yourself the trouble.

Among friends, the favorite is: A+ ( = à plus, = à plus tard, roughly "see you later" ).
Nov 3rd, 2002, 09:45 AM
the uncle
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Est-ce que vous etes Papillon Rose, eye spy?
Nov 3rd, 2002, 10:06 AM
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Thanks all. Since it's to our notaire I'll go for a formal ending, but I'm putting "Cordiallement" into the memory banks!
Nov 3rd, 2002, 10:37 AM
Eye Spy
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Cordialement is the correct spelling.
Nov 3rd, 2002, 11:50 AM
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The French are indeed more formal in commercial and other letters, but in e-mails they are not anymore.

Meilleures salutations will do fine. I also already read "meil sal"

But for a notaire, "Cordialement" is a correct way to sign off.
Nov 3rd, 2002, 02:24 PM
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Just recv'd an email from a hotel we stayed at in Bayeux. They ended with "happy halloween"
Nov 3rd, 2002, 04:11 PM
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I get a fair number of e-mails inFrench from various sources, and have also noticed that "cordialement" is becoming popular. The other one I see a lot is simply "sentiments les meilleurs." I've rarely gotten the full "je vous prie d'agréer, Madame...." treatment in an e-mail, but of course it does depend to some extent with whom you're corresponding. Hotels that know me well will often just use, "amicalement."

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