Лингвистический фон деловой корреспонденции (Linguistic Background of Business Correspondence) — страница 6

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someone fluent in English. • Use short paragraphs. Each paragraph should stick to one topic and be no more than eight to ten lines. • Help readers follow your train of thought by using transitional devices. Precede related points with expressions like in addition and first, sec­ond, third. • Use numbers, visual aids, and pre-printed forms to clarify your message. These devices are generally understood in most cultures. Your word choice should also reflect the relationship between you and the reader. In general, be somewhat more formal than you would be in writing to people in your own culture. In many other cultures, people use a more elaborate, old-fashioned style, and you should gear your letters to their expectations. However, do not carry formality to extremes, or you

will sound un­natural. In terms of format, the two most common approaches for intercultural business letters are the block style (with blocked paragraphs) and the modified block style (with indented paragraphs). You may use either the American for­mat for dates (with the month, day, and year, in that order) or the European style (with the day before the month and year). For the salutation, use Dear (Title/Last Name). Close the letter with Sincerely or Sincerely yours, and sign it personally. If you correspond frequently with people in foreign countries, your letter­head should include the name of your country and cable or telex information. Send your letters by air mail, and ask that responses be sent that way as well. Check the postage too; rates for sending mail to most

other countries are not the same as rates for sending it within your own. In the letters you receive, you will notice that people in other countries use different techniques for their correspondence. If you are aware of some of these practices, you will be able to concentrate on the message without passing judgement on the writers. Their approaches are not good or bad, just different. The Japanese, for example, are slow to come to the point. Their letters typically begin with a remark about the season or weather. This is followed by an inquiry about your health or congratulations on your prosperity. A note of thanks for your patronage might come next. After these preliminaries, the main idea is introduced. If the letter contains bad news, the Japanese begin not with a buffer, but

with apologies for disappointing you. Letters from Latin America look different too. Instead of using letterhead stationery, Latin American companies use a cover page with their printed seal in the centre. Their letters appear to be longer, because they use much wider margins. Memos and reports Memos and reports sent overseas fall into two general categories: those writ­ten to and from subsidiaries, branches, or joint venture partners and those written to clients or other outsiders. When the memo or report has an internal audience, the style may differ only slightly from that of a memo or report written for internal use in North America. Because sender and recipient have a working relationship and share a common frame of reference, many of the language and cultural barriers that

lead to misunderstandings have already been overcome. However, if the reader's native language is not English, you should take extra care to ensure clarity: Use concrete and explicit words, simple and direct sentences, short paragraphs, headings, and many transi­tional devices. If the memo or report is written for an external audience, the style of the document should be relatively formal and impersonal. If possible, the format should be like that of reports typically prepared or received by the audience. In the case of long, formal reports, it is also useful to discuss reporting require­ments and expectations with the recipient beforehand and to submit a prelimi­nary draft for comments before delivering the final report. Other documents Many international transactions involve

shipping and receiving goods. A num­ber of special-purpose documents are required to handle these transactions: price quotations, invoices, bills of lading, time drafts, letters of credit, corre­spondence with international freight forwarders, packing lists, shipping docu­ments, and collection documents. Many of these documents are standard forms; you simply fill in the data as clearly and accurately as possible in the spaces provided. Samples are ordinarily available in a company's files if it frequently does business abroad. If not, you may obtain descriptions of the necessary documentation from the United States Department of Commerce, International Trade Administration, Washington, D.C., 20230. (For Canadian information, contact the Department of External Affairs, Trade