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A salutation is a greeting used in a letter or other written or non-written communication. Salutations can be formal or informal. The most common form of salutation in a letter is Dear followed by the recipient's given name or title. For each style of salutation there is an accompanying style of complementary close, known as valediction. Examples of non-written salutations are bowing (common in Japan) or even addressing somebody by their name. A salutation can be interpreted as a form of a signal in which the receiver of the salutation is being acknowledged, respected or thanked. Another simple but very common example of a salutation is a military salute. By saluting another rank, that person is signalling or showing his or her acknowledgment of the importance or significance of that person and his or her rank. Some greetings are considered "rude" and others "polite."
For formal correspondence, it is common to use:
For informal correspondence:
For more informal correspondence, Azizi if the reader is male, and Azizati if female. To address a group of people, A'ezza'e for informal correspondence, and in formal correspondence "Sadati" is commonly used and followed by Al A'ezza'a or "Almuhtarameen". To add more formality, it's common to begin the salutation with Ela (to), followed by the salutation and a full name.
Informal: Azizi Ahmed, Azizati Sarah, A'ezza'e members of the team or Member of the team Al A'ezzaa. Formal : Sa'adat Assayid Ahmed Abdullah, Sa'adat Assayidah Sarah Ibrahim, Sadati members of the team Almuh-tarameen. Common salutation for both formal and informal correspondence : Sa'adat Alostath Ahmed Abdullah, Sa'adat Alostatha Sarah Ibrahim. It is common to conclude the salutation with a Doa such as May god bless him/her or May god protect him/her. This Concluding Doa comes right after the full name of the correspondent.
The salutation "Dear" in combination with a name or a title is by far the most commonly used salutation in Bengali, in both formal and informal correspondence. It is commonly followed by either by an honorific and a surname, such as "Srohdeho/Jonab" or by a given name, such as "Srohdeho/Jonab John," However, it is not common in Bengali to use both a title of address and a person's given name: "Srodeho/Jonab John Smith" would not be correct form.
If the name of the intended recipient is unknown, acceptable salutations are:
In Catalan, there are many types of salutations:
Dutch has two standard forms of salutation: one formal and the other informal. A person's title and surname always follows the salutation, regardless of formality. The formal salutation, "Geachte", is most commonly used in present formal communication, while the informal salutation "Beste" appears in informal communication. However, there is a tendency, especially among the younger generations, to also use this salutation in formal situations." Use of professional titles, especially unabbreviated, is uncommon in Dutch correspondence.
The standard formal Dutch salutation is followed by a title, a name and a comma:
The standard informal Dutch salutation is followed by a name and a comma:
If the informal Dutch salutation is used in a formal context, the salutation is followed by a title, a name and a comma:
In Dutch the following applies to <name> in salutations:
The salutation "Dear" in combination with a name or a title is by far the most commonly used salutation in both British and US English, in both formal and informal correspondence. It is commonly followed by either by an honorific and a surname, such as "Dear Mr. Smith," or by a given name, such as "Dear John,". (A Dear John letter has a specific connotation.) However, it is not common in English to use both a title of address and a person's given name: "Dear Mr. John Smith" would not be correct form. Sometimes, the salutation "To" is used for informal correspondence, for example "To Peter".
A comma follows the salutation and name, while a colon is used in place of a comma only in US business correspondence. This rule applies regardless of the level of formality of the correspondence.
If the name of the intended recipient is unknown, acceptable salutations are:
In older British usage and current US usage, abbreviations "Mr.", "Mrs.", "Dr." are typically followed by a period (full stop), as is "Ms." even though it is not really an abbreviation, but it is common in recent British usage to drop the period after all such titles. Professional titles such as "Professor" are frequently used both in business and in social correspondence. Dignitaries and holders of certain public office like "Mr. President," or "Dear Madam Secretary."
"Ms." is the marital-status neutral salutation for an adult woman and should always be applied in cases in which the marital status is irrelevant and/or unknown to the author. For example, if one is writing a business letter to a woman, "Ms." is expected. "Mrs." denotes an adult female who is married, but is applied only where the subject has self identified as such. "Miss" can apply to specifically unmarried women, however the term is being replaced more and more by 'Ms'.
"Miss" is the proper form of address for female children. "Master" is used in formal situations for addressing boys typically aged under 16, after which it is "Mr". "Master" in this case is of old English origin.
Messrs. or Messieurs is an historically used term to address many men rather than "Mr Pink, Mr White, et al." Messrs is the abbreviation (pronounced "messers") for messieurs and is used in English. Mesdames addresses many women. Pronounced 'Meydammes'.
On occasion, one may use "Sir" and/or "Madam" by itself as the salutation, with nothing preceding. The severe and old-fashioned formality of such a salutation makes it appropriate for very formal correspondence (for example, addressing a head of state, or a letter to the editor), but in the same way the formality and stiffness of such a salutation would make its use in friendly social correspondence inappropriate.
The standard French salutation uses the normal style of address to the recipient of the letter, followed by a comma:
When writing specifically to a female where her marital status is irrelevant and/or unknown, the writer should use Madame, unless she is a child. When writing to an adult woman, one uses Madame, unless one knows that the person prefers Mademoiselle.
According to a traditional custom which still followed by some people nowadays, when writing to a female artist (actress, singer, etc.), one should use Mademoiselle, regardless of the marital status and age of the person.
When not knowing the gender of the person to whom one is writing, the appropriate salutation is
In the case where the writer knows the recipient well or is in friendly terms with them, it is possible to add Cher/Chère in front of the address:
A salutation using Chère/Cher and a title (Madame/Monsieur/Docteur) followed by a person's name (e.g. Cher Monsieur Dupuis) used to be considered incorrect. However, maybe following English usage, such construction is rather common and deemed relatively formal nowadays.
In case the writer and the recipients are close friends or intimates, it is possible to use the given name of the recipient immediately after Cher/Chère.
In case they are family related, they may used their family link preceded by Cher/Chère. This is almost compulsory if the writer is a younger member of the family (child to parent, nephew to uncle/aunt, grandchild to grandparent, godchild to godparent) and left to the discretion of the writer in other cases.
Note that in French, the abbreviation for Monsieur is M. – the English "Mr." is incorrect (although often used, especially by banks).
If the recipient holds a specific title, it must be inserted after the Monsieur/Madame:
In this case, one should always use Madame, and never Mademoiselle. Note also that in Québécois usage, many titles will be rendered in the feminine, contrary to practice in France (i.e. Madame la Présidente, Madame la Professeure, Madame la Directrice.)
In some cases, the wife of a dignitary may be entitled to a special address:
If the recipient is a doctor, it is possible to use Docteur, or, more formally, Monsieur/Madame le Docteur, or, more casually, Cher Docteur, as salutation. This is often done for doctors of medicine. For other doctors, it is not common, even if the use is increasing, following the Anglo-Saxon custom. Basically one has to be consistent with the address: a letter sent to "Dr N. N." will use a salutation formula including Docteur, whereas a letter sent to "M./Mme N. N." will not.
If the recipient is a lawyer, notary (or various other legal positions), the proper salutation will be Maître ("Master"). The same salutation is used for famous writers, painters, and for members of the Académie française.
For some specific professions (lawyers, physicians, for instance), two persons exercising the same such profession will always use Cher Confrère (feminine: Chère Consœur).
The address may vary when writing to dignitaries. For instance, one will use:
German has two types of general salutations that are mutually distinguishable from one another - a formal and an informal form.
The formal form distinguishes between the male or female gender of the recipient as a matter of courtesy. The male formal salutation begins with Sehr geehrter Herr, while the female formal salutation begins with Sehr geehrte Frau. Both formal salutations are followed by the recipient's academic degree (if any) and the recipient's given name (e.g. Sehr geehrter Herr Schmidt or Sehr geehrte Frau Dr. Schmidt). It is possible but uncommon to include the full name (e.g. Sehr geehrter Herr Johann Schmidt). With an unknown recipient, Sehr geehrte Damen und Herren (meaning Dear Sir or Madam) is used with no variation on this. Due to insufficient functionality of computer software used for mass communication, some companies tend to use more clumsy gender neutral formal salutations (e. g. Sehr geehrte(r) Herr/ Frau Schmidt).
Informal salutations in German tend to begin with Hallo, meaning "hello", which is used universally, written and spoken, and which is gender neutral. Depending on the region, informal salutations also tend to begin with Moin (north of Hannover), Servus (typically in the south and south west), or other words, although only used by locals. A more personal informal salutation begins with Lieber (male) or Liebe (female), meaning "dear", (e.g. Lieber Paul, Liebe Annette) - the latter should only be used if the recipient has been actually met in person or similar. It should be used with care because it can be otherwise perceived as patronizing or inappropriate, depending on the difference in age or social status.
Specific salutations appear in German very similar to the way they do in English, with the exception that in the address block of a letter German must include all or multiple salutations that can be abbreviated Herr Dr. Schmidt, or Herr Prof. Dr.-Ing. Dr. h.c. Krämer, and can leave out the Herr or Frau. While in the opening of a letter the direct salutation is reduced to only the most important title Sehr geehrter Herr Dr. Schmidt, or Sehr geehrter Herr Professor Krämer. The same applies to female variant, Sehr geehrte Frau Prof. Krämer.
Further details in the German Wikipedia article de:Anrede
In position of the English "Dear" are the words "Poojya," "Aadarneeya," or "Priya" (from most formal to most informal), for social writing (e.g., relatives/friends). They would not usually be used for business writing. The second may be used in some instances, for example if writing to a teacher.
Formal ways of salutation include "Sri," "Sriman," "Srimati," "Chiranjeev," "Chiranjeevi Saubhagyavathi" and "Kumari." Of these, "Shri" and "Shrimaan" are used to respectfully address married (or presumed married) men. "Shrimati" (Abbr: "Smt.") is used for married women.
Shri is most commonly used salutation in Hindi for a married male, while for a married woman, Shrimati is used. For unmarried and young boys Kumar is used, whereas Kumari is the salutation used for unmarried and young girls.
The standard Italian salutation uses the normal style of address to the recipient of the letter, followed by a comma:
If the recipient holds a specific title:
Written salutation includes "Sreeman" (ശ്രീമാ൯) for men and "Sreemathi" (ശ്രീമതി) for women. The language also uses "Bahumanapetta" (ബഹുമാനപ്പെട്ട) for both genders which has meaning similar to `Respected` in English.
In Persian language, formal and informal phrases are used for salutation and they are referred to as ehteremat (احترامات):
Written by/for officials, a letter normally starts with the followings:
If the corresponding person is a doctor or holds Ph.D, or he or she is an engineer, Doktor (دکتر) or Mohandes (مهندس) must be added to the titles respectively. Same rules is practiced in military environments.
Following the above mentioned titles, different types of salutations may be used:
The standard formal Portuguese salutation uses an addressing expression such as Caro (Dear) or Excelentíssimo Senhor (Most Excellent Sir), followed by the addressee titles (e.g. Eng.) and addressee name.
Most expressions must be modified to account for addressee gender and number. Caro, for example, becomes:
Since the advent of e-mail, the @ symbol has been used, informally, to stand for a and o simultaneously, hence:
The formal expression Excelentíssimo Senhor is often abbreviated as:
Addressee titles can be professional and are often preceded by Sr. (Mr.) and almost always abbreviated (e.g. Arquitecto - Arq. (Architect), Engenheiro - Eng. (Engineer), Padre - Pe. (Priest)). An exception to this rule is the Medical Doctor (Médico Doutor), often addressed as Doutor, being the abbreviation Dr. instead used to address anyone holding a baccalaureate degree. Each military or ecclesiastic rank has one abbreviation, and, historically, nobility ranks also had one - for example, one of the ways of addressing the Portuguese Monarch would be Sua Majestade (Your Majesty) abbreviated as S.M. .
The title Sr. (Mr.) can also be used on its own, when appropriate.
Informal salutations may or may not be followed by the name of the addressee, and almost never contain any titles.
When addressing a formal letter whose recipient is not known by name, the salutation of preference is Stimate Domn, Stimată Doamnă (equivalent to Dear Sir or Madam in English). When the recipient is known by name, Stimate Domnule or Stimată Doamnă, followed by the person's last name, is used for a man or a woman respectively. For unmarried women, Stimată Domnișoară is acceptable for close relations, though this title is falling out of use in written communication and can be considered inappropriate or offensive.
When the adressee has additional titles, such as Doctor or Profesor, they are interposed between Domnule/Doamnă and the person's last name, although it is sometimes acceptable to drop the last name altoghether when the intended recipient is clear. It is also preferred to write out a person's title when adressing a letter and abbreviations such as Prof. or Acad. are best avoided. An exception is Dr. for Doctor, which is still acceptable in the salutation. If the recipient has multiple titles, generally only the most important one is used.
For women, it is current practice to use the masculine form of the title, preferring, for instance, Doamnă Director instead of Doamnă Directoare. Note that some titles may lose their intended meaning when used in their feminine form. For instance, Profesor/Profesoară are titles which may be associated with a male/female school teacher. When used to mean a university professor (profesor universitar), however, only the masculine form carries this meaning. The feminine profesoară universitară is not in common use.
Examples for use of titles:
In very formal situations there can be slight variations in the choice of wording. Most often, more emphasis is added to the adjective stimat (esteemed), becoming mult stimat (much esteemed) or onorat (honoured). When adressing groups, the latter is preferred.
The most widespread salutation for informal letters is, by a large margin, dragă (equivalent to English dear). This can be used independently of the recipient's gender and is normally followed by the first name. An alternative which is less familiar is salut (equivalent to English hi, hello), followed by the first name. This version is typical of the workplace, where using dragă would be too familiar.
During Romania's communist period, it was generally frowned upon to use domn/doamnă (meaning Mr./Mrs.) to adress people, preferring tovarăș (comrade) or cetățean (citizen) instead. This was reflected in written communication from that period. Today, society has reverted to using domn/doamnă as the standard way to adress or refer to others. Today, salutations using the distinctly communist-sounding tovarăș or cetățean are only used in closed communist circles or humorously.
The oldest surviving document written in Romanian, a 16th-century letter from a Wallachian boyar to the mayor of Brașov, contained a salutation in slavonic, a lingua franca of the region at that time.
Mudromu I plemenitomu, I cistitomu I B[o]gom darovannomu zupan Hanăș Begner ot Brașov mnog[o] zdravie ot Nécșul ot Dlugopole. (To the most wise and noble and honoured and by God gifted master Hanăș Bengner [that is, Johannes Benkner] from Brașov, much health from Neacșu from Câmpulung.)
In letters and during conversations, Russian speakers use
followed by the given name and patronymic. Salutations to unknown parties usually include an honorific like
In less formal conversations it is possible to use
Written salutation includes "Thiru/Thiruvalar" "திரு/திருவாளர்" for men , "Thirumathi"/"திருமதி" for women, "Selvi/Thiruniraiselvi" "செல்வி/திருநிறைச்செல்வி" for unmarried women and "Selvan/Thiruniraiselvan" "செல்வன்/திருநிறைச்செல்வன்" for unmarried men.
Various forms of salutation in Telugu are as follows: "Sri / Shri" ( శ్రీ ) is used to address men, "Srimathi / Shrimathi" ( శ్రీమతి ) is reserved for married woman. Unmarried girls are usually addressed as "Kumari" ( కుమారి ). In addressing a person in letter, usually in case of elders, "Poojyulaina" (పూజ్యులైన / పూజ్యనీయులైన) is often used although "Ganga Bhagirathi Samanulaina" ( గంగా భాఘీరతి సమానులైన )is used for female elders. When addressing a person who is younger, "Chiranjeevi" ( చిరంజీవి ) is commonly used irrespective of all genders. "Kumari" ( కుమారి ) is sometimes used for unmarried women and "Chiranjeevi Lakshmi Sowbhagyavathi ( చిరంజీవి లక్ష్మీ సౌభాగ్యవతి ) , Chi. La. Sow. ( ఛి. ల. సౌ. ) in short for married women
In addition, a suffix "garu" ( గారు ) is added as a respect or to address an elderly person irrespective of gender.
శ్రీ నరసింహ రాజు గారు, (Mr. Narasimharaju,)
పూజ్యనీయులైన నాన్నగారికి, (Respectful Father,)
కుమారి వందన, (Miss Vandana)
శ్రీమతి సుబ్బలక్ష్మి గారికి, (Mrs. Subbalakshmi)
గంగా భాఘీరతి సమానులైన శ్రీమతి సూర్య కుమారి గారికి, (Mrs. Suryakumari, )
చిరంజీవి గౌతం సాగర్, (Little Master Gowtham Sagar)
చిరంజీవి శ్రీజన్య, (Little Miss Sreejanya,)
చిరంజీవి లక్ష్మీ సౌభాగ్యవతి చందన కు, (Mrs. Chandana,)
ఛి. ల. సౌ. చందన కు, (Mrs. Chandana,)
In Turkish, there are two forms of salutations, formal and informal. Like most other languages, gender doesn't play a role in the salutation. When addressing somebody in formal writing, one uses "Sayın Name". If the title of the recipient is known, it is better to use it in place of the name, as in "Sayın Doktor."
In a formal salutation, if the recipient's name is unknown, one uses "Sayın Yetkili", which is similar to "Dear Sir/Madam" in English.
In an informal salutation, one uses "Sevgili Name," which has almost the same meaning with "Dear Name".
In correspondence and during conversations, Ukrainian speakers use the words "Шановний/Шановна" (Shanovnyy/Shanovna) or "Вельмишановний/Вельмишановна" (according to male/female gender) as a salutation, followed by the given name (sometimes also uses patronymic). Salutation to unknown persons often use "Пан/Пані" (Pan/Pani) (according to gender) or "Панове", "Панство" (Panove/Panstvo) (to unknown parties).