Editor at Large

Communicate With Your Clients in THEIR Native Language — Not Yours!

If you e-mail me when I’m on vacation, you’ll probably receive a message in English back. When I’m traveling, I’m often too pressed for time to figure out a grammatically perfect way to express my unavailability in German. I’ll set up a message saying something like,

Thank you for your e-mail. I will be in New York on business until September 10, 2008, which means that it may take me slightly longer to reply to your message than usual. Please be assured that I will reply as soon as possible.

It’s true that my clients are not native English speakers. But it’s better than no auto-reply at all, right?

Not always!

A town council in Swansea, Wales, took a Welsh auto-reply from a translator and put it up on a road sign!

The full story is here.

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