Off topic: Dear Sir Sir
Thread poster: Mervyn Henderson

Mervyn Henderson  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 04:54
Member
Spanish to English
+ ...
Nov 28, 2008

As I wait for a couple of jobs to come in ("in your in-box at 9, Mervyn, honest"), I have what looks like a Kudoz question, since it's "how-to-translate" (but I'm too scared to ask or answer questions on Kudoz), so it's been put on Translation - Off topic since it's applicable from any language you care to mention into Eeengleesh.

The title isn't a typo, by the way. A while ago I had to translate an invitation letter to "Sir Somebody or Other". I have a feeling I can't divulge the name - let's just say he is a knighted actor.

In Spanish they took no notice of this, and started in with "Estimado Sr. X".

Do you say Dear Sir X, forget "Dear" and plunge straight in with "Sir X", Dear Sir Sir X, or Dear Sir, with nothing else, or what?


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LP Schumacher  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 04:54
Member
German to English
Forms of address Nov 28, 2008

Mervyn Henderson wrote:
Do you say Dear Sir X, forget "Dear" and plunge straight in with "Sir X", Dear Sir Sir X, or Dear Sir, with nothing else, or what?



This document deals with various forms of address, including certain titles and honorifics (See Page 6):

http://www.bia.homeoffice.gov.uk/sitecontent/documents/policyandlaw/nationalityinstructions/nisec1prosec/letters?view=Binary



[Edited at 2008-11-28 08:55 GMT]


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Dusan Rabrenovic  Identity Verified
Slovenia
Local time: 04:54
Member (2008)
German to Slovenian
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Very helpful document Nov 28, 2008

That's really something to hold on to; however, I suggest fixing your link (remove all characters after "Binary") or people might think it's private stuff, what with the password and all.

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Stephen Gobin
United Kingdom
Local time: 03:54
German to English
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You've got a choice Nov 28, 2008

You've got a choice with knighted people:

In correspondence, either just "Sir" or "Dear Sir Joe (Bloggs)"
and for his wife just "Madam" or "Dear Lady Joanne (Bloggs)"

and in conversation "Hello, Sir/Sir John", "Hello, My Lady/Lady Joanne". In my experience the Sirs, Ladies and Honourables I know ask for these salutations to be dispensed with)


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Mervyn Henderson  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 04:54
Member
Spanish to English
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TOPIC STARTER
Many thanks ... Nov 28, 2008

... Liesl, Dusan and Stephen.

And I know what you mean, Stephen. Why, only this morning I was having a bit of a chat with Bob Geldof, and he said "Bejasus and begorrah, ye can leave out the "Sir Bob" bit, you know, Mervyn, at all, at all, at all."


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Jenny Forbes  Identity Verified
Local time: 03:54
Member (2006)
French to English
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Actually, no. Nov 28, 2008

Stephen Gobin wrote:

You've got a choice with knighted people:

In correspondence, either just "Sir" or "Dear Sir Joe (Bloggs)"
and for his wife just "Madam" or "Dear Lady Joanne (Bloggs)"

and in conversation "Hello, Sir/Sir John", "Hello, My Lady/Lady Joanne". In my experience the Sirs, Ladies and Honourables I know ask for these salutations to be dispensed with)



The correct way to address a knight (or baronet) in the "greeting" is "Dear Sir Jasper" (just his forename). The envelope should be addressed to "Sir Jasper Dastardly" (forename and surname) but never "Sir Dastardly".
The correct way to address his wife in the "greeting" is "Dear Lady Dastardly". The envelope should be addressed to "Lady Dastardly".
The forename of the lady is only included (e.g. Lady Diana Spencer) if the she is the daughter of an Earl, Marquess or Duke. On marriage, she retains the forename in her title. e.g. Lady Diana Someone.
It's wrong to say "Lady Diana Dastardly" if she is the wife of a knight or baronet, unless she is also the daughter of an Earl, Marquess or Duke.
Complicated, isn't it? Not a problem I often have to tackle, however.
Best wishes,
Jenny.


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Mervyn Henderson  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 04:54
Member
Spanish to English
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TOPIC STARTER
Thanks a lot Jenny Nov 28, 2008

Certainly is complicated. What a bind to have to remember all that every day.

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George Hopkins
Local time: 04:54
Swedish to English
French solution Nov 29, 2008

The French solved the problem by chopping their heads off, or simply calling them Citizen.

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