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victim

English translation: We offer our deepest sympathies to family and friends. (Stop here or use the person´s name.)

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19:31 Nov 24, 2013
English to English translations [PRO]
Art/Literary - Safety / offering sympathies
English term or phrase: victim
in a formal official address (published in print, not a private letter), offering sympathies to family/friends of the person who died in a workplace fatality (at a plant), is it correct - appropriate - to refer to the diseased person as @victim@ ? like in @We offer our deepest sympathies to family and friends of the victim. @
TIA
danya
Local time: 10:50
English translation:We offer our deepest sympathies to family and friends. (Stop here or use the person´s name.)
Explanation:
Deceased (please note the difference from diseased) sounds very cold to me, although strictly correct.

Victim does not sound right in English either, although the equivalent would be perfectly correct in other languages I know.

Phrases about loss can easily ring hollow too.

A perfectly possible solution is simply to write
We offer our deepest sympathies to family and friends.
If only one person died, then you could possibly write his, her or [name´s] family and friends as appropriate.

If you use the name, take care again - Mr XXX´s family etc. and not just the first name would be my first suggestion, but it is important not to sound over formal or over familiar. If a person was always known, for instance, as Tom or used a nickname, then Thomas or his surname might sound strange... and that would spoil the whole sensitive message once again!

If several people were killed, I might refer to them as ´those who died´ and
We offer our deepest sympathies to their families and friends.

Keeping it short, simple and not over formal is never wrong.

But as others have mentioned, more context (e.g. who are the audience at the formal address?) - would help to get the register right.
Selected response from:

Christine Andersen
Denmark
Local time: 09:50
Grading comment
thank you for answering _my question_
4 KudoZ points were awarded for this answer

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Summary of answers provided
5 +6deceased
Shereen Whiten, BA.
4 +1former colleague
Phoenix III
3 +1We offer our deepest sympathies to family and friends. (Stop here or use the person´s name.)
Christine Andersen


Discussion entries: 6





  

Answers


1 min   confidence: Answerer confidence 5/5 peer agreement (net): +6
deceased


Explanation:
>

Shereen Whiten, BA.
United Kingdom
Local time: 08:50
Native speaker of: Native in ArabicArabic, Native in EnglishEnglish

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
agree  Jenni Lukac: Perhaps interspersed with "our colleague"...
10 mins

agree  Jack Doughty
1 hr

agree  Phoenix III
3 hrs

agree  Shera Lyn Parpia
5 hrs

agree  Phong Le
10 hrs

neutral  Tony M: I'm not too sure; all a question of register, but this is very distancing, the sort of language used by funeral directors or priests, remaining at a safe distance from the event. It all depends on how closely the company wants to be attached or not.
11 hrs

agree  Ashutosh Mitra
12 hrs
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3 hrs   confidence: Answerer confidence 4/5Answerer confidence 4/5 peer agreement (net): +1
former colleague


Explanation:
Another option a bit more sensitive (neutral).

Phoenix III
United States
Local time: 03:50
Native speaker of: Native in EnglishEnglish, Native in SpanishSpanish

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
agree  Tony M: Yes, Asker has not given us enough context to be sure, but I feel this is generally to be preferred; I would also consider using the person's name at least once, in order to make it more personal and 'engaged'. Consider also 'late colleague'.
7 hrs
  -> Thank you Tony
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14 hrs   confidence: Answerer confidence 3/5Answerer confidence 3/5 peer agreement (net): +1
We offer our deepest sympathies to family and friends. (Stop here or use the person´s name.)


Explanation:
Deceased (please note the difference from diseased) sounds very cold to me, although strictly correct.

Victim does not sound right in English either, although the equivalent would be perfectly correct in other languages I know.

Phrases about loss can easily ring hollow too.

A perfectly possible solution is simply to write
We offer our deepest sympathies to family and friends.
If only one person died, then you could possibly write his, her or [name´s] family and friends as appropriate.

If you use the name, take care again - Mr XXX´s family etc. and not just the first name would be my first suggestion, but it is important not to sound over formal or over familiar. If a person was always known, for instance, as Tom or used a nickname, then Thomas or his surname might sound strange... and that would spoil the whole sensitive message once again!

If several people were killed, I might refer to them as ´those who died´ and
We offer our deepest sympathies to their families and friends.

Keeping it short, simple and not over formal is never wrong.

But as others have mentioned, more context (e.g. who are the audience at the formal address?) - would help to get the register right.


Christine Andersen
Denmark
Local time: 09:50
Native speaker of: Native in EnglishEnglish
PRO pts in category: 4
Grading comment
thank you for answering _my question_
Notes to answerer
Asker: sorry about the diseased-deceased blunder, hasty typing


Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
agree  Tony M: I think this is the best advice; it is not easy to see quite what Asker was getting at with his question, but all you have said pretty much summarizes my own feelings about the matter.
1 day27 mins
  -> Many thanks!
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