This simple phrase works so well in Dutch,
but translated to English, it really isn’t such
a friendly way to end your mail,
so let me help you end this epic fail.
(I’m such a poet and I don’t even know it.)
Hello, sweet buffi!
Let me help you stop insulting your readers.
I know you are lovely, kind, smart, and nearly perfect.
You have used this phrase to end a Dutch email zillions of times. It works so well. In Dutch culture. It’s to the point, and extremely functional. It gets the (Dutch) job done beautifully.
However, in English, it’s pretty nasty. It doesn’t mean what you think it does.
What is this magical, mysterious sentence, you may ask?
‘Ik hoop u voldoende geïnformeerd te hebben.’
This works perfectly in the direct, no-frills, down-to-earth Dutch culture. It says what it does. But guess what? If you try to translate this in English (and you probably have), you might have written this:
‘I hope I have informed you enough.’
Guess what? This doesn’t work well in an English context. It sounds to many of us like you’re saying ‘I hope this is enough, and this is all I can give you. This is it. Hope it’s also enough for you. Bye!’
It makes me feel like I’m not able to ask a question, respond, follow-up, or react in any way. The door to communication has just been closed. In my face. This makes me sad.
How about encouraging your reader to stay in communication with you? How about letting them know that you’re ready, willing, and able to continue helping them if they need it, and they shouldn’t feel bad if (for them) it’s actually NOT enough information?
Let’s try one of these instead:
“Please don’t hesitate to contact me should you have any questions.”
“If you have any questions, feel free to contact me.”
“I’m happy to provide you with more information on this matter if needed.”
All of these let me know that I can still ask questions. That it’s ok to need some more information. That you’re still there for me when I need you. You can be my hero for just a bit longer if I need one. And I love it!
A simple sentence can make all the difference.
Be someone’s hero today. (You’re already mine for reading this far!)
I look forward to hearing from you!