Proper Etiquette for Greetings and Signing Letters and E-mails in Portuguese Posted by polyana on Jan 16, 2012 in Spelling, Vocabulary
Oftentimes my friends and I discuss what the proper usage is for greetings and signing off professional e-mails. I work with a lot of internal colleagues and clients alike from all sorts of different fields, and it’s been tough to come to a conclusion as to what’s proper or not, but I think this will serve as a pretty good guide, just in case you’re planning on doing business in Brazil!
For Formal Business/Government Letters:
Prezado Senhor/a (nome):
Estimado Senhor/a (nome):
If you don’t know the person’s name, “Prezado Senhor/a,” or “Estimado/a,” both work.
Also, if it’s more than one person, adding simply “Srs” or “Senhores” to the end of the greeting can work as well.
Ex. “Prezados Senhores:”
After greeting them, you might want to follow with what it is you are getting at with the letter.
A good introduction is:
Venho através desta para… – Literally, “I come through this for…” But what it means is “I am writing this letter to…”
A “thank you” before signing off is always nice too…
Ex. Agradeço-lhe a atenção.
Formal e-mails usually follow the same lines, only things tend to be abbreviated.
Atenciosamente (or Att.),
I’m personally a big fan of hugs and kisses and smiley faces all around, but I have to be careful as to not send hugs to a client on a first contact. I will usually use one of the greetings above, or simply the person’s name for an informal e-mail. Another greeting can be a simple “Oi (nome)!” (ok, I may have added the exclamation point as something only I do…)
If it’s an informal e-mail to a client or coworker, Att works just fine.
If you’re more friendly with your client or coworker, or if it’s a good friend, Abraços, is a good sign-off. Especially in Brazil where hugs are welcomed 🙂
Since I’m even more Brazilian, I will often end e-mails with Beijos, the same way I would end an informal e-mail to a friend in the US with “Love,”. Just be careful if you’re sending this to a coworker of the opposite sex. They might not take it as friendly as you mean for it to be!
Build vocabulary, practice pronunciation, and more with Transparent Language Online. Available anytime, anywhere, on any device.