HOW TO WRITE EMAIL OR LETTER IN ITALIAN
You may have been faced with the situation that you need to write a letter or an email in Italian to your Italian professor, your tour guide in Italy or an Italian Language School, and you don’t know where to start. So you switch to English, the lingua franca.
You shouldn’t, because writing a letter in Italian is not so difficult. All you need to do is learn the standard and recurring greetings and introduction formulas, and there you have it.
Of course, the types of greetings and formulas, you are going to use, depend on who you are writing to. And so, a distinction has to be made between writing a formal letter and an informal one.
HOW TO WRITE A FORMAL EMAIL OR LETTER IN ITALIAN
How to start a letter or email in Italian
If the situation requires you to be formal, you can start your email like this…
Gentile Sig. Rossi – Dear Sir
Gentile Sig.a Rossi – Dear Madam
If the situation requires you to be super formal, you should opt for this greeting
Egregio Sig. Rossi Sir
Egregia Sig.ra Rossi Madam
In formal letters or emails the abbreviations Sig. stands for Sir, Sig.ra stands for Madam.
If the setting is not so formal or you don’t know, you could start your email with a Buongiorno or Buonasera.
Italians love using their titles, so it is important to mention them even in a letter! If the addressee has a title, you can use the following abbreviations
- Dott. – Dott.ssa (dottore – dottoressa = a doctor or anyone with a degree)
- Avv. (avvocato – lawyer),
- Ing. (ingegnere – engineer),
- Arch. (architetto – architect),
- Rag. (ragioniere – accountant)
And then it comes the introduction…
Referring to something
- Le scrivo, in riferimento al nostro incontro – I am writing with regard to our meeting
- Le scrivo, in riferimento al colloquio telefonico – I am writing with regard to our phone call
- Come anticipato nella mail precedente / telefonicamente – as stated in previous mail / call
- In risposta alla Sua mail… – with answer to your email
In the main body of the mail you should write the reasons for writing, such as…
- Con la presente comunico… – I am writing with regard to
- Con presente, scrivo per presentare la mia candidatura per il posto di (job position) presso (company) – I am writing to apply to the X job position
- Le scrivo perché vorrei qualche informazione su… – I am writing because I would like to know…
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How to close a formal letter or email in Italian
The most common Italian letter closings are:
- In attesa di riscontro, resto a disposizione per chiarimenti e porgo cordiali saluti.
- In attesa di un Suo cortese riscontro
- Ringraziando per l’attenzione
These letter endings stand for the English I am looking forward to hearing from you. Regardless, the meaning is slightly different, they serve the same purpose and are used in Italian in the same way.
As for the final greetings, you should use the following Italian (formal) salutations or saluti formali, which stands for the English sincerely or warm regards.
- Distinti Saluti
- Cordiali Saluti
If you have an attachment, don’t forget to mention it
- In allegato invio… – please find in attachment
- Allego… – I am attaching
Examples of formal letters (or emails) in Italian
Gentile Sig.na Rossi,
Con la presente, invio la mia candidatura per il posto di lavoro come Responsabile di Amministrazione presso i Vostri uffici.
Allego il mio CV e lettera di motivazione.
In attesa di un riscontro, porgo cordiali saluti.
Gentle Sig. Rossi
Le scrivo in in riferimento al nostro colloquio telefonico di ieri, per comunicarle che abbiamo preso in considerazione la Sua proposta di progetto. La invitiamo a mandarci al più presto un report completo del progetto.
In attesa di un cordiale riscontro, le porgo i miei cordiali saluti.
HOW TO WRITE AN INFORMAL EMAIL OR LETTER IN ITALIAN
If you are writing your email or letter to an Italian friend or colleague, then the tone must be different, and you can switch to more informal greetings and ending salutations. Let’s see how
When it comes to starting a friendly email, you can opt for
Caro stands for dear, but it is used just in informal and friendly settings. You can also open your letter by using ciao.
Concerning to ending a friendly letter or email, you should choose one of the following Italian salutations (Saluti informali)
- Fammi sapere – let me know
- Un abbraccio – hugs
- Un caro saluto – cheers
- A presto – until the next time
Example of a (short) friendly email in Italian
Come stai? Scusami se ti rispondo con molto ritardo ma sono stato molto impegnato ultimamente. Come va la vita? Ci sono novità a lavoro? Per quanto riguarda quel progetto, ne ho parlato con il mio capo. In allegato ti mando mando i dettagli dell’incontro.
Fammi sapere cosa ne pensi