A French Informal LetterParis, le 16 août 2010 • When writing an informal letter it is customary not to include either your own or the addressee’s address. • In this type of letter, people often write the name of the place they are in, followed by the date at the top of the page, on the right. The place is the town, city, village or other recognizable location. • In writing the date, the day number is preceded by le. • Note also that in French, unlike in English, names of the month are not capitalized. The convention is to write dates: day-month-year. • More informally you can write this information in numerals: 16-08-10.
Greetings • In informal letters or when you know the addressee well, an opening following cher/chère or mon cher/ma chère is appropriate: • Cher Matthieu,Chère Béatrice,Chers Béatrice et Matthieu,Chers tous, (Dear all,)Mon cher Papa, Ma chère Béatrice,
With warm regards Chaleureusement, In friendship Bien amicalement, Your friend Amitiés, Best wishes Meilleurs pensées, Yours, Bien à toi, Affectionately Affectueusement, ( never from a boy to a boy) Best wishes to all Bien des choses à tous, Love / With love Je t'embrasse, Lots of love Bons baisers, Hugs and kisses Bises ! Lots of hugs and kisses Grosses bises ! (never from a boy to a boy) Goodbyes, go on the bottom left of your letter and are followed by your name (on the next line).
Other useful phrases Well that’s all! • Voilà! C’est tout. Write to me soon • Écris-moi bientôt/vite. That’s all for now • C’est tout pour l’instant. I have to leave you • Je dois te laisser. I look forward to hearing from you • J’attends ta réponse avec impatience.
Addressing the envelope • Your return addressshould be written on the back of the envelope (althought it can be written on the top left as well)after the word: Exp. (short for Expéditeur/-trice “sender”). An example would be along the lines of: Exp.: Sarah Fowler 350 N Arizona Ave Chandler, AZ 85225 USA • There are NO punctuations anywhere in a French address!
The address itself • Some people prefer to write the recipient's lastname in ALL CAPITAL LETTERS, but it is not necessary. • Lines from the street address down are supposed to be in all capital letters • The French postal service prefers the WHOLE address in CAPS-name, last name, street, city, country) Madame DUVAL 27 rue Pasteur 14390 CABOURG FRANCE • [Name] • [street address (house/building numberstreet name)] • [postal code + city] • (You may precede the postal code with • France's country code and a • dash, e.g. FR-14390 *Do not use both)
Examples http://www.laposte.fr/sna/IMG/pdf/Bien_gerer_les_adresses_de_vos_fichiersv3-3.pdf More Details: http://www.upu.int/fileadmin/userUpload/damFileSystem/universalPostalUnion/activities/addressing/postalAddressingSystemsInMemberCountries/sheetsEn/FRA.pdf
Current French “Timbres” Stamps http://www.timbres-de-france.com/collection/pag2010-0.php http://www.timbres-de-france.com/collection/pag2010-0.php
Letter requirements • Location, date (on top right) • Greeting • Body (rememberMINIMUM5 Qs + 5 facts about self) • A phrase to wrap up letter • Goodbye • Sign name • DEVOIRS: Re-write letter on nice paper, put it in an envelope, address the envelope, draw stamp.