A Perfect French Work Email

(photo by

Sending an email in French is not only a linguistic exercise, it’s a cultural one, too! Here’s an example of an email I sent to a French co-worker (and someone in a higher position, too!) that got a compliment from my colleague  as well as the desired outcome.

france-french-flag-thumb(French culture- photo by

 Bonjour Luc,

J’espère que vous allez bien. L’agenda au-dessous c’est celui dont vous avez créer en Excel. Je n’ai que le changer à Google Docs et ajouter les salles de réunion. Cet agenda est pour tout l’équipe de notre groupe. 

Si je comprends votre email, Marc est dispo mardi (21/10) matin après 11h (sélon l’agenda de Fabienne), mais il a le déjeuner et présentation de 12h à 15h. 

On peut changer ses réunions mardi matin au soir et nous pouvons animer l’autreportire reunion sans Marc si ça lui convient plus. Si vous voudriez rajouter une réunion à cet agenda, en peux la faire mardi l’après-midi de 15h30 à 18h.

Je voudrais vous prier de modifier l’agenda dessous comme c’est nécessaire.

In this email, my colleague and I are trying to create a meeting agenda. There’s some discussion about the main participant, Marc, and his schedule. At the end of the email, I ask Luc if he will make the changes he sees fit into the pre-created agenda. To give you some background, Luc and I were going back and forth about updating the agenda. We both had editing rights to the document so for me it made more sense for him to make the edits he wanted than to have me do it. He wasn’t clear in his emails so I was being a little forward in my asking for him to do it. With a little French politesse, I was able to resolve the issue and stay within French cultural norms.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>