Office Life

Do you communicate differently with international teams?

Amazon / Eng
7d

I don't know if I should be doing this or not, but I am more formal with teams from different countries in my written communication.

For example, email headers:

- US, Canada, and Australia: "Hi/Hey <given name>" (or no greeting at all if replying to an existing thread, or I am familiar with the person)
- Europe and India: "Hello, <given name>"
- Japan: "Hello/Greetings, <family name>-san"
- China: "Hello/Greetings, <given name>"

I don't know if this is even right...or if anyone even cares...

What about you? Do you communicate differently with international teams? If yes, what are the differences?

(Also, in the comments, could you tell me where you are from and, if you do have a preference, how you would prefer for others to communicate with you?)

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  • Microsoft hmmmmmmmnm
    I do about the same written communication. When dealing with East Asians and others who's English isn't so hot, I will definitely cut down on slang, lower my vernacular, and sometimes speak slightly broken English in the way they do. I had another English speaker say this was "talking down", but I also helped this same English speaker make himself understood by doing exactly what he was criticizing....so I really don't know. I just make it clear to people no matter how bad their English is, it's better than I am at their language and I respect them for trying, and I think most people understand this. At the end of the day communication is about the sharing of ideas, not the following of grammar, syntax, and vocab definition. If both parties understand each other, mission accomplished.
    7d1
    • Amazon / Eng
      OP
      Yes, this all the way. Communication is not about "correctness", but understanding.
      7d
  • Microsoft / EngFake Bugs
    I greet all ethnicities, genders, corp levels, and ages with 'sup brah'
    7d1
    • Microsoft Whoisit?
      Hahahahaha. Now thats funny!
      7d
  • At Sony, the Japanese -San thing is used a lot when speaking with folks in / from the Tokyo office.
    6d1
    • Amazon / Eng
      OP
      Yeah, I've also seen <family name>-san for Japanese teams very frequently at Amazon, which is when I started getting concerned about this.
      6d
  • McAfee JohnMcPee
    You are overthinking this way too much, like this version of FizzBuzz:

    https://github.com/EnterpriseQualityCoding/FizzBuzzEnterpriseEdition
    7d1
  • Microsoft YwWb48
    I reduce amount of slang/casualness but not because of formality, but because it might add confusion to the email, and don't want that to happen when time delays due to timezones happen so cost of mistakes are magnified.
    7d1
    • Amazon / Eng
      OP
      Makes sense. I also try to remove as many idioms as possible when working with international teams.
      7d
  • Facebook frustsoul
    I always write in the recipients' native language. Only a few times has google translated horribly enough to get the HR involved. The rest of the times, I assume things were communicated well.
    6d1
    • Amazon / Eng
      OP
      Pretty sure you're trolling, but one of my teammates seriously tried this once when emailing a team in Spain. The Spanish person responded in English and ended the email with, "By the way, if your Spanish isn't as good as my English, then it is not good enough to find the mistakes you will get from an automatic translator."
      6d
  • Expedia / EngKcvdqaw
    I reduce slang based on how well English is spoken but for the most part I don’t change a thing. Even swearing.
    5d0

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