As top-assistants have to correspond with other companies around the world it is
very important to write letters as the rules require it. That is not as easy as it sounds
because of the small but fine differences in writing dates, flight numbers, phone
numbers etc. In the next two pages we will give you a short overview of the most
The two British ways of writing a date are both spoken the same way: “The first of
January 2012.” The Americans do it differently: “January the first 2012.“ It depends
on with whom you want to write, an American or a British person. Make sure you do
some research before writing a business letter.
Phone numbers :
The area code is the number for an individual city. In our examples 089 stands for
Munich and 0207 for London. Keep in mind that when your foreign guests arrive in
Germany that you remind them to add a zero to the area code. The same is true the
other way around, if you dial the country code (e.g. 0049) then you do not add the 0
to the area code.
If you are staying in the US you have to dial 011- to dial out of the country (011 44 – to call Britain e.g.)
Furthermore, you should pay attention to how you dictate or repeat telephone numbers. In Germany
it is normal to say fünf-und-vierzig for forty-five, in English speaking countries no one does this! It is
important to say every single digit individually except when the same number appears twice (33)
or three times (333), in this case it is possible to say double three or three threes or just three-three or
The writing of addresses is not the same in America as it is in Germany. The street
name is mentioned after the name of the recipient. Instead of writing the street
name before the house number you do it vice-versa in America. There you write
the house number and after this the name of your street. In the next line comes the
city, the abbreviation of the state and the zip code in one line. The postal code
(British) or zip code (American) consists of five to nine numbers.
e.g. Mrs. Miller
465 Hollywood Blvd.
Beaver Dam, WI 53196 – 2206
United States of America
Mit freundlicher Unterstützung der Würzburger Dolmetscherschule.