Nowadays, a lot of formal communication is made through emails or letters, either for job application or any official request. Knowing how to properly write a formal letter is thus very important.
Standard Format of Formal Letter
Above is a template of the elements in a formal letter. I will explain them one by one. Keep in mind that the red dot represents a space line.
1. Your full name is written as follow name (ime) and surname (priimek).
- Irma Novak
2. Your address (naslov) is written in two lines, the first line is street address while the second line is the postal code and the city. (Under your address, you can also add your phone number and email.)
- Slovenčeva ulica 1
3. Place (kraj) and date (datum) refer where and when the letter was written. Be aware that dates have a specific format. (Check How to Say Dates and Times in Slovene – Part 1 for more details.)
- Ljubljana, 28. 2. 2021
4. Recipient’s name (prejemnikov naziv) can be a person or place name, depending on the nature of your letter.
- Janez Mklavž or
- Rolli Shop D.O.O. or
- Upravna Enota Kranj
5. Recipient’s address (prejemnikov naslov) is written in two lines as well.
- Celovška cesta 18
6. Zadeva is where you state the subject of your letter.
- Zadeva: Prijava na razpis za delovno mesto učiteljice (Subject: Application for a job vacancy as teacher)
- Zadeva: Prošnja za reklamacijo (Subject: Request of complaint)
7. Spoštovani is the conventional greeting for letters (it means “dear”) and it is followed by a comma (,) or an exclamation (!). Don’t forget to start with capitals if your greeting ends with an exclamation. You can also add in the recipient name (with title) if you know it.
- Spoštovani gospod Janez Miklavž,
- Spoštovana gospa Marta Miklavž,
8. Content (vsebina) is where you write paragraph(s). The content will depend on the nature of your letter, but usually introduce yourself or explain why you are writing. If it is for a job application, aim for 140-150 words, not too long.
9. S spoštovanjem with a comma (,) is a standard way for the final greeting (it means “with respect”). Other final greetings that you can use are:
- Lep pozdrav (without comma (,))
- Lepo Vas pozdravljam. (with an period (.))
10. Signature (podpis) is your handwritten signature, if it is an actually printed letter.
11. Your full name again.
12. Priloge is where you list the attachments that are included.
– življenjepis (resume)
– priporočilo (recommendation letter)
– fotokopija diplome (copy of diploma)
Personally, I am not a big fan of formal letters, as I’m never sure how to get it started and what to write… (Yes, I blog, but it’s a lot more friendly). So I hope that this post was able to demystify the “how to write a formal letter in Slovene” or at least, a standard template, because what to write as content… that’s a different and unique story.