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< Phrasebook 13—Telephone Call

Phrasebook 13—Telephone Call

This guide will help you to make a business or other formal telephone call. Success depends on two things: 1) giving the person on the other end the proper clues so that he understands to whom he is speaking and the purpose of the call, and 2) knowing the words and phrases to express your message. This guide is intended to help you with the first part, though a few examples of the second part are provided for practice.

Important Note

The word “алло” is not a greeting. The English word “hello” was not originally a greeting either and did not become one until some time after the invention of the telephone. The first telephones were were installed in pairs permanently connected by a direct line between two offices. Users would shout hails such as “Ahoy!” or “Hello!” into them to get the attention of someone at the other end. In 1877 Thomas Edison wrote of an early telephone, “I do not think we shall need a call bell as Hello! can be heard 10 to 20 feet away.”

Since “алло” is not a greeting, you should follow it by sayingздра́вствуйте!”. If at any point someone thinks the line has gone dead, he will start to shout “Алло! Алло!” until the other again says “Я слышу!” (I hear) or something similar. Do not make the mistake of shouting “Алло! Алло!” back since that would create the mistaken impression that you do not hear the other party.

Getting Connected

Алло!—I am here. Are you there?

Алло и здравствуйте—I am here. Greetings!

Пожалуйста, позовите к телефону Ивана Ивановича—Please summon Ivan Ivanovich to the telephone.

Not Getting Through

Абонент временно находится вне зоны обслуживания—Your party is temporarily out of our coverage area

Ваш вызов переадресовывается на автоответчик—Your call is being transfered to an answering machine

Его нет—He is not here

Он на работе—He is at work

Он здесь не живёт—He does not live here

Перезвоните по позже—Call back later

Identifying Yourself

Вам звонят из страховой компании—I am calling from the insurance company.

Меня зовут Иван—My name is Ivan.

Stating the Purpose of Your Call

Я по объявлению—I am calling in response to your advertisement

Скажите пожалуйста, в скольких закрывается магазин?Would you please tell me when the store closes.

Можно услышать ваше мнение? Почему...—I would like to get your opinion. Why...

Можно к вам зайти—May I come and see you?

Можно ли отправит книгу по почте?—May I send you the book by mail?

Signs Communication is Breaking Down

Алло?!—Are you still there?

Как вас зовут?—What is your name?

Что вы хотите от меня?—What do you want of me? (i.e., Why are you calling me?)

Ending the Call

Спасибо и до свидания—Thank you and goodbye

Sample Telephone Message Extending Invitation to Public Talk

Жаль что не заста́л(а) вас до́ма. Е́сли вы хоти́те прису́тствовать на обсужде́нии темы́ из Би́блии которая называ́ется ________, то приходи́те во суббо́ту в шестна́дцать часо́в в Зал Ца́рства Свиде́телей Иего́вы кото́рый нахо́дится по а́дресу:

        у́лица Со́утуик Ро́уд

        дом 117

        го́род Уэ́стфилд

Э́ти обсужде́ние мо́гут посеща́ть все и беспла́тно.

Sorry I did not find you at home. If you would like to attend a discussion of a Bible topic called ________, then come on Saturday at sixteen o'clock to the Kingdom Hall of Jehovah's Witnesses which is to be found at the address:

        Street: Southwick Road

        House: 117

        City: Westfield

Anyone may attend this discussion free-of-charge.