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Mit wem habe ich die Ehre?  
von Tom One, 2010-09-22, 11:15  like dislike  Spam?  125.167.101...
Ich erhalte oft geschaeftliche Anfragen via email, die Leute fallen gern mit der Tuer ins Haus ohne sich kurz vorzustellen. Ich moechte gern wissen mit wem ich es zu tun habe bevor ich Anfragen umfassend beantworte, also moechte ich hoeflich und bestimmt fragen "Mit wem habe ich die Ehre?" im Sinne von "darf ich fragen mit wem ich es zu tun habe?".
"May I ask with whom I have the pleasure of conversing?"  #543743
von Baccalaureus (DE), Last modified: 2010-09-22, 11:20  like dislike  Spam?  
Before going into details: Can you please give me some background about you / the company you are working for?  #543746
von Kornelius (DE), 2010-09-22, 11:21  like dislike  Spam?  
von wandle (GB), 2010-09-22, 11:35  like dislike  Spam?  
May I first enquire who you are, please?
(This can be rendered more direct by leaving out 'first' and/or 'please'.)
"pleasure of conversing"...  #543752
von quentincassidy (US), Last modified: 2010-09-22, 11:50  like dislike  Spam? a bit stilted...

however, the main alternative gives rise to an interesting choice:

"May I ask with whom I am speaking?" is grammatically correct, while still maintaining the level of politeness that you wanted.

However, many, many, many, many native English speakers would add an extra "with" and ask:

"May I ask with whom I am speaking with? , simply because it "sounds" better (even though it is technically gramantically incorrect) English, we don't really like to end sentences with verbs, unlike in some other languages...;)

auch möglich wäre:

"And with whom am I speaking?" ...note that the "and" is important in inflecting the politness; without it, you'd come off as being somewhat more direct/less gracious

"Who am I speaking with"? Once more, very common but not grammatically correct (b/c of the who instead of whom

And whom do I have the pleasure of speaking with?
I chose "conversing" because in an e-mail, you do not really speak.  #543753
von Baccalaureus (DE), 2010-09-22, 11:51  like dislike  Spam?  
However, I thought there was a rule of style never to end a sentence with a preposition?
you're right...  #543757
von quentincassidy (US), Last modified: 2010-09-22, 12:10  like dislike  Spam?  
...technically you're not speaking in an email, but the word can be used here just the same; indeed, one of the definitions of to speak also includes communication via writing.

And yes, usually one should avoid ending a sentence with a preposition...however, ending a sentence with a verb is even more stylistically awkward, hence the general  preference to add the extra 'with" to the above sentence.

Nevertheless, let me emphasize that the extra "with" is grammatically incorrect, even though it is colloquially favored. Since this is a formal email, you should probably stick to one of the grammatically correct options.

If any of you have watched the original Star Wars movies in English, then you should be able to recall the peculiar yet iconic manner in which Yoda spoke...he always moved the verbs to the end of his sentences, making him seem archaic, wise and somewhat comical all at the same time...unfortunately, I'm pretty sure that Yoda just speaks normally in the German versions of those movies.
No he doesn't: "Kämpfen du mußt, junger Padawan!"  #543762
von Baccalaureus (DE), Last modified: 2010-09-22, 12:25  like dislike  Spam?  
haha...touche  #543766
von quentincassidy (US), Last modified: 2010-09-22, 12:27  like dislike  Spam?  
its been a while since i've seen them, so i'm sure you're right :)

although just for kicks:
Google: "Kämpfen du mußt, junger Padawan"  :P
Yeah, I misquoted... but that's the way he speaks in German.  #543770
von Baccalaureus (DE), Last modified: 2010-09-22, 12:37  like dislike  Spam?  
The correct quote, I think, is: "Noch sehr viel lernen du mußt, mein sehr junger Padawan."
Perhaps it's a regional thing,  #543777
von MichaelK (US), Last modified: 2010-09-22, 13:03  like dislike  Spam?  
but here in Virginia, I've never heard "speak" to indicate an exchange of information by email unless "speak" is followed by the qualifier "by email." "Would you mind providing us / me with your name?" is more like something you would see in this neck of the woods.
Vielen Dank/Thanks a lot  #543812
von Tom One, 2010-09-22, 15:02  like dislike  Spam?  125.167.103...
4;Baccalaureus 4;Kornelius 4;wandle 4;quentincassidy 4;MichaelK
Vielen Dank! Thanks a lot for the swift replies, a real treasure of wisdom, very helpful.

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