Recently, I stumbled upon a family photo album. While browsing through it, I found several letters from the early twentieth and late nineteenth century, all written in Dutch. Despite this, I noticed that the use of language, even the use of formulas, is quite similar to that found in some English letters from the same period. For this reason, I think it might be possible that some Dutch letter-writers were influenced by English ones or that there was a universal guide to letter-writing at the time. I also found that there were bilingual letter-writing manuals available in the early twentieth century. This suggests that bilingual letter-writers did exist and more surprisingly, it shows that epistolary formulas and words had equivalents in other languages. Furthermore: for these guides to be published, there must have been quite a few potential buyers. Despite this, I have not yet managed to find any bilingual letter-writers. As I would like to do some more research on the subject, I have some questions:
- Does anyone know of any bilingual letter-writers who lived during the eighteenth, nineteenth, or early twentieth century?
- Were there published any bilingual letter-writing manuals in England in the aforementioned period?
- Was there a universal guide to letter-writing?
I hope someone will be able to answer these questions. Thank you in advance.