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In my first language (Thai), a typical formal letter usually has quite a similar format to English letters, with one exception...

Between the last paragraph of the body of the letter and that "Yours sincerely" line, we usually insert another short paragraph, usually with only one sentence, typically can be translated literally to,

then-inform-to-know

which means something similar to the phrase "just so you know".

Today I was asked how one should translate that line to English. I realized at once that I never wrote that line in English before, because I haven't seen such phrase used in any formal letters. And to me, saying "just so you know" sounds almost rude.

If I really have to translate that line, how should I express it in a more polite way?
(I am thinking about "Pleased to have you informed," but not sure if it really works.)

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    If you're a little uncomfortable with "just so you know," you might consider "just letting you know." – J.R. Dec 3 '13 at 1:31
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    If this line, as I suspect, has the purpose of letting the recipient know that action is not required, the common term is "for your information", or informally "FYI". If you put this term anywhere in the letter, it will be understood to mean that no action is required. – BobRodes May 14 '14 at 15:07
  • @BobRodes Thank you very much for the comments, especially the explanation of "by way of". FYI: They're really useful for me! – Damkerng T. May 14 '14 at 17:02
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There are myriad ways to express a sentiment similar to the one you describe. Here are a few examples:

The above is purely for your information.

This is solely by way of information.

I write this simply to keep you informed of the situation.

. . . keep you apprised . . .

. . . keep you in the loop.

In my experience (mainly in the world of business), including this sort of phrase in a letter serves to clarify that the recipient is not expected to take specific action at this time. If you want a more general phrase to accompany an informative letter, you might also try:

I hope you find this useful.


By way of agreement with commenter jmoreno, I will add that the most similar practice I have observed in AmE (especially in the business world) is to introduce information that is included purely for information's sake. Often this will occur as early as the subject line of an email, which could begin with “FYI:” without appearing too informal.

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    I usually write "I hope you find this letter useful," or something similar. It's close to just so you know, but not quite. Your examples are great! Thanks for so many alternatives. FYI, I really like the sound of "by way of", and its meaning is close enough. Thank you! – Damkerng T. Dec 2 '13 at 19:19
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    I like this answer (I upvoted) but @DamkerngT., the one you selected, "by the way of", is actually the only one that sounds odd to me. All the other suggestions here sounds perfectly fine and applicable in your situation, in my opinion. When I read that one, though, I stopped for a second, thought "I suppose that's formal or British?" and then moved on. So, it's not that you'd be misunderstood (I understood what it meant!). But it's not something I'd heard before, and IMHO you might be better served to select another of Tyler's excellent suggestions :) – WendiKidd Dec 3 '13 at 3:27
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    I would suggest that such a comment goes at the TOP not the bottom, unless the letter is specifically addressed to someone else, and even then... – jmoreno May 14 '14 at 4:53
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    @jmoreno Damkerng T. was asking how to translate a Thai sign-off, so my answer focused on direct replacement of the phrase in situ. I agree that the analogous practice among English speakers is as you’ve described, however, so I’ve edited to include that as well. – Tyler James Young May 14 '14 at 14:24
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    @DamkerngT. I've heard "by way of information" before, personally, but it's uncommon. Look at these: "He made an apology by way of flowers." "He gave flowers by way of an apology." Both are correct: the former is saying that flowers were the means of the apology, and the latter is saying that the flowers were a type of apology. Applying it here, "I'm sending you this letter as a type of information" would be the meaning of "by way of information". – BobRodes May 14 '14 at 14:51

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