Send a postcard to someone with no common language


I just drew an address from a member who speaks Spanish. The whole profile is in Spanish. Unfortunately, I don’t speak any Spanish or any of the other mentioned languages.
I usually look forward to writing the message on the postcard a lot, but this time I feel uncertain so I thought I’d ask you guys for advice.

Of course, I will use an online translator to read to profile. But what about my message. Would you write a message in English and hope the receiver will understand or translate it? Or would you use a translator and write a message in an unknown language and hope it will be okay?
Any other ideas?

Please tell me about your experience? Does this happen often?
Thank you so much for your attention and participation.

I would always choose English then as English is Postcrossing language and it should be easy for the other person to either find someone to translate or get it translated through online tools (translation from English is always the most accurate one on Google translate).

I’d try to keep the sentences short and rather simple.


You can report this profile, so they will know to add an English translation and it won’t annoy other members anymore, or they don’t need to think the same thing again.

To profiles written in another language than English, I only write short message, maybe I write “please add English translation to your profile so other members will understand it”. And decorate it heavily :smiley:
Maybe write a nice quote or something like that.

It happens sometimes, and sometimes often. Some people also don’t take the advice well, so it’s always good idea to let the Postcrossing team know about it.

I have gotten messages written with help of Google, and if you don’t know the language at all, I suggest writing in English is better option.

Also, maybe not add/write anything personal, because if they don’t know what you write, they might publish the message here.


For the card, I’d either google translate a brief message in their language or just draw something nice instead.


This is what meiadeleite wrote in another topic


I’d suggest 3 options:

  1. Don’t write - draw a story. Once drew a short picture story for a four-year old postcrosser :slight_smile:
  2. Write in English and let the receiver worry about translation.
  3. Use a translation programme to write in Spanish :es:! Spanish and English are a) not so different (they both belong to the Romance language group, even though English is also half Germanic), and b) a very very common language pair to translate, so I’d expect even Google Translate to be quite good at it - as long as you keep things simple :wink:

I already had profiles only in Russian and then wrote in Russian :slight_smile:
I also cannot speak/write Spanish, but I think I would translate some easy sentences into Spanish (my name, where I live…) and then would put some more stickers on the card :slight_smile: I always try to make the reveiver of the card happy and I do not find it bad if people cannot write in English, this is my understanding of friendship between people.


Thank you all for your helpful answers and suggestions!

  • Make a drawing !
  • Cover the space with stamps.

I wrote one card in Russian (which i don’t speak). I kept the sentences very short. That card is expired so it doesn’t matter now :laughing:

I wrote one in Spanish, but it was a common language between us and recipient requested it if possible. That one was fun. And i got a very warm hurray :heart:

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You can take it one of two ways, get angry or see it as an opportunity. Searching for a phrase in Google translate is an option, drawing, putting stickers… the important thing is to communicate. I usually use a translator because my English is not fluent :sweat_smile:. Cheer up, I’m sure you have a very cool postcard :sunglasses:


1st - you can use google translate (or another translator) to translate your message into said language, however, online translators don’t always translate too good into certain languages

2nd - draw a picture

3rd - write in English (or your language) and put a little thing in their language saying “English” or the language you are writing in so they know what to translate into


I just drew the name of a new Postcrosser who doesn’t list English as a language they know and whose profile is not in English. She’s sent only one card. Do I just send a card in English and hope she translates it? I thought guidelines said we are supposed to use English? Thanks


Lots of Postcrossers don’t list English as a 1st or 2nd language.

Send the card in English, just keep the sentences short & clear.


A short message in very simple English with a card front that needs little, if any, interpretation.


Send a postcard to someone with no common language
You may find some good tips here.


I’d write not much more than happy Postcrossing if we do not have a language in common.
And I’d ask the staff - via the contact button on the main page - to take a look at their profile for it is not in English.
The staff will then turn to them and ask them to translate the profile into English.