Having a telephone call in any language includes the usage of certain phrases which help to build our listening skills and understanding of people on the other side of the line. Since non-verbal communication cannot be of much help in this case, we need to rely on our knowledge of certain language in which the phone conversation is being held.
There are phrases which are used for answering a phone call, introducing yourself, asking to speak with someone, connecting someone, making special requests, taking or leaving a message for someone, finishing the call, and so on. The following examples can help you if you are nervous every time you receive a call from (or make a call to) a foreigner whose knowledge of Croatian is limited to ‘Dobar dan’.
Answering the phone
‘Hello, Entertainment Inc., how can I help you?’
‘Thank you for calling Entertainment Inc. Julie speaking, how can I help you?’
‘Hello, this is George Smith calling.’
‘Hi, it’s Bill from the marketing department.’
‘Hi, it’s Mark.’
Asking to speak with someone
‘Could I / Can I / May I speak to Mr Robinson, please?’
‘Is Steve in?’ (informal, meaning ‘Is Steve in the office?’)
‘Can I talk to your supervisor?’
‘Please hold while I put you through to his office’.
‘Can you hold on a moment?’
‘One moment please’.
‘All our operators are busy at the moment. Please hold for the next available person’.
‘I’m afraid her line is busy at the moment’.
Making special requests
‘Could you speak up a little, please?’
‘Would you mind repeating your name?’
‘Would you mind spelling your name?’
‘Can you please hold for a minute? I have another call.’
Taking a message for someone
‘I’m afraid Mr Robinson is not here at the moment. Can I ask who’s calling?’
‘Would you like to leave a message?’
‘I’ll let Bill know you called’. / ‘I’ll make sure he gets the message’.
‘Mr Smith is busy right now. Can you call again later?’
Leaving a message for someone
‘It’s Sarah from the lawyer’s office. When do you expect him back in the office?’
‘Could you ask him to call Jack when he gets back?’
‘Can you write down my number? I don’t think he has it’.
Finishing a conversation
‘Thank you for calling Entertainment Inc. Goodbye!’
‘I’ll make sure your message is received. Talk to you later.’
‘I’m afraid I have someone on my other line. We’ll talk later.’
‘Talk to you soon.’