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Writing to the council (tracing for father's step sister)

23 Jan 2012 #1
Dear All,

Could anyone please help with this? I am tracing for father's step sister who apparently is still alive and lives in Krakow. I have been given this website, with this link to fill in a form to ask Krakow City Council to pass on a message to my aunt. Can someone please clarify that this is the correct form?

I understand I have to pay 31pln via a bank (a colleague who is going to Poland next month is going to kindly pay this in for me over there.) Apparently I then have to send back to them with proof of payment, which shouldn't be a problem.

So my question is can someone kindly clarify this is the form I need to fill in and would anyone out there be kind enough to draft a simple message in Polish for me as my Polish isn't that brilliant. I would just want the message to say something along the lines of;

Dear Sir/Madam,

I am writing to you as I wish to contact my father's step sister of the above name, date of birth etc. Would you please pass my details onto her. I attach proof of payment. Thank you.

Thanks in advance all of you x
inkrakow 1 | 98
23 Jan 2012 #2
Yes, that looks like the right form. My Polish isn't up to translating the covering letter I'm afraid.

You probably already know this but you need to attach proof of your relationship to this person (e.g. original birth certificates, translated by a sworn translator if they're not Polish). The full description of the process is here:
Alligator - | 261
24 Jan 2012 #3
In the beginning instead of Dear Sir/Madam you shoul write the name of institution i.e. Urząd Miasta Krakowa and adress.

Zwracam się z prośbą o przekazanie moich danych osobowych przyrodniej siostrze mojego ojca, (here you should write her name and date of birth). Do wniosku załączam dowód uiszczenia opłaty. Z góry dziękuję.
delphiandomine 85 | 18,273
24 Jan 2012 #4
Z góry dziękuję.

Would you really use this in a formal request to a governmental institution?
Alligator - | 261
24 Jan 2012 #5
Yes "Than you in advance". It is considered more formal than simply Dziękuję. It seems that in english it's the opposite.
24 Jan 2012 #6
In English, "Thank you.." or "Thanking you..." in advance" is indeed quite formal and usually onlt reserved for commercial correspondence.
JonnyM 11 | 2,621
24 Jan 2012 #7
"Thanking you..."

That one sounds coarse, something a fat and sweaty fifty year old pub landlord from Wigan would say when you hand over a tattered banknote.

Z góry dziękuję.

"Thank you in advance"

rozumiemnic 8 | 3,850
24 Jan 2012 #8
"Thanking you..." in advance" is indeed quite formal and usually onlt reserved for commercial correspondence.

i would not dream of putting that in a business letter, it sounds really naff,

something a fat and sweaty fifty year old pub landlord from Wigan would say when you hand over a tattered banknote.

heheh quite!
OP loulou999
24 Jan 2012 #9
Hi All

Thanks so much for your replies - not sure if any of the draft letters you have written can be used though by your responses!!! No, I didn't know that we had to send proof of our relationship, this was never mentioned unfortunately. We would have problems with this as my fathers name was not on his birth certificate nor was his mum and dad married so my dad has no way of proving that his father was Gegotek. Therefore proving that he has a half sister with the same surname would be virtually impossible :-( oh dear it looks as though this is not going to be possible to trace her after all.
JonnyM 11 | 2,621
24 Jan 2012 #10
You should try sending it anyway. If that doesn't work, an ad in the local paper might. If her surname isn't one of the top twenty, google it and it might bring up a child or grandchild.
25 Jan 2012 #11
Really a matter of taste here! I've read as well as written "Thanking you in advance.." and, while formal, is completely acceptable within the limits of official correspondence. This you may accept from a fellow native English speaker.
modafinil - | 418
25 Jan 2012 #12
"Thanking you in advance.."

If there is a fee, and it has been paid, I'd use the same phrase where there is an obligation.
25 Jan 2012 #13
Precisely, modafinil.
OP loulou999
25 Jan 2012 #14
Thank you guys for your advice and information. I may as well try as you say, her surname isn't popular at all and I already tried to get in other people from Krakow with the same surname via email but nobody wants to reply to me :-( maybe someone is trying to tell me something!!! Anyway, as my colleague has been kind enough to offer to take it into the bank for me I'll go ahead and see what comes of it. If they don't want to accept it as they have no proof of relative then so be it, they can donate the money to charity!! Bye for now x

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