FYI can be read more and more often in emails and private chats. Such abbreviations are commonplace in corporations whose corporate language is English. Their meaning is partly unclear. Anyone who only has to deal with the English language out of necessity and follows little English-language literature or short messages such as on Twitter may be at a loss. It can be essential in everyday work to know such abbreviations - if only so as not to come out as ignorant. The meaning behind...
To solve the riddle directly: FYI means for your interest or for your information. It is an English abbreviation, in German it is usually written for your information or for your information instead.
If an e-mail is initiated with FYI, you usually do not need to react further, it is only a communication. Typically, an email might look like this:
FYI has the function of informing, sometimes also referring to a previous topic. This can mean that you then have to deal with the content of the mail more closely or do any work mentioned there.
Usually, however, the recipient knows what to do and no separate response is expected. If the information were so important that all work processes would be overturned, the sender should not introduce it with a succinct FYI.
One would also expect a reference to the subject in the subject line of the e-mail, such as "Urgent!" or "Important information about product recall". Instead, FYI is often used synonymously with FYA: which in turn stands for for your amusement.
This shortcut is ideal for forwarding cat videos or funny internal events.
Basically, abbreviations like FYI are used for simplification - everyone knows what is meant, unnecessary phrases are avoided, the most important thing is summarized briefly and concisely. Shortcuts can therefore represent a time saver.
Synonymous with abbreviation, abbreviation is spoken in old writings (hence English: abbreviation). A number of abbreviations such as LKW, AGG or TVöG find their way into colloquial speech, while others such as “z. B. (for example)” or “e.g. (for example)” are pronounced and apply only to written language.
This is sometimes the catch: Because some abbreviations only apply to the written language, those who read the abbreviation for the first time and do not know it are sometimes irritated. FYI is also pronounced in its entirety and as a combination of individual letters, i.e. F - Y - I, would not be self-explanatory for German native speakers.
So what was actually intended as a simplification actually has the opposite effect: misunderstandings and embarrassing situations in which, in the worst case, someone feels exposed.
On the one hand, this can be countered by only using indispensable abbreviations, otherwise the communication can degenerate into technical jargon. It is also advisable for you as an employee to familiarize yourself with the abbreviations and formulations customary in the company as quickly as possible.
How to avoid mistakes like these:
I hereby forward the following information to you FYI for your information.
The usual German for information becomes “e.g. K.” and would be even shorter than FYI. Nevertheless, English-language abbreviations are becoming more and more popular in everyday work.
This is due to the international environment. Anyone who works with foreign partners in a large corporation is naturally expected to be able to communicate in English. The same applies to international teams, here the company language is automatically English for everyone.
Even with purely German-speaking teams, abbreviations such as FYI are not unusual, after all, employees such as Generation X and Y have been familiar with the Internet since early youth or childhood. Chats and games are often international, and there, too, communication is predominantly in English.
FYI is encountered in chat, for example, in phrases such as: "FYI I'll be AFK for the rest of the afternoon." AFK is another common abbreviation and stands for "away from keyboard". In other words, the sender lets the reader know that they will be busy elsewhere for the rest of the afternoon, away from their computer/laptop/smartphone.
What may have originally been created in a work context is also suitable for private use. FYI is much faster to type in Whatsapp messages than "FYI" or "By the way".
Strictly speaking, FYI is an acronym, which means that an abbreviation was formed from the first letters of three words. The principle is known for many abbreviations of everyday life such as ADAC, EDV, PC or TÜV.
Such acronyms are usually written with capital letters. If you want to do without the abbreviation, you can write the words completely lowercase (because they are taken from English) or completely uppercase. Only a mixed spelling like Fyi is unusual.
Overall, you should note when you use FYI: The abbreviation is suitable for internal and private mails or chats. For customer contact, on the other hand, less if you do not maintain an extremely friendly relationship with them.