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This was a personal email from two people I've never met before. I'm a woman, they're looking for a man. I have been getting email meant for this guy sporadically for years now. In English, I would probably say "I'm sorry, but you have the wrong email address. I am [me], not [that guy]." What are some common ways to express this sentiment in German?

  • Wrong email
    • Sie sind falsch verbunden
      • Is this good for emails too, or just for phone calls?
  • I'm someone else
    • Ich bin ein Anderer
      • I can't tell if this is normal, archaic, or machine translation, but it didn't seem very common in Google results.
  • Not who you're looking for
    • Ich bin nicht, nach wem Sie suchen
      • Is this machine translation weirdness? "Nach wem" seems overly formal, like "with whom you are trying to speak" would be in English.
    • Ich bin nicht, die Sie suchen; Ich bin nicht der, den Sie suchen
      • What's the difference between "die" and "den" in this situation? Is it gender related?
  • Not who you're trying to talk to
    • Ich bin nicht der, mit dem Sie reden wollen
      • Is "reden" the right word for an email conversation?
  • 1
    The reasonable way is to blacklist the sender. I receive emails from unknown persons who want to contact someone else each week or so and in the beginning, I politely said them they were wrong but those emails keep coming in, as if they forget to update their address book. I think now that happens when people have multiple addresses and "one hits" so the mail came through from the sender to the intended person but the other one is mine. – Janka Feb 13 '17 at 22:23
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    Did you try responding in English? Many Germans know English and it underlines that you're the wrong person. However, our policy forbids translation requests. – user unknown Feb 14 '17 at 2:14
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    Just translate your English version: "Entschuldigung, aber Sie haben die falsche E-Mail-Adresse. Ich bin nicht dieser Mann." Surely, there are thousand ways of expressing it in other words as you already suggest... – äüö Feb 14 '17 at 12:17
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Sie sind falsch verbunden

is for telephone calls, as „verbunden” is connected, which meant hardwired in the early days telephone communication.

Ich bin ein Anderer.

could be possible. But you claim to be female. So at least it would have to be

Ich bin eine Andere.

But actually, this does not make it clear.

Ich bin nicht, nach wem Sie suchen.

This sounds „hölzern” as one could say in German. You would rather say

Ich bin nicht die Person, nach der Sie suchen.

I would probably write something like

Ich bin jemand anderes, jedenfalls nicht die Person, die Sie hinter dieser E-Mail-Adresse vermuten.

which translates to

I'm someone else, at least I'm not the person you'd expected behind this email address.

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    To me, "Ich bin ein Anderer." / "Ich bin eine Andere." sounds like someone is either expressing some philosophical thoughts or having delusions of some kind. – O. R. Mapper Feb 13 '17 at 22:10
  • As I said, this does not make it clear if used alone. If you refer strictly to the mails received before and yourself as the addressee this makes sense. If you use only this phrase stripped of any context you could be right. Clarifying the situation would be helpful here also. – upunkt Feb 13 '17 at 22:35
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    As a native German, I actually quite like "Sie sind falsch verbunden!". It expresses the problem very succinctly and reflects the fact that a well-known issue in an old medium is being repeated in a new medium. Metaphor is useful and fundamental to communication, don't be afraid to use it! – Kilian Foth Feb 14 '17 at 7:18
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In addition to upunkt's answer.

You could say:

Ich bin nicht der richtige Adressat. Bitte überprüfen Sie die E-Mail-Adresse.

= I am not the correct addressee. Please check the e-mail adress.

  • "nicht der richtige Adressat" is unambiguous and avoids many issues when trying to say it in another way. – AmigoJack Feb 16 '17 at 14:07
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If I want to sound more formal, I would write something like "I am not the intended recipient".

In German, it could be translated as;

Ich bin nicht der vorgesehene Empfänger.

1

Google Translate translates your original english sentence in useful German. However the informational value is quite low. The below suggestion is more eloquent.

In essence they don't have the wrong e-mail address, but they have maybe mistyped it. In that case I'd say:

Hallo, Ich bekomme von Ihnen seit einiger Zeit E-Mail, die für "Name of other person" bestimmt ist.

Mit freundlichen Grüßen

Your Name here

-

Hello, I have been getting from you for some time now e-mail that is meant for "Name of Person".

Best regards

Your name here

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