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Old 21.07.2012, 23:34
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Sorry seems to be das falsche Wort

I was told today that Sorry should not be used when a serious apology is needed - tut mir leid should be used instead.

i.e - sorry when accidently bumping into someone, tut mir leid when accidently running over their pet dinosaur.

Is this true ?
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  #2  
Old 21.07.2012, 23:37
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Re: Sorry seems to be das falsche Wort

Sorry or Entschuldigung? (which is usually used before a question or request, and not really to apologize for something. When 'tut mir leid' is indeed more approriate).
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Old 21.07.2012, 23:39
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Re: Sorry seems to be das falsche Wort

It depends whom you ask.
I'd say that Entschuldigung and Es tut mir Leid are always the better option. The latter being more apologetic anyway. I don't know what the young generation feels about it, but to me, adult and teacher, the word "sorry" is still clearly a foreign word and sounds casual, almost "light hearted".

EDIT: In Switzerland, even the French loan word "Excusez" pronounced "Esküseh" feels far less foreign than "sorry", hence more appropriate when you really want to express empathy. Real empathy = Es tut mir Leid. That's what I'd teach foreign speakers. I also find "Verzeihung" touching and real when said with conviction. The little foreign word "sorry" doesn't have that.
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Old 21.07.2012, 23:52
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Re: Sorry seems to be das falsche Wort

"Sorry" is an English word which has just been adopted into Swiss vocabulary just for those times when you bump into someone or get in their way, for example.

If you really need to apologise for something, best to stick to the German go-to apologies such as "es tut mir (wirklich) Leid".

Saying "sorry" all the time will make you sound like some bumbling Hugh Grant figure anyway, so it's not all good...
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Old 22.07.2012, 00:12
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Re: Sorry seems to be das falsche Wort

I often will say "Sorry, sprechen Sie English?" when a stranger says something to me in German that I don't understand.

I was told that "es tut mir leid" is usually reserved for more serious apologies -- yes, like after running over someone's dinosaur.

But I really have no idea.

Edit: Okay, I just asked me Swiss husband and he said both are fine. "Es tut mir leid" (or just "tut mir leid" for short) can be used for non-serious things.
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Old 22.07.2012, 00:41
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Re: Sorry seems to be das falsche Wort

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Old 22.07.2012, 02:53
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Re: Sorry seems to be das falsche Wort

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I was told today that Sorry should not be used when a serious apology is needed - tut mir leid should be used instead.

i.e - sorry when accidently bumping into someone, tut mir leid when accidently running over their pet dinosaur.

Is this true ?
True.

"Sorry" can be used also mocking the "damage", so it really means that somebody doesn't feel sorry about what happened at all.
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Old 22.07.2012, 17:33
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Re: Sorry seems to be das falsche Wort

So...

I've always used 'es tut mir (wirklich) Leid' when expressing empathy/sympathy (short of formal condolences) and 'Verzeihen Sie mir, bitte...' when apologizing for a personal failure. And reserved 'Entschuldigung' for catching someone's attention, as in 'stop-blocking-the-tram-exit-you-chattering-fool'.

Yea, nay?
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Old 22.07.2012, 17:46
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Re: Sorry seems to be das falsche Wort

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So...
...
Yea, nay?
Yes, right.


Quote:
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...
I've always used 'es tut mir (wirklich) Leid' ...
...
Personally no idea how things work now with the reform on spelling and punctuation (Kohl's revenge),

but "leid" is an adjectice so small letter (of course you don't hear this in a speech).


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...
... 'Verzeihen Sie mir, bitte...' when apologizing for a personal failure.
...
Boy that does sound guilty, yes. Should do the trick.
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Old 22.07.2012, 17:55
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Re: Sorry seems to be das falsche Wort

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Personally no idea how things work now with the reform on spelling and punctuation (Kohl's revenge),

but "leid" is an adjectice so small letter (of course you don't hear this in a speech).
(Hopefully that's the 'embarrassed' smiley.)



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Boy that does sound guilty, yes. Should do the trick.
Most frequent usage: Verzeihen Sie mir, bitte, dass ich so viele Fehler auf Deutsch mache.

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Old 22.07.2012, 18:27
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Re: Sorry seems to be das falsche Wort

"Are you blind? Get outta my way schmuck", would take the onus off you and put the opposing party into defensive mode.

(Disclaimer: Should not be used if person is really visually impaired or for a large person who may well kick the crap out of you).
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Old 22.07.2012, 19:58
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Re: Sorry seems to be das falsche Wort

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"Sorry" is an English word which has just been adopted into Swiss vocabulary just for those times when you bump into someone or get in their way, for example.

If you really need to apologise for something, best to stick to the German go-to apologies such as "es tut mir (wirklich) Leid".

Saying "sorry" all the time will make you sound like some bumbling Hugh Grant figure anyway, so it's not all good...
Never ever heard 'sorry' used here - so it may be a townie adoption. Most older people would not understand the word- so wouldn't get that it is an apology. OK, and 'bye bye' are regularly used by locals, but defo not 'sorry'. So not acceptable and would sound really snobby imho.

Last edited by Odile; 22.07.2012 at 21:49.
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Old 22.07.2012, 21:33
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Re: Sorry seems to be das falsche Wort

'Sorry' is used a lot by the younger generation nowerdays. It seems to me that the influx of 'easier to use' English words is growing and growing here, to the anoyance of the older bast...er.. batalions.
GREG
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Old 22.07.2012, 21:46
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Re: Sorry seems to be das falsche Wort

Quote:
Never ever heard 'sorry' used here - so it may be a townie adoption.
I have never heard it in Suisse romande... very common in the German speaking part though, as is "Excusez" mentioned above (especially in Bern I get the impression).
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Old 22.07.2012, 22:45
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Re: Sorry seems to be das falsche Wort

#1 Tschuldigung = good
#2 loelli= not so good
#3 aff = bad
A---- loch not be used,unless you know how to brake someones leg
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Old 23.07.2012, 23:43
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Re: Sorry seems to be das falsche Wort

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Never ever heard 'sorry' used here - so it may be a townie adoption. Most older people would not understand the word- so wouldn't get that it is an apology. OK, and 'bye bye' are regularly used by locals, but defo not 'sorry'. So not acceptable and would sound really snobby imho.
Spend some time in Zurich - it's all over the place. Ranging from a quick "Sorry" when squeezing one's way out of a tram exit to "Ja, sooorrry, das isch aber blödsinn..." when expressing displeasure because of someone or something.
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Old 23.07.2012, 23:57
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Re: Sorry seems to be das falsche Wort

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Spend some time in Zurich - it's all over the place. Ranging from a quick "Sorry" when squeezing one's way out of a tram exit to "Ja, sooorrry, das isch aber blödsinn..." when expressing displeasure because of someone or something.
"Ja Sorry aber Hallo?"

Often followed by

"Bin i' in de'Falschefilmoderwas eigentlich'?

Clown Sprache is often funny.

(Oh come on, Assassin, it is a funny language )
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Old 24.07.2012, 00:06
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Re: Sorry seems to be das falsche Wort

I generally use "sorry" or "exgusi" when trying to avoid people, and "entschuldi" if I make contact. fortunately I've not had a reason to apologize more aggressively in pedestrian traffic, at least not yet.
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