In my last post you have learned, that “przepraszam” is a Polish word used instead of two English expressions: “Excuse me” and “I’m sorry”.
Recently I provided you with some typical examples of using an expression “przepraszam” in situations when we should translate it as the English “Excuse me”.
Today it’s time to get to know a bit more about using the Polish verb “przepraszam” when we want to say: “I’m sorry”, “I’m really sorry” or even “Forgive me!”.
What to say in Polish when you step on someone’s foot or you accidentally push someone?
How to apologize in Polish when you accidentally spill your coffee or wine all over someone’s shirt or when you are late for a meeting?
In all these above situations you should use a Polish expression “Przepraszam” (I’m sorry) or “Przepraszam bardzo (I’m very sorry!). It’s enough. Especially when you did something wrong accidentally, without any bad intentions.
What is a suitable response in Polish when someone is apologizing to you? What are Poles used to answering when they hear “przepraszam” in the meaning “I’m sorry”?
Some typical answers are:
„Nic nie szkodzi”
or just „nie szkodzi”
Another typical answer is : “Nic się nie stało”.
All these answers mean something like “never mind”, “that's all right, “That’s o.k.” or “It doesn't matter” (not literally). Let's see a short comic:
But sometimes someone doesn’t want or can’t forgive us (like the girl above ;-).
It’s difficult to say what a person who blames us and doesn’t want to forgive us can say. There is no typical Polish phrase in such a case. But we can all understand what silence and an accusing glance mean. It’s a quite universal body language, isn’t it?
In situations when our fault is evident and we want to show that we really regret our mistakes by saying something like "I am really sorry" or "Forgive me" - we should say in Polish:
"Naprawdę przepraszam" ("I am really sorry!" or "I do apologize!")
or "Wybacz mi" ("Forgive me" or even "Do forgive me!")
But I can’t promise, that will help, especially when you keep being late for a date with a Polish princess ;-).
Here are audio recordings with all usuful expressions (bold text in the post) and with the dialogues on the pictures (Polish native speaker's voice).