"Pardon" is as far as I know used mostly in British English. A "Pardon" is also possible in German, but the only occasion I have heard this is from news hosts on the radio after a slip of the tongue. Mother-tongue speakers of German would perhaps give you a better account on the use of this word.
In English "pardon?" can be used if you did not understand someone correctly/ you didn't hear what they were saying.
In German you would ask "Wie bitte?" in a similar situation.
Which is exactly how I understood your question and what I was trying to answer in my reply.
Regarding your examples:
"Entschuldigung, wo geht es hier zum Bahnhof?"
"Oh, Entschuldigung." -- when you just stepped on someone's foot: that doesn't require a heartfelt, personal apology)
"Es tut mir leid, dass ich gestern vergessen habe dich anzurufen." -- Because this requires a more personal apology. Entschuldigung also works, but (to me) sounds less apologetic.
*annoyed tone* "Entschuldigung, dass ich dir deine Wünsche nicht von den Augen ablesen kann, du musst schon deutlich sagen, was du willst!"
In the usage I grew up with, 'Pardon?' is asking the other person to repeat what was said, 'Sorry' is apologising, for example after accidentally bumping into someone, and 'Excuse me' is asking someone to step aside, or is introducing a request, such as 'Which way is the station from here?'.... we should beforehand establish exactly what the difference is between the English versions...
I guess we would need:
- a native speaker judgement
- and ideally British and American English use
(I personally could not do that. My English is not good enough for that.)
I could imagine that the stylistic values of the English words would differ according to nation.
mistress_draconis said:[...]as I'm wondering about the difference between "Verzeihung" and "Entschuldigung" for the "pardon me" which one would say when one burps.