Forgive my ignorance

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Gertrudis Gomez

Member
Spanish
I was told that in the business world it is consider rude to write "forgive my ignorance." I thought I was just being nice since in Spanish the phrase "discupa mi ignoracia" doesn't have any negative connotation. Is this true?
 
  • spodulike

    Senior Member
    English - England
    Hello Gertrudis and welcome to the forum!

    For the benefit of us English speaking natives, could you give an example of how you could use the expression "discupla mi ignorancia" in a Spanish piece of text.
     

    Gertrudis Gomez

    Member
    Spanish
    Hello Gertrudis and welcome to the forum!

    For the benefit of us English speaking natives, could you give an example of how you could use the expression "discupla mi ignorancia" in a Spanish piece of text.
    Thank-you for your fast reply. I would use "disculpa mi ignorancia" to politely express the fact that I was unaware of some facts or procedures.
    Ej: Disculpa mi ignorancia. Yo no tengo todos los datos al respecto...etc
     

    Aidanriley

    Senior Member
    English
    Thank-you for your fast reply. I would use "disculpa mi ignorancia" to politely express the fact that I was unaware of some facts or procedures.
    Ej: Disculpa mi ignorancia. Yo no tengo todos los datos al respecto...etc
    I don't think it's rude at all.

    Person A: I manufacture spark plugs for cars.
    Person B: Excuse my ignorance, but what exactly is a spark plug?
     

    spodulike

    Senior Member
    English - England
    In face to face conversation (in Britain) it might go like this

    "I manufacture spark plugs for cars"
    "Sorry, I don´t know much about cars, could you explain what a spark plug is?"

    In an email you might write

    "Thank you for your offer of discounted spark-plugs. I´m not an expert on cars, could you explain the main use of these spark plugs please?

    .........................................................................

    For some people "ignorance" has a sense of uncouthness. Therefore you might like to say

    "Excuse my lack of knowledge"
     

    bailarín

    Senior Member
    English (USA)
    If you call someone ignorant, or pardon someone else's ignorance, it may be taken offensively. People tend to be offended when you point out their ignorance, but there is absolutely no problem when you point out your own. Haha.
     

    Aidanriley

    Senior Member
    English
    Thank you! I was told it could be misunderstood as a sarcastic statement.
    Tone of voice, inflexion, and stresses can change many things from being appropriate to sarcastic or rude. Take this example:

    Person A: You don't even know what a spark plug is? I knew what a spark plug was when I was only ten years old.

    Person B: Well excuse my ignorance, Mr. Know-it-all!
     

    Aidanriley

    Senior Member
    English
    In face to face conversation (in Britain) it might go like this

    "I manufacture spark plugs for cars"
    "Sorry, I don´t know much about cars, could you explain what a spark plug is?"

    In an email you might write

    "Thank you for your offer of discounted spark-plugs. I´m not an expert on cars, could you explain the main use of these spark plugs please?
    Yes, we say it exactly the same, as well as with 'excuse my ignorance'.
     

    Gertrudis Gomez

    Member
    Spanish
    I feel bad. I already sent the email without consulting the forum. I've learned my lesson!!
    I emailed:

    Forgive my ignorance; all of this is new to me. What information do you need me to gather?

    Is this rude? I sent it to a vice-president.
     

    bailarín

    Senior Member
    English (USA)
    Unless you use it in an obvious sarcastic sense as pointed out by aidenriley, which you obviously did not, you could use this phrase. Why not? It actually sounds humble to me.
     

    Cagey

    post mod (English Only / Latin)
    English - US
    In this context, it doesn't seem at all rude to me, especially since you explain "all of this is new to me."

    I don't think you should worry.
     
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