I am sorry, but

Sweet Polly

New Member
Español de México
Good day.

I am trying to learn little by little and would like to know if this is correct (I want to be very polite),

I am sorry, but I do not understand German and only speak a few words.
I do speak fluent Spanish, English and French.


Bitte entschuldigen Sie, aber ich verstehe nicht Deutsch und ich spreche nur ein paar Worte.
Ich kann fließend Spanisch, Englisch und Französisch sprechen.

I understand Es tut mir leid is a common expression, but is it proper language when addressing a person I have just met?

Also, I do only speak a few words in German and would like my phrasing to show it.

Thank you very much for your time and help.
Kind regards.
 
  • ABBA Stanza

    Senior Member
    English (UK)
    Welcome to the forum. :)

    I understand Es tut mir leid is a common expression, but is it proper language when addressing a person I have just met?
    Sure! You can use the expression regardless of who you are talking to. The fact that one doesn't often hear the expression in formal contexts has nothing to do with the language itself, but is merely due to the fact that many people do not wish to formally admit that they have made a mistake. :(

    Cheers,
    Abba
     

    Roy776

    Senior Member
    German & AmE
    Like ABBA said, it's in no way informal. But your first sentence needs a little correction:
    Bitte entschuldigen Sie, aber ich verstehe nicht Deutsch und ich spreche nur ein paar Worte.
    Bitte entschuldigen Sie, aber ich verstehe Deutsch nicht und (ich) spreche nur ein paar Worte.

    I have put Ich into brackets, because in case of this sentence, you can omit it. Und doesn't start a subordinate clause or a second main clause, so the Ich can be omitted, as you've already said it before.
     

    Sowka

    Forera und Moderatorin
    German, Northern Germany
    Hello :)

    Would it not be more proper to say "Bitte entschuldigen Sie mich"?

    Alan
    In such a situation, the expression bitte entschuldigen Sie is appropriate. But I can't really explain why. It might refer to something implied, outside the speaker, something like sorry for the inconvenience.

    I would say "bitte entschuldigen Sie mich" only if I had to leave the room, or in a similar situation.
     
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