I'm sorry /I apologize for my bad Deutsch

chopina

Member
Italiano
Hi!

I just want to translate "I'm sorry (or I apologize) for my bad Deutsch".

"Tut mir leid fuer meines schlechtes Deutsch?"

Thanks a lot,
Chopina
 
  • ABBA Stanza

    Senior Member
    English (UK)
    No, your sentence would mean that you'd ask someone to excuse himself for your bad German, which doesn't make much sense. :)
    Thanks :). Maybe I misunderstood what Robocop was saying about "apologize/present my excuses to someone else".

    But I still can't understand why Nerino's suggestion of

    "Bitte entschuldigen Sie mich für mein schlechtes Deutsch"

    should not work. :confused:

    For example, the following conversation is valid German, isn't it?

    A: Bitte entschuldigen Sie mich.
    B: Wofür?
    A: Für mein schlechtes Deutsch.

    If so, surely it must follow that one can join the two fragments from A together into the single line "Bitte entschuldigen Sie mich für mein schlechtes Deutsch".

    Or is my logic failing me once again? :)

    Cheers,
    Abba
     

    Robocop

    Senior Member
    (Swiss) German
    Sich entschuldigen: Ich entschuldige mich. Du entschuldigst dich. Er entschuldigt sich. Wir entschuldigen uns. Ihr entschuldigt euch. Sie entschuldigen sich. Wofür? Für irgendetwas.
    Andererseits:
    Jemanden bei jemandem entschuldigen: Bitte entschuldigen Sie mich beim Direktor für meine Vergesslichkeit.
     

    ABBA Stanza

    Senior Member
    English (UK)
    Sich entschuldigen: Ich entschuldige mich. Du entschuldigst dich. Er entschuldigt sich. Wir entschuldigen uns. Ihr entschuldigt euch. Sie entschuldigen sich.
    Danke, Robocop, aber wie das Verb "entschuldigen" gebeugt wird war mir klar. :rolleyes:

    Andererseits:
    Jemanden bei jemandem entschuldigen: Bitte entschuldigen Sie mich beim Direktor für meine Vergesslichkeit.
    May I switch back to English for this one? I wasn't aware of this interpretation, which I assume is equivalent to passing on one's apologies for something to someone in English.

    I was a bit confused, because I had always associated "sich entschuldigen" with the English verb "to apologize" or "to offer one's apologies", whereas I thought "jemanden/etwas(Akk.) entschuldigen" normally had more to do with accepting apologies/excuses rather than offering them. The "jemanden bei jemandem entschuldigen" seems to be an exception here.

    Furthermore, apologizing for someone else is fine in the English language. For example, suppose I were to bring along a foreign visitor to a dinner party that I am invited to. In such scenarios, it would be fine for me to say "I apologize for his bad English", even though his language abilities have nothing to do with me. However, indirectly I would still feel somewhat responsible for any embarrassment caused by this because I was the one who brought him along.

    So I assume in such contexts that "sich bei jemandem für mein schlechtes Deutsch entschuldigen" would analogously also be OK in German.

    Cheers
    Abba
     

    Thomas W.

    Senior Member
    Deutsch
    In my opinion, "jemanden für etwas entschuldigen" or is not being used in German except in "jemanden für <an event> entschuldigen" which means to excuse somebody for an event (give those managing an event an explanation that and why somebody will not be able to attend the event).
    In the meaning of "apologize", you can only use expressions like "sich für etwas entschuldigen" ("ich entschuldige mich für ..." , "du entschuldigst dich für ...") or "jemandem etwas entschuldigen".
    "Bitte entschuldigen Sie mich für mein schlechtes Deutsch" is therefore wrong.

    Correct is "Ich entschuldige mich für mein schlechtes Deutsch", or better
    "Ich möchte mich für mein schlechtes Deutsch entschuldigen"
    or
    "Bitte entschuldigen Sie mein schlechtes Deutsch".

    Another possible translation is
    "Bitte verzeihen Sie mir mein schlechtes Deutsch"
    (instead of "verzeihen" you can also use "vergeben", "Nachsicht haben mit", ...).
     
    Last edited:

    honululude

    New Member
    Deutsch
    Hello,
    of course thid topic is a little bit "older", but I wanted to add one point to Thomas' excellent anwser: It´s true that "Bitte entschuldigen Sie mich für mein schlechtes Deutsch" is not really correct but I often see situations in which German people say it in this way, so noone would realize this. I also think that "Bitte entschuldigen Sie mich." is only correct when you sitting at a table (for example) and you have to go to the toilet or something in this way or you meet a friend in public but you can´t join a small talk (maby because you have a meeting) than you can say this. It´s just usual to say something like "entschuldigen Sie mich (für)" although it doesn´t really make sense in grammatical analyse because you just can apologize someone else to a special person: "Entschuldigen Sie mich bei meinem Chef für mein Fehlen." or "Ich entschuldige mich für sein schlechtes Benehmen."

    So I hope i could add some facts ;)
     

    Captain Lars

    Senior Member
    Deutsch (D)
    A very interesting topic. I'd like to add that - although it's standard use in Germany - Ich entschuldige mich für ... is, strictly speaking, quite impolite. Being really polite, you would have to say Bitte entschuldigen Sie mich für .... The reason is that you obviously can't excuse yourself for something wrong you have done, be it trivial or not. You have to beg for someone's pardon (in the literal sense). Saying Entschuldigung! is quite cheeky, saying ich entschuldige mich is bad style.

    Of course, on the other hand, you must take precautions not to overdo your deference.
     

    niku

    New Member
    Hindi & English - India
    Sich entschuldigen: Ich entschuldige mich. Du entschuldigst dich. Er entschuldigt sich. Wir entschuldigen uns. Ihr entschuldigt euch. Sie entschuldigen sich. Wofür? Für irgendetwas.
    In at least one case, reflexive pronouns with excuse can be used in English: He excused himself from attending the party. You cannot excuse yourself from attending the party! Perhaps it is permissible because here we are not really offering an apology (so we do not have to "beg"). At best, we are only offering a justification for not doing something. Thus, the above is like saying: He justified his (/ himself for) not accepting the invitation. (Excuse is used in the above sense elsewhere too: Don’t make/offer excuses!, i.e., "don’t justify yourself".) Another example using the same format: I excused myself from the party. -- that is, "I left the party while it was still on after informing the host of the reason/about my intention to depart."
    ... Ich entschuldige mich für ... is, strictly speaking, quite impolite. ... The reason is that you obviously can't excuse yourself for something wrong you have done, be it trivial or not. You have to beg for someone's pardon (in the literal sense).
    I excuse myself for ... is probably impolite for the same reason. It means that we are not really admitting our mistake, but are merely going through the motions.
     
    Last edited:

    ger4

    Senior Member
    German
    "Entschuldigen Sie bitte mein schlechtes Deutsch" would be another option. You might use it if you just want to point at the fact that what you're about to say might be grammatically incorrect.

    "Bitte entschuldigen Sie mein schlechtes Deutsch" is very similar.

    In informal speech you can say: "Tut mir leid (=Sorry), mein Deutsch ist (ziemlich) (=quite) schlecht"

    If you say "Bitte entschuldigen Sie mich für mein schlechtes Deutsch" it seems to put more emphasis on the fact that you would like to APOLOGIZE.

    You shouldn't worry about these difference too much, I think, they basically mean the same...
     
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    bearded

    Senior Member
    Italian
    @ niku
    Welcome to this forum, and my congratulations on your post , whose content I fully agree with: very keen and well-written.

    @ chopina
    Another possibility would be: Ich bitte um Entschuldigung für mein schlechtes Deutsch.
     
    Last edited:

    ger4

    Senior Member
    German
    is not possible.

    Cf.
    Bitte entschuldigen Sie mich beim Professor. - Please tell the prof I can't be attending.
    I agree... As for the other versions "Bitte entschuldigen Sie..." and "Entschuldigen Sie bitte..?" - would you say there is a slight difference in meaning, or in emphasis?
     
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