"Excuse me"

Discussion in 'Culture' started by Leah, Feb 19, 2007.

  1. Leah

    Leah Active Member

    When do Czechs find it appropriate to say "excuse me"? I have noticed that I say it CONSTANTLY! I even walked into a parking meter the other day, and it automatically came out - "excuse me!" I was more embarassed that I apologized to a hunk of metal than the actual walking into it. Here is when I say "excuse me" -

    1)when I need help from someone (i.e. waiter)
    2)interrupting someone talking
    3)when I walk close to someone in a hall, elevator, or store aisle
    4)when I yawn (this also is so automatic, I say it to myself when I yawn alone)
    5)when someone else is being rude, like butting in line

    That's all I can think of at the moment - just curious, because I feel like I have some sort of affliction that causes me to say "excuse me" too often!
  2. eso

    eso Well-Known Member

    1 - 4: Promiňte

    5 - this is more complicated, by my opinion, in this case, you probably should say something specific in regard of situation, like:

    Prosím, nepředbíhejte - Please, don't jump the queue
  3. Polednikova

    Polednikova Well-Known Member

    Would you use prominte when someone asks you something in Czech and you want to say "Sorry" at the start of "Nerozumim cesky."?
  4. doman

    doman Well-Known Member

    Would you use prominte when someone asks you something in Czech and you want to say "Sorry" at the start of "Nerozumim cesky."?[/quote]

    :D In this case, you should speak English !
  5. eso

    eso Well-Known Member

    Yes, I would.
  6. doman

    doman Well-Known Member

    People won't believe that you couldn't speak Czech when you tell them fluently " Prominte, nerozumim Cesky !" :lol:
  7. czechchris

    czechchris Well-Known Member

    Could you say:

    "Promiňte, nerozumím dobře česky."
  8. Polednikova

    Polednikova Well-Known Member

    Excellent suggestion! Although I have to say that as soon as I open my mouth, even if in theory the words are right, they would quite believe that I don't understand Czech!
  9. czechchris

    czechchris Well-Known Member

    I speak Czech reasonably well enough to hold a conversation, but often my vocabulary is limited to the extent that I do not understand what is being said. I often use the above phrase at those times.
    I have the good fortune to speak Czech with virtually no accent, and am sometimes mistaken for a Czech! However the difficulties of the grammar and vocabulary limitations let me down.

    I have few opportunities to practice at the moment, so the prospect for improvement is limited.
  10. evantula

    evantula Active Member

    The Czechs also say "excuse me" in two ways. They either say "promin/prominte", or they use the french "pardon" ... nothing wrong with good manners!
  11. evantula

    evantula Active Member


    ... dovolte is also used :)
  12. Kanadanka

    Kanadanka Well-Known Member

    My mother must be excessively polite then, since she has a tendency to say "pardon, promin" :wink:

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