Prosim nebo omlouvan

Discussion in 'General Language' started by padraig, Feb 16, 2009.

  1. padraig

    padraig Active Member

    Can some one tell me the difference in the two forms of expressing ' sorry'.
    For example ' sorry, I did not email you sooner'
    Should I use prosim or omlouvan ?
  2. kibicz

    kibicz Well-Known Member

    You should say "omlouvám se" (I apologize myself) , "prosím" could be translated as "I beg" ...
  3. Ctyri koruny

    Ctyri koruny Well-Known Member

    And the difference between omlouvám se and promín? in usage?
  4. kibicz

    kibicz Well-Known Member

    "omlouvám se" is bit more formal. "omlouvám se za zpoždění"(to audience),
    "promiňte" is similar.
    "promiň" is rather personal - "promiň, žes na mě musela čekat"(to friend)
  5. wer

    wer Well-Known Member

    “Omluvit” means “to apologize”, “omluvit se” means “to apologize oneself” or in other words “to be sorry”.

    “Prosit” means “to beg/ask”. The expression “prosím” (= I beg) is used in place of English “please”.

    The confusion arises from different social phrases, not from ambiguous translation. Simply, in situations where Englishman is sorry for something (e.g. for not understanding the words, for interrupting) Czech is asking politely for something else (e.g. to repeat the words). Once the context is omited, it could happen that Czech “prosím” (=please) appears in place of English “I’m sorry” or Czech “děkuji” (= thank you) appears in place of English “please”.

    So, instead of looking for universal translation we should, situation by situation, look for corresponding social phrases.
  6. padraig

    padraig Active Member

    Thank you,wer, for clarifying that. It does make more sense to let the social circumstances dictate the response especially when there is that ambiguity.
    Not quite like Humpty Dumpty, however ‘words can mean whatever we want them to mean’!

Share This Page