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  5. "Verzeihung."



October 10, 2015



Do people use this word in daily-life context? I live in Germany for 6 years and I don't remember hearing this word on street.


I lived there for 22 years and never heard it used! Go figure!


I am German. And I say "Verzeihung!" or "Entschuldigung!".

Unfortunately today the most people say "Sorry." in Germany. Why? I don't know. Maybe they think, it is cool ...


maybe it's like English-speaking people saying "Gesundheit" in America/Canada when someone sneezes instead of "bless you"


It's pretty common. Most people don't know what it means, they just know that it's a funny german word that you say when someone sneezes.


RC12, I'll take it a step further. I've met a number of people who not only don't know what "Gesundheit" means - but they don't even know it's German. They just say it when people sneeze.


It's used here in Colorado and neighboring states, and probably most if not all of America, but I don't know where in Canada or elsewhere (UK, Australia, NZ, etc.), just that it's used somewhat in the UK and Canada. As others have stated, many people don't even know it's German and very few know what it means. I'd imagine more people in the UK (because of proximity) and New England, especially Pennsylvania (because of many German and Dutch descendants) know what it means.


It's pretty common in Wisconsin, where there is a large German population. I have known a lot of people to choose the phrase because "good health" is a better sentiment than some religious platitude


"Gesundheit" is very common throughout the US - even if many people don't know what it is supposed to mean. Remember that there has been a lot of German immigration to the US - esp. in Pennsylvania, Texas, and throughout the mid-west.


Its is very common in Australia too.


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Even in Montana we use gesundheit occasionally


@Eyrian. Very good :-)


Wow! And where exactly?


Yeah they do , it means something like "good health!" I dont remember it exactly


Contrary to many of the other replies, I believe there is a subset of people who say gesundheit as an attempt to wish the sneezing person well while divorcing themselves from the inherent religiosity of the phrase "god bless you". I have known several people who justify their use of it this way, including myself. That's not to say that what you said isn't true, but just to add another reason why people might use the word.


I use it for this reason (New York area). ...It seems to be uncommon here, though, as it once prompted a very surprised reaction-- she asked me how I knew she was Austrian. (I didn't.)


Joke from my childhood (senior from USA). Rattled American traveler in Germany, standing next to a stranger. The American sneezes; the stranger says, "Gesundheit." The American exclaims, "Oh, you speak English!"


In my experience, no one does this in Canada unless they're German or their parents are German


I just wonder, Is 'Verzeihung' popular in particular region only?


No, not that I know of a region where it would be used more or less ( native speaker here). To be super grammar nazi: 'Verzeihung' used in the way of 'excuse me' is already a shortened form from 'jemanden um Verzeihung bitten' as in 'Ich bitte Sie um Verzeihung' which means 'I ask you (polite form) for forgiveness'


I'm not a native German, but I've watched a German sitcom TV show, where the people say 'sorry' instead of 'entschuldigung', 'happy' instead of 'glueklich'. Maybe they regard it as slang! :D


Maybe they like that it's just two syllables.


I heard this word today!!! A young waiter in Berlin said it and I was like, what?!? I feel like I have discovered something new and should answer him with 'Eureka' :D


I love it when that happens!


Why respond in Greek?


Perhaps it's like saying 'apologies' in English—formal contexts maybe?


I lived in Germany for 30 years and they don't say that. They say "Entschuldigung" or "sorry". They don't think it's cool, it's just shorter than "Entschuldigung". But you could say "'schuldigung", too^^


If you want to be polite...yes


There is any difference between Verzeihung and Entschuldigung?


Not really, they mean the same thing, except that "Entschuldigung" is much more commonly used than "Verzeihung" (except around and when talking to older people), and "Verzeihung" is a little stronger than "Entschuldigung".


Verzeihung is what Sheldon (from The Big Bang Theory) would say instead of Entschuldigung.

  • 1682

The correct term in English is "Pardon me," though sometimes "Pardon" is used colloquially as an abbreviation.


I was always taught to say "I beg your pardon". Which may be more polite, but it's longer ...


I was taught the same, but obviously Duo didn't. Rejected.


When I was a kid I thought they were saying "I big your pardon"


There are no "correct terms" in English beyond what is commonly used. Pardon is just as valid as pardon me.


In the UK at least, Pardon? on its own is most commonly used to imply one didn't hear, and request it be repeated. Pardon!? / Pardon me!? Did you just call me a... can also be exclaimed about something one doesn't like the sound of.

Pardon me as a statement would usually be more appropriate in response to doing something by mistake that might be deemed rude, like interrupting, belching or farting.

Excuse me can be used for either of these too, but would be the most appropriate thing to say if asking to get by people in a busy place. If you said Pardon me, people might think you had just farted or something!


In the U.S., it's exactly the opposite.

  • 1682

The point is that "Pardon" is accepted and "Pardon me" is not, when the latter is much more commonly used (and, dare I say, more "correct") than the former.


"Pardon me" is accepted, as is "excuse me" and "forgive me".


Verzeihung, aber Sie haben Ihre Granate vergessen!


Omg you got that from medal of Honor ps1. .. Brilliant


Sounds like 'Zerzeihung'...


Sounds even worse to me. Like "Sep-ei-hung." I guess I need to get my hearing checked, lol.

Here is a much better pronunciation: https://forvo.com/word/verzeihung/#de


Tht's what i typed


Why isn't Duo accepting "Excuse me" for "Verzeihung"? When I lived in Berlin, I usually heard "Pardon" or "eine Entschuldigung".


Next time, report it via the little flag (mobile) or the "report a problem" button. They haven't collected all of the possibilities yet.


My sentiments exactly. I reported it.


I reported it before posting here.


Going by Google Translate, it's a noun i.e. "the pardon" as opposed to an imperative "pardon...me". "Forgiveness" is another translation according to GT, which I've reported to Duo as it wasn't accepted.


Would you say "Verzeihung mich", or is "Verzeihung" just as valid? I'm guessing the latter, if it's in Phrases 2, I just want to check which sounds more natural, even if the word isn't used that much.


The verb is "verzeihen". http://www.dict.cc/?s=verzeihen

Similarly like "entschuldigung" vs. "entschuldigen" http://www.dict.cc/?s=entschuldigen


Given that "Verzeihung" is the noun "pardon," rather than the verb "pardon", I would be very surprised if you could say "Verzeihung mich."


verzeihung mich is wrong. you might say verzeihen sie mir (pardon me) or ich bitte um verzeihung (i beg your pardon). but you should know that verzeihung itself is a rather formal expression, more likely to be used by older people or in written language, and these sentences are even more so.


A couple of notes: 'gesundheit' is most certainly used in Australia; in English pardon is a more formal and less used form of sorry, quite similar to the relationship of verziehung with enschuldigung i think


Gesundheit means "health" not "good health," and it's used throughout the US. It's similar to the use of "salud" in Spanish, meaning the same thing.


Question for native speakers Excuse me - I would say that if I step on your foot by accident Forgive me - that would be reserved for a serious offense, or transgression, as in Lords Prayer. Please comment on the difference between Verzeihung and Entschuldigung


Igelchens answer (see above) was good:

Not really, they mean the same thing, except that "Entschuldigung" is much more commonly used than "Verzeihung" (except around and when talking to older people), and "Verzeihung" is a little stronger than "Entschuldigung".


Thank you - again Leo translates to forgive as jmdm (etw Akk.) vergeben / verzeihen / etw entschuldigen


If I did something really bad, such as forgetting my wife's birthday, which verb would be most suitable? I am guessing vergeben


If you step on my foot, you say: Verzeihung! or Entschuldigung!

"Vergeben" or "Vergebung" says often a Priest.

I can forgive (vergeben) someone who shows no remorse.

I can excuse an act. (verzeihen) A human can I forgive (vergeben).

If I forgot my wife's birthday, then I would ask to "Verzeihung" and I would buy her a beautiful bouquet. ;-)

By the way: correct is: Ich bitte um Entschuldigung oder Verzeihung. But not: Ich entschuldige mich. But then you apologize yourself. (reflexiver Gebrauch - reflexive use).


Always use Pardon, possibly regional as we are from Trier, close to France. Also use Entschuldigung in formal use.


i thought it will be Entschuldigung usually


"Apology" was not accepted -- the alternative Duo gave as the correct answer was "apologies" (plural.) Why?


Apologies! (plural) is an expression of regret, equivalent to Excuse me!. You can translate that as Verzeihung!. On the other side, an apology is an Entschuldigung. As an expression of apology, you can use Entschuldigung! in German but not Apology! (singular) in English.


Thank you for the good and clear explanation.


'I beg your pardon' isn't accepted, although given the translations on Pons, I don't see why it isn't... https://en.pons.com/translate?q=Verzeihung&l=deen&in=ac_de&lf=en


'Sorry' is accepted.


You can delete your posting to reduce clutter. :)


I said apology. Why is it wrong?


Because that's not what Verzeihung means.

As a noun on its own, it means "forgiveness" or "pardon" (from (jemandem) verzeihen "to forgive (someone)").

As an expression, it's short for ich bitte (Sie) um Verzeihung "I beg your pardon; I ask for your forgiveness" and is thus used similarly to "Sorry" or "Pardon" or "Forgive me" or similar phrases. Perhaps even "Apologies."

But singular "apology" is not a good equivalent -- it's neither a literal translation of the stand-alone noun nor, to my knowledge, a common phrase used when asking for forgiveness.


I was always taught to say 'I beg your pardon" or 'sorry'. English usage in England.


Maybe the reason so many people think that they have never heard the word in Germany is because the Duo speaker pronounces it so poorly that it doesn't sound like any German word at alt.


Verzeihung / Entschuldigung / Es tut mir leid

Native speakers do your best... 3, 2, 1, GO!!


I got information from a native that it is used in the south, but not in the north of Germany. :)


While on a short holiday to Germany (in 1958), I bumped into someone while swimming and I said: "Verzeihung". It evoked a rather quizzical look and I have wondered about the use of the word ever since - albeit not on a daily basis for more than 60 years,


That should be the first word I learn!


I believe "sorry" should be accepted here.


Would i say "verzeihung mich" for a pardon me? (Like if you were going through a big crowd, you would say "pardon me, excuse me." Would i use this word in that context?


No, "Verzeihung" is a noun, not a verb, so saying "verzeihung mich" would be like saying, "apology me" or something. It doesn't make any sense. There is a verb, "verzeihen", so you can say, "Verzeih mir!" (informal) or "Verzeihen Sie mir!", but I think that has more of the meaning of "Forgive me!" My understanding is that for a crowd, you would perhaps say, "Entschuldigung!" or "Entschuldigen Sie, bitte!" But I'm not entirely sure, so someone correct me if I'm wrong.


"Verzeihung mich!" is not correct.

"Verzeihung!" or "Verzeihen Sie mir." or "Verzeih(e) mir." are correct.


It looks like it's pronounced fer sigh yung instead of fer sung.

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