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  5. "Извините, я не понимаю."

"Извините, я не понимаю."

Translation:Excuse me, I don't understand.

December 10, 2015



Can't you say: "sorry" for извините? It's used this before I'm sure.


I wish someone would answer this, because this has tripped me up a few times now.

[deactivated user]

    I think "sorry" is only a rough equivalent for the shorter version, "извини"



    I am not sure why you got downvoted.

    You are correct in the sense that извини is the informal version.

    Duo's take in this example seems to be that English sorry is more informal than excuse me. The Russian usage in the example is formal.

    I agree with them in the sense that I personally consider excuse me to be a bit more formal. I would use sorry in this particular sentence because of that. I would only use this particular sentence in a situation where I already was in conversation with someone. Under those circumstances I personally use informal and be damned if someone not participating in the conversation doesn't like it.

    If I was interrupting someone I would use the more formal excuse me. If I approached someone and said I don't understand that sign I would use the more formal version both in Russian and English.

    But that is just me. I consider excuse me to be more formal than sorry. The Russian example uses the formal version for whatever reason and want what I personally regard as the more formal English version.

    Maybe Duo is just chastising me for my personal excessive informality in Russian and English and have no other point to make. Or they maybe they just fell asleep on this example, screwed up big time and simply forgot to include sorry in the range of acceptable answers.

    But Russian formal should actually result in English formal in translation if such exists. Does it exist? I believe it does but I did get it wrong when I first hit the example. But getting it wrong made me think about the whole informal/formal thing. Maybe, just maybe, that was Duo's point.

    I invite haters to downvote my comment as well. I mean ...why not, if it makes you feel good.....


    @northernguy - I think the original point was that "извини" somehow has a different meaning than "извините", which isn't necessarily true.

    Not touching the voting buttons here though.


    Yes, I wondered if he meant that извини is a rough equivalent of извините because it is informal and is more like sorry instead of excuse me in English. He could just as easily have meant that the short version means more than sorry/excuse me to the point that the short and long versions of the word were only loosely connected in Russian.

    Most of my comments are about the English involved rather than the target language but because I don't know for sure what the usage is in that language. Naturally many people have their own take on the English part and are quick to point it out to me. Whatever the intention of o.p. I agree with Duo on their apparent understanding of the English use of sorry/excuse me which they seem to say is the same in Russian.

    My response was mostly intended for the benefit of the several posters who started new threads on this comments page that were simply repeats of each other on the this same topic.

    Downvoting is something I do when the comments are not just obviously wrong but contain openly expressed ridicule for those who are actually correct. I am much more free with upvotes of course.


    Yes, why is it not accepting this now?


    No theirs a different word for please


    "Sorry, I do not understand." is not accepted. :(


    Sorry i do not understand - is the same meaming


    How is "Sorry, I don't understand" not correct.


    I'm gonna use this sentence with frequency :(


    "Izvinite - ya ne panimaiu" was marked incorrectly. It seems like there is no one correct way to anglicize Russian words...


    There is not. Which is why it is better to learn to use the Russian alphabet. Especially if you want to read signs, menus etc. if you ever visit there.

    It is not too hard, and you will get the hang of it quick enough.


    Excellent - I hadn't explored some of the nooks and crannies of my desktop, even though I've been using it for years. It was easy to set up a hotkey KB mapping. But I still need an English Russian keyboard to complete the setup. Ordered and waiting.


    True - I can use the Russian alphabet, but it is an extra hassle to break out a virtual keyboard and then copy and paste the results to duolingo. I'd hoped to save some time.


    I only do Duolingo Russian on my phone. It's much easier when you can easily switch to the Russian keyboard.


    Ah, I see. My apologies.

    In that case, try to set up a 'keyboard-swaping' shortcut. I have mine set up that pressing "Windows-Flag + Spacebar" switches me between English and Russian.

    I am using Ubuntu, so I could help you with that one, but I don't know about other operating systems.


    I'm on kubuntu 14.04, so I'd be interested to hear about that kind of setup.


    Ah, ok. Well, assuming that you have a GUI (and not simply a terminal), if you go to "System Settings -> Text Entry" there is a "+" arrow to add additional languages, so I added "Russian (phonetic)". Then go to "System Settings -> Keyboard -> Shourcuts (tab) -> Typing (left-hand list)" and you can choose what to type for "Switch To Next Source", and then there you go!


    Learning the alphabet isn't so hard, but learning the Russian keyboard is a slog.


    I agree. There's a good free app. too...It's part of the Russian Made Incredibly Easy series. I think it's titled, How to Read Russian in Three Hours. Getting used to the layout of the Russian keyboard was more challenging for me.


    Should be accepted, though, as far as I know this course accepts anglicized Russian words


    When transliterated with the same system. Here it would be "ya ne ponimayu".


    "excuse me, i can't understand" should be equivalent


    I believe "don't" and "can't" have different words and meanings both in english and russian...




    понима́ть (ponimátʹ)

    IPA: [pənʲɪˈmatʲ]

    "to understand; to realize"

    impf (perfective поня́ть) по- (po-) +‎ -нима́ть (-nimátʹ)

    Ultimately from Proto-Slavic *jьmati (“to take”). See also -нять (-njatʹ).

    Source: Wiktionary.


    Then what is помню?


    помнить is "to remember": to be in the state when you have access to the information you learnt.


    What is wrong with "Sorry, I don't understand"?


    "Forgive me, i dont understand" isnt accepted


    "i don't follow" should be accepted


    @juristahabla - I think that's a little too liberal of a translation, or at least too idiomatic.


    Your answer isn't a translation of the Russian sentence. It may mean the same thing in limited circumstances. Without context, it usually means something else entirely.

    It is easy to imagine a context where you say you don't understand Russian. Listeners will immediately assume that that they know what you mean.

    It is harder to imagine a context where you say you don't follow Russian. Your listener will have to guess at what you mean by saying you don't follow it.

    If you said to me you don't understand Shakespeare I would think that it has something to do with the English used or the deeper meaning attributed to his writing.

    If you said you don't follow Shakespeare I would assume you were making the point that you were not a Shakespeare groupie hanging out on Google Shakespeare groups, going to Shakespeare festivals in costume etc.


    There is Russian slang phrase "Ya ne dogonyayu" It can be translated "I can't quite follow you."


    Finally, the most useful sentence I'll ever use.


    TypeIt is a good desktop Russian keyboard program. I also do not understand why "Sorry, I do not understand." is not accepted.


    What's wrong with 'Pardon me...'?


    Why not "Excuse me, I don't understand this". It was not excepted.


    The example says someone doesn't understand. He may well be saying he understand anything at all about anything.

    Your translation says that there is some specific thing that he doesn't understand and the speaker believes it is clear to the listener what it is that he is talking about.


    The choice between "Izvinite", "Prostite" and informal versions depends on age of the person you converse. Russians use these words to apologize for disturbing a person or interrupting something or somebody. I would translate the sentence as "Sorry, I don't understand." if the person feels apologetic. Humorous "Ya diko izvinyayus'" can add another gradation.

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