OK, a major difference: in English, you say "Excuse me" BEFORE you are getting ready to do something (e.g. excuse me, can you please tell me where can I find the restroom?). And you use "Sorry" AFTER something has been done you feel you have to apologize for (e.g. sorry, I was so busy that forgot to return your call). In Hungarian, there is no such difference between "Elnezest" and "Bocsanat". You can use both words before and after (Elnezest, hogy nem hivtalak vissza/Bocsanat, hogy nem hivtalak vissza - nem hivtalak vissza = did not return your call).
That still applies in English. More common in British English, but still valid.
is elnézést used when you want to get someones atention and bocsánat when you are sorry for something?
Can be used for both - but with different intonation. If you want to get somebody's attention, you would say elnézést with rising intonation. If you say it in a rather indicative mood - than it makes I am sorry. And you can also say it with a bit of imperative mood - meaning something like: What do you think you're doing! or Would you please start listening to me!
I see a similarity between this word and the Russian word which is pronounced as "iz-vi-NI-tye'", meaning "excuse me", and would be surprised if there is no etymological relationship. Someone who knows, please save me the research trouble, because I would not up to analyzing any relevant scholarship on the subject. Thanks!
Извините-Not sure about the connection, but thought about this too. Actually, I finally just thought that it might be too remote, but it is good to see patterns -especially if you are interested in other languages. Thank you, I am sure the research is there somewhere. Have a lingot............
They are really different in terms of pronounciation, and etimology is different. Elnézést -> elnéz és(forgive+ness)->elnéz (look away=forgive) -> el- (away) + néz (look). Извините -> Из-(out) + вин(вина =guilt)+и(makes verb from the word root)+те(suffix for plural imperative). And if we(russians) hear 'elnézést', it doesn't mean anything for us. There are some slavic words in hungarian and vice versa in Russian we have some hungarian words but not that many. For example hungarian medve has slavic root and means медведь (bear), and russian гусар из hungarian huszár. And the negative particle is quite similar to ours nem(не) but I'm not sure if it has slavic root in hungarian. Therefore in finnish negative particle is "ei" and they conjugate it by grammatical person.
This word has lots and lots of meanings. You might want to think about how it is really used. It can also mean "apologies" in English.
Nothing in Hungarian is ever silent. Everything is pronounced. It is a syllable timed language (like Spanish), so no sounds are squashed. Occasionally some sounds mutate when the letter combination makes pronunciation difficult (for example in "külőnbség", meaning difference, the "n" is pronounced as an "m" and you will see people spell it incorrectly that way).
How do you typically respond to this if someone says it to you? Nem probléma. Nem baj. Nincs mit. ?