If 'förlåt' is used as an apology (like if I bump into someone), could 'att förlåta' mean 'to apologise'?
It's used as an apology, but att förlåta is 'to forgive', and to apologize is att be om ursäkt or att be om förlåtelse (the latter is more like asking for forgiveness).
How can you tell if this is a general statement ("forgiving is hard") or if it is related to something specific ("that is hard to forgive")?
I'm trying to think of one, but all I can come up with is that they both start with "for". För...låta and For...give. Hope that helps a bit :)
In the memrise course the literal meaning of förlåt (excuse me ) is taught as - for lord -. If that is accurate, - att förlåta - would be a really strange expression.
Frankly, that sounds like someone with zero etymological knowledge made it up because it sounded good. It has absolutely no basis in truth.
The imperative förlåt comes from the verb förlåta, which comes from för + låta. The literal meaning is "for-let" - that is, to leave something behind. And English actually has a mostly archaic word "forlet" which means to forsake or abandon something, for instance in the context of sinning.
Yeah, i went back to check that particular expression and - for lord - ended up being a useless mnemonic created by a novice user, not an inaccuracy on the part of memrise's staff. I also recalled the movie - låt den ratte komma i - and figured - att förlåta - is made up of for and let, which is quite similar to forgive itself.