10 Ways to Say ‘Sorry’ in Different Languages

Team Pepper
Posted on 3/03/225 min read
10 Ways to Say ‘Sorry’ in Different Languages

Table of Contents

  1. Difference Between “I Apologize” and “I Am Sorry”
  2. When to Say Sorry?
  3. When to Say “I Apologize”?
  4. 10 Ways to Say “Sorry” in Different Languages

King Alfred the Great introduced the word ‘sorry’ during the translation of book 1 of ‘The Consolation of Philosophy.’ The word ‘sorry’ was derived from the old English word ‘sarig,’ which means expressing grief or mourning. There are several ways of saying sorry.

We all mess up once in a while, probably more than that. It all depends on the kind of apology you want to give and who you are saying sorry to.

Saying sorry in different languages is important and the most typical way of expressing your apology. If you’re looking to say this in multiple languages, below you will get an idea of how to say sorry in different languages. We will also dig deeper to know when and how to use sorry.


Difference Between ‘I Apologize’ and ‘I Am Sorry.’

An apology and the words ‘I am sorry’ often express sadness and remorse. However, there is a major distinguishing factor between these two terms.

If someone is apologetic, it means they formally admit to committing the mistake. Often there are situations where the apology is not meant from their heart. The feeling of remorse is not observed in the person’s body language apologizing.

In contrast to apologetic, a person feels sorry when they admit regret. Sorry is often considered a heartfelt apology. (e.g., I’m sorry to have stepped on your foot, I’m sorry I hurt you, etc.)

Additionally, you can communicate sympathy by using the words “I’m sorry.” For example, saying ‘I’m sorry for your loss’ tells the other person that you are sympathizing with the loss of a loved one.

However, “I apologize” has no such usage. It can only be applied in case of wrongdoings. 

When to Say Sorry?

The word sorry in multiple languages can express genuine remorse. Also, it can be used to communicate sympathy to someone experiencing hardship. This word is a bit less formal and sounds more empathetic and emotional. However, the meaning of the word can be interpreted differently by receivers on two factors:

  • How you say it
  • How the receiver interprets the tone

Sometimes, “I’m sorry” can sound insincere then there are times where it can sarcastic as well. This happens when the person saying it doesn’t acknowledge their faults.

When to Say “I Apologize”?

It’s a way of admitting your faults, whether or not you feel sorry about them. So, you may formally admit you’re at fault but actually might not feel bad for your actions. We often interchange both these words as we think they mean the same. But the truth is, an apology sounds more formal than sorry. This is because sorry in different languages expresses the same feelings of remorse and regret. The feelings attached to the expression “I apologize” are pretty formal. 

Let’s look at how the following sentences sound.

  • I apologize for ruining your plans today.
  • I apologize for upsetting you when I said I wouldn’t join the planned trip.

Here are some additional examples: 

  • I apologize for making you feel uncomfortable on our first date. 
  • If you think I was being rude, I apologize.

Now, let’s see how shifting from “I’m sorry” to “I apologize” affects how we feel about the apology.

  • I’m sorry I stepped on your foot → I apologize for stepping on your foot.
  • I’m so sorry to hurt you → I apologize for hurting you.

10 Ways to Say “Sorry” in Different Languages


There are times when you genuinely want to say sorry to someone whose native language is different. Keeping that in mind, here is a list of how to say sorry in different languages. However, you can also use these expressions to say, “I apologise.” 

● Italian — chiedo scusa

● Japanese — Shazai shimasu 

● Finnish — Pahoittelen

● French — Je m’excuse

● German — Ich entschuldige mich

● Greek — ZITO sygnomi

● Spanish — Lo siento, Me disculpo

● Swedish — Jag ber om ursäkt

● Turkish — Özür dilerim

● Swedish — Jag ber om ursäkt

If you’re uncertain how to say sorry in different languages professionally, try Pepper Content’s Translation services to get the job done right always.


You can be sorry in many different ways and in other languages. You should feel heartfelt when you apologize to the concerned person. Focus on conflict resolution by apologizing after committing a mistake rather than escalating it. Various methods primarily involve planning and being thoughtful in the emotional message you will convey. You can say sorry in different languages to build that extra sense of emotion with the person concerned. It helps build trust and affection towards your partner in emotional circumstances.


1. When should you say sorry?

‘I am sorry’ is used in situations to express remorse or regret for your actions. It is conveyed in situations where mistakes are committed unknowingly without realizing their impact on the other person. It also shows sympathy towards people facing hardships.
People who offer a heartfelt apology truly make the other person forgive the mistakes. There are different ways in which you can express your words of apology. For a more informal approach, you can express being sorry in different languages as a unique way of saying your apology.

2. What is the conceptual difference between apologizing and saying sorry?

An apology and ‘I am sorry’ often express sadness and remorse. However, the primary distinguishing factor lies in the approach taken. If a person is apologetic, they formally admit to committing the mistake. Often, remorse is not observed in the person’s body language. On the other hand, a person feeling sorry knowingly or unknowingly shows their sympathy towards others. They may have caused hurt, and that feeling of remorse has led them to feel sorry. People can even go the extra length and say sorry in multiple languages to express their emotions.

3. What are some reasons for saying sorry in a relationship?

Some empowering reasons to say I am sorry and mean it is:
● Shows respect – Expressing your apology by saying sorry indicates your emotional nature towards the other person. It shows that you genuinely care and respect the other person’s feelings rather than letting ego exist between you.
● Makes it easier to move on – Sometimes, expressing your apology towards a tarnished relationship can help both of you to move on with your lives. Additionally, expressing sorry in different languages and ways might be the unique way your partner wished at that time for you.

4. What are the other unique ways to say sorry?

Instead of sorry, in certain situations you can also say Pardon/Pardon Me/I Beg Your Pardon, Excuse Me, Oops, My Bad, and Mea Culpa.

5. How to say no to a client without coming across as rude?

You can always start your conversation or email with “I apologize but…” or “I’m sorry but…” followed by a detailed explanation of why you’re saying no in an empathetic manner.