How to say sorry in 29 different languages

November 10, 2023

If Sir Elton John is to be believed, ‘sorry’ is one of the hardest words to learn to say – but today, we’re making it simple. In this guide, we’ll show you how to say sorry in 14 different languages. 

Though learning a new language always poses some challenges, whether you want to say sorry in Spanish, apologise in Japanese, or take responsibility for your actions in Brazilian Portguese, we’re sure we have the right words for you to say ‘whoopsie daisy’. 

Ready to go on your international apology tour?

Here’s how to say sorry in 29 different languages

1. Arabic

Say “sorry”:


Say “my bad” (informal):


Say “please excuse me”:

المعذرة من فضلك

2. Bengali

Say “sorry”: এর জন্য আমি দুঃখিত 

Say “my bad” (informal): আমারই ভুল 

Say “please excuse me” (formal): আমায় ক্ষমা করুন

3. Burmese

Say “my bad”: တောင်းပန်ပါတယ်

Say “sorry” (informal): စိတ်မရှိပါနဲ့

Say “please excuse me” (formal): ခွင့်ပြုပါဦး

4. Chinese

Say “sorry”: 抱歉

Say “my bad” (informal): 对不起

Say “please excuse me” (formal): 请原谅我

5. Czech

Say “sorry”: pardon

Say “my bad” (informal): promiň, moje chyba

Say “please excuse me” (formal): promiňte

6. Dutch

Say “sorry”: Sorry

Say “my bad” (informal): Mijn fout

Say “please excuse me” (formal): Excuseert u mij

7. English

While ‘sorry’ is, perhaps, the obvious choice, there are many more ways to apologise in English. For example:

  1. I apologise 
  2. My mistake
  3. That’s my fault
  4. My bad
  5. Please excuse me

Had enough of these apologies?

For the easiest languages to learn and hardest languages alike, ‘sorry’ is an important phrase. But it’s not all there is to learning to communicate.

If you’re ready to tackle other key phrases and greetings, or just want to get a bit more detailed with your apologies (what did you do?) Busuu can help you learn a language in just 10 minutes a day.


8. French

Say “sorry”: Désolé

Say “my bad” (informal): Pardon

Say “please excuse me” (formal): Veuillez m’excuser 

9. German

Say “sorry”: Entschuldigung

Say “my bad” (informal): Mein Fehler

Say “please excuse me” (formal): Entschuldigen Sie bitte

10. Greek

Say “sorry”: συγνώμη

Say “my bad” (informal): έκανα λάθος

Say “please excuse me” (formal): με συγχωρείτε

11. Hindi (Sanskritised Hindustani)

Say “sorry”: माफ़ कीजिए

Say “my bad” (informal): मेरी गलती थी (Literal meaning = “it was my mistake”)

Say “please excuse me” (formal): क्षमा कीजिए

12. Hungarian

Say “sorry”: Elnézést.

Say “my bad” (informal): Az én hibám.

Say “please excuse me” (formal): Elnézés kérek.

13. Igbo

Say “sorry”: Ndonụ

Say “my bad” (informal): Ndokwanụ

Say “please excuse me” (formal): Biko ewela iwe

14. Indonesian

Say “sorry”: Saya minta maaf/maaf

Say “my bad” (informal): Saya yang salah

Say “please excuse me” (formal): Maafkan saya

15. Italian

Say “sorry”: Chiedo scusa

Say “my bad” (informal): Scusa

Say “please excuse me” (formal): Mi scusi

16. Japanese

Say “sorry”: ごめんなさい

Say “my bad” (informal): 失礼

Say “please excuse me” (formal): すみません

17. Korean

Say “sorry”: 미안

Say “please excuse me” (formal): 죄송합니다

18. Malay

Say “sorry”: Maaf

Say “my bad” (informal): Maaf, silap saya

Say “please excuse me” (formal): Maafkan saya

19. Nepali

Say “sorry”: सरी

20. Persian (Iranian Persian or Farsi)

Say “sorry”:

با عرض پوزش

Say “my bad” (informal):

شرمنده/ معذرت 

Say “please excuse me” (formal):

با اجازه شما

21. Polish

Say “sorry”: Przepraszam

Say “my bad” (informal): Mój błąd

Say “please excuse me” (formal): Proszę mi wybaczyć

22. Portuguese (Brazilian)

Say “sorry”: Desculpe

Say “my bad” (informal): Foi mal

Say “please excuse me” (formal): Perdão

23. Russian

Say “sorry”: Прости

Say “my bad” (informal): Извини

Say “please excuse me” (formal): Простите, пожалуйста

24. Spanish

Say “sorry”: Perdón

Say “my bad” (informal): Lo siento

Say “please excuse me” (formal): Disculpe

25. Tagalog

Say “sorry”: Pasensya na

Say “my bad” (informal): Pasensya

Say “please excuse me” (formal): Paumanhin

26. Thai

Say “sorry”: ขอโทษ

Say “my bad” (informal): โทษที

Say “please excuse me” (formal): ขออภัย

27. Turkish

Say “sorry”: Özür dilerim / Pardon

Say “my bad” (informal): Kusura bakma

Say “please excuse me” (formal): Affedersiniz

28. Ukrainian

Say “sorry”: Перепрошую

Say “please excuse me” (formal): Вибачте, будь ласка 

29. Vietnamese

Say “sorry”: Xin lỗi

Say “my bad” (informal): Xin lỗi

Say “please excuse me” (formal): Xin thứ lỗi

Now you can say sorry in 29 different languages

We hope your apology goes over well. Although, with us, love means never having to say you’re sorry – and we simply love teaching language learners new skills.

You can learn more ways to say sorry (and so much more) when you learn a language on Busuu. 

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