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Thread: The phrase " Excuse Me" in Russian.

  1. #1
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    The phrase " Excuse Me" in Russian.

    Well here is another beginner question that I dont understand. The new penguin course descibes the word to say excuse me as

    Pra-ste'e-tye

    And pimsleurs says that the word (phrase) excuse me is spoken as

    Izvinite

    Is this just another one of those words with 2 translations? Is there an instance where you use one over the other like if you know or dont know the person you are asking be to excused by. Or maybe it is judged by how offensive your action is or something silly like that??

    I just want to learn the language. I dont plan on doing anything really offensive in Russia. Which should I use?

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    The way I understand it, Izvinite is more like "Excuse me" (comes from Izvinit', to excuse), like if you want to get a busy person's attention, and Prostite is more like "I'm sorry", (comes from the verb "to forgive", Prostit') like if you bumped into a person...

    -Fantom
    "Alright, brain, I don't like you and you don't like me, so let's just figure this out and I'll get back to killing you with beer."

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    Actual cyrillic:

    Извинить - To Excuse
    Извините / Извини (command form, Formal and Informal, respectively)

    Простить - To Forgive
    Простите / Прости (command form, Formal and Informal, respectively)

    -Fantom
    "Alright, brain, I don't like you and you don't like me, so let's just figure this out and I'll get back to killing you with beer."

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    Ahh I see. Thanks fantom. Always a brilliant answer comes from someone in this forum. So my suspicion was correct that if you do something offensive you use the former form. Bump into = offensive=Pra-ste'-te. Thanks again.

    I am learning a lot from both Pimsleurs and New Penguin (another forum recommendation) Its a lot of fun. Thanks Scott

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    One other question I have always wondered about commands like these: Is the "Me" assumed? Like:

    Извините = Excuse me
    Помагите = Help me

    instead of something like:

    Простите мне = Forgive me

    -Fantom
    "Alright, brain, I don't like you and you don't like me, so let's just figure this out and I'll get back to killing you with beer."

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    Quote Originally Posted by fantom605
    One other question I have always wondered about commands like these: Is the "Me" assumed? Like:

    Извините = Excuse me
    Помагите = Help me

    instead of something like:

    Простите мне = Forgive me

    -Fantom
    Yes, it is assumed.

    Извините = Excuse me (Sorry)
    Помoгите = Help me (Help!)
    Простите мeня = Forgive me (In this case Простите мне is incorrect)

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    scott, the two verbs are virtually identical in meaning in this situation. Bumping into some is not offensive.

    Unless you are saying something like Father, forgive me for I have sinned, you will not have much occasion to be choosy of one over the other. Look them up in dictionaries, you will find that one or the other has some meanings absent from the other. But bumping into someone on the metro is nothing. Pretty much like deciding whether to say "Sorry!" or "Excuse me!" in the situation.

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