Sorry… Sorry, excuse me, sorry, could I just? Thank you.
A common word to an Englishman, “sorry” is the go to saying for excuse me, a genuine apology, a sentence starter, or just a plain old polite dismissal of a mishap. Sorry is multi-functional, well it is in England.
German people do not apologise anywhere near as much as English people. Or Americans for that matter. When I travel back to England now, I am actually amazed at just how much time we do spend apologising for things – our fault or not. When I first met my German wife, she told me off for apologising too much as “I did not mean it.” I advised that of course, I meant it. As an Englishman, I am pre-programmed to apologise all the time, but now, maybe I agree with her, perhaps we do apologise too much.
Nowadays I do say sorry less often, but still find myself apologising as a matter of course. If a German were to bump into you, cut you off, or disagree, you should not expect to hear a sorry and offering one will be met with complete indifference.
I am going to venture a guess as to why… maybe it is because the German word for sorry is so horrendously convoluted, ugly and long. “Entschuldigung!” is the word, but of course owing to the German language there are at least 97 variations of this depending on who you are talking too, what you are apologising for, whether it is being used as a verb etc. etc… ugh.
Sorry, but it seems that due to my Germanifaction, I am no longer as sorry.