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Learning how to offer your aplogy and ask for forgiveness in Japanese can be very useful when you did or say something bad or harmful to another person by accident. In such cases you want to say that you're sorry and if it was serious, you should ask them for forgiveness.
The most polite way to say I'm sorry is to say sumimasen. Sumimasen has many meanings but basically they all mean the same thing. You can use sumimasen as excuse me too.
Sumimasen. Kore wa ikura desu ka? Excuse me, how much is this?
Sumimasen! I'm sorry!
Sumimasen can also be used as thank you. You usually say sumimasen as a way to politely thank someone for taking the trouble to do something for you.
Another basic Japanese word for offering an apology is Gomen. Using gomen by itself can be a little informal and not to polite. To make it sound more polite, you should say gomen nasai.
Gomen nasai. Daijoubu desu ka? I'm sorry. Are you alright? (After bumping into someone).
Gomen gomen, kondo harau dakara. I'm sorry, I will pay you next time.
Gomen kudasai! Dareka imasen ka? Excuse me! Anyone home?
Another way to casually say I'm sorry is to use the Japanese word warui. Warui means bad literally. You can think of it as fault.
Suman, ore ga warukatta. I'm sorry, my bad (it was my fault).
Zenbu omae ga warukatta deshou. It was all your fault.
See how easy it is to say I'm sorry in Japanese? As a rule of thumb you will want to use the polite form for people you respect and those who are older than you. You can use the informal form among your friends or anyone who don't find casual language.
Rippasama is the author of numerous simple & easy to understand Japanase lessons which you can learn to improve your Japanese. You can visit www.myjapansensei.com for more Japanese lessons