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How to Say “Excuse me”, and “I am sorry” in Pashto Posted by on Nov 30, 2012 in language

Unlike English, in Pashto the same word is used to say both “Excuse me”, and “I am sorry. In this lesson we will teach you how to say “Excuse me”, and “I am sorry” in Pashto.  In Pashto, we use the word Wabakhai to say “Excuse me”. For example when we want to get someone’s attention or ask them to move so we can get past them, we will say “Wabakhai”. Also, when we want to say “I am sorry” we still use the same word, Wabakhai. For example, if we bump into someone we will also say wabakhai .

In English, the phrase “I am sorry” is also used to show sympathy. For instance, we say “I am sorry” after someone tells us that they lost a friend or something bad happened to them. However, In Pashto you can never use the word to show sympathy or empathy. There is a totally different terminology used to show sympathy.  Please watch the accompanying video for correct pronunciation and usage.

Wabakhai                         Excuse me / I am sorry                           وبخښئ

Afwa ghwaram                 I big your pardon                                عفوه غواړم

Khodai de wabakha         it’s Ok (May God forgive you)      .خدای دې وبخښه

Moshkil Nashta                 No Problem                                         مشکل نشته

Ta malamat na ye.           It is not your fault.                          . ته ملامت نه یې

Gona zama wa.                 It was my fault.                                 .  گناه زما وه

Heela kawom                   please forget about it. / don’t worry about it. هیله کوم

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About the Author:Sayed Naqibullah

Sayed Naqibullah speaks Pashto and Dari as his native languages. Since 2004 he has been teaching Dari and Pashto and working as cultrual advisor to NGO workers, foreigners who live, work, or are visiting Afghanistan. Sayed has worked as a linguist for several companies that produce language course-ware. He has worked as a guide, interpreter and translator of a number of NGOs working in Afghanistan. Sayed is also a blog writer on Afghan culture and languages. He is the author of a Dari language textbook called “Dari as a Second Language”.