5+ Best Ways To Apologize And Say Sorry in Afrikaans

sorry in Afrikaans ling app

It is inevitable for humans to err at some point- that is what makes life beautiful. We often find ourselves making mistakes or wronging a stranger or someone we love, but our genuine apology makes the difference. In this post, we will explore different ways of saying sorry in Afrikaans and the occasions requiring an apology. Without further ado, let’s take a look at the best expressions and words to use next time something terrible happens. Let’s go!

Saying Sorry In Afrikaans

sorry in afrikaans; man holding a sorry signboard

The word “sorry” in Afrikaans is used almost the same way as its English word. You can use it to get someone’s attention, apologize for the inconvenience caused, or as a full-blown apology. Let’s look at the various occasions where you can use sorry.

The Afrikaans Words For Sorry

Sorry is Jammer in Afrikaans, and it is commonly used for almost all occasions. However, other variations are Verskoon my, which means ‘”excuse me” or “pardon me,” and Ekskuus/Askies, which also means “Excuse me.”

Sorry (Formal and informal)Jammer
Excuse me/ Pardon me (formal situations)Verskoon my
Excuse me (informal situations)Ekskuus/Askies
I am sorryEk is Jammer
I am truly sorryEk is werklik jammer

Getting Someone’s Attention

You use jammer (sorry) to get someone’s attention or ask a polite question. So, for example, let’s say you see a stranger standing in a queue, and you want to know what they are waiting for. You can say: Jammer, Waarvoor wag jy? which directly translates to “sorry, what are you waiting for?”

Another example of using sorry to get someone’s attention is Jammer, Kan jy my asseblief na die toilet verwys? or “sorry, can you direct me to the restroom, please?” However, you can use jammer om jou te steur if you want to sound more polite. The literal translation is “sorry to disturb you.” Using this one sounds more formal, but it isn’t a big deal if you only use jammer like jammer om jou te steur or “sorry to disturb you.”

Alternatively, you can use Askies or Verskoon my in place of jammer. So, instead of saying Jammer, Waarvoor wag jy?’ to that person in the queue, you can say, ‘Verskoon my, Waarvoor wag jy?’ Verkskoon my is a more polite and formal option for Jammer and Akies, but there isn’t much difference.

Apologizing For An Inconvenience

Sorry in Afrikaans-man pleading

Now, let’s say you are having dinner with your friends and family, and an important meeting comes in that you can’t ignore. Then, you can easily say ‘Jammer’ or ‘Askies’ to excuse yourself. However, use jammer to show you are deeply sorry for leaving the dinner. So, what you will say is Jammer, maar ek moet hierdie oproep neem, which means “sorry, but I have to take this call.”

Apologizing For An Offense

If you’ve deeply offended a friend and you need to show that you are sincerely sorry, then you should use Ek is Jammer, which means I am sorry, or Ek is werklik jammer which means I am genuinely sorry.

Using one of these two ways depends on the gravity of the offense. If you casually offended your friend, and it is easy to let go, you can use Ek is Jammer (I am sorry). But, if you want to show your deep regret for your mistakes, then it is best to go for Ek is werklik jammer which means “I am truly sorry.”

  • Ek is jammer – I am sorry.
  • Ek is werklik jammer – I am truly sorry.

Showing Condolences

Sorry in Afrikaans-woman hugging a sad lady

During funerals or sad events, the best way to show your condolences is by using Ek is Jammer, or Ek is werklik jammer.


  • I am truly sorry for your loss.
  • Afrikaans translation: Ek is werklik jammer vir jou verlies

Shortened Form: Ek’s Jammer

Like I’m sorry in English, Afrikaans also has a contraction for I am sorry, which is Ek’s jammer. This contraction is usually used in casual situations like being ten minutes late to your flight or mistakenly stepping on someone’s toes.

Final Thoughts

We’ve gone through how to say sorry in Afrikaans, the various Afrikaans words for saying sorry, and the right situations to use these words. I am confident you’ve learned one or two sorry words for apologizing to your friend or making your way through the crowd. Besides, jammer is easy to remember and memorize. That shows you how the Afrikaans language is so easy to learn.

If you are traveling or relocating to South Africa, you must accustom yourself to the Afrikaans language. Fortunately, it is super easy to understand and learn. Learning Afrikaans will make a huge positive difference in your stay in South Africa and help the locals warm up to you faster.

So, are you interested in learning Afrikaans? Or are you already learning Afrikaans but need a more comprehensive resource than an Afrikaans dictionary that will teach you the speaking, listening, reading, and writing aspects of the Afrikaans language? Then you should check out the Ling App!

Learn Afrikaans With Ling App


Ling App is a language learning App with a gamified experience that teaches you your target language while ensuring you have fun doing that. It has exceptional features that move you from a beginner to a fluent speaker in a short period.

You get access to grammar lessons depending on your proficiency level, quizzes, games for fun, audio recordings by natives, AI chatbots, flashcards, and a lot more. What is cooler is that you also get a daily reminder that tells you that it is time to learn! So, what are you waiting for? Download the Ling App from the App Store and Play Store today to learn Afrikaans.

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