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how to say “sorry to disappoint” in Hebrew

Sun | Aug 05

how to say “sorry to disappoint” in Hebrew

צַר לִי לְאַכְזֵב

My father, who grew up in Israel, raised me speaking Hebrew in the US. Thanks to him, when I came to live in Israel as an adult, I was already equipped with conversational Hebrew. But since my education took place in the States, I was missing some higher-register expressions such as צר לי
– a fancier way of saying I’m sorry than simply אני מצטער
(or אני מצטערת
if the speaker is a female).

צר לי means literally it’s painful to me. צר
– the plural of which is צרות
(troubles, or in Yiddish, tzuris) – may be related to צער
meaning anguish, itself the root of מצטער
.

But enough theory – here’s צר לי in a common Hebrew expression: צר לי לאכזב
I’m sorry to disappoint.

For example:

צר לי לאכזב, אבל הבירות לא קרות.

Sorry to disappoint, but the beers aren’t cold.

Here’s צר לי in another context:

צר לי על המקדש החרב.

I’m sorry about the destroyed Temple.

צר also means narrow.

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