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The literal meaning of ごめん is, I know, approximately "forgiveness" in English. However, the vast majority of its usage (that I've seen) is more accurately translated as "I'm sorry," or "please forgive me."
While I am aware of its literal usage and thus am pretty sure I already know the answer to this question, I wanted to ask to be certain: as 'sorry' can be used in English to express condolences as opposed to ask for forgiveness, can Japanese ごめん be used in the same way? For example, if one were to say in English "My house was broken into last night," "I'm sorry," would be considered a reasonable and appropriate response. "I'm sorry" in this case does not imply the speaker is responsible for the crime or feels guilt over it, simply that they regret the circumstances of the person to whom they are speaking. Thus, if someone were to say in Japanese "昨夜家に泥棒がはいった。" would "ごめんね。" be considered an appropriate response?

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    I'll leave it to others to post a fuller reply, but I did want to say that your 「昨夜家に泥棒がはいった。」→「ごめんね。」 dialog made me chuckle. In short, ごめんね here makes it sound like the second person is directly apologizing for being the thief. 😆 Dec 21 '20 at 18:20
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    Related/duplicate: japanese.stackexchange.com/q/53037/9831
    – Chocolate
    Dec 22 '20 at 0:13
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This question is very close to being a duplicate of the one that Chocolate posted in the comments, but that question is written by someone who already knows the answer to the specific question you are posing here.

I wanted to ask to be certain: as 'sorry' can be used in English to express condolences as opposed to ask for forgiveness, can Japanese ごめん be used in the same way?

No, it cannot. As a native English speaker I still have to stop myself from using it that way anyway despite knowing better, but ごめん along with other apologies (すまない、申し訳ない, etc.) simply don't take on that meaning in Japanese. Additionally, if you try and stick ごめん in places it clearly doesn't belong you may end up conveying something entirely different, as it's also used to describe situations you find highly undesirable or are sick of.

Appropriate ways to express this type of sympathy are covered here, in the answers to the question Chocolate linked to.

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this is not a direct reply for your question, but to express condoleances, I think you use ご愁傷さま

source ご愁傷さま

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