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Thread: live on borrowed time

  1. #1
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    live on borrowed time

    Hello again!

    I would like to ask you if "live on borrowed time" means "żyć na kredyt" in Polish.

    For instance. All her family members were saying that she was living on borrowed time =? Wszyscy jej członkowie rodziny mówili, że żyje na kredyt.
    Source: Imagination.

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    Re: live on borrowed time - żyć na kredyt?

    No, it means a completely different thing. We use it when a person has barely made it alive and is very fortunate to be still among the living

    Wszyscy członkowie jej rodziny mówili, że ma szczęście, że żyje.

    (I don't like the repetition of "że" and maybe I'll be able to come up with something more idiomatic but now I'm unable to do so).

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    Re: live on borrowed time - żyć na kredyt?

    Quote Originally Posted by dreamlike View Post
    No, it means a completely different thing. We use it when a person has barely made it alive and is very fortunate to be still among the living

    Wszyscy członkowie jej rodziny mówili, że ma szczęście, że żyje.

    (I don't like the repetition of "że" and maybe I'll be able to come up with something more idiomatic but now I'm unable to do so).
    How about:

    Wszycy członkowie jej rodziny mówili, że szczęście dało jej szansę, by żyć dalej.

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    Re: live on borrowed time - żyć na kredyt?

    Thank you both very much.

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    Re: live on borrowed time - żyć na kredyt?

    Quote Originally Posted by Roy776 View Post
    How about:

    Wszycy członkowie jej rodziny mówili, że szczęście dało jej szansę, by żyć dalej.
    Well, the "szczęście dało jej szanse" part sounds a tiny bit odd but... but if we were to replace "szczęście" with "życie" and remove tha last bit... it would be okay.

    Wszyscy członkowie jej rodziny mówili, że życie dało jej szansę.

    It's still imperfect (and doesn't really communicate the idea of "being lucky to be still alive" -- it calls for additional explanation). I'm sure others can come up with something better.

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    Re: live on borrowed time - żyć na kredyt?

    Quote Originally Posted by dreamlike View Post
    Well, the "szczęście dało jej szanse" part sounds a tiny bit odd but... but if we were to replace "szczęście" with "życie" and remove tha last bit... it would be okay.

    Wszyscy członkowie jej rodziny mówili, że życie dało jej szansę.

    It's still imperfect (and doesn't really communicate the idea of "being lucky to be still alive" -- it calls for additional explanation). I'm sure others can come up with something better.
    I know it sounds odd. It does in every language I know, but it was the best I could think of while keeping 'luck(y)' in the sentence.

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    Re: live on borrowed time - żyć na kredyt?

    Quote Originally Posted by Baltic Sea View Post
    Hello again!

    I would like to ask you if "live on borrowed time" means "żyć na kredyt" in Polish.

    For instance. All her family members were saying that she was living on borrowed time =? Wszyscy jej członkowie rodziny mówili, że żyje na kredyt.

    Source: Imagination.

    It means that she is lucky to be alive. I think you could say: na kredyt but only in a figurative sense, in a particular context, not as a fixed expression.
    Last edited by LilianaB; 14th November 2012 at 10:16 AM.

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    Re: live on borrowed time - żyć na kredyt?

    Quote Originally Posted by LilianaB View Post
    It means that she is lucky to be alive. I think you could say: na kredyt but only in a figurative sense, in a particular context, not as a fixed expression.
    That's what we have been saying throughout the whole course of this thread.
    And no, "żyć na kredyt" wouldn't be understood as "to be fortunate to be still still alive" but rather "live off loans".

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    Re: live on borrowed time - żyć na kredyt?

    Quote Originally Posted by dreamlike View Post
    That's what we have been saying throughout the whole course of this thread.
    And no, "żyć na kredyt" wouldn't be understood as "to be fortunate to be still still alive" but rather "live off loans".
    The problem is that we can't just literally translate an idiom, and as there doesn't seem to be a corresponding one in Polish, we need to improvise. Your version with the two że's was fine and I don't think that being keen on finding something better will also get us anything better. Some idioms must simply be rephrased, because there's no other way.
    I've got another idea, but it's again completely rephrased and I'm not even sure if it's grammatically correct, but here goes anyway:

    Wszyscy [...] mówili, że życie przyznało jej więcej czasu po prawie pewnej śmierci, którego marnować nie powinna.

    I'm not sure if the relation between 'czasu' and 'którego' is emphasized enough in this sentence, though it can not refer to anything else.

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    Re: live on borrowed time

    I was just referring to the point made by Liliana that "żyć na kredyt" could be used here in a figurative sense to translate the idiom in question.
    It could not be translated this way because as I've repeatedly stated it means a completely different thing.

    I'm at my wits' end as far as translating this idiom goes. "Dostała drugie życie" would be my ultimate choice
    Last edited by dreamlike; 14th November 2012 at 6:22 PM.

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    Re: live on borrowed time

    Quote Originally Posted by dreamlike View Post
    I was just referring to the point made by Liliana that "żyć na kredyt" could be used here in a figurative sense to translate the idiom in question.
    It, could not, because it means a completely different thing.

    I'm at my wits' end as far as translating this idiom goes. "Dostała drugie życie" would be my ultimate choice
    I know, and I'm also running out of ideas, that was the last long and good one I had. Though I do like "Dostała drugie życie" is also a good one Or how about "Dostała drugą szansę na życie"? (Here goes the next one )

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    Re: live on borrowed time

    Quote Originally Posted by dreamlike View Post
    I was just referring to the point made by Liliana that "żyć na kredyt" could be used here in a figurative sense to translate the idiom in question.
    It could not be translated this way because as I've repeatedly stated it means a completely different thing.

    I'm at my wits' end as far as translating this idiom goes. "Dostała drugie życie" would be my ultimate choice
    No, in a figurative sense, with a very precise context, it does not have to mean a totally different thing. I even think I heard it somewhere in this context, or read it in a play or a novel. Maybe każdy następny dzień był podarkiem losu, był życiem na kredyt, wydarty śmierci.

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    Re: live on borrowed time

    Thank you, Liliana. You have lifted my spirits by writing that my version may not necessarily be wrong. So can "All her family members were saying that she was living on borrowed time" be translated into Polish as "Wszyscy jej członkowie rodziny mówili, że żyje na kredyt"? I am very eager to know the answer.

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    Re: live on borrowed time

    Quote Originally Posted by Baltic Sea View Post
    Thank you, Liliana. You have lifted my spirits by writing that my version may not necessarily be wrong. So can "All her family members were saying that she was living on borrowed time" be translated into Polish as "Wszyscy jej członkowie rodziny mówili, że żyje na kredyt"? I am very eager to know the answer.
    Baltic, I have to admit I find your question a tiny bit odd. We're both native speakers of Polish and "żyć na kredyt" is a rather well-established expression that means a person needs loans to make a living...

    That's what I'd take it to mean and so would all the people I know Just ask around.

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    Re: live on borrowed time

    I do not mean living on a literal (financial) credit.

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    Re: live on borrowed time

    Given how common the meaning I'm talking about is I'm afraid saying this in Polish to mean a different thing could create confusion It doesn't really translate well into Polish as you can see.

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    Re: live on borrowed time

    You may be right.

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    Re: live on borrowed time

    Quote Originally Posted by Baltic Sea View Post
    Thank you, Liliana. You have lifted my spirits by writing that my version may not necessarily be wrong. So can "All her family members were saying that she was living on borrowed time" be translated into Polish as "Wszyscy jej członkowie rodziny mówili, że żyje na kredyt"? I am very eager to know the answer.
    To me it would mean the same as in English, if you provided some context with that (that the woman was seriously ill, or something like that). It would be just figurative use, not any kind of idiom to use over and over again.

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    Re: live on borrowed time

    Perhaps within some reasonable context I would read it to mean the same but I have a hard time imagining it.

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    Re: live on borrowed time

    If we wanted to keep this idiom, wouldn't it be possible to somehow modifiy the word 'kredyt' with an adjective in order to slightly shift its meaning in the wanted direction?

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