If I could turn back time

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Rani_Author

Senior Member
Indonesia - Indonesian
Hi! A few weeks ago I tried to translate my work in Indonesian to English. Some Britishs said that my translations were terrible. It was just like I tried to translate them literally word by word by using any dictionaries. :rolleyes: This is an example: Andai waktu bisa berputar, aku ingin mencintaimu. (literally in English: If the time could return, I would have wanted so much to love you). Britishs said that it was completely wrong. :D The truth is "If I could turn back time, I would have wanted so much to love you".

In Tetun, the official language of East Timor, the translation is 100 % like in Indonesian: Se tempu bele muda/ troka karik, ha'u hakarak atu hadomi o.

Because of that matter, I'm so curious to know the translation in your mother tongue and the languages you know the most.

Thanks a lot before. :)
 
  • ger4

    Senior Member
    German
    Hi! German doesn't have anything interesting to offer here, it is the same as in English: Wenn ich die Zeit zurückdrehen könnte

    wenn = if
    ich = I
    die Zeit = the time
    zurück- = back
    -drehen = turn
    könnte = could
     

    Armas

    Senior Member
    Finnish
    Hello! In Finnish we say Jos voisin palata ajassa taaksepäin which literally translates "If I could return backwards in time".
     

    Dymn

    Senior Member
    The most natural translations which come to my mind:

    Catalan:


    Si pogués tornar enrere,


    si: if
    pogués: I could (imperfect subjunctive of poder)
    tornar: to go/come back, to give back
    enrere: back, towards the opposite direction (darrere: behind)

    Spanish:

    Si pudiera volver atrás,

    si: if
    pudiera (alternatively pudiese): I could (imperfect subjunctive of poder)
    volver: to go/come back
    atrás: back, towards the opposite direction (detrás: behind)
     
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    Greek:

    «Αν μπορούσα να γυρίσω το χρόνο πίσω» [aɱ͜ boˈɾusa na ʝiˈɾiso to ˈxrono ˈpiso] --> if I could turned back time (lit. if I could to turn time back).

    -«Aν» [an] modal particle with uncknown etymology < Classical modal pcl «ἄν» án --> if.
    -«Μπορούσα» [boˈɾusa] 1st p. sing. past continuous indicative of MoGr v. «μπορώ» [boˈɾo] --> to be able to, may, can aphetic of Byz.Gr denominative v. «ἐμπορῶ» emporô (idem) < Classical nominal «ἔμπορος» émpŏrŏs < compound; Classical adverb and preposition «ἐν» ĕn --> in, within (PIE *h₁en(i)- in cf Lat. in, Proto-Germanic *in) + Classical deverbal masc. noun «πόρος» pórŏs --> passage, ford < Classical v. «πείρω» peírō --> to perforate, pierce, pervade (PIE *per- to cross, pass cf Skt. परि (pári), around, Av. pairi- around, about, Lat. per).
    -«Να» [na] MoGr particle introducing subjunctive clauses, aphetic of Byz.Gr pcl «ἱνά» iná < Classical Gr final conjunction «ἵνα» hínă --> that, in order that with obscure etymology.
    -«Γυρίσω» [ʝiˈɾiso] 1st p. sing. non-past perfective aspect of denominative v. «γυρίζω» [ʝiˈɾizo] --> to turn, return, go back, return < Byz.Gr «γῦρος» gûros < Classical nominal «γυρός» gūrós --> round, curved (with unclear etymology; connection with *gou- hand, *guH- curved seems plausible).
    -«Το» [to] masc. definite article in the accusative < Classical Gr «τό» tó (PIE *to- the, that).
    -«Χρόνο» [ˈxrono] masc. accusative sing. of nominative sing. «χρόνος» [ˈxronos] < Classical Gr masc. «χρόνος» kʰrónŏs --> period or course of time, (a definite) time, lifetime, time limit (with unclear etymology).
    -«Πίσω» [ˈpiso] adverb aphetic of Classical adv. «ὀπίσω» ŏpísō --> behind, at the back (PIE *h₁opi- close upon, at, behind).
     

    Rani_Author

    Senior Member
    Indonesia - Indonesian
    Cantonese: jyu4gwo2 si4gwong1 ho2ji3 dou2lau4 "if time can back-flow"
    I'm sorry, maybe it would be off-topic, but I have no idea how to pronounce your sentence. The "4, 2, 1, 3" are they the part of cantonese alphabets, too? Or just to mark about which kind of original alphabets we should use if they would be written in original cantonese alphabets?
     

    Nino83

    Senior Member
    Italian
    It would be something like this:
    如果時光可以回流
    jyu4gwo2 = 如果
    si4gwong1 = 時光
    ho2ji3 = 可以
    wui4lau4 = 回流 (this is another word, reflux or to flow back)
    I couldn't find "dou2lau4" but maybe Ghabi can tell us how to write it! :D
    Ehi, grazie! Non ho mai imparato ancora il cantonese. :D
    Prego! Neanch'io, ma dev'essere una lingua molto musicale e cantata (6 toni!) :)
     

    Karton Realista

    Senior Member
    Polish - Poland
    Polish:
    Gdybym mógł cofnąć czas.
    If I could turn back time.
    The word cofnąć has many meanings and doesn't really have direct English translation in this context. It means here "to make a movement backwards", but isn't limited to movement. If such English word existed, I would translate it as "to backward (the time)" :D.
     

    Messquito

    Senior Member
    Chinese - Taiwan 中文 Taiwanese Hokkien 臺語
    I couldn't find "dou2lau4" but maybe Ghabi can tell us how to write it! :D
    It would be 倒流 dao4 liu2: 如果時光可以倒流
    回流 is less used in this sense, it is more like "to flow back to one place after leaving it".
    Another possibility in Chinese:
    如果時間可以 If time could turn back
    時光 is better collocated with 倒 (時=time,光=light, which could be connected to the flow of the light)
    時間 is better collocated with 倒轉 (時=time, 間=interval)

    時光 and 倒流 are more figurative which could make the context more aesthetic. :D
     

    810senior

    Senior Member
    Japanese
    We have as well the way of saying flow back the time(時間[じかん]を遡[さかのぼ]るjikan-wo sakanobor-u), saka(back-, counterwise)+nobor-u(to go up, steam up, climb, ascent).
     

    mataripis

    Senior Member
    Kung maibabalik ko Lang ang dating Panahon ay maipapahayag ko sa iyo ang pag Ibig ko. This is my translation in Tagalog. (If ever I can turn back the previous time I Will be able to prove my love for you) next my attempt in Dumaget- Te on nakatakeg a adyiw ey male wet matowd man mahayeg Dekaw on pebeot ko.
     

    merquiades

    Senior Member
    English (USA Northeast)
    Français

    Si je pouvais retourner / revenir en arrière.
    Si je pouvais remonter dans le temps.

    Literally:
    If I could (imperfect indicative) return (return / come again) backwards.
    If I could (imperfect indicative) climb up again in time.
    re- is a prefix meaning "once again"
     
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    ktdd

    Senior Member
    Mandarin - Beijing
    It would be something like this:
    如果時光可以回流
    jyu4gwo2 = 如果
    si4gwong1 = 時光
    ho2ji3 = 可以
    wui4lau4 = 回流 (this is another word, reflux or to flow back)
    I couldn't find "dou2lau4" but maybe Ghabi can tell us how to write it!
    如果 jyu4wo2 / rúguǒ = if
    時光 si4gwong1 / shíguāng = time
    可以 ho2ji5 / kěyǐ = can
    倒流 dou3lau4 / dàoliú = flow backwards (倒 has two readings in Cantonese as well as in Mandarin)
    =====
    And you can speak Cantonese! Interesting, very interesting! ;)
    =====
    Probably off topic, but the title of this thread strongly reminds me of a line from a movie:
    如果上天能夠給我一個再來一次的機會,我一定會對那個女孩子說三個字“我愛你”,如果非要在這份愛上加一個期限的話,我希望是一萬年。
     
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    Men_deurXD

    New Member
    Tagalog, Bisaya
    Kung maibabalik ko Lang ang dating Panahon ay maipapahayag ko sa iyo ang pag Ibig ko. This is my translation in Tagalog. (If ever I can turn back the previous time I Will be able to prove my love for you) next my attempt in Dumaget- Te on nakatakeg a adyiw ey male wet matowd man mahayeg Dekaw on pebeot ko.
    I think, in a more specific way, it could translate in Tagalog like "Kung puwede lang maibalik ang nakaraan, gustong gusto kong ipakita ang tunay na pagmamahal ko sa iyo" I guess this is more accurate and precise translation but your translation is also good, though. Big thumbs up sa iyo kababayan!👍👍
     

    Awwal12

    Senior Member
    Russian
    This is an example: Andai waktu bisa berputar, aku ingin mencintaimu. (literally in English: If the time could return, I would have wanted so much to love you). Britishs said that it was completely wrong. :D The truth is "If I could turn back time, I would have wanted so much to love you".
    Potentially both variants are possible in Russian, in the most general sense at least.
    1) Если бы я мог повернуть время вспять (Yésli by yá móg povernút' vrémya vspyát') - "If I could turn the time backwards";
    2) "если бы можно было вернуть то время" (yésli by mózhno býlo vernút' tó vrémya") - "If it were possible to return that time" (note "that", and I'd say that stylistically it's not quite perfect anyway);
    3) "если бы то время могло вернуться" (yésli by tó vrémya mogló vernút'sya) - "if that time could return" (stylistically imperfect; moreover, putting "that time" in the rhematic position in the end of the clause would make it even worse, and it would sound in a positively non-native fashion - an impersonal sentence of the type (2) would be the only real option).
     
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    AndrasBP

    Senior Member
    Hungarian
    Hungarian: ha vissza tudnám fordítani az időt /hɒ ˈvisːɒ ˈtudnaːm ˈfordiːtɒni ɒz ˈidøːt/

    ha = if
    vissza = back
    tudnám = I could
    fordítani = to turn
    az = the
    időt = time + accusative suffix -t
     
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