"Never say never"

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Since there is apparently no literal translation for "never", how would you translate this idiom ?

What periphrasis would you use to express the same meaning ?

Aki

Posted 2011-08-27T18:52:08.053

Reputation: 955

Or you could take the katakana route and use ネヴァー・セイ・ネヴァー.

– Andrew Grimm – 2012-05-20T03:29:23.447

Answers

7

How about something like 「絶対なんて絶対にない」? It has the same self-contradictory nature as the English original, and seems to have some use as well. The meaning is slightly different, however. You could also go with something like 「ありえないなんてありえない」 or something...

bdonlan

Posted 2011-08-27T18:52:08.053

Reputation: 3 137

If I may, you should use quotes in your google requests to actually match a strict pattern, 15,900 matches is still high and makes your point anyways. Well done! – Aki – 2011-08-27T19:56:38.993

quotes added :) – bdonlan – 2011-08-27T19:59:11.563

@Aki - This is completely off-topic, but what do you mean here by "periphrasis"? – rdb – 2011-08-27T21:01:05.267

@rdb Seems to me like the ordinary meaning is fine.

– Karl Knechtel – 2011-08-27T21:15:34.723

1Do you mean to say the OP wanted a phrase free of inflected words? – rdb – 2011-08-27T21:25:04.903

This is the definition I had in mind: "use of a longer phrasing in place of a possible shorter form of expression". Which may not be 100 % correct. Check out Wikipedia's article on Circumlocution.

– Aki – 2011-08-27T21:46:06.403