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on borrowed time

German translation: sein Leben war nur eine Leihgabe (des Schicksals)

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GLOSSARY ENTRY (DERIVED FROM QUESTION BELOW)
English term or phrase:He lived on borrowed time
German translation:sein Leben war nur eine Leihgabe (des Schicksals)
Entered by: Fantutti
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20:09 Mar 27, 2003
English to German translations [PRO]
Art/Literary
English term or phrase: on borrowed time
The story in a nutshell: a baby boy is pulled out of a river, declared dead, but miraculously survived. 18 years later, he gets shot and killed by a stray bullet, out of the blue, so to speak. His mother's sad comment: he lived on borrowed time.
I discussed it with my friends. All the translations we came up with sounded so fabricated. The closest probably was: "Seine Gnadenfrist war abgelaufen", but I don't like it, because it sounds cold-hearted and doesn't quite reflect the meaning of 'borrowed time'.
Fantutti
Local time: 17:54
sein Leben war nur eine Leihgabe (des Schicksals)
Explanation:
Sehr häufig gebrauchter Begriff im Bezug auf Leben und Tod, natürlich auch im Bereich der Religionen.
Selected response from:

Heike Behl, Ph.D.
United States
Local time: 17:54
Grading comment
Heike, that's it! You must be a genius! Thank you so much, everybody, for letting me borrow your time! RF
4 KudoZ points were awarded for this answer

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Summary of answers provided
4schlielich schließlich war er ja schon früher einmal davongekommen
Johanna Timm, PhD
4auf geborgte Zeit
Brigitte Keen-Matthaei
4Sein Leben war nur geborgt.
Cornelia Mayer
4auf gestundete Zeit
Tina8
3sein Leben war nur eine Leihgabe (des Schicksals)
Heike Behl, Ph.D.


  

Answers


9 mins   confidence: Answerer confidence 4/5Answerer confidence 4/5
auf geborgte Zeit


Explanation:
was my hunch and is confirmed by numerous Google hits.

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Note added at 2003-03-27 20:22:00 (GMT)
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many of the hits refer to the book on John Lennon, who also lived on borrowed time - in retrospect. Might be a situation similar to the one you are describing.

Brigitte Keen-Matthaei
Local time: 16:54
Native speaker of: Native in GermanGerman
PRO pts in pair: 151
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29 mins   confidence: Answerer confidence 4/5Answerer confidence 4/5
auf gestundete Zeit


Explanation:
gefaellt mir persoenlich dem Klang nach am besten...aber die Entscheidung, ob es in der Form ins Gesamtbild passt,liegt natuerlich bei dir

Tina8
Local time: 03:54
Native speaker of: Native in GermanGerman
PRO pts in pair: 87
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44 mins   confidence: Answerer confidence 4/5Answerer confidence 4/5
Sein Leben war nur geborgt.


Explanation:
So würde ich das etwas freier wiedergeben.

Die geborgte Zeit ist mehr oder weniger von John Lennon belegt, die gestundete Zeit natürlich von Ingeborg Bachmann...

Cornelia Mayer
France
Local time: 02:54
Native speaker of: German
PRO pts in pair: 1506
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1 hr   confidence: Answerer confidence 4/5Answerer confidence 4/5
schlielich schließlich war er ja schon früher einmal davongekommen


Explanation:
...hatte er dem Tod schon früher einmal ein Schnippchen geschlagen
... war der Kelch schon früher einmal an ihm vorübergegangen

might also work

Johanna Timm, PhD
Canada
Local time: 17:54
Native speaker of: Native in GermanGerman
PRO pts in pair: 4322
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1 hr   confidence: Answerer confidence 3/5Answerer confidence 3/5
sein Leben war nur eine Leihgabe (des Schicksals)


Explanation:
Sehr häufig gebrauchter Begriff im Bezug auf Leben und Tod, natürlich auch im Bereich der Religionen.

Heike Behl, Ph.D.
United States
Local time: 17:54
Native speaker of: Native in GermanGerman
PRO pts in pair: 779
Grading comment
Heike, that's it! You must be a genius! Thank you so much, everybody, for letting me borrow your time! RF
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