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Consider for instance “元気でいたい” does that imply the speaker is at this point already healthy and wants this state to persist, or can it also be used when the speaker is not yet healthy but simply wants to be healthy for a long time.

The reason I ask is the trailer from Girls Band Cry which translates “何かを好きでいたい” as “We want to love something.”. I had assumed this was an error and that it should be “We want to keep loving something.” but after some searching I see a lot of translations doing this, so maybe my understanding of “〜でいたい” is wrong.

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元気でいたい does not explicitly state the speaker's current status. While it indeed indicates being in a healthy state for a certain period, whether its "starting point" is in the past, present, or future depends on the context.

For example, 将来好きなものができたらそれをずっと好きでいたい means "When I find something I like in the future, I want to love it forever," implying that you currently have no favorite thing in particular. On the other hand, if you just say a sentence like 音楽をずっと好きでいたい without context, it usually means you already love music.

何かを好きになりたい focuses on finding something you like, implying you have no favorite things now. 何かを好きでいたい focuses on staying in love with something, and you can say this whether or not you're currently in love with something, as shown above.

Finally, I won't say "We want to love something" is an obvious mistake for a translation for the latter. The difference is not always important.

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  • @Zorf I'm sorry, I made a mistake in my initial answer. Please reread.
    – naruto
    Commented May 25 at 4:18

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