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大阪から東京までに泳ごうとしたけど、途中で道に迷います。 My translation:[(I implied) tried to swim from Osaka to Tokyo, but got lost on the way.] I haven't saw (までに) used like this before, so I'm not sure if I am using it right in this sentence. Is there another way to make this sound/read right?

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「[大阪]{おおさか}から[東京]{とうきょう}までに[泳]{およ}ごうとしたけど、[途中]{とちゅう}で[道]{みち}に[迷]{まよ}います。」

The first thing I would earnestly like to sugggest is that you take the bullet train instead.

A couple of other things I would like to point out are:

It is 「大阪から東京まで」, not 「大阪から東京までに」. You have no choice there.

「までに」 expresses a temporal limitation, not anything spatial.

「8[時]{じ}までに[来]{き}てください。」 = "Please come by 8 o'clock." 

Change the tense of 「迷います」 to 「迷った」 to go with the past-tense verb phrase 「泳ごうとした」.

In all honesty, I do not even know if one could say 「道に迷う」 when talking about swimming in the ocean . I know that it does not sound too strange to my Japanese ears as we do not really have a word for it. It sure adds humor to the statement, so let us keep it.

We now have 「大阪から東京まで泳ごうとしたけど、途中で道に迷った。」

To make it sound one-step more natural, I would suggest the sentence:

「東京から大阪まで泳いでいこうとしたけど、途中で道に迷った。」

Finally, an even more natural way to say it would be:

「東京から大阪まで泳いでいこうとしたけど、途中で道に迷ってしまった。」

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  • Thanks:)「迷った」 I'm surprised that I missed that one myself,also I got 「道に迷う」from a dictionary so it might just be obscure. – jale Feb 5 '15 at 0:04
  • In this case, I'd personally use 東京にかけて instead of まで. – istrasci Feb 5 '15 at 1:01
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    You can also use 方向【ほうこう】を見【み】失【うしな】ってしまった instead (literary "lost direction"), if you want to avoid using 道. – naruto Feb 5 '15 at 3:28
  • +1 for 方向を見失う : I might understand 「道に迷う」in this case as "to be lost before swimming (somewhere between your house and the seashore)". – Yosh Feb 10 '15 at 2:59
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I would change 道 for 方面 or possibly 方向 or even better say 迷子になった. There is no road in the water.

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