幼いときに老けて、老いて子供に戻る。 I can make a few guesses as to the specific meaning but I'm not sure which one is right.. does anyone know what would be the most correct translation of this sentence?
You hear 老いて子供に戻る a lot, but I haven't heard 幼いときに老けて. Google seems to agree with me, so I'm assuming it's not a proverb or something.
The phrase 幼いときに老けて is rather peculiar because 老ける means "become an old man / behave like a old man" and has a negative nuance. So it's not the same as "grow old"; if you are 幼い and do 老ける, then that's very unusual. It's like an oxymoron, but I don't "get" what is meant here. Perhaps with more context it would make sense, but frankly my guess is that whoever wrote this phrase didn't fully understand the nuance of 老ける.