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一目ぼれから長持ちする関係は望めません。

Falling in love at first sight won't bring you a lasting relationship.

I found this sentence and translation without any other context, and have a few questions about the expressions used here.

First off, after studying the sentence, I came up with two alternate translations:

You can't hope for a long-lasting relationship from falling in love at first sight.

You cant expect a long-lasting relationship from falling in love at first sight.

Which translation of 望めません do you think is more accurate (if accurate at all)?

Secondly, if 長持ちする is a verb meaning "to be long-lasting" or "to be durable", is 長持 ever used by itself, perhaps as a noun?

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    What is the difference among the three translations? – Tsuyoshi Ito Sep 30 '11 at 19:17
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    "Falling in love at first sight won't bring you a lasting relationship." Here the verb that the applies to the subject -bring- does not necessitate any first person volition. In the second translation, the subject cannot hope for a long lasting relationship because the results are obvious. In the third, if the subject cannot expect a long-lasting relationship, it doesn't necessarily mean they hoped for it. Please excuse my lack of knowledge when it comes to proper terms for grammar. – yadokari Sep 30 '11 at 19:42
  • Perhaps the first translation is a bit more like a proverb, while the two I supplied, while still having a proverbial feel, could work more as admonishments in a normal conversation. – yadokari Sep 30 '11 at 19:53
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    I understand the difference you are trying to put into the translations, but 望む can mean both "hope for" and "expect". The choice must be made by the translator based on context and other factors. As for the "Falling..." vs "You can't..." difference, this too is more about translation practice in general than Japanese specifically. – Matt Oct 1 '11 at 5:08
  • Thanks Matt. On the hope/expect point, I was wondering about that because I was mostly familiar with 望む for wish/hope/desire. Would you use it for negative things? For instance in the sentences "I expect to die a horrible death" or "I expect human civilization will come to a terrible end".(both of these instances not something I would want) – yadokari Oct 1 '11 at 15:47
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As for your second question, [長持]{ながも}ち can mean the fact that something lasts long (長持ちすること). For example, the title of this page is おいしさと長持ちの[秘訣]{ひけつ} (the secret of taste and long life (of the food products)).

長持ち also means a container with a lid to store cloths and other goods, usually made of wood.

As for your first question, I still have trouble understanding the difference among the three English expressions in the question. My understanding is that their meanings are the same (although the meanings are different on surface), and I think that they are equally correct translations. Probably my understanding of English is insufficient for me to answer this part of your question.

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  • thank you. The fact that my attempts at translation did not strike you as incorrect gives me some hope. – yadokari Sep 30 '11 at 21:09

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