4

Using Weblio, I can go through the words and get some ideas on how to translate this sentence:

It: それは. I have spent enough time with Japanese sentences to know that I can just omit it and still be understood.

Was: でありました, であった,でした, だった, いた,あった, and a few others that I may have missed. Since this sentence is in writing, I’m trying to be polite, and the sentence has the basic sense of “X = Y”, I should probably pick でありました.

The most: 最も, 一番. I’m picking 最も, because it modifies an adjective.

Horrible: ぞっとするほどいやな, 実にひどい, 残酷な. I think “horrible” is being used in the “very bad” sense here, so I think 実にひどい would be a good choice.

Time: 時,時間, 時の経過,歳月. I’m picking 時間, because “time” in this sentence refers to a period of time.

Of: I know there are a lot of ways to translate “of” into Japanese, but I think の might be my best bet.

My: 私の. I think I can omit this and still be understood.

Life: 人生. That page is loaded with different terms that could be translated as “life”. Still, I have seen examples similar to the sentence I’m trying to translate, and they indicate that I should pick 人生.

Based on all this, I think “It was the most horrible time of my life” can be translated as 人生の最も実にひどい時間でありました.

Is this a good translation? If it isn’t, how should I translate it?

7

I think it is not bad, but it would be changed to more natural sentence,

"the most horrible" can be translated as 最悪. If you refer to "long time", you should use a word 時期. I interpret 時間 as "short time". 時 is used in either the meanings. And you can omit の in 人性の as well as 私の. I feel ありました is a bit more stiff than でした.

So I rephrase your translation as 人生最悪の時期(時)でした.  

  • 1
    Thank you for your answer! But I have a question about the length of time. If the person saying the above sentence was talking about a year, is a year not long enough to use 時期? Is a year too long to use 時間? If I can't decide between the two, should I just use 時? – Micheal Gignac May 13 '18 at 14:59
  • a year is definitely long enough to use 時期. I have seen this word used to represent lengths of time as short as a few weeks and as long as ... well, within a human lifetime, I'm not sure there's an upper limit. 時 by itself is very general, not the best choice. – ericfromabeno May 13 '18 at 15:05
  • 2
    @Micheal Gignac A year is long enough to use 時期. If you failed a job interview, you can say "あの面接は、人生最悪の時間(時)だった", but using 時期 is unnatural. Of course, the nuance of time depends on the person. And yes, 時 is used in either "long time" or "short time". – Yuuichi Tam May 13 '18 at 15:40

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