2

私たちは生命を失う危険があった。
私たちは生命の危険を失うおそれがあった。

These two sentences are translated the same way over various databases.

I can properly understand the first sentence as: "We were in danger of losing our lives".

But I don't understand how the sentence below can be translated with the same meaning. I can't see the correlation between 生命の危険 "danger of life"(?) and を失うおそれ "fear of losing"(?)

2

First of all, the second sentence doesn't look quite right:

私たちは生命の危険を失うおそれがあった。 = We risked to lose the danger of our lives.

I feel like you tried to put two sentences in one:

私たちは生命を失う危険があった。

私たちは生命を失う恐れがあった。

Also, the way you translate a sentence is not necessarily the way you should understand the said sentence. To fully understand them, you should translate them literally by breaking them down into pieces, in this case, you should understand them as below

私たちは生命を失う危険があった。 = As for us, there was a danger of losing (our) lives.

私たちは生命を失う恐れがあった = As for us, there was a fear of losing (our) lives.

The difference is clear when you look at the Japanese, even though the meanings are pretty close, but you shouldn't rely on the translations to understand something.

  • 2
    @RyotaDiav: Note too that おそれ can be understood to mean "risk (that something will happen)". – Eiríkr Útlendi Apr 30 at 15:49

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.