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"Life begins at the end of your comfort zone"

Complete sentences, phrases, and figurative speech

Moderator: acloudmovingby

"Life begins at the end of your comfort zone"

Postby David and Bui » Thu Apr 13, 2017 5:19 am

From a new poster:

"I've become quite the traveler (or at least more of one than I had ever thought i might) over the last few years. Thailand has become place I’ve gotten to know quite well. While I don’t speak Thai, I’ve picked up little phrases here and there. I’ve been struggling to translate an English quote into Thai and your webpage was one of the few very good ones I came across and I even saw a list of idioms/quotes/sayings translated into Thai. But unfortunately not the one I was looking for. I was wondering if you might be able to help me or point me in the right direction. What I’d like to see translated into Thai (written) is:

"Life begins at the end of your comfort zone."

"Google translate and many of other translation websites/apps have given me results that only give me puzzled looks from my Thai friends. One friend was able to return me this: การใช้ชีวิตจริงๆนั้นเพิ่งจะเริ่มต้นเมื่อคุณเริ่มก้าวออกจากเขต ที่สะดวกสบายของคุณ /When i put this into various translators it seemed to match the English equivalent but I’m hoping to be 100% certain before doing anything with it. Though my knowledge of Thai is extremely limited I am very aware of the huge language differences between English and Thai not to mention the big cultural differences that often make it difficult to translate thoughts and concepts from one language to the other."

Let's see what the community thinks.
David in Houston
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Re: "Life begins at the end of your comfort zone"

Postby Tgeezer » Thu Apr 13, 2017 1:48 pm

Isn't it just a case of taking the English words literally and trying to understand them?
I think that it means that your existence will not give satisfaction unless you take risks.
I can't see life being better when you are not สดวกสบาย .
ชีวิตจะมีประโยชน์ใหม่เมื่อคุณประมาท Life will have new meaning when you stop considering the consequences of your actions. Literally, this could lead to the end of life too!
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Re: "Life begins at the end of your comfort zone"

Postby Pirin » Thu Apr 13, 2017 2:20 pm

"Life begins at the end of your comfort zone."
=>
ชีวิตที่ซับซ้อนและยืนยาว เริ่มต้นจากเพียงหนึ่งก้าวที่เข้าสู่โลกกว้าง
เสนาะโสตเสียงสุนทรีย์มีสรรค์สร้าง ลิขิตทางวางบรรจบสบสองเรา
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Re: "Life begins at the end of your comfort zone"

Postby David and Bui » Thu Apr 13, 2017 3:47 pm

Pirin wrote:"Life begins at the end of your comfort zone."
=>
ชีวิตที่ซับซ้อนและยืนยาว เริ่มต้นจากเพียงหนึ่งก้าวที่เข้าสู่โลกกว้าง


Thank you, Khun Pirin. Is this a more literal reading of your sentence?

ชีวิตที่ซับซ้อนและยืนยาว เริ่มต้นจากเพียงหนึ่งก้าวที่เข้าสู่โลกกว้าง
1. Life is long and complicated; [it] begins with one step toward the wider world.
2. A long a complicated life begins with a single step toward the world at large.
David in Houston
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Re: "Life begins at the end of your comfort zone"

Postby Pirin » Fri Apr 14, 2017 1:41 am

David and Bui wrote:
Pirin wrote:"Life begins at the end of your comfort zone."
=>
ชีวิตที่ซับซ้อนและยืนยาว เริ่มต้นจากเพียงหนึ่งก้าวที่เข้าสู่โลกกว้าง


Thank you, Khun Pirin. Is this a more literal reading of your sentence?

ชีวิตที่ซับซ้อนและยืนยาว เริ่มต้นจากเพียงหนึ่งก้าวที่เข้าสู่โลกกว้าง
1. Life is long and complicated; [it] begins with one step toward the wider world.
2. A long a complicated life begins with a single step toward the world at large.




Life begins at the first step to the wide world.
<=
The long and complicated life (of ours) begins at our first step entering the wide world.
เสนาะโสตเสียงสุนทรีย์มีสรรค์สร้าง ลิขิตทางวางบรรจบสบสองเรา
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Re: "Life begins at the end of your comfort zone"

Postby Tgeezer » Fri Apr 14, 2017 4:52 am

Pirin wrote:"Life begins at the end of your comfort zone."
=>
ชีวิตที่ซับซ้อนและยืนยาว เริ่มต้นจากเพียงหนึ่งก้าวที่เข้าสู่โลกกว้าง

Thanks Pirin, I initially replied that it wouldn't make sense to a Thai because it didn't make sense in English but I think that I can see your point of view.

Should we read ซับซ้อน as life's experiences and ยึนยาว as seeming longer as a result of experiencing it to the full or do you literally mean a long and hard life where troubles are heaped on troubles with no relief?
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Re: "Life begins at the end of your comfort zone"

Postby Tgeezer » Fri Apr 14, 2017 5:20 am

Tgeezer wrote:Isn't it just a case of taking the English words literally and trying to understand them?
I think that it means that your existence will not give satisfaction unless you take risks.
I can't see life being better when you are not สดวกสบาย .
ชีวิตจะมีประโยชน์ใหม่เมื่อคุณประมาท Life will have new meaning when you stop considering the consequences of your actions. Literally, this could lead to the end of life too!


This statement is open to interpretation so I would like to know what it means to the mysterious 'new poster' David.
I see 'life' as experiencing all that life has to offer, which depends on the individual, but when lived in the comfort zone 'life' is seen by others as boring and perhaps stolid and, as I see it. lacking in adventure.
So I imagine someone taking up an adventurous new pursuit "sky diving" for instance, or divorcing his wife and taking up with a younger woman, he has thrown over convention and recommending that 'life' to others.
I chose to say ชีวิตเรื่มใหม่ to express a new beginning and ประมาส is obvious.
I am sure that my interpretation can be expressed in Thai better.
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Re: "Life begins at the end of your comfort zone"

Postby bambooboy » Fri Apr 14, 2017 5:48 pm

The translation he has seems like a pretty good literal rendering of the English, if overwrought ... (การใช้ชีวิตจริงๆนั้นเพิ่งจะเริ่มต้นเมื่อคุณเริ่มก้าวออกจากเขต ที่สะดวกสบายของคุณ)

The issue seems to be that the phrase is somewhat catchy in English because we have the phrase "comfort zone". Maybe the better question is whether there is any equivalent in Thai? Tgeezer has identified an obvious problem: in my experience สะดวกสบาย in Thai is used positively pretty much 100% of the time—is that right, Khun Pirin? Whereas "comfort", especially in "comfort zone", can easily suggest a little too much comfort/laziness/etc in English.

So I wonder whether เขตที่สะดวกสบายของคุณ resonates in any way with a native Thai speaker. Is that a place you want to be? Does it have any slightly negative connotations?

If phrases like this are too idiomatic it would seem to make more sense to find new idioms in the target language—no doubt Khun Pirin's translation sounds better in Thai, though it departs from the original meaning.
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Re: "Life begins at the end of your comfort zone"

Postby David and Bui » Fri Apr 14, 2017 7:41 pm

Great question. Let's look at the definition of "เขต" in the RID:

"[เขด] . แดนที่กำหนดขีดคั่นไว้ เช่น เขตป่า เขตบ้าน, เวลาที่กำหนดขีดคั่นไว้ เช่น หมดเขตวันที่ ๑๕. (. เขตฺต). (โบราณเขียนว่า เขตร). "

Note that it refers to a physical or temporal space but does not seem to refer to an abstract or emotional space. Perhaps the Thais use words like "สภาพ" or "สถานะ" for this purpose.

Any thoughts?
David in Houston
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Re: "Life begins at the end of your comfort zone"

Postby Tgeezer » Sat Apr 15, 2017 4:50 am

I agree, I take it that a Thai wrote เขด as a direct substitution for the word 'zone' and the adjectival clause could be either figurative or real as it could be in English. The euphemism 'Comfort room' could mean both as well except that it is now widely understood.
Life begins at the end of your comfort zone is ridiculous grammatically it probably would not have made sense to a previous generation. its attractivness comes from the play on words, beginning and end, and in equating life and comfort zone. Life begins when we are born. Zones can be three dimentional, so zone here is life.
New life begins when you give up your old life. This is how Pirin appears to have seen it. We need to take sayings apart and explain them, then find a Thai equivalent or we just get what I call Thaiกฤษ. The trick is to make the Thai as 'catchy' as the English.
Pirin is our best chance there I think.
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