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I am translating a German text into English.

It contains a sentence that translates roughly to

In the middle of life, you stand alone.

I'm unsure about "middle" here, and can't think of a more fitting substitute. "Life" is related to the time span of a single human life. Therefore, "center" is out of the question of course. Or is it?

Would you use "middle" in this sentence?

Do you have a better idea?

  • If there was no middle of life there would be no "mid-life crisis". – Hot Licks Dec 22 '15 at 21:53
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A similar phrase in English would be middle age:

Middle age is the period of age beyond young adulthood but before the onset of old age ... usually considered to occur approximately between the ages of 40 and 60

At middle age, you stand alone.

Note that this phrase does indicate a specific time period in a person's life. If you are looking to describe everything between birth and death, a more correct sentence would be:

In life, you stand alone.

If the intended time frame is from the end of childhood to the beginning of old age, I would go with:

As an adult, you stand alone.

Or:

In adulthood, you stand alone.
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Not part of your question, but I wonder about the intended meaning of "you stand alone". I don't know the whole context, but as it stands, what is conveyed leans towards "you are on your own, there is no-one with you". If what you are trying to say is "you are independent and no longer dependent on others for your identity", you might want to consider something like "you are your own person", "you stand on your own two feet"...

Just a thought.

  • Both "... steht man alleine da" and "... steht man auf eigenen Beinen" would make perfect sense in German, but I doubt that Pekka would have translated the latter as "you stand alone"; the former seems much more likely. – RegDwigнt Oct 7 '10 at 9:34
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Regardless of what you mean by "you stand alone," I think you could use “at midlife (= middle age) as a noun as a good replacement for “In the middle of life”:

At midlife you stand alone.

(from Merriam-Webster)

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What about "In life, you are alone."?

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In the prime of life refers to the time of maturity when power and vigor are greatest.

Example: A male Lion, in the prime of life, coloured by early morning sunshine, looking across Kenya's Masai Mara. I like the bulging muscles and steely stare of this fellow. No wonder he is dubbed 'The King'.

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