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What is the translation of 야. 너 인생 그렇게 살지마. ? All I know is that it is rude.

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Translation, and about why it can be so rude.

First of all, as the context implies, this expression should not even be used unless the "listener" felt he/she is very close to the speaker (not vice versa). How one lives his/her life should not be another person's matter as much as to justify the '~마' ending ( vs '~마세요')

Even if the sentence is rewritten with '~마세요' It sounds just as rude because the most offensive meaning is inside '그렇게' To illustrate why, compare these three sentences. Imagine that speaker and listener are standing in rather close proximity while there is one more miserable looking person somewhere afar from both of them.

(1) 인생 저렇게 살지마세요 Don't live a life like that of the person over there.
(2) 인생 이렇게 살지마세요 Don't live a life like this.
(3) 인생 그렇게 살지마세요 Don't live a life like that of yours (in a contempt )

Direct English translation loses some nuances, so, I will to try explain. In the case of (1), 저렇게 is pointing another person far from both speaker and listener whose life is miserable compared to both his/hers and the listener's. Because the example the speaker takes as a miserable life is sourced at this another person that is not the listener himself/herself, it has effect of avoiding directly denouncing the listener as "already miserable." Also, it can be read as "(I know you're not, but) you don't want to live a life like that of him/her over there."

In the case of (2), Speaker is saying; Don't live a miserable life like that of listener's. Unlike (1), the speaker is already defining listener's life as "miserable as this." Still, this sentence is a lot more sympathetic compared to (3) because 이렇게 has inclusive meaning as in that the speaker is standing next to the listener, or having been a close friend/family who is sympathizing with listener's situation from listener's point of view and conveying the feeling as such frankly with some degree of concern about the well-being of the listener. If speaker is a good friend/sibling of the listener who is worried about the way listener's way of life, this sounds the best as such among the three.

Contrastingly, in the case of (3), 그렇게 has an implicitly strong denial of listener because the speaker felt like he/she doesn't want to be a part of the listener's life and either unconsciously or consciously chose to say 그렇게 (as miserable as you are) as opposed to 이렇게 (as miserable as this is ) if they are actually talking at a same place. Of course, they might be talking over a phone and there actually is a physically distance which justifies the word choice of 그렇게; however, if we imagine a situation where the two are about a few feet away from each other, it's easy to imagine this speaker is saying this denouncing language with his/her chin up and with strong possibility in a contempt. Even if it is not as dramatic as that, if someone who is supposedly a good person to listener is saying this way, then it could be reasonable to infer that the speaker is somehow looking down at the listener in general.

It's a subtle difference and non-native speaker shouldn't be too scared to use the expressions, but those who are pretty fluent or native, may care which expression was used when someone talk to them about their life.

Hope this helps!

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When we use 너 인생 그렇게 살지마 :

Usually, we were used to talk to the criminal or someone receiving people's pointing 너 인생 그렇게 살지마.

If two person are not very intimate, and if one uses this sentence, then he may call other's fist.

If two person are very intimate, and if one will not participate a regular private meeting by a simple reason, then the other can say the sentence to express his wanting (or missing).

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If you translate it directly, it means :

Hey, don't live your life like that. (야. 너 인생 그렇게 살지마)

I guess you can imagine its use in a context when one person from couple has an affair with someone else. If fhe man had an affair with another women, his original girlfriend would probably say something like the above.

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It is a very rude sentence in Korean. It means don't live like that.

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  • 2
    Why is that very rude? The English, "don't live like that", doesn't necessarily sound rude... perhaps you could add an example conversation to highlight the way in which it would be used.
    – topo morto
    Sep 3 '18 at 5:33

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