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Every now and then I come across a sentence using no ni, and it baffles me exactly what is trying to be contrasted. This may be in part because japanese (well, all east asian language for that matter) loves to omit subjects and objects if implied.
Anyway, here's the problem:
The context is, this particular character has lost their friends out at sea and is clearly expressing their feelings of hopelessness.
However what eludes me is the no ni. I understand about this much...
It's impossible! + "to this extent" + time is passing + no ni?!
so what is it exactly? "Although time is passing to this extent it's impossible??"
Is it emphasizing that they are taking too long, so too much time is passing and thus a search is impossible? Or, is it that it will take to long to find their friend and thus is impossible? Or, in the spirit of contrast is it implying that time is passing slowly yet it is impossible to find the missing person? Or am I just crazy and have this all wrong?
Thanks in advance.
If I'm not mistaken it is emphasizing that 'so much' time has passed and something is still hopeless/impossible.
So a translation would look more like, "So much time as passed, and this is still hopeless!" Of course that's a liberal way to look at it. A more literal translation would be something along the lines of "This is impossible! Even though so much time has passed..."
'no ni' is generally expressed in English with an 'even' or 'even though'. Hopefully that gives you a better idea of how to translate it.
Of course, seeing the full page would help to gather a better translation/more information for you. It's always hard to get exactly what's going on from just a single fragment.
So it was indeed a case of omission.
The no ni is referring to an implied part not in the sentence, that being the speaker's feelings of disbelief in regard to the object person. So, something more like
"Give it up! Even though so much time is going by (you're still searching)?"
That makes more sense. The no ni must modify something, so the original was only half a sentence. The rest is invisible as is typical japanese. Right?
Yeah, there was a case of omission there. The 'no ni' construction generally has something following it. As in "Even though x, you're still y." So yeah, that about covers it.