Teach Yourself Japanese
Subject: Re: させられる
From: Brandin (chaotic_thoughtyahoo.com)
Date: Sat, 09 May 2009 00:19:39 GMT
> I have this sentence,
> in which I can't quite understand what させられる means. I know it's a causative passive form that means "to be made to do sth" but I don't think it fits here.
I have trouble with this kind of sentence too but let's try looking at it logically. Start with 活躍する。 I think it may be confusing to get a feel for what this means because the translation implies 活躍する means "to do something", which sounds the same as する to me.
I checked on goo.ne.jp, and 活躍 is related to 活動, which means to work or move vigorously (活発に動いたり、働いたりすること). So, I think Xを活躍させる means to cause X to work or more vigorously.
Searching Google, I found a few examples for "を活躍”:
ドラクエ5 (Dragon Quest 5) マイナーモンスターを活躍させてみる: This is a youtube video about the players causing one of the enemy characters to do things by using various items. I'm not familiar with this game, but the phrase here (モンスターを活躍させる) seems to mean "to cause the monster to move around" . To go from here to 活躍させられる we would need it to be passive. Here's an example:
The monster was made to move around by the white magic.
Natural english:=> The white magic caused the monster to move around.
Next example on Google was "子どもたちを活躍させるには" (http://space.geocities.jp/borboletta2007/22katuyaku.htm)
The article seems to be about getting kids (in a classroom) to pay attention and study seriously. I think this is the "work" aspect of 活躍する -- Getting kids to work hard. Notice the phrase is not passive. ”子どもたちを活躍させた” means "(I) got the kids to work hard." A passive example might be: 鈴木さんに子どもたちを活躍させられた (Suzuki-san got the kids to work hard).
If I'm way off on any of these please someone let me know. 活躍 and 活動 seem hard to define, and the passive-causative only makes it more confusing to look at from an English-centric perspective.
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