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Help me please with translation 働かせっぱなし in the following sentence

それって、朝からずっと働かせっぱなしの人間に対して、掛ける言葉じゃ、ないと思うんだけど

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The main problem is that I cannot understand how to correctly translate 働かせっぱなしの人間, could it be "person who is forcing somebody to work" or "person who is forced by somebody to work", while I think that the second one would be passive form 「働かせられっぱなしの人間」it seems to me better with context...

I'm sorry for my bad English, and thanks for help.

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It means "person whom you are forcing to work". –  user4092 Jan 16 at 4:31

2 Answers 2

up vote 2 down vote accepted

Loose translation.

He is has been working since the morning. She comes in and says

Hey, being exhausted from this little bit... Don't you think you're just a bit out of shape?

He replies

That's not exactly something you'd tell someone, who has been working here since the morning.

働かせる is "to make so. work"; っぱなし means to do something and let it stay that way, although whatever was done should really have been undone. An alternative translation would be

それって、朝からずっと働かせっぱなしの人間に対して、掛ける言葉じゃ、ないと思うんだけど
That's not exactly something you'd tell someone, who has just been left working here since the morning.

The reason why the passive can't be used here is that っぱなし means "to do sth. and leave it that way", whereas 働かせられる is passive (i.e. not active). 働かせられっぱなし sounds like he's left himself being put to work, when he should really have stopped. So in this case, 働かせっぱなし doesn't refer to an action by 人間, which would be natural, but to someone else.

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The conclusion is that, user4092's comment on the question is correct. It means:

person who you are forcing to work all the time

And 働かせられっぱなしの人間 would be rather unnatural here, because, (1) in this situation, he is blaming her for her act, saying that it's she that has worked him into the ground; (2) it must share the same subject with 掛ける言葉, otherwise, it might well be taken that "who says to him" and "who forces him to work" isn't the same person.

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