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でも騙されてはいけない。やつはわたしの三倍ぐらい素行不良だ。そういうところは出 席日数で判断し (てほしい) 。

What does てほしい here mean? It was translated as "If you wanted" in a fan translation but I don't understand why.

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I really do not understand how “If you wanted.” can be derived as a translation, “〜てほしい” as in “ほしい” following the te-form of a clause is used to indicate that something, usually the speaker, wants someone else to do something. If the subject and the agent that want something are the same, then “〜たい” is attached to continuative form of the verb, as such “食べてほしい” means “[I] want <something else> to eat.” whereas “食べたい” means “[I] want to eat.”. The agent one wants to do something is typically marked with “〜に” inside of the clause thus the full sentence would be “私はあなたに食べてほしい”.

Thus, in this case, we arrive at a full translation of:

But, you mustn't be deceived. The fellow's about three times as ill behaved as I. I'd like you to judge those kinds of things based on the number of days attendant.

Filling in some things from context or course. The sentence does not imply that it's the listener whom the speaker likes to judge things, nor who should not be deceived, nor in theory the gender of the more ill behaved individual. The important takeaway is that “〜てほしい” means wanting someone else to do something, opposed to wanting to do something oneself. As with “〜たい”. Japanese also has a concept of evidentiality with regards to the emotions of people so that in practice in a naked sentence it always refers to one's own desires and “〜てほしいと思う” or something similar will be used for stating that someone else wants to do something but that's all fairly complex.

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    In your example, 食べてほしい means "[I] want <something else> to eat". I see what you're trying to say, but if someone doesn't already understand てほしい, I think it would be better to write someone instead of something.
    – A.Ellett
    Commented Jul 9 at 14:55
  • I see. Thanks for your explanation!
    – Tree
    Commented Jul 10 at 1:07
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してほしい is a bit tricky idiom.

The direct translation is "I want you to ~", but since ほしい is an auxiliary verb, its nuance is not that strong. It rather means "Could you please ~ ?" in some cases.

There are many ways to ask someone to do something, and their politenesses are different.

  • 判断しろ
  • 判断してほしい
  • 判断してほしいです
  • 判断してください
  • 判断していただけますか

I feel 判断してほしいです and 判断してください are roughly the same.

If the original text is 判断しろ, "Judge it from the number of days attended!" would be the translation.

I guess the fan translator considered how softly it should be expressed. I would like to check the whole sentence of that fan translation, but I feel adding "if you wanted to" is not that wrong.

"Judge it from the number of days attended, please."

"Judge it from the number of days attended if you wanted to."

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