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説明を求められようと、何も言えないのだ。

What does it mean? "Trying to be asked for answers, I can't say anything" looks strange...

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3 Answers 3

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説明を求められようと、何も言えないのだ。
Even if [you] demand an explanation, [I] can not say anything.

volitional-form + が/と is a literary way of saying "even if ~" or "regardless of ~". Usually (but not always) there is a comma after the が/と.

Examples on JGram:

Of course volitional-form + と can be actual volition followed by a quotative particle, depending on what follows:

説明を求めようと思います。
I think I will demand an explanation.

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  • In case OP is wondering why を is used after 説明, here's why.
    – naruto
    Oct 21, 2016 at 16:02
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There is a great page :

japanesetest4you.com/flashcard/learn-jlpt-n1-grammar -you-nimonai
Meaning: even if one tries to do something, it can’t be done

ジェイクを呼ぼうにも声が出なかった。
I tried to call Jake, but my voice was gone.

[ 呼ぼうにも] -- This part feels like the subjunctive of European languages.

  • Were I to call Jake ...

  • Even if I were to call Jake ...

  • Even if I would want to call Jake ...

  • Even if I would've wanted to call Jake ... Try as I might to call Jake ...

When the [1st person] is trying, it's ~しようにも

When the [Another party] is trying/asking, it's ~しようと, ~しようとも, etc. (See Choco-san's link).

e.g. -- どんなに激しく雨が降ろうと、この家の屋根は大丈夫だ。

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    But... the OP's sentence cannot be rephrased 「求められようも」... and your sentence (「呼ぼうにも」≂「呼ぼうとしても」) cannot be rephrased 「呼ぼうも」...
    – chocolate
    Oct 21, 2016 at 7:22
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求められる means sought, (gave) order, request, recommend...
〜ようと means "but". It same as 〜だが, 〜が, 〜ても.
In English, That sentence:

It gave order to explain, but I cannot say nothing.

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    The translation is (roughly) correct, but 〜ても doesn't appear in the question.
    – jogloran
    Oct 22, 2016 at 3:37

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