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I have a Question -> Response exercise in my textbook. The context is a job interview at a convenience store. I think the meaning is "why do you want this job?" but the way the Japanese is worded seems odd to me.

Can somebody translate this for me please?

こちらでアルバイトを したい思った理由は 何ですか。

It is したい思った which is confusing to me. "want to have thought" ???

  • 1
    Are you sure your textbook says したい思った理由, not したい思った理由? – Chocolate Apr 30 '17 at 14:12
  • @Chocolate Good point. I guess I should edit the と into my answer? – user3856370 Apr 30 '17 at 14:33
  • @user3856370 そうですね。もしかしたら、textbookのタイポかもしれませんね・・ – Chocolate Apr 30 '17 at 14:36
  • I'll go back and check the text again – VictorySaber May 2 '17 at 9:05
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こちらでアルバイトを したいと思った理由は 何ですか。
What's the reason you think you want to do a part-time job here?

  • The job interviewer (A) is asking the reason from the job interviewee (B), not asking what B wants to do, because A already knows that B wants to do a part-time job here.
  • Why does A know B's intention already? Because, A has got B's application for the job already.
  • When did B think he wanted to do a part-time job here? Before submitting the application for the job.
  • Then B thought of the part-time job in the past, so the phrase アルバイトをしたいと思った is used instead of アルバイトをしたいと思う.

That's why the tense differs between English and 日本語{にほんご}.

  • Oh I understand now, the past tense confused me. Thank you very much! – VictorySaber May 2 '17 at 9:05
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たい is modifying する not 思う in this sentence, so したいと思う means "think you want to do", not "want to think you do".

こちらでアルバイトをする -> do part-time work here.
こちらでアルバイトをしたい -> want to do part-time work here.
こちらでアルバイトをしたいと思った -> think you want to do part-time work here.
こちらでアルバイトをしたいと思った理由は -> the reason you think you want to do part-time work here
こちらでアルバイトをしたいと思った理由は何ですか -> What's the reason you think you want to do part-time work here?

Why it uses 思った rather than 思う is something I don't quite understand though.

  • 1
    Why it uses 思った rather than 思う >> In English you'd also say like "What motivated /prompted you to apply for this job?", no? – Chocolate Apr 30 '17 at 15:58
  • I see your point, but the 'applying' has already happened by the time of the interview. The 'thinking they want the job' is ongoing. Anyway, I'm happy that 思った makes sense. – user3856370 Apr 30 '17 at 16:07

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