I was reading a manga and encountered 聞かせる in the speech of one character. I'm still not good when it comes to translate sentences with passive and causative forms...It helps a bit when I can see the structure like in this basic example, which I hope it sounds alright:
It can translate as "I make the children read manga" or "I let them read manga", doesn't it?
I know that causative has this nuance of "make" or "let", depending on context, while with
させられる the causative-passive form, it has more of the nuance of "to force" someone to do something.
I have the following sentence which I cannot understand at all because like I mentioned above, I'm used with structures, such as the example I provided.
(As a bit of context for this one, there are two men, one is talking while the other listens to his speech)


I am also a bit unsure just what is the meaning of 聞く here, but I'm going with "to ask".

Even just looking at this part 理由を聞かせる I cannot understand how can it be translated with the nuance of causative with either "make/let".

Please, I hope someone can help me out with this. Thank you in advance!


聞かせる is the causative of 聞く "hear", meaning "cause [someone] to hear [something]", that is "tell [someone something]". It's common enough to have established itself as a separate verb with its own dictionary entry. This is a bit speculative without a context, but it looks to me as though your sentence means, in a more-or-less literal version, "If it comes to about as much as [i e no more than] telling me 'reasons' I can't accept, do me the favour of saying there isn't a reason or anything". More idiomatically: "If you aren't going to do any more than give me 'reasons' that are unacceptable, for heaven's sake just say you haven't got any reasons".

  • Thank you! It looks like at least I got the final part somewhat OK, because I had translated in a similar way and I had another version such as "Just do me the favor and say there is no reason" (because of the くれ of kureru, which always comes to mind as "doing a favor) And about 納得できない「理由」, I didn't know what to choose between "unacceptable" or saying "reasons that I cannot understand". Does it appear to hold the same nuance? Thank you so much for giving me a idiomatic translation, it does help me understand more and and I can try to come up with alternative wording. – Alice B. Rabbit May 20 '17 at 20:13
  • Glad you found it helpful. – Graham Healey May 20 '17 at 20:34

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