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会社で働いています。ビジネスマナーのセミナーの案内をもらいました。仕事に必要なので、参加させてほしいと課長におねがいします。

This excerpt is from my textbook. I don't understand why there is causative in the bold part. "...that you wish to be let taken part..." is how I would understand it literally. This sounds so complicated that I don't know wether I understood it correctly. I could let it pass as a humble formulation, but since it feels so circuitous, I wanted to ask for confirmation/correction here ^^

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Here 参加させてほしい literally means "I want 課長 to let me participate". To break down:

  • 参加する: (intransitive verb) to participate
  • 参加させる: (causative form of 参加する) to make/let someone to participate
  • 参加させて: the te-form of 参加させる
  • te-form + 欲しい: I want someone to ~
  • 参加させて欲しい: I want someone (=課長) to let someone (=me) to participate

Another similar and useful set phrase is ~(さ)せてください, which means "Let me ~", "Allow me to ~".

  • 考えさせてください。 Let me think about it.
  • 確認させてください。 Let me confirm.
  • is it more common to use 参加させて欲しい or 参加させてくれて欲しい? – Felipe Oliveira Jun 6 '17 at 17:52
  • 参加させてくれて欲しい sounds very weird to me (something like "I need to want to ~", maybe?) – naruto Jun 6 '17 at 18:01
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    hmmm I thought that させてくれる would always mean let me do something, maybe using ほしい will make it weird, I need to relearn this piece of grammar i guess – Felipe Oliveira Jun 6 '17 at 18:03

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