In a short story I'm reading, the protagonist is reminiscing about her past, and she thinks this:


I kinda get the meaning of the sentence, but I don't really understand the last part: 異性の大学生や高校生とも知り合いになりたがった. 異性の大学生や高校生とも知り合いになり means she made acquaintance with university and high school students of the opposite sex, but as far as I know たがった is the たい form with the auxiliary verb がる which you use when you want to speak of other's emotions, so たがったり seems to mean "(someone else) [seemed] to want".

As far as I understand, and the translation given in the book is on the same line, the main character is saying that in order to not being left behind she started doing the new things which interested her sister, so I would think something like 知り合いになった would end the sentence.

Is she saying that she started doing things that latest* things that interested her sister, and the main character thinks among those things her sister wanted to make acquaintance with university and high school students of the opposite sex?

* "latest" for the だし part of 楽しみだし, which I think is from 出す, which when used as auxiliary means "To start [something]", so I'm guessing 楽しみだし means something that just picked people's interest.


1 Answer 1


In this case, the author is using 〜たがる in relation to both herself and by extension her sister.

The reason we use 〜がる (and by extension 〜たがる) in regards to other people is because we can't be 100% sure if that person actually wants to do a given action. We can only look at them and judge whether they want to or not based on how they're behaving.

〜がる is used to indicate this judgement.

So I would translate:

1) 彼は行きたいと言っていました。
2) 彼は行きたがっていました。


1) He said he wanted to go.
2) He was acting like he wanted to go.

In the case of your sentence, the author is looking back at her past self imitating one of the things (based on her judgement) her sister suddenly started enjoying doing upon entering college, and presenting an objective picture of her own behavior.







With なりたいふりをした (to pretend to want to become), the implication is that the writer (and by extension her sister) didn't actually want to make acquaintances with those kinds of students.

With なりたくなった, the implication is that the writer saw how her sister was behaving, and as a result really truly herself began to want to make acquaintances wlth them.

However, with なりたがった, the implication is while the author may be reminiscing about her own past, she is not commenting on whether she actually wanted to make acquaintances or not. She's simply stating that looking objectively at the actions of her past self (and those of her sister), one would come to the conclusion that she did want to make acquaintances with them.

So I would translate your example as:

In other words, I listened to jazz, watched movies, and even acted like I wanted to make acquaintances with college and high school students of the opposite sex.

  • Thanks! Would 知り合いになった be right to say she became close to students?
    – Mauro
    Oct 17, 2019 at 21:42
  • Thank you for catching that, that was my mistranslation. 知り合いになる doesn't necessarily assume anything about how close two people are, just that they know each other.
    – sbkgs4686
    Oct 17, 2019 at 21:58

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