Several years ago, I was taking a Japanese course and was given an assignment to translate an English sentence of my choosing. (There was probably more to the assignment than that, but I don't recall.) I chose a joke to translate:
"If God didn't want us to eat animals, why did he make them taste so good?"
Attempting to translate the first part of this sentence, I rephrased it slightly as "If God didn't want animals to be eaten" and tried to work it out in steps:
eat - 食べる
be eaten - 食べられる
want to be eaten - 食べられたい
not want to be eaten - 食べられたくない
did not want to be eaten - 食べられたくなかった
if did not want to be eaten - 食べられたくなかったら
I was pretty proud of the result, but my (native Japanese) teacher didn't understand it. He laughed after I explained in English, but didn't offer to provide a correct translation--and I didn't press him for one since I felt a bit silly in front of the class.
Ever since then, though, I've been wondering exactly what language rule(s) I broke that made my effort incomprehensible. Can someone explain what the problem is? And what would be a correct translation of the joke?