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当番委員のペアが決まった日なのよ?他のみんなはお祝いしてるのに、何が悲しくて、そんな、さびれ果てたとこへ行かなきゃならないの?

What does 何が悲しくて mean here? It seems to mean "What's so sad that we have to go there?" but I feel like I'm missing something.

1 Answer 1

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「何が悲しくて~~しなければならない(のか)」

is an idiomatic expression used to describe the unreasonableness, unfairness, outrageousness, etc. of the situation where one must unwillingly perform an action.

Thus, a literal translation of the expression will not work well because the expression grammatically looks as if it meant "because something is sad, one needs to ~~~".

The English counterparts I could think of would be:

"Why the heck am I supposed to ~~~?" or

”What good does it do if (I) ~~~?”

This expression, therefore, differs in meaning from 「何が悲しいって」 or 「何が悲しいかって」, both of which do mean what they literally mean -- "what is sad is that ~~."

Hope this helps.

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