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In Attack on Titan, I heard 死にたくない人 mean "People who don't want to die", but I'm curious how can we make this into "People I want to die" or "People I don't want to die". I'm currently thinking something like:

死んでほしい人 but I think that means "People that want someone else to die"。 Maybe it's 俺が死んでほしい人, but is there a better way to say this?

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    "People I want to die"/"People I don't want to die" is confusing me a little. Is it like "People that I want them to die"/"People that I don't want them to die"?
    – Skye-AT
    Aug 3 at 6:54
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    I have to say it's very English-specific turn of phrase. I can't think of a way to translate this concisely into Russian for example. The closest is in Russian "the people that I want to see dead" or smth. So, I won't be surprised if it isn't directly translatable into Japanese as well. Aug 3 at 7:21
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    Playing with with deepl I've created this monster "死ねばいいのにと僕が思う人", but I doubt it's good Japanese Aug 3 at 7:41

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死んでほしい人 is just fine. It is understood as meaning a person or people you wish dead unless context suggests a different interpretation. You can also say 俺が死んでほしい人 if you need to make it clear you are the one wishing, of course.

The same phrase (without 俺が, of course) could mean a person or people who wish someone else dead, but who that someone is needs to be clear from context in that case. If not, this interpretation is unlikely. Besides, if the one wishing is a third person, you would more likely say (〜に)死んでほしがっている人.

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  • Can't 俺が死んでほしい人 be interpreted as "people that want me dead?" Or this reading requires がっている ? Aug 3 at 11:47
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    @YaroslavFyodorov "People who want me dead" is normally 俺に死んで欲しい人 (or 俺に死んで欲しがっている人), but yes, 俺が死んで欲しい人 is technically ambiguous and can mean this, too, especially when exhaustive-listing is involved. This interpretation is unlikely when there's no context, though.
    – naruto
    Aug 3 at 16:19

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