515 - にもまして

JLPT N1: にもまして (more than)

Rejoice, fellow student, for this will be a quick lesson.

We have a simple-to-form grammar point yet again:

NOUN + にもまして
= more than NOUN

We use にもまして when we want to acknowledge that something is [something], but something else is even more [something].


For example, in the following sentence, it is true that it was very hot last year, but it's even hotter this year:

今年は記録的な猛暑だった去年にもまして、暑い日が続いている。
ことし は きろくてき な もうしょ だった きょねん にもまして、 あつい ひ が つづいている。
This year is even hotter than the intense, record-breaking heat of last year.
Literally: “this year + は + record(-setting) + fierce heat + だった + last year + にもまして, + hot + days + が + are continuing.”

In a weird, quasi-literal translation, that's:

As for this year, was-record-setting-hot last year にもまして (=even more than), hot days are continuing.

Quasi-literal translations are a mess, yeah? I think we'd be better off just looking at the word-by-word breakdowns and getting a feel for this grammar point.



日本が少子化問題にもまして取り組むべきなのは、性差別や人種差別などの人権問題です。
にほん が しょうしか もんだい にもまして とりくむ べき なのは、 せいさべつ や じんしゅさべつ など の じんけん もんだい です。
More than the declining birth rates, Japan should be working to deal with human rights issues like sexual and racial discrimination.
Literally: “Japan + が + declining birth rates + problem + にもまして + wrestle with / tackle + should (=べき) + なのは, + sexual discrimination + や + racial discrimination + など + の + human rights issues + です.”


Aside from the grammar, there are a lot of words in this sentence that are helpful for the complicated topics that might show up on an N1 test. Specifically, 少子化 is almost certainly going to come up as a topic if you are practicing high-level discussions with a Japanese teacher.



健康のためには規則正しい生活は欠かせませんが、それにもまして大事なのはストレスをためないことです。
けんこう の ために は きそくただしい せいかつ は かかせません が、 それ にもまして だいじ なのは ストレス を ためない こと です。
A well-regulated lifestyle is essential to being healthy. But what’s even more important is not allowing stress to build up.
Literally: “health + の + purpose / aim + には + well-regulated / systematic + lifestyle + は + cannot lack + が (but), + that + にもまして + important + なのは + stress + を + don’t accumulate + こと + です.”



Ready to level up?

When the NOUN coming directly before にもまして is a question word, the meaning becomes "more than ever," "more than anyone," more than anything," etc.

いつにもまして
いつ にもまして
more than ever; more than any time
Literally: “when + にもまして”

何にもまして
なに にもまして
more than anything
Literally: “what + にもまして”

誰にもまして
だれ にもまして
more than anyone
Literally: “who + にもまして”

クリスマスシーズンだけあって、いつにもましてカップルのお客さんが多い。
クリスマス シーズン だけあって、 いつ にもまして カップル の おきゃくさん が おおい。
As might be expected around Christmas, there are more couples than any other time (of the year).
Literally: “Christmas + season + precisely because / as might be expected (=だけあって), + when + にもまして + couple + の + customers + が + many.”
Note: Technically, this speaker, who we can imagine is an employee at a shop, is saying that there are more "couples customers," but I didn't include that in the translation since it sounded a little strange.


And with that, you are one step closer to complete grammar mastery. ^^



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