549 - にかかわらず

JLPT N2: にかかわらず (regardless of...; it doesn't matter...)

Hardcore students of Japanese who have been reading our N1 lessons for a while may recall this lesson: [NDL #417] - JLPT N1: にかかわる.

As we saw in that lesson, かかわる means "be concerned with; be involved in; affect," so "NOUN + にかかわる" is used to say "concerned with NOUN" or "have an effect on NOUN."

We saw this example:

環境問題への取り組みは、地球の未来にかかわる重要なことです。
かんきょう もんだい へ の とりくみ は、 ちきゅう の みらい にかかわる じゅうような こと です。
Dealing with environmental problems is important for (=in relation to) the future of the planet.
Literally: “environmental problem + への + dealing with + は, + the Earth + の + future + にかかわる + important + thing + です.”

You may already have inferred this, but かかわらず is one way to conjugate かかわる into it's negative form (i.e. it means かかわらない).

As such, it may not be too surprising that "NOUN + かかわらず" means "regardless of NOUN (phrase)" or "it doesn't matter (whether) NOUN (phrase)."

An example:

このスーパーは、時間帯にかかわらず、いつも混んでいる。
この スーパー は、 じかんたい にかかわらず、 いつも こんでいる。
It doesn’t matter what time; this supermarket is always busy.
Literally: “this + supermarket + は, + time period / time slot + にかかわらず (=regardless of), + always + is crowded.”

In semi-literal translation land, we would have said:

As for this supermarket, regardless of the time, it's always crowded.

Not too complicated, I hope.


To reiterate, にかかわらず will always come after a NOUN:


NOUN + にかかわらず
regardless of NOUN (phrase); it doesn't matter (whether) NOUN (phrase)


Here's another example:

家族の猛反対にかかわらず、母は一人で世界一周の旅に出た。
かぞく の もうはんたい にかかわらず、 はは は ひとり で せかいいっしゅう の たび に でた。
Despite her family’s vehement opposition, my mother set off by herself on a trip around the world.
Literally: “family + の + strong opposition + にかかわらず (=regardless of), + mother + は + by oneself (=one person + で) + round-the-world + の + trip + に + went out / left on (e.g. a journey).”


One more:


自覚症状の有無にかかわらず、がん検診は定期的に受けるべきです。
じかくしょうじょう の うむ にかかわらず、 がん けんしん は ていきてきに うける べきです。
Regardless of whether you are experiencing any symptoms (of an illness), you should undergo regular cancer screenings.
Literally: “symptoms + の + presence or absence + にかかわらず (=regardless of), + cancer + health screening + は + regularly / at fixed intervals + undergo / take + べき (= should [do]) + です.”

Note: When I first looked up 自覚症状 (じかくしょうじょう) in a dictionary it said "subjective symptoms"... which made no sense to me. Looking at Japanese dictionary entries and Wikipedia entries, though, I learned that this is referring to "symptoms which a patient is aware of." Makes sense, I guess, since 自覚 (じかく) means "self-awareness" or "self-consciousness." For example, if you feel like your arm is numb and it turns out to be because you're having a heart attack, the arm numbness was a 自覚症状. A symptom that you were unaware of but that your doctor discovered would be a 他覚症状 (たかくしょうじょう), an "objective symptom..." but you're unlikely to ever hear someone say 他覚症状, so you should only worry about memorizing 自覚症状.



家賃の高い安いにかかわらず、駅近の物件は人気があります。
やちん の たかい やすい にかかわらず、 えきちか の ぶっけん は にんき が あります。
Properties located near train stations are popular regardless of how much they cost (to rent).
Literally: “rent + の + price / cost (= expensive + cheap) + にかかわらず (=regardless of), + close to the station + の + properties / listings + は + popularity + が + have / there is.”


When I first translated this Japanese sentence (I don't write the Japanese sentences; a native Japanese person [Rei] writes them), I was a bit confused because 安い (やすい // cheap) is not a noun; it's an i-adjective. So how can it be attaching to にかかわらず?!

I soon learned that 高い安い (たかいやすい), literally "expensive-cheap," is acting as a noun here, meaning something like "cost" or "price."


One last thing about かかわる.

Kanji nerds may know that this verb uses the kanji :

関わる(かかわる // to be concerned with; to have to do with; to affect

A common word using this kanji is:

関係(かんけい // relation; relationship; connection

And we also had another N2 lesson with a grammar point that uses the kanji 関:

[NDL #423] - JLPT N2: に関して

This is just one example of how things really start to overlap once you study enough Japanese... which in turns means that you can memorize things more quickly and easily. Something to look forward to if you're not already there.

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