915 - によると

JLPT N3: によると (according to)

This lesson is dealing with hearsay — that is, reporting on information that one has heard. If you're feeling particularly studious, you may want to review these lessons before you read any further:

[NDL #539] - JLPT N4: そうだ (I hear that)
[NDL #658] - JLPT N4: らしい (apparently; it seems that)
[NDL #859] - JLPT N3: ということだ ([hearsay marker])

Rejoice, fellow student, for this is a nice, straightforward lesson... much less confusing than all of the uses on によって that we also have to learn in prepping for the JLPT N3. (See the bottom of this lesson for links to those.)

によると is used to mark the source from which some information has come. In other words, it is used to mark the source of hearsay.

We'll often translate it as "according to," as we can see in this sentence:

今日の朝刊によると、大型の台風が日本列島に近づいているそうです。
きょう の ちょうかん によると、 おおがた の たいふう が にほんれっとう に ちかづいている そうです。
According to today’s morning paper, there is a large typhoon approaching Japan.
Literally: “today + の + morning newspaper + によると, + large-scale / large-sized + の + typhoon + が + the Japanese islands + に + is approaching + そうです (=[hearsay marker]).”


朝刊 (ちょうかん) = morning paper
朝刊によると (ちょうかん によると) = according to the morning paper


によると is coming right after a NOUN.

Simple enough, yeah?

By the way, a 朝刊 (ちょうかん) is just a newspaper that is issued in the morning... like pretty much all newspapers in the U.S. The broader word for "newspaper" is 新聞 (しんぶん).

 

In this next example, the "source" of the information being relayed in the second half of the sentence is 研究 (けんきゅう // research; [scientific] study). Accordingly, we say 研究によると (けんきゅう によると), "according to a study:"

ある研究によると、旅行をすることは脳や心臓にいいということだ。
ある けんきゅう によると、 りょこう を する こと は のう や しんぞう に いい ということだ。
According to one study, traveling is good for both your brain and your heart.
Literally: “a certain + research / study + によると, + travel + を + do + thing + は + brain + や + heart + に + good + ということだ (=[hearsay marker]) .”
Note: Putting ある before a NOUN can change the meaning to "one NOUN" or "a certain NOUN," as we see here.

 

Our translations don't necessarily have to have the phrase "according to" in them:

によると、あの二人はできているらしい。
うわさ によると、 あの ふたり は できている らしい。
Rumor is, those two are hooking up. // Rumor has it, those two are seeing each other.
Literally: “rumor + によると, + those + two people + は + are seeing each other (romantically) (=are being able to do) + らしい (=[hearsay/supposition marker]).”
Note: The nuance with できている is that we're talking about a clandestine (sexual) relationship, such as an affair, a relationship between a boss and a subordinate, etc.

 

Finally, note that it is possible to say によれば, also, which has pretty much the same meaning:

今朝届いたお父さんからの手紙によれば、妹が大学を辞めたがっているそうだ。
けさ とどいた おとうさん から の てがみ によれば、 いもうと が だいがく を やめたがっている そうだ。
According to the letter I got from my father this morning, my sister wants to drop out of college.
Literally: “this morning + arrived + father + from + の + letter + によれば, + younger sister + が + university / college + を + (apparently) is wanting to quit + そうだ (=[hearsay marker]).”

 

Finished!

Our よる party is drawing ever closer to an end...

☑ によって (depending on)
☑ によって (through)
☑ によって (by)
☑ によると (according to)
☐ によっては (some)
☐ によって (because of)