555 - にかかわりなく

There's a chance that you've already read this N2 lesson of ours: [NDL #549] - JLPT N2: にかかわらず.

Today we're looking at にかかわりなく, which means the exact same thing, "regardless of," "it doesn't matter (whether)," etc.

Perhaps I should have taught にかかわりなく first, since N3 comes before N2.

My bad. But I think you can handle it:


JLPT N3: にかかわりなく (regardless of)

Our sentences will be structured like this:

Blah blah blah にかかわりなく something something.
Regardless of blah blah blah, something something. // Something something, regardless of blah blah blah.

In other words, "blah blah blah," the stuff coming before にかかわりなく, will not affect "something something," the phrase coming after にかかわりなく.

Here's an example:

文化祭は当日の天気にかかわりなく開催されます。
ぶんかさい は とうじつ の てんき にかかわりなく かいさい されます。
The school festival will be held on the day it is scheduled for regardless of the weather.
Literally: “school festival (lit. cultural festival) + は + appointed day / that day + の + weather + regardless of + holding / taking place + is done.”

blah blah blah = the weather on the day of the school festival
something something = it will be held; it will take place

The weather on the day of the school festival にかかわりなく it will be held.
Regardless of the weather on the day of the school festival, it will be held.
→ → The school festival will be held on the day it is scheduled for regardless of the weather.


What exactly does かかわりなく mean?

We could probably translate it as "not being affected by" or "not being concerned with."

For more on this, consult that N2 lesson mentioned earlier: [NDL #549] - JLPT N2: にかかわらず.


How do we form sentences with にかかわりなく?

Easy. Just put a NOUN in front of it:


NOUNにかかわりなく
regardless of NOUN

Like this:

言語は向き不向きにかかわりなく、勉強を続ければ必ず習得できます。
げんご は むきふむき にかかわりなく、 べんきょう を つづければ かならず しゅうとく できます。
No matter what your natural talent is for learning a foreign language, if you continue to study, you can definitely learn one.
Literally: “language + は + being cut out for certain things (and not others) + regardless of, + studies + を + if continued + without fail / definitely + learning / acquisition + can do.”


If you read the N2 lesson that I keep referring to, you'll see that in that lesson I was a bit thrown off by the fact that 高い安い (たかいやすい // cost; price) is a noun because it's technically two i-adjectives (expensive-cheap) attached to one another.

We have a similar thing happening in our next example sentence. We have する, "do," and しない, "not do," attaching to one another to form the phrase "whether or not (one) does."

Well, they're coming after 参加 (さんか // participation; joining), so technically we have 参加するしない (さんかするしない // whether or not [one] joins; whether [one] participates or not), which by the magic of grammar we can treat as a NOUN:

会議に参加するしないにかかわりなく、必ず会社に来てください。
かいぎ に さんか する しない にかかわりなく、 かならず かいしゃ に きて ください。
Please be sure to come to the office, regardless of whether you will attend the meeting.
Literally: “meeting + に + participation / joining + do + don’t do + regardless of, + without fail / definitely + company + に + come (and) + please.”


Just in case anyone is still not confused, here's an example which has a good chance of boggling everyone's minds, including mine:


この奨学金は年齢や収入、国籍などは一切かかわりなく、誰でも申し込めます。
この しょうがくきん は ねんれい や しゅうにゅう、 こくせき など には いっさい かかわりなく、 だれ でも もうしこめます。
Anyone can apply for this scholarship, regardless of their age, income, nationality, or anything like that.
Literally: “this + scholarship + は + age + や + income, + nationality + and so on + には + completely + regardless of, + anyone + can apply for.”


I thought a NOUN always came before にかかわりなく?! What is this particle など doing here?

And why is は一切 coming between に and かかわりなく?! Aggggghhhh!

The simple answer is: "Don't worry about it." But maybe I can't get away with that?

Well, に and は are best buds, so it's not all that strange to see them together as には. We're not going to get into how adding は changes the nuance of this sentence, but it does a bit. You'll feel why it changes the nuance once your Japanese is very good. And then people will ask you to explain it and you'll panic (like me). When in doubt, say that は means "as for," then run away.

And since など means "and so on" or "and the like," let's all agree, with no grammatical basis for doing so, that it doesn't seem that strange to suddenly put it in parentheses like this: 国籍(など)は...

There we go. Now we can say that the noun 国籍 is attached to に. Yay.

As for 一切, we need it to add the nuance of "not at all" to this sentence. In my translation I mixed など and 一切 into "or anything like that." Let's just accept the strange fact that 一切 feels more natural coming right before the verb かかわる (in the phrase かかわりなく). This is because 一切 is an "adverbial noun," whatever that means. Long story short, there is nowhere else that we can naturally place this word in the sentence.

(By the way, if you didn't know that 一切 was pronounced いっさい, then you should have gone back and looked at the example sentence to confirm this. There is a reason I don't always put the kana readings of words we have already seen: If you do not try to read things in kanji without the readings being given to you, your kanji ability will only improve very slowly. We talk a lot about study tricks and tactics for memorizing kanji on this site, but you'll never master them if you don't use them regularly.)

And that is my messy and lengthy explanation as to why our grammar rule (NOUN + にかかわりなく) seems to be falling apart here. It's not, but explaining why it's not is kind of a nightmare. Sorry.


The question that I always ask myself when faced with some new JLPT grammar is "Do people use this?"

This is because I have used a lot of Japanese words and phrases that I learned in books only to be told that Japanese people never say them! (Well, in spoken Japanese. Written Japanese is a whole other story.)

So: Do people use にかかわりなく in spoken Japanese?

Not so much. There's a chance you might hear it, but I doubt you'll hear it very often. The same goes for にかかわらず, though perhaps that is slightly more common.

If anything, you might hear 関係なく (かんけいなく // regardless of) the most often of these three, which is probably your best bet when trying to say "regardless of" in Japanese (unless you're writing an essay or something, in which case you have a bit more leeway):

文化祭は当日の天気に関係なく開催されます。
ぶんかさい は とうじつ の てんき に かんけいなく かいさい されます。
The school festival will be held on the day it is scheduled for regardless of the weather.
Literally: “school festival (lit. cultural festival) + は + appointed day / that day + の + weather + regardless of (=に + connection / relation + without) + holding / taking place + is done.”

Sadly, there is no simple way for us to measure (and thereby guarantee) which of these three phrases (にかかわらず、にかかわりなく、に関係なく) is the most common in spoken Japanese. But our best guess is that 関係なく might be more common. Maybe.

In any case, you should be able to understand all three, as you're sure to come across all of them sooner or later.




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