Grammar Info

N1 Lesson 6: 11/17

もさることながら

It is a fact that, But, Even more than, It goes without saying, Not only but also,

Structure

Noun + さることながら

Details

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About もさることながら

もさることながら is a construction in Japanese that is often translated as 'it goes without saying that (A), but (B)', or 'not only (A), but (B) too'. This expression is a combination of the adverbial particle も, the pre-noun adjectival さる 'particular', or 'certain', the noun (こと) 'thing', and the conjunction particle ながら 'while'. Due to this, the more literal translation is simply 'while (A) is also of particular merit, (B)'. This literal translation will be helpful to remember, as もさることながら will always present (A) as important, but (B) as even more important than that.
もさることながら will be attached to the end of nouns and noun phrases.
  • あのブランドが()商品(しょうひん)もさることながら、マーケティングも素晴(すば)らしい。
    It is a fact that the products that the brand produces are amazing, but also how they market them.
  • このパソコンは機能(きのう)もさることながら、デザインもいい。
    It is a fact that the features of this computer are good, but also the design.
  • 日本語(にほんご)勉強(べんきょう)するにおいて漢字(かんじ)もさることながら文法(ぶんぽう)勉強(べんきょう)しなくてはいけない。
    When it comes to studying Japanese, it is a fact that you need to study kanji, but also grammar too.
As (B) is being emphasized in sentences that use this grammar structure, it is common to see other expressions of emphasis combined with もさることながら. Some examples include さらに 'additionally', なにより 'more than anything', and 以上(いじょう) 'above that'.

Examples

  • 経営(けいえい)会議(かいぎ)社長(しゃちょう)競争(きょうそう)(はげ)しいからマーケティング予算(よさん)()げよう。」
    部長(ぶちょう)「マーケティングもさることながら製品(せいひん)品質(ひんしつ)重要(じゅうよう)なのではないでしょうか?」

    Management meeting, company president: 'The competition is intense, so we will increase the marketing budget.'
    Head director: 'It is a fact that marketing is important, but isn't the product quality too?'

    Because AもさることながらB only indirectly points to B as better (and still acknowledges A), it might be a good phrase to use when we don't fully agree with our superior and want to politely express alternative.

  • 小説(しょうせつ):「だが、この(くに)(つよ)さは、自国(じこく)単独(たんどく)力量(りきりょう)もさることながら同盟国(どうめいこく)(おお)さにある。」

    Novel: 'However, it is a fact that the strength of this country lies in its power, but it also has numerous allies.'

  • 入学(にゅうがく)試験(しけん)()けることは、当人(とうにん)苦痛(くつう)もさることながら家族(かぞく)にも、(おお)きな心理的(しんりてき)負担(ふたん)(あた)えます。

    It is a fact that taking an entrance exam is stressful for the person concerned, but it also places a psychological burden on the family.

  • 日本語(にほんご)勉強(べんきょう)するとき、熱心(ねっしん)もさることながら(なが)()()一貫性(いっかんせい)重要(じゅうよう)要素(ようそ)ある

    When learning Japanese, it is a fact that enthusiasm is an important factor, but in the long term - consistency too.

  • 伝記(でんき):「選手(せんしゅ)としての(かれ)素晴(すば)らしい才能(さいのう)もさることながら(なに)より信望(しんぼう)指導力(しどうりょく)成功(せいこう)要因(よういん)となった。」

    Biography: 'It is a fact that he has great ability as a player, but more than anything, his popularity and leadership skills were the cause of his success.'

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