Grammar Info
N2 Lesson 6: 14/20

as a, for a, as for

Noun + として
Register Standard
使用域 一般
Like として, a grammar point meaning ‘as’, としては functions as an extension of this, with the は particle merely emphasizing the (A) subject as a stand-alone entity that is about to be compared with something, or that the speaker is assuming the result of (B), from the standpoint of (A). としては may be translated as ‘as (A)’, or ‘for an (A)’. (A) will frequently highlight a person or organization in cases where the speaker is making an assumption from that standpoint.
This structure will be used after nouns, and is a combination of と, the て-form of する, and は. The literal translation is something similar to ‘going off that (A) is (A), (B)’.
  • あの人(ひと)は先輩(せんぱい)としてはいいけど、友達(ともだち)になろうとは思(おも)えない。
    As a senpai, he is a good person, but I don't think I would want to be friends with him.
  • あの会社(かいしゃ)は建築(けんちく)会社(がいしゃ)としてはホワイトな方(ほう)だと思(あも)う。
    I think that company is white as far as construction companies go.
In cases where the noun connected to としては is not a person or organization, the translation will often simply be ‘as for’. In these sentences, としては is merely highlighting the broad topic of (A), before the speaker offers their thoughts about what applies to that topic.
  • アイデアとしてはいいんですが、実際(じっさい)にやるとなるとものすごい費用(ひよう)がかかると思(おも)います。
    That is good as an idea, but I think it would cost a tremendous amount of money to actually do it.
  • ピアノは趣味(しゅみ)としては好(す)きだけど、ピアノで食(た)べていこうとは思(おも)わない。
    I like playing the piano as a hobby, but I don’t want to make a living out of it.
In contrast to にしては, としては is more frequently used to make broad judgements taking into consideration all aspects of (A), and what would usually be expected of (A), rather than for giving personal opinions.
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I think he is as a very good friend, but as a lover, that is unimaginable.
For an outline, it still needs work.
For your Sunday best (clothes), aren't they a little raggedy?
[DBJG] A Dictionary of Basic Japanese Grammar
Page 502
Tae Kim's Japanese Grammar Guide
Page 288
[AIAIJ] An Integrated Approach to Intermediate Japanese
Page 249