Grammar Info
N3 Lesson 5: 9/21

にしては
(even) considering, (even) for

Structure
Verb + にして
Noun + にして
Details
Register Standard
使用域 一般
Information
Like として, にして highlights an aspect of something from which another thing happens. The primary difference being that と implies that (B) results from (A), while implies that (B) happens/exists at the same time as (A). This reflects the 格助詞(かくじょし) (case marking particle) ’s use as a location. The 副助詞(ふくじょし) (adverbial particle) は presents the entire (A) phrase as something that will be compared.
にしては is regularly translated as ‘considering (A), (B)’, or ‘even for (A), (B)’, and may be used with both verbs and nouns. Like として, にして is often considered as a stand-alone 副助詞(ふくじょし) (adverbial particle), despite stemming from several parts.
  • 彼(かれ)は毎日(まいにち)漢字(かんじ)勉強(べんきょう)ているにしては全然(ぜんぜん)漢字(かんじ)読(よ)めない
    For someone that studies kanji everyday, he can't read it at all.
  • 始(はじ)めたばかりにしては結構(けっこう)じょうずだね。
    Considering you have just started, you are considerably good.
  • 田舎(いなか)にしてはコンビニいっぱいあるね。
    Considering that this is the countryside, there are many convenience stores.
  • あの人(ひと)は俳優(はいゆう)にしてはあまりイケメンじゃない
    Considering he is an actor, he is not very attractive.
Despite the ‘considering (A), (B)’ translation, にしては is closer in meaning to ‘while (A), (B)’. This expresses that (A) and (B) share a simultaneous relation, but also that (B) is not necessarily a result of (A) at all.
  • 中卒(ちゅうそつ)にしては頭(あたま)いいけど、大卒(だいそつ)同級生(どうきゅうせい)比(くら)べるそうでもない。
    Considering that he is a middle school graduate, he is smart, but compared to a college graduate of the same age he is not that smart.
  • 新人(しんじん)にしてはよく働(はたら)くけど、他(ほか)比(くら)べるとあまり働(はたら)いていない
    For a new worker he works a lot, but compared to others, he doesn't work that much.
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力士(りきし)にしては結構(けっこう)細(ほそ)いですね。
Considering he is a sumo wrestler, he is quite thin.
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彼(かれ)は10年(ねん)間(かん)日本(にほん)に住(す)んでいるにしては、全(まった)く日本語(にほんご)をしゃべれない。
(Even) considering he has lived in Japan for 10 years, he can’t speak a word of Japanese.
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田舎(いなか)にしてはいい方(ほう)ですよ、うちの家(いえ)は。
Considering it's in the countryside, my house is decent.
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Books
[DBJG] A Dictionary of Basic Japanese Grammar
Page 309