361 - といえども
I guess that's bound to happen when we look at N1 grammar, yeah?
I mean, I learned all the N1 grammar a few years ago... but I so rarely come across some of it that it's easy to forget. *_*
That said, today's grammar point is pretty easy. And you could probably understand it the first time you came across it... if you knew and understood every other word in the sentence it appeared in.
JLPT N1: ～といえども（even though; although）
First, an example:
せいしょくしゃ といえども にんげん なのだから、 まちがいを おかす こと も ある だろう。
Even if he is a clergyman, he's still human, so he's bound to make mistakes.
Literally: "clergyman + といえども + human + なの + だ + because, + mistake + を + commit + こと + も + there is + だろう."
So, yeah, といえども means something like "even though" or "even if."
Pretty simple, yeah?
The construction is pretty straightforward, too:
Noun + といえども
Plain Form + といえども
This is a formal expression, and I would limit it to written language.
While you may come across it in some written materials from time to time, I doubt you'll ever need to use it yourself.
いくら じぶん の せいこう の ため といえども、 だれか の あし を ひっぱる ような まね は したくない。
Even if something may lead to my success, I don't want to do it if it means holding back someone else.
Literally: "how much + oneself + の + success + の + purpose + といえども, + someone + の + hold back others from achieving success (=foot + を + pull) + ような + behavior + は + don't want to do."
けんきゅう は すすんでいる といえども、 しんかい は いまだ おおく の なぞ に つつまれている。
Even though research is progressing, the depths of the ocean still conceal many mysteries.
Literally: "research + は + is progressing + といえども, + depths of the ocean + は + still + many + の + mysteries / puzzles + に + is wrapped up (with)."
Last but not least, we have this grammar point in a specific phrase that comes up from time to time:
せかい ひろし といえども、 ふぐ を たべる の は にほんじん ぐらいだ。
In this great wide world, the Japanese are still the only people that eat fugu.
Literally: "the great wide world + といえども, + fugu + を + eat + のは + Japanese people + ぐらい + だ."
Note: 世界広しといえども is a set phrase.
Maybe it's a simple grammar point, but those are some pretty difficult sentences if you ask me.
I guess that's the trick with N1, though---even if the grammar points are easy to understand, you still need to know A LOT of words to pass it.