417 - にかかわる

People talk a lot about how hard the N1 test is.

I agree--it is extremely difficult. But when you look at the grammar for N1, it's usually not that hard to understand. A lot of the N3 and N4 stuff is a lot more likely to make your head spin.

The problem with passing JLPT N1 is vocabulary. You have to know like 10,000 words! Agh!

As such, before we get into this lesson's grammar point, I was thinking that you might want to memorize the following list of vocabulary words (all of which will appear later in this lesson):

信仰 しんこう (religious) faith
自由 じゆう freedom
人権 じんけん human rights
最も もっとも most
重要な じゅうような important
権利 けんり right; privilege
交通事故 こうつうじこ traffic accident
いのち life
大怪我 おおけが serious injury
負う おう to bear (e.g. an injury)
無事に ぶじに safely
回復する かいふくする to recover; to recuperate
環境問題 かんきょうもんだい environmental issues; environmental problems
取り組み とりくみ dealing with; wrestling with; grappling with
地球 ちきゅう Earth; the earth
未来 みらい future
成功 せいこう success
国家 こっか nation; national
威信 いしん prestige; dignity
重大な じゅうだいな serious
課題 かだい matter; subject; issue
OK. Grammar time.



JLPT N1: にかかわる (concerned with; have bearing on)

This is really hard for me to explain, so let's just look at an example:

環境問題への取り組みは、地球の未来にかかわる重要なことです。
かんきょう もんだい へ の とりくみ は、 ちきゅう の みらい にかかわる じゅうような こと です。
Dealing with environmental problems is important for the future of the planet.
Literally: “environmental problem + への + dealing with + は, + the Earth + の + future + にかかわる + important + thing + です.”

かかわる literally means "be concerned with; be involved in; affect."

For the N1 grammar we're looking at here, a NOUN will always come before ~にかかわる.

In other words, we use this grammar point to say "concerned with NOUN" or "have an effect on NOUN."

In the example above, our preceding NOUN is 未来 in:

地球の未来
ちきゅう の みらい
the future of the planet/Earth
Literally: "the Earth + の + future"

By placing にかかわる after this noun phrase, we're saying "concerned with the Earth's future" or "affects the Earth's future."

地球の未来にかかわる
ちきゅう の みらい にかかわる
concerned with the future of the Earth // affects the future of the planet
Literally: "the Earth + の + future + にかかわる"

So, what affects the future of the planet? That would be "dealing with environmental problems:"

環境問題への取り組み
かんきょう もんだい へ の とりくみ
dealing with environmental problems
Literally: “environmental problem + への + dealing with"

Now is the part where it gets confusing.

I am tempted to say that our sentence formation goes like this:

A にかかわる B.
B is concerned with and affects A.

In the sentence above, A is "the future of the planet" and B is "dealing with environmental problems."

But "dealing with environmental problems" comes before にかかわる in that sentence!

Well, yeah... sort of.

I mean, what we have coming after にかかわる is essentially the same thing as B, as "dealing with environmental problems:"

重要なこと
じゅうような こと
important thing
Literally: "important + thing"

B = 重要なこと = 環境問題への取り組み
B = important thing = dealing with environmental problems

Therefore, it makes sense when I say:

A にかかわる B.
B is concerned with and affects A.
→ Dealing with environmental problems is concerned with and affects the future of the planet.

Reading the sentence again might help:

環境問題への取り組みは、地球の未来にかかわる重要なことです。
かんきょう もんだい へ の とりくみ は、 ちきゅう の みらい にかかわる じゅうような こと です。
Dealing with environmental problems is important for the future of the planet.
Literally: “environmental problem + への + dealing with + は, + the Earth + の + future + にかかわる + important + thing + です.”

You'll see that I didn't actually include words like "is concerned with" or "affects," since they're not really necessary in the English.

If none of that makes sense, then I wouldn't worry too much about it. I was under the impression that I had a very good understanding of this grammar point... until I went about trying to explain it in this lesson. *_*


Construction:

NOUNにかかわる

That's it! Just put a noun in front of にかかわる.


Example Time

信仰の自由は、人権にかかわる最も重要な権利の一つです。
しんこう の じゆう は、 じんけん にかかわる もっとも じゅうような けんり の ひとつ です。
The freedom of religion is one of the most important human rights.
Literally: “(religious) faith + の + freedom + は, + human rights + にかかわる + most + important + right / privelege + の + one + です.”


彼は2年前、交通事故でにかかわる大怪我を負ったが、無事に回復した。
かれ は に ねん まえ、 こうつうじこ で いのち にかかわる おおけが を おった が、 ぶじ に かいふく した。
Two years ago, he sustained a life-threatening injury in a traffic accident, but he recovered successfully.
Literally: “he + は + two years ago, + traffic accident + で + life + にかかわる + serious injury + を + bore + but (=が), + safely + recovery + did.”


東京オリンピックの成功は、国家の威信にかかわる重大な課題だ。
とうきょう オリンピック の せいこう は、 こっか の いしん にかかわる じゅうだい な かだい だ。
The success of the Tokyo Olympics is an important matter that will affect the country’s prestige.
Literally: “Tokyo + Olympics + の + success + は, + nation(al) + の + dignity + にかかわる + important + matter + だ.”


On a final note---and you may have picked this up just by reading the examples in this lesson---we don't use にかかわる for trivial things. It is only used for serious topics of conversation.

That's all for this one. Hopefully my feeble attempt to explain this grammar point wasn't too terribly confusing.

Like I said, for N1 just learn all of the vocab---that should be enough to help you get a sense for what phrases mean when grammar is beating you over the head with a stick.

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