861 - ~ながら (as; with; from [idiomatic])

JLPT N1: ~ながら (as; with; from [idiomatic])

If you've been keeping up with our NDLs, you know that ~ながら has a variety of uses.

We've already seen a few of them:

- [NDL #420] - JLPT N5: ~ながら (while)
- [NDL #860] - JLPT N2: ~ながら (although)
- [NDL #711] - JLPT N1: もさることながら

And we're about to see one more...

~ながら is used in a number of idiomatic phrases in which it indicates that the condition or state of something is unchanged or is "just" a certain way.

Sometimes, but not always, we'll see it translated as "as," "with," or "from," as in the following English phrases:

- as in the past
- through tears
- as always
- from birth / born with

In this lesson, we'll see all the above uses of ~ながら

昔(むかし // in the past; long ago
涙(なみだ // tears
いつも(いつも // always
生まれ(うまれ // birth; being born

↓ ↓ ↓

ながらむかしながら // as in the past; as it was long ago
ながらなみだながら // through tears; while shedding tears
いつもながらいつもながら // as always
生まれながらうまれながら // from birth; born with


As you can see in the list of phrases above, we are putting a NOUN directly before ながら.

Simple, yeah?

 

Hold on.

I thought
いつも was an adverb.

Uh... yeah... it is. Sometimes. And I think "always" is always an adverb in English.

But いつも can act as a NOUN in addition to acting as an adverb. That's why you can say いつも.

For example, say that you and I are planning to go to lunch together. You ask where I want to go, and I say:

いつもとこ行こう。
いつも の とこ いこう。
Let's go to the usual place.
Literally: "always + の + place + let's go."

 

🏙  Example City  🏙

当店の味噌は、ながらの製法で、時間をかけて丁寧に作られています。
とうてん の みそ は、 むかし ながら の せいほう で、 じかん を かけて ていねい に つくられています。
At our store, we take the time to make each batch of miso by carefully following an old, traditional process.
Literally: “this store + の + miso + は, + the same as it was long ago + の + manufacturing method / recipe + で, + time + を + spend (and) + careful / thorough + に + is being made.”


被害者は、事件が起きた時の様子をながらに話し始めた。
ひがいしゃ は、 じけん が おきた とき の ようす を なみだ ながら に はなし はじめた。
The victim began to speak through tears about what happened at the time of the incident.
Literally: “victim + は, + incident + が + happened + time + の + state / situation + を + in tears / while crying + に + started to speak.”


いつもながら、彼女の演奏は素晴らしかった。
いつも ながら、 かのじょ の えんそう は すばらしかった。
As always, her performance was fantastic. // Her performance was marvelous, as usual.
Literally: "as always, + she + の + (musical) performance + は + was great / was fantastic."


彼は生まれながらの遊び人だ。
かれ は うまれ ながら の あそびにん だ。
He’s a natural-born ladies man.
Literally: “he + は + by birth + の + playboy + だ.”


自由と平等は、すべての人が生まれながらにして持っているべき権利である。
じゆう と びょうどう は、 すべて の ひと が うまれ ながら にして もっている べき けんり である。
Freedom and equality are rights that every person deserves to have from birth.
Literally: “freedom + と + equality + は, + all / every + の + person + が + by birth + にして + is having + should + right + である.”

 

Finished!

Although it's an N1 grammar point, this usage of ~ながら is quite common for certain phrases, so I highly recommend memorizing the ones we've seen in this lesson.
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