Tō-kurabu-wa nenrei-ni kakawarazu go-nyūkai-itadakemasu. (Club membership is open to all, regardless of age.)

Situation 1: Mr. Okubo wants to join a fitness club, and asks the receptionist about its admissions requirements.

大久保: あのう、こちらのフィットネスクラブは年齢制限 とかありますか。

受付の人: いいえ、当クラブは年齢にかかわらずご入会 いただけます。

Ōkubo: Anō, kochira-no fittonesu-kurabu-wa nenrei-seigen-toka arimasu-ka?

Uketsuke-no hito: Iie, tō-kurabu-wa nenrei-ni kakawarazu go-nyūkai-itadakemasu.

Okubo: Umm, do you have something like an age limit to joining your fitness club?

Receptionist: No, sir. Our club membership is open to all, regardless of age.

Today we’ll introduce two Japanese phrases meaning “regardless of”: にかかわらず and を 問(と)わず. Xにかかわらず Y means “Regardless of X, Y,” expressing how something doesn’t matter or stays constant even if X changes. X can be one word, such as 年齢 (ねんれい, age), 国籍(こくせき, nationality), 性別 (せいべつ, gender), 大きさ (おおきさ, size), or two contrasting words, such as 国立私立 (こくりつしりつ, national or private) or 多い少ない (おおいすくない, many or few). Example: わが社(しゃ)は国籍(こくせき)にかかわらず有能(ゆうのう)な人材(じんざい)を採用(さいよう)している (Our company recruits able people regardless of nationality). X can also be a verb (dictionary form) + verb (ない form), as in 送別会(そうべつかい)に出席(しゅっせき)するしないにかかわらず、必(かなら)ずお返事(へんじ)をください (Please reply regardless of whether you’ll attend the farewell party or not).

Situation 2: Section Chief Mr. Okubo is talking with Division Head Ms. Yamani.

大久保: 最近の若者は内向きだと言われていますね。

ヤマニ: でも、やりがいのある仕事なら、国の内外を問わず働きに行きたいという人もけっこういますよ。

Ōkubo: Saikin-no wakamono-wa uchimuki-da-to iwarete-imasu-ne.

Yamani: Demo, yarigai-no aru shigoto-nara, kuni-no naigai-o towazu hataraki-ni ikitai-to iu hito-mo kekkō imasu-yo.

Okubo: They say young people nowadays are introverted.

Yamani: But there are quite a few who would be willing to work domestically or abroad if the job was challenging.

Xを問(と)わずY and XにかかわらずY are interchangeable, but only with Xを問わずY can X be a word containing a contrastive idea, such as 男女(だんじょ, man and woman), 昼夜(ちゅうや, day and night), 内外(ないがい, inside and outside). Example: こちら の窓口(まどぐち)は昼夜(ちゅうや)を問わず開(ひら)いております(This counter is open any time, day or night). Conversely, in Xを問わずY, X can’t be a verb (dictionary form) + verb (ない form).

Bonus Dialogue: Continued from Situation 2.

ヤマニ: 最近(さいきん)、運動不足(うんどうぶそく)解消(かい しょう)のために空手(からて)を始(はじ)めて、いつもはつきあわないような若(わか)い人(ひと)とも話 (はな)すようになったんですよ。

大久保: そ、それはすばらしい。

ヤマニ: 男女(だんじょ)、年齢(ねんれい)、国籍(こくせき)を問(と)わず、どんな人でも入(はい)れるんですよ。それに、ジョギングと違(ちが)って天気(てんき)のいい悪(わる)いにかかわらずできるのもいいんです。

大久保: それは長続(ながつづ)きしそうですね。

ヤマニ: ああいうところはいろいろな人と気軽(きがる)に話(はなし)ができて、とてもうれしいです。大久保さんもいかがですか。経験(けいけん)のあるなしにかかわらずだれでも参加(さんか)できますよ。

大久保: ああ、私は近所(きんじょ)のフィットネスに行(い)くことにしたので、遠慮(えんりょ)しておきます。

Yamani: Recently, I haven’t been getting enough exercise so I started karate, and I’ve started to speak with young people I normally don’t associate with.

Okubo: That, that’s wonderful.

Yamani: Everyone can join, regardless of sex, age or nationality. It’s also good because, unlike jogging, I can practice whether it rains or shines.

Okubo: Sounds like you might be keeping it up for a long time.

Yamani: I enjoy being able to casually speak to different people at those places. Why don’t you join, Mr. Okubo? No experience is required and anyone can attend.

Okubo: Actually, I’ve decided to start going to a fitness club near my house, so I’m going to have to say no.

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