Gurei-san ni shitemo Sere-san ni shitemo, minasan Nihongo ga jōzu desu ne.

(Whether it’s Ms. Gray or Mr. Sere, everyone is good at Japanese, aren’t they?)


Situation 1: Mr. Okubo and Mr. Yoshida are discussing their company’s non-Japanese employees.



Yoshida: Gurei-san ni shitemo Sere-san ni shitemo, minasan Nihongo ga jōzu desu ne.

Ōkubo: Ee, saikin wa sō iu shain ga zuibun fuete-kimashita.

Yoshida: Whether it’s Ms. Gray or Mr. Sere, everyone is good at Japanese, aren’t they?

Okubo: Indeed, the number of such employees has increased significantly these days.


The structure XにしてもYにしても, where “X” and “Y” are nouns or verbs in their plain form, can translate as “whether X and Y” or “regardless of X or Y”:


(Nowadays, whether it’s a dog or a cat, pets are like members of the family.)

“X” and “Y” can totally be two different things, but in the XにしてもYにしても structure they are presented as being of equal weight:


(Whether they took prizes or didn’t take them, all the dance teams showed brilliant performances.)

The latter part of a sentence that uses this structure can feature advice, a request or orders:


(Whether you attend or not, you’d better reply quickly.)


Situation 2: Ms. Yamani and her subordinate Mr. Okubo discuss their company’s sales figures.



Yamani: Sābisugyō ni seyo seizōgyō ni seyo, ima wa hijō ni kurushii jiki ni natte-imasu. Wagasha mo reigai dewa arimasen.

Ōkubo: Ee, wagasha mo konki wa ōkiku uriage ga sagarimashita.

Yamani: Whether it’s the service industry or the manufacturing industry, it’s a very difficult time at the moment. Our company is no exception.

Okubo: Indeed. Our company’s sales fell sharply this quarter.


XにせよYにせよ and XにしろYにしろ have the same meaning as XにしてもYにしても, but they sound more formal.


Bonus Dialogue: Continued from Situation 2.






Yamani: In order to overcome this tough situation, I’d like each employee to come up with ideas on what the company can do. Whether the ideas are adopted or not, it’s important that each person tackles those issues.

Okubo: That’s right. So, how about groups putting out ideas? If the members talk in groups, I think the ideas will be better.

Yamani: I see. Regardless of whether it is Sales Section 2 or (Sales) Section 3, teamwork is good, so we can have high expectations. In that case, let’s use that style (of work).

Okubo: Yes, thank you. I suppose we should reach out to the employees at (our) offices overseas?

Yamani: Yes. People in every nation, whether (in) Asia or (in) Europe, are fighting this disease. We too must do our best to get out of this crisis by sharing our wisdom.

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