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Are there any differences between these three sets:

からして、からすると、からすれば

vs.

から見て、から見ると、から見れば

vs.

から言って、から言うと、から言えば

These 'sets' seem to be used in 2 basic ways:

  1. Presents something as a basis for judgment.
  2. To mean "From the point of view of..."

However, are there any restraints or special requirements when using these? Are they simply interchangeable?

For example are all of the following sentences acceptable?

  1. Presents something as a basis for judgment.

    • 症状からすると、心臓の病気かもしれません。
    • 症状から見ると、心臓の病気かもしれません。
    • 症状から言うと、心臓の病気かもしれません。
  2. "From the point of view of..."

    • 昔の人からすると、まるで別世界です。
    • 昔の人から見ると、まるで別世界です。
    • 昔の人から言うと、まるで別世界です。
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2 Answers 2

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+200

First of all, からして is a different grammatical construction. As Zach has already covered this in more detail in his answer, I will skip over it. And as Dave M G stated in his answer, all of these constructions have the meaning of "judging from the position of X."

Where they differ is in their usage, rather than their meaning.

~から言うと / ~から見ると

With these two, what follows must be something which contains the speaker's own thoughts, feelings, or opinion. What differentiates them is that with ~から見ると, the noun that goes in ~ may be a person, while it with ~から言うと, it may not. Examples:

  • × 彼からいうと、それは間違っているそうだ。
  • ○ 彼の考え方からいうと、それは間違っているそうだ。
  • ○ 彼から見ると、それは間違っているそうだ。

Also seen as: ~からいえば, ~からいって, ~からいったら and ~から見れば, ~から見て, ~から見ても, ~から見たら

~からすると

What differentiates ~からすると from the others is that what follows it doesn't necessarily have to be the speaker's thoughts, feelings, or opinion (but if it is, that's okay, too). Examples:

  • ○ 私の予想からすると、真夏日も後数日だろう。
  • × 私の予想から見ると、真夏日も後数日だろう。(× because 予想 and 見る have the same meaning here.)
  • ○ いつもよく食べる彼女が食欲ないことからすると、何かあったのだろうか。
  • ○ いつもよく食べる彼女が食欲ないことからすると、何かあったと思う。

Also seen as: ~からすれば, ~からしたら, ~からして

So essentially, every instance of ~からいうと can be replaced just fine with either ~からすると or ~から見ると, but the reverse is not necessarily true.

Note: According to the textbooks I used as reference when researching this answer, ~からして, while it can be used in this sense, is slightly different (as can be the other forms of ~からすると). It acts as an intensifier, basically meaning only thinking about it from that point of view.

Applying the Principles

Now, if we apply these principles to the examples given in your question, we can easily come to a conclusion on their acceptability.

  • ○ 症状からすると、心臓の病気かもしれません。
  • ○ 症状から見ると、心臓の病気かもしれません。
  • ○ 症状から言うと、心臓の病気かもしれません。

I believe all of these are just fine, because 1) the noun prior to the expressions is not a person, and 2) what follows is the speaker's opinion. The next set is a little bit different, however.

  • × 昔の人からすると、まるで別世界です。
  • ○ 昔の人から見ると、まるで別世界です。
  • × 昔の人から言うと、まるで別世界です。

In this case, only ~から見ると is valid, because only this expression can be from the "point of view" of a person (in this case, 昔の人).

Summary

In sum, while the meaning of these three expressions is for all intents and purposes the same, their usage is slightly different. In my opinion (自分の意見からいうと(?) :p) the differences are actually due to the slight variations in meaning, but I don't really have anything to back me up on that.

Note in the interest of transparency: Much of my answer (including the examples used) is based the explanation in this textbook on a Chinese website. As the site in Chinese, that's about as much as I can tell you about it. :)

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Whilst all of the answers have contributed to my understanding of this issue, (which I appreciate immensely) I'm going to award the answer and bounty to this one. I was completely unaware of the difference in usage. Thank you. –  phirru Jul 18 '11 at 13:00

First of all, even the intra-set items are not the same. Meaning that, for example, からすると is not even the same as からして, etc. I don't have the proficiency to discuss the differences between every possible combination of items, but I do have a strong grasp of the difference between からすると and からして, if it helps. I would speculate that the other items have a similar difference in nuance.

Basically, からすると is a completely objective judgement. Imagine, for example, that you're sitting around a table with some guys and a girl walks by that catches your interest (swap the sexes around if you prefer). Your friend says "Ooooh, she's cute. I wonder if she's spoken for." You look at her finger and see that she's not wearing a ring, so you say "Well, judging by the fact that she's not wearing a ring, I'd say she's fair game." This is からすると. You didn't know this girl before, you had no preconception about whether or not she might be single, you used the facts and nothing but the facts to arrive at a judgement.

Now imagine a slightly different version of the same scenario. Her shirt says "I'm available" on it, so you go up and talk to her and she says, much to your surprise, that she's taken. You go back to your friends and say "WTF, even her shirt says she's available!". I'm sure someone will provide a more idiomatic translation, but for the purposes of illustration, you could translate this:

シャツからして、独身女性と思ったんだよ。

Here, it wasn't a completely objective judgement. You had a preformed opinion about this person, and you are singling out one aspect of your opinion for emphasis.

As a general rule of thumb, I like to translate からすると as "judging from" or "judging by", and I like to translate からして as "Even __", as in the above example. からして sentences tend to require structural modifications to the English counterpart to translate idiomatically.

I suspect からすれば is still different, but I will let others comment.

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Oh, I should have mentioned in the original post that I'm aware of the 3rd meaning for "karashite" which means "even" and has a similar usage to "sae". However that seems unique to just karashite and is a different usage to the one I'm confused about here. My grammar books treats them as different entries and also indicate that karashite can be used for "judgement" as well. –  phirru Jul 14 '11 at 7:30

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