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I can't figure out what difference there's between those two grammar forms. They're both used as "regardless of" (like in 年齢を問わず、 年齢にかかわらず), so what's the difference that I'm not seeing here?

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  • 1
    Evils of a bilingual dictionary --- as usual.
    – user4032
    Jun 23, 2015 at 7:08

2 Answers 2

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There is a clear difference.

「~~を[問]{と}わず」 = "regardless of ~~" in the sense of "no questions asked about ~~" even though one could ask questions about "~~" if one wanted to.

Examples: 「[年齢]{ねんれい}を問わず (age)」、「[性別]{せいべつ}を問わず (gender)」、「[経験]{けいけん}を問わず (experience)」, etc.

You will frequently encounter those phrases in help-wanted ads. The word 「[不問]{ふもん}」 is usually used to save space in newspapers, magazines, etc.

「~~に[関]{かか}わらず」 = "regardless of ~~" in the sense of "~~ bearing no influence (on another event)" mostly because one has no control of "~~"

Examples: 「サッカーの[試合]{しあい}は、[天候]{てんこう}に関わらず[行]{おこな}われる。」= "Soccer matches are held regardless of the weather."

「[明日]{あす}の[立食]{りっしょく}パーティーでは、[参加者数]{さんかしゃすう}に関わらず、[決]{き}まった[量]{りょう}の[料理]{りょうり}が[出]{だ}されます。」= "At the buffet-style party tomorrow, the pre-determined portions of food will be served regardless of the actual number of participants."

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I think they can be used interchangeably as "irrespectively, regardless of."

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