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What differences are there between にとって and として ?

To the best of my understanding, both have meanings of stating something from a certain point of view or perspective. However, I think that there's some kind of nuance/grammar pattern between them that renders them noninterchangeable.

For one, I guess it's ok to say

僕にとって、これは大嫌い。

人間として、人殺しはいけないことだ。

But you couldn't reverse the two to say

僕として、これは大嫌い。

人間にとって、人殺しはいけないことだ。

Intuitively, I'm thinking it has something to do with volitionality?

  • 1
    Where did you learn to say 「~~にとして」? – l'électeur Nov 9 '15 at 14:01
  • 1
    @l'électeur Whoops! I've corrected the question and dropped に. Thanks! – akj Nov 9 '15 at 14:04
  • 1
    If you check tatoeba.org, for 私にとって, there are 2 results, where for 私として there are 28. For 僕にとって, there are 2 results, where for 僕にとして there is one. Pronouns seem to be more commonly used with にとって than として. Tobira says にとって is used when something is important to someone or something, "Often a person, geographic unit, or an organization." However, in tatoeba, 人間 is used more often with にとって than として. Maybe because humanity is like a group of people. Anyway, just an observation. Hoped that helped a little. – Coupon22 Nov 10 '15 at 2:39
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In my head, it basically works like this:

X として = As X
X にとって = For X

They can sometimes be interchangeable in the sense that they both make sense, but the meaning is a little different:

  1. として、許せないことだ
    As a parent, it's an unforgivable thing.
  2. にとって、許せないことだ
    For a parent, it's an unforgivable thing.

Same with the murder example. 〜として would mean “As humans, murder is a bad thing”, and 〜にとって would mean “For humans, murder is a bad thing.”

In many cases, only one of them will make sense:

  • 学校として、子供を守らないといけない
    As a school, we have to protect our children.
  • にとって、ハワイに行くのは夢だ
    For me, going to Hawaii is a dream.

〜として goes better with categorial nouns

〜として will more often take categorial nouns, as opposed to specific nouns. For example, 男 is a category, while 僕 is a specific person. “As a man…” or “As men…” is more natural than “As me…”.

But when you add at the end to make 〜としては, it will work with any kind of noun, common or specific. オバマとしては〜, マイクロソフトとしては〜, 君としては〜, are all fine.

2

It's difficult for me to explain it, so I'll simply write some facts here.

  1. 僕にとって、これは大嫌い is ungrammatical but 僕としてこれは大嫌い or 僕がこれが大嫌い are fine, and of course you can convert がs to は. 「僕にとってこれは大嫌いなものだ」 is also fine.

  2. 人間として、人殺しはいけないことだ is fine, though it's inversion of 「人殺しは、人間としていけないことだ」.

  3. 僕として、これは大嫌い doesn't make sense but 僕としてこれは大嫌い is fine.

  4. 人間にとって、人殺しはいけないことだ is fine.

2

Usage

とって can be for me
として can be as someone.

Correct
These are correct, and can be translated into English.

僕にとって、これは大嫌い。
For me, this is the thing I hate.
人間として、人殺しはいけないことだ。
Murder is never allowed as human being.

Strange
Sounds strange, but I can understand as Japanese.
These can not be translated into proper English.

僕として、これは大嫌い。
I hate this thing as me.

人間にとって、人殺しはいけないことだ。
For human, murder is never allowed.

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