I know they are both used for comparisons, i.e. "as X...", "for a X....", but I don't understand the difference between them.

  • If you don't supply any examples, you are basically asking for any example anyone can produce. That's not really how StackExchange questions should be asked.
    – macraf
    Commented Jan 9, 2017 at 23:32
  • 1
    Related questions: 1 2
    – Flaw
    Commented Jan 10, 2017 at 4:17

3 Answers 3


I think にしては is close to "considering" and としては is close to "as".

For example, 彼は英語の先生にしては、優秀だ (He is talented considering he is a English teacher.) implies he has an ability other than English, but 彼は英語の先生としては、優秀だ (He is talented as a English teacher.) implies the ability of teaching English.


Xにしては is closer to "for" and としては is closer to "as"


Even as a 25 year old, this is hard


Even for 25 year olds, this is hard

There is a different level of closeness to the expression, where にしては is more general. In the above example, it would mean "For those who are 25" as opposed to としては which refers to the state of being 25 more than the group of 25 year olds.

It is also worth noting that として always follows a noun whereas にして can follow a verb or verb clause.


For somebody who is making a cake for the fist time, she did it very well

The difference might be easier illuminated if we were to try to translate the following:

"As someone who likes jazz, I'm glad I came to this party."


"For people who like jazz, this is a good party."

  • 1
    ジャズが好きな人にしては 、このパーティがいい sounds unnatural and makes little sense. Maybe you meant to say ジャズが好きな人にしてみれば / ~人にとっては / ~人からすれば ? (I'd use ジャズ[好]{ず}き over ジャズが好きな人 here, by the way)
    – chocolate
    Commented Jan 10, 2017 at 4:37
  • noted! the nuance of what I wanted to say was something like "if you're someone who likes X", in which case 〜人にとっては is close, or even 好きなタイプであれば is better.
    – frei
    Commented Jan 10, 2017 at 4:42

A にしては B.

Suppose the situation that the fact A generally leads the negative fact B, but not the expected negative fact B but the affirmative fact B is true. Then we say "Aにしては、Bだ。"

exampl-1: "来日後3か月にしては、彼女の日本語は上手(じょうず)だ。"
exampl-2: "来日後10年にしては、彼の日本語は上手ではない。"

exampl-1: "来日して(まだ)3か月なのだから、日本語は上手ではないだろう。しかし、それにしては、彼女の日本語は上手だ。" = "She has come to Japan only for three months, so I expect she is still not good at speaking Japnese, but contrary to my expectation, she is already a good Japanese speaker."
exampl-2: "来日して(もう)10年なのだから、日本語は上手だろう。しかし、それにしては、彼の日本語は上手ではない。" = "He has come to Japan for ten years long, so I expect he is fairly good at speaking Japanese, but contrary to my expectation, he is poor at speaking Japanese."

"にしては" of the above examples means "although."

A としては B.

exampl-3: "来日して3か月の外国人としては、彼女の日本語は上手だ。"
exampl-4: "来日して10年の外国人としては、彼の日本語は上手ではない。"

The above examples are natural and have the same meaning of exapmple-1 and example-2 respectively.

The word "としては" requires a person, an attribute of person (means person itself) or an obstacle, and has more meaning than "にしては."

"子供が学校でいじめられている。親としては黙っていられない。" = "My child is bullied by his class mates. As his parent, I won't remain silent."

"25歳としては、大人げない態度だ。"= "25歳の人間としては、大人げない態度だ。" = "His attitude is poor for the twenty five years adult."

"誕生日にライフルを贈る親がいる。プレゼントとしては不適切だ。" = "Some parents give their child a rifle as a birthday gift. It's extremly inappropriate as a brthday gift."

"A にしては B”
A is a situation, and generally A leads negative (affirmative) situation B, but on the contray to such expectation, affirmative (negative) situation B is true.

"A としては B"
A is a noun, , and generally A has a negative (affirmative) property B, but on the contray to such expectation, A has an affirmative (negative) property B.

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    – ra1ned
    Commented Jan 14, 2017 at 11:11

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