For full context: https://www3.nhk.or.jp/news/html/20180127/k10011304581000.html

The sentence in question: 日本で働く外国人労働者は去年127万人余りと、統計を取り始めた平成20年以降最多くなったことが厚生労働省のまとめでわかりました。

My attempt at translation: "Concerning the foreigner employees who work in japan, through the conclusion of the ministry of health, labour and welfare we know that last year it became more than 1270000 since 20 years heisei era where they began taking the statistics."

So I basically ignored the と in 余りと because I didnt know how to interprete it. The entry on jisho didnt seem to fit either http://jisho.org/search/amarito .

Im also not sure if I resolved the nominal phrase 統計を取り始めた平成20年以降最 correctly by making 統計を取り始めた a relative attribute.

I think that 余り and 多くなった are somehow related, since the foreigners "became more than...". However, the more semantics already is in the word あまり, which is why it seems like a doublette if 多くなった follows.

Ultimately, Im very skeptical about my interpretation of まとめで. I interpreted で as a particle indicating a means because it fit my interpretation well, but since my interpretation had a lot of guesses, I feel like this is probably not right xD


3 Answers 3


The と is a quotative particle. Here it continues to (最も)多くなった.


It can be roughly understood as 「~というふうに・というように・のように、多くなった」.

Similar examples:

  • 参加者は200名と多くなった。 The number of participants grew to 200.
  • 数値は80%、今までで最も高かった。 The number was the highest ever, being 80%.
  • 結果は5対0、初出場ながら健闘しました。 The team did well with a score of 5 to 0, even though it was their first appearance in the tournament.

As the other posters said...

余り means "a little more than [a phrase with a number]".


and まとめ is "summary" (or "conclusion" or "report", depending on the context.)

As for the other part and a full translation, please refer to the other posters' answers...

  • Makes sense. I now see what is wrong with my answer. Jan 31, 2018 at 6:45
  • What do you mean by "The と is a quotative particle. Here it continues to (最も)多くなった." Do you mean that the quote marked by と extends up to 多くなった? Also, to which verb does the quotative particle relate? Is it わかる? If so, how does this work considering that there is also ことが attached to わかる? Or did I miss something and と is related to 多くなった so that わかる does only relate to ことが? Also,
    – Narktor
    Feb 1, 2018 at 23:10
  • 2
    @Narktor ~と modifies 多くなった. The と relates to (最も)多くなった, not わかる. わかる only relates ことが. (i.e. The whole 「[日本で働く外国人労働者は去年127万人余りと]、統計を取り始めた平成20年以降最も多くなったこと」 is the subject of わかる, literally "It turned out that (the number of foreign workers in Japan) grew to the highest ever since Heisei 20 , [the number of foreign workers in Japan being a little more than 1.27 million]. ") The ~~と part describes in what way/manner the number grew (=多くなった).
    – chocolate
    Feb 2, 2018 at 13:01
  • Thanks :=) But, if the と phrase does what you just described, what does this have to do with quotation? What is the thing/person quoted here? Contextwise, one could probably say that it is report of the ministry. But grammatically Im still having a hard time establishing this connection. The report is mentioned in the adverbial phrase between わかる and ことが, so I wonder how it could be quoted INSIDE the 多くなった part which is "ruled" by わかる. Or is quotation even legit in japanese when there is no specific reference point for a quote (e.g. a person, article etc.)?
    – Narktor
    Feb 2, 2018 at 23:57
  • @Narktor That's the other way around. Quotation is just one aspect of function that と gives.
    – user4092
    Feb 3, 2018 at 1:13

First of all the と goes with 分かる. The patterns is 。。。と分かった to mean something like "It became clear that...".

The 統計を取り始めた is modifying 平成20年, ie "since statistics began to be recorded in Heisei 20". The 以降 is the "since" part above.

最も多くなった go together to mean "(became the) largest amount of..."

余り in this case just means "more than" or "over".

And まとめ is simply a "summary", ie a summary report published by the Ministry.

I would translate as follows:

"According to figures published in a summary by the Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare, the number of foreign employees working in Japan last year grew to more than 1,270,000. This is the largest number documented since records began in 2008."

  • I originally thought this but then changed my mind because 最も多くなった is also a thing that becomes clear and there is no good reason to put と at the end of the first part. Your translation is excellent though. Jan 30, 2018 at 22:26

と is and. It connects the two things that can be known from the summary (まとめ) of the statistics. 最{もっと}も多くなった means the number has reached the peak since the statistics started. The translation is (see kandyman's answer for a better translation):

Through the summary of the Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare we know that last year there were more than 1,270,000 foreign employees who worked in Japan, which is the highest number since 2008 (20th year of the Heisei Era), when they began taking statistics.

  • There are a few English errors in your translation, but more than that I agree with @kandyman's explanation on the function of と.
    – BJCUAI
    Jan 30, 2018 at 22:34
  • @user27280 I don't mind if you edit it to correct the errors in English. Jan 30, 2018 at 22:36

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