3

について vs に関して

1a. 今から韓国に関して話してください。X

1b. 今から韓国について話してください。〇

Why is Imabi saying that 1a is wrong? Source

All sources are saying that について and に関して have the same function, with the latter being more formal/literary. Imabi confirms this, but makes a distinction:

Whereas ~について emphasizes the content at hand, ~に関して includes the surroundings related to it.

And proceeds to give this as an explanation for 1a being wrong:

Also, as ~について comes from the verb 付く, it is used a lot when referring to things being tied to acts of communication via speaking, writing, thinking, etc. As you might gather just from the few examples thus far, ~に関して is more formal and stiff. Given its nuance and formality, you should see why it was wrong in the first example.

Questions:

  • Is 1a really wrong? Why?
  • Is "Whereas ~について emphasizes the content at hand, ~に関して includes the surroundings related to it." correct? If so, can you compare them with examples? Imabi fails to do this.

A (non native) friend pointed out this part from Imabi's quote:

as ~について comes from the verb 付く, it is used a lot when referring to things being tied to acts of communication

Does this imply that に関して is really only used in literary stuff? Kinda like “hey, we all use について but you might find に関して in old books and stuff, just so you know. The latter is more formal so yeah, go ahead and use について.” ?

Observation: I asked on Hinative for help about 1a being wrong: two natives said both are correct.

Observation 2, I've just found out this: Is this why?

Quoting:

に関して "relating to" The character 関 indicates that the topics have a connection/relationship, that they are tied/locked to one another. Can refer to 1 or a collection of topics related to the subject.

について "regarding" The concepts of "connections" and relationship are still there, but perhaps the situation is in flux. The kanji 就 in Chinese can mean "moving towards" a topic, so there's a sense of fluidity, transition, or motion in the conversation.

When you're making a connection from one topic to another, に関して makes sense. On the other hand, について implies a more "moving forward" on the topic? 「今から韓国に関して話してください。」starts right away with 「今から」, kinda implying a change in the topic? Is that why Imabi's writer said 1a is wrong?

I apologize for the long text. Thanks in advance.

-1

I'm a native speaker, and I'd say 今から韓国に関して話してください is not wrong. Maybe just an uncommon combination. 韓国に関する一切の通信を禁ず would be very natural, because it's formal.
I wouldn't say it's only used in written language though. You can certainly say それに関してはコメントできない, and it's completely natural.

Overall I'd say it's not "wrong", maybe just uncommon because a) it is more formal than ついて, and it feels overly vague (why would one talk "about something related to Korea", why not "talk about Korea"?).

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