In a book I found this sentence:


I understand the sentence, but I'm unsure about I should I read といえど; I found a bunch of answer on the topic of this ど (this, this and this), but two are about ども and I'm not sure about how to use the meanings given in the first in this case.

About 広し I found this answer, which explains it is a terminal form, so I think 世界広し means something like "The world is vast" (like 世界(は)広い).

Then on my grammar I found that も is optional, so といえど should be the same as といえども, an old form of といっても; so I think that part translates modern Japanese as 世界は広いといっても.

Initially I thought that the whole meant something like "Speaking about the vast world, the only one who could use it...", like といえど was equivalent to といえば, but after what I found about といえど and 広し and maybe that means something like "Even if the world is vast", "Even saying (about how much) the world is vast", like the world is big (and, implicitly, full of people), and yet only him can use the hammer?

Eiríkr Útlendi answer from the suggested question does help, but the confirmation that といえどもis equivalent to といえど, the notes on 世界広しといえど being used also in normal conversation, and the additional notes on the grammar of といえど(も) helped clarify better what the sentence means.


1 Answer 1


世界広しといえど means "even though (people say) the world is vast".

As you have noticed, ど and ども are interchangeable. Both are conjunctions in classical Japanese meaning though or although. Therefore, the modern equivalent of いえど is いっても (but not いえば).

  • ~といえど = ~といえども = ~といっても
    although people say ~
    even though people say ~
  • ~といえば
    if people say ~
    speaking of ~

These are very different and should not be mixed. The subject of this いう is the general public. You probably know ~という by itself can mean "people say ~", "they say ~" or "it is said that ~". (Note that the literal meaning of "(people) say" is often umimportant in the といえど construction. You can often translate this like "even if it's ~".)

Note that ~といえど is a very bookish expression (similar to albeit), but 世界広しといえど is more of a set expression that may occur in conversation.

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