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This is a sentence I came across when I was reading about 書体 on Wikipedia:

書体(しょたい)とは、一定の文字体系のもとにある文字について、それぞれの字体が一貫した特徴と独自の様式を備えた字形として、表現されているものをいう

I feel について here is used as は (i.e. a topic marker) instead of when you want to say that the topic of a talk, discussion, consultation, question, etc. "is about ~". Is this usage of について correct?

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  • Well, it’s definitely not an example of good writing. Commented Jun 30, 2022 at 18:34
  • It makes the scentenc rather difficult to parse Commented Jun 30, 2022 at 19:52
  • Tbh in that sentence, if I had to replace について with something else, I'd use が rather than は. Commented Dec 25, 2023 at 19:14
  • Gui imamura why ? Commented Jan 6 at 15:51

1 Answer 1

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It is something you encounter exclusively in writing. In that sense, it is neither unnatural nor incorrect.

It could be comparable to English regarding, as for. 

The 「特定の文字体系のもとにある文字について、それぞれの字体が一貫した特徴と独自の様式を備えた字形として、表現されている」 part alone literally translates like

Regarding 特定の文字体系のもとにある文字, each 字体 is represented as 一貫した特徴と独自の様式を備えた字形

Another difficulty may be that the above structure must be drastically changed due to the last ものをいう if you really want to translate it.

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  • Could you please elaborate on how it is changed Commented Jul 1, 2022 at 17:13
  • @user50156 I'm not sure of the terminology, but one possibility would be like 書体 is a set of representations where each glyph(字体) of characters in in a particular system is expressed as 一貫した特徴と独自の様式を備えた字形. I think you need to understand the difference of 字体 and 字形 in order to translate it precisely (which I don't).
    – sundowner
    Commented Jul 1, 2022 at 21:58
  • @goldenlight, sundowner, but "regarding, as for", is the original meaning of として (i.e. the same as "is about ~") that OP seems to differentiate from the usage in their particular example, isn't it?
    – jarmanso7
    Commented Nov 25, 2023 at 8:48
  • @jarmanso7 I guess it's basically the same thing. として iniicates is about*/*topic or context. Structurally it is not so problematic. For example, 屈折語とは、言語について、語形の変化があるものをいう should be a natural enough example (linguistic precision aside). The quote is simply a bad definition with vague terms (at least not self contained).
    – sundowner
    Commented Nov 26, 2023 at 12:08

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