The sentence


is supposed to translate to

My knowledge is not even comparable to that of the teacher's.

However, when I break this down into constituent components:

  • 私の知識など: "my knowledge, etc"
  • 先生のそれとは: "Teacher's in addition to"? (<- this is non-nonsensical, so I'm pretty sure I'm parsing this wrong)
  • 比較にならないほど: "the extent to which doesn't become comparable" (or just "isn't comparable)
  • お粗末なものでございます: "is a poor sort-of-thing"

I'm so far unable to quite combine these into a (literal) English translation that corresponds with the intended translation.

The bold part is particularly difficult for me to parse, so perhaps that's the missing component?

  • You can directly translate it as that of the teacher.
    – sundowner
    Nov 26, 2022 at 1:29

1 Answer 1


That など does not mean etc. It means "things like" in the sense of "looking down" at your own knowledge. It's a humble way of saying: "A knowledge like mine (that is poor).


That と is the comparison と. Therefore, it is それ+と(comparison particle) and not それと(additive conjunction). "When comparing to that (knowledge) of the teacher" ... It's a way to avoid repeating 知識 again.


To the point it can't be compared. Virtually, when saying "Something does not become a comparison", you're literally saying "it cannot be compared". It's just a way of conveying this kind of meaning.


Is a modest thing.

More naturaly:

A knowledge like mine is a modest thing that can't even be compared to the teacher's (knowledge).

  • 1
    You are mistaking "enumeration と " as "comparison と". In your sentence 私の知識など is the subject. The subject particle が is omitted and you can think of it as 私の知識などが. The thing you're comparing to the subject (私の知識など) is the part indicated by the particle と (先生のそれ ) "that (knowledge of the teacher). Therefore "comparing the theacher 's knowledge to a knowledge like mine". The rest literally to "It is modest to the point it does not become a comparation".
    – Manab
    Nov 26, 2022 at 5:31
  • 1
    Another example with the comparison と: 田中さんはたけしさんと違って、よく勉強する unlike Tanaka, Takeshi studies often. I think you might be confused with the と+と+どちら pattern. Example: たけしさんと田中さんと、どちらが綺麗ですか Takeshi and Tanaka, which one is pretty?. This is indeed a comparison using と, but in this case, the main function is enumeration. I hope you can understand.
    – Manab
    Nov 26, 2022 at 5:36
  • 1
    Sorry for the typos~~
    – Manab
    Nov 26, 2022 at 5:39
  • 1
    比較にならないほど modifies お粗末なものでございます adverbially. It's basically intensifying how much it is a modest knowledge. You can ask the verb なる what doesn't became a comparison and it'll give the subject 私の知識など. Comparing to what? Ask the particle と ( 先生のそれ).
    – Manab
    Nov 26, 2022 at 5:53
  • 3
    @George A literal translation would be "A thing like my knowledge is a poor thing to the point where it doesn't serve as a comparison with that of the teacher."
    – naruto
    Nov 26, 2022 at 6:47

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