~を通じてand~を通して?

I’m having a hard time differentiating the two. Some sources say they are interchangeable. I also found that 通じて might sound more formal.

However, I did find this explanation on a Japanese website and I’m having a hard time understanding what it says. Can someone translate the explanation for me? Thank you!

×(1)マスコミを通じて釈明をする。
○(2)マスコミを通して釈明をする。
×(1)情報技術を通じて支援しています。
○(2)情報技術を通して支援しています。
×(1)公募を通じて選抜する。
○(2)公募を通して選抜する。
×(1)学術・文化交流を通じて国際社会の親善を図る。
○(2)学術・文化交流を通して国際社会の親善を図る。

「通して」……能動的に媒体を利用してと言う意味になる。
「通じて」……受動的、媒体から結果として何かを受けった事。

釈明する、支援する、選抜する、親善を図る、……全てこれから行う行為なのに結果を示す「通じて」を使うのは違和感が漂う。

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I found a typo/grammar error, and now I don’t trust the source :sweat_smile: . Also not sure what it means, so I’ll keep an eye on this so I can learn too! :slight_smile:

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「通して」…… Conveys the meaning of using a medium actively.

Corrected the typo there, since that’s probably what it was supposed to say.

「通じて」…… Receiving something as a result from a medium, passively.

“To explain”, “to support” , “to select”, “to work towards friendly relations”, for all of these, to use 「通じて」, which shows the results of actions performed from now on, feels out of place.

“To explain”, “to support” , “to select”, “to work towards friendly relations”… all of these are actions that will be performed from now on, so it feels out of place using 「通じて」, which indicates a result.
(Thanks @SyncroPC)

(I’m not confident in the final translation, but it’s the best way I could find to render it in English, if anyone else has any ideas I’m open to criticism)

That being said, I’m not sure if I fully understand this explanation. In my mind, I also had though that these two grammar points are the same, so I’ll need to research this topic myself, sometime.

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Just adding to the translation:

“To explain”, “to support” , “to select”, “to work towards friendly relations”… all of these are actions that will be performed from now on, so it feels out of place using 「通じて」, which indicates a result.

(a more grammatically literal one: It feels out of place using these, which are all actions that will performed from now on, even though (のに) 通じて indicates a result)

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Ah yes, that makes more sense. I’d interpreted これから行う行為なのに結果を示す as a whole modifying 「通じて」when it was just the 結果を示す part. Yes, it makes more sense like this.

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@jneapan @SyncroPC Thank you both, I appreciate the thought and effort! It’s still a bit confusing but I understand it a little bit more now :relaxed:

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I wish I could quickly find the original for you, but like six months back, I wound up reading most of a Japanese linguistics study (as in, for Japanese readers) that tried to look into this to categorize examples.

Iirc, the consensus was that they are mostly interchangable, but that 通じて tended to have more of a nuance being the means by which a one-time event occurred (meeting your wife through a friend/event, etc.), whereas 通して was more traditionally “by means of.”

This is also along the lines of the conclusion your source draws here:

  1. For a medium being used actively for a purpose.
  2. For a medium leading to a passive result.

But it’s not a hard and fast rule; a quick Google search will bring up 通じて examples that involve active intent. There also might be a level of formality to it. I think in general, really, 通して or just で will cover you for most casual exchanges.

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