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Chinese Idiom : 对牛弹琴 (中英)

Summary:  Play the lute to a cow, which implies that someone speaks or writes without considering his audience.

对牛弹琴 Play the lute to a cow

 


从前,有个著名的音乐家公明仪。他的古筝弹得非常好,但有时会作些傻事。

In ancient time, there lived a musician named Gong Mingyi. He was very good at playing the Zheng, a plucked string instrument. But he also behaved foolishly sometimes.  

 

有天,他看到一头牛在他家附近的田里吃草。他一下子有了灵感,就跑出去为这头牛弹琴。

One day, he saw a cow eating grass in the field near his house. He was inspired by the scene and ran outside to play a tune for the cow.   

 

公明仪弹的曲子非常优美,他自己也陶醉在音乐之中。可是那头牛根 本不理会那美妙的音乐,只顾着吃草。

Gong Mingyi played beautifully and he himself was intoxicated by the music. But the cow paid no heed to the elegant sounds. It simply focused its attention on eating the grass.  

 

公明仪感到十分奇怪,不明白为什么牛对他的演奏无动于衷。

Gong Mingyi was surprised to see that. He couldn't understand why the cow was so indifferent to his performance.   

 

很明显,牛不理会他并不是因为他的演奏很糟糕。而是因为牛听不懂也欣赏不了这种高深的曲调。

Obviously, it is not because his performance is poor. But the cow neither understood nor appreciated his elegant music! 

 

"对牛弹琴"这个成语就是从上述故事演化而来的,指那些说话或写东西不考虑到听众的人。一般来说,是说话人或作者高估了听众或读者,所以,这则成语嘲讽的主要是听众或观众,而不是说话者

From that story comes the idiom "Play the lute to a cow", which implies that someone speaks or writes without considering his audience. In general speaking, the speaker or writer has over-estimated his listeners or readers. In these cases, the idiom mocks the audience rather than the speaker.



 

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