Chinese Idiom : 对牛弹琴

  • Today we are going to learn another idiom ” 对牛弹琴 “
  • 对牛弹琴 (duì niú tán qín )is used ironically to refer to those who talk without noticing who their audience is.
  • Here is the story of the idiom.

对牛弹琴

战国时,有一位叫公明仪的音乐家,他弹的曲子优美动听,很多人都喜欢听他弹琴。

有一天,公明仪来到郊外,看到春风徐徐地吹动着杨柳,一头黄牛正在草地上低头吃草,他来了兴致,立刻摆上琴,拨动琴弦,给这头牛弹起了乐曲。

可是老黄牛却没什么反应,仍然低头吃草。

公明仪想,这支曲子可能太高雅了,于是就换了几首通俗曲子,但是老黄牛始终毫无反应。

公明仪很失望。

这时,有人对他说:“你不要生气了,不是你弹的曲子不好听,而是你弹的曲子牛欣赏不了啊!”

During the Warring States period, there was a musician named GongmingYi. The music he played was exquisite and pleasant to listen to. Many people loved to hear him play.

One day, GongmingYi went out of town and saw the spring breeze gently blowing the willows as a yellow cow was busy eating grass in the field. He was very interested and immediately took up his instrument and began plucking the strings, playing his music for the cow.

The cow, however, took no notice, but continued calmly eating the grass.

GongmingYi thought, maybe this music was too refined, so he switched to some more popular tunes, but the cow still paid no attention to him whatsoever.

Gongming Yi was very disappointed.

At this time, someone said to him: “Don’t be upset. It’s not that your music is not beautiful, but just that the cows can’t appreciate it!”

 

Words / Phrases:
1.
音乐家
yīn yuè jiā
: musician
2.
tán
: play (musical instrument)
3.
曲子
qǔ zi
: song; melody
4.
优美动听
yōu měi dòng tīng
: pleasant to listen to;
5.
qín
: piano
6.
郊外
jiāo wài
: the countryside
7.
春风
chūn fēng
: spring breeze
8.
徐徐
xú xú
: slowly; gently
9.
杨柳
yáng liǔ
: willow
10.
兴致
xìng zhì
: interest
11.
拨动
bō dòng
: use fingers or a pick to strum
a chord
12.
琴弦
qín xián
: string (of a musical
instrument)
13.
乐曲
yuè  qǔ
: music
14.
反应
fǎn yìng
: response
15.
高雅
gāo yǎ
: elegant
16.
通俗
tōng sú
: popular; common
17.
欣赏
xīn shǎng
: admire
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