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Proverb:"To play the lute to a cow"对牛弹琴

Key Learning Point
"对牛弹琴 (duìniútánqín)" is used by Chinese people to describe someone who is telling something complicated to the fool, or sometimes this idiom is used to describe a person who is trying to tell something to the wrong audience. In English, people sometimes joke around by sarcastically saying "whistle jigs to a milestone" or "cast pearls before swine" to mean "对牛弹琴(duìniútánqín)."
 
English Translation of the Proverb
In ancient times, there lived a musician named Gong Mingyi. He was a master of the Zheng, a plucked string instrument. Unfortunately, his rash behavior often led him astray.
To play the lute to a cowOne day, he saw a cow grazing in a field near his house. He was inspired by the scene and ran outside to play a tune for the cow. Gong Mingyi played beautifully, finding himself intoxicated by the music. But the cow paid no heed to the elegant sounds, simply focusing its attention on eating the grass. Gong Mingyi was surprised at this and could not comprehend the cow’s flippant indifference. He felt that since his performance had been masterful, this means that the cow neither understood nor appreciated his elegant music!
From that story comes the idiom “To play the lute to a cow”, which implies that someone speaks or writes without considering his audience. Generally speaking, it means the speaker or writer has over-estimated his listeners or readers. In these cases, the idiom mocks the audience rather than the speaker.
 
The Chinese Story
战国时代,有一个 叫公明仪的音乐家,他很会弹琴。很多人都喜欢听他弹琴,人们很敬重     他。一天,公明仪在郊外游玩时,看到了一头牛。他想:大家都赞扬我的琴技,不如我给牛  也弹一曲吧! 他给牛弹奏了一曲古雅的曲子,牛埋头吃草不理他。他又弹奏了一曲欢快        的曲子,牛依然埋头吃草不理他。公明仪拿出自己的全部本领,结果牛还是不理他。公明           仪非常失望,开始怀疑自己的琴技。路人说:“不是你弹的琴不好,而是牛根本听不懂啊!”
 
The Chinese “Pinyin” of the Proverb
Zhànguó shídài, yǒu yí ge jiào Gōngmíng Yí de yīnyuèjiā, tā hěn huì tánqín. Hěn duō rén dōu xǐhuan tīng tā tánqín, rénmen hěn jìngzhòng tā. Yìtiān, Gōngmíng Yí zài jiāowài yóuwán shí, kàndàole yì tóu niú. Tā xiǎng: dàjiā dōu zànyáng wǒ de qínjì, bùrú wǒ gěi niú yě tán yì qǔ ba. Tā gěi niú tánzòule yì qǔ gǔyǎ de qǔzi, niú mái tóu chī cǎo bù lǐ tā. Tā yòu tánzòule yì qǔ huānkuài de qǔzi, niú yīrán mái tóu chī cǎo bù lǐ tā. Gōngmíng Yí ná chū zìjǐ de quánbù běnlǐng, jiěguǒ niú háishì bù lǐ tā.  Gōngmíng Yí fēicháng shīwàng, kāishǐ huáiyí zìjǐ de qínjì. Lùrén shuō: "búshì nǐ tán de qín bù hǎo, érshì niú gēnběn tīng bù dǒng a."