CultureEssayIdiomJapanese traditionProverbUncorrected

Cast Pearls Before Swine

  • The saying “cast pearls before swine” came from a Bible verse, and means that it is in vain to give valuable things to someone who don’t understand the value.


    The Japanese translation version “buta ni shinju” (pearls to swine), which has the same meaning, is also famous in Japan.
    「Cast pearls before swine」ということわざは聖書の一節から来ており、価値のわからない人に価値のあるものを与えても無駄であることを意味します。

    Actually, there is the other saying “neko ni koban,” (oval gold coind to cats) which has completely the same meaning of “cast pearls before swine” in Japan.

    Since Japanese versions have no verbs, it might be a little difficult to understand with no background information.

    Also, as other sayings that mean ineffective things, there are “inu ni rongo” (Analects to dogs), “uma no mimi ni nenbutsu” (Buddhist chants to horse’s ears), and “kaeru no tsura ni mizu” (water to frog’s faces).

    You can see a variety of animals in Japanese sayings.

    Original sentence