焼け石に水

English translation: futile effort

05:47 Aug 7, 2012
Japanese to English translations [PRO]
Other
Japanese term or phrase: 焼け石に水
厚生労働省は時間外や休日の超過勤務を抑えようと賃金割増率を引き上げてきたが、焼け石に水のようだ。
JE-T
Local time: 02:05
English translation:futile effort
Explanation:
If you want it literal jgraves already gave you really good answer. But as you know this is a common cliche frequently used in daily conversations as well as writings.

If you're looking for succinct counterpart in English, I believe, this is what it means, and fits to the context quite well.
Selected response from:

humbird
Grading comment
2 KudoZ points were awarded for this answer



Summary of answers provided
5 +1something bound to fail due to inadequate effort, assistance, etc.; pouring water on a hot stone
yuri777 (X)
4 +1futile effort
humbird
3 +1not help much
Harry Oikawa
3(efforts were) in vain
mommamia
2 +1not enough/inadequate
cinefil
3Not only ineffectual, but can do more harm than good/ like pouring water on a hot stone
jgraves


  

Answers


32 mins   confidence: Answerer confidence 5/5 peer agreement (net): +1
something bound to fail due to inadequate effort, assistance, etc.; pouring water on a hot stone


Explanation:
焼け石に水

読み方:やけいしにみず
(表現) something bound to fail due to inadequate effort, assistance, etc.; pouring water on a hot stone



    Reference: http://ejje.weblio.jp/content/%E7%84%BC%E3%81%91%E7%9F%B3%E3...
yuri777 (X)
Local time: 00:35
Native speaker of: Native in JapaneseJapanese
PRO pts in category: 4

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
agree  naruru
5 days
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1 hr   confidence: Answerer confidence 2/5Answerer confidence 2/5 peer agreement (net): +1
not enough/inadequate


Explanation:
http://www.fureai.or.jp/~arima/ml39.html

cinefil
Japan
Local time: 01:35
Native speaker of: Native in JapaneseJapanese
PRO pts in category: 161

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
agree  MariyaN (X)
7 hrs
  -> Thanks a lot!
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2 hrs   confidence: Answerer confidence 3/5Answerer confidence 3/5 peer agreement (net): +1
not help much


Explanation:
I do not see a reason to use a Japanese proverb for this sentence. It would be enough to say “that did not help much.”



    Reference: http://economistsview.typepad.com/economistsview/2012/08/fed...
Harry Oikawa
Local time: 18:35
Native speaker of: Native in JapaneseJapanese
PRO pts in category: 16

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
agree  Misae Lucasey
10 hrs
  -> Thanks, mimiluc!
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4 hrs   confidence: Answerer confidence 3/5Answerer confidence 3/5
Not only ineffectual, but can do more harm than good/ like pouring water on a hot stone


Explanation:
I believe this metaphor carries two implications.

1) water does not cool down a hot stone much and evaporates on contact
2) pouring water on a hot stone can cause it to crack

Choose whether to spell it out or use the metaphor based on the reader/audience.

jgraves
Local time: 01:35
Specializes in field
Native speaker of: English
PRO pts in category: 16
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16 hrs   confidence: Answerer confidence 4/5Answerer confidence 4/5 peer agreement (net): +1
futile effort


Explanation:
If you want it literal jgraves already gave you really good answer. But as you know this is a common cliche frequently used in daily conversations as well as writings.

If you're looking for succinct counterpart in English, I believe, this is what it means, and fits to the context quite well.

humbird
Native speaker of: Native in JapaneseJapanese, Native in EnglishEnglish
PRO pts in category: 30

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
agree  mommamia
1 hr
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17 hrs   confidence: Answerer confidence 3/5Answerer confidence 3/5
(efforts were) in vain


Explanation:
an alternative

mommamia
Local time: 06:35
Native speaker of: Native in EnglishEnglish, Native in JapaneseJapanese
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