Baka wa Shinanakya Naoranai

[Japanese Idioms by Flashcards]


Only death can cure a fool.

(Once a fool, always a fool.)

A derogatory term used in reference to someone who consistently demonstrates incompetence or poor judgment. Said in moments of exasperation, the phrase suggests an attitude of “I give up; there’s no hope for you.”

Sample text:
(Style: spoken/casual/male)

A: Aitsu, hontooni zetsubooteki da ne. Nani yatte mo dame na n da.
B: “Baka wa shinanakya naoranai” tte ne. Ima sara kaeyoo to shite mo muri daroo.

A: あいつ、本当に絶望的だね。何やってもダメなんだ。
B: 『ばかは死ななきゃ治らない』ってね。今さら変えようとしても無理だろう。

A: He’s hopeless. That idiot can’t do anything right.
B: Well, they say, “Only death can cure a fool.” It’s probably impossible to change him now.

Japanese Idioms


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