Teach fish how to swim
Teach fish how to swim is an idiomatic expression derived from the Latin proverb piscem natare doces. The phrase focuses attention on the self-sufficient perception of those who know how to do every thing better than the experts. "It corresponds with the expression, teach your grandmother to suck eggs". Those who would attempt to do so are thought to exhibit a combination of hubris and arrogance in trying to engage in a needless exercise for which they are ill-equipped.
A corollary idiomatic phrase is part of common usage in Chinese (班门弄斧)
- Belton, John Devoe (1891). "A literary manual of foreign quotations, ancient and modern". New York: G. P. Putnam. p. 151. Archived from the original on 21 July 2008. Retrieved 16 April 2014.
- Muehl, Louis Baker et al. (1999). Trading Cultures in the Classroom: Two American Teachers in China, p. 18, p. 18, at Google Books; 班门弄斧 = display one's slight skill before an expert e.g. 在你面前班门弄斧,太不好意思了 (I'm making a fool of myself trying to show off before an expert like you)
- Erasmus, Desiderius et al. (1974). Collected Works of Erasmus, p. 134., p. 134, at Google Books; compare Ἰχθὺν νηχέσθαι διδάσκεις
- Belton, John Devoe. (1891). A Literary Manual of Foreign Quotations, Ancient and Modern, with illustrations from American and English authors and explanatory notes.New York: G.P. Putnam's Sons. OCLC 1440921
- Farrell, Stephen; Paul P. Maglio; and Christopher S. Campbell. (2001). "How to Teach a Fish to Swim," in Visual Languages/Human-Centric Computing Languages and Environments. Piscataway, New Jersey: IEEE Service Center. ISBN 9780780371989; OCLC 248333646