Nothing Ventured, Nothing Gained

Another bit of old wisdom from the Japanese children’s show Nihongo de asobo:

makanu tane wa haenu

Basically, this means: “if you don’t sow anything, seeds won’t grow.”

My father-in-law who is well into his 70’s now recognized this proverb right away, so it seems well know at least to the older generation.

In other words: nothing ventured, nothing gained. 

P.S. Modern Japanese verbs and adjectives have a negative ending of “nai” (ない), but in older Japanese, the negatice ending is usually “nu” (ぬ). 


Author: Doug

A fellow who dwells upon the Pale Blue Dot who spends his days obsessing over things like Buddhism, KPop music, foreign languages, BSD UNIX and science fiction.

One thought on “Nothing Ventured, Nothing Gained”

  1. The bigger the venture, the greater the effort required, over a longer period of time, the greater the skill and advice and knowledge to be equipped. In the days when this proverb originated , there was greater unpredictability of natural and man made forces. What could and couldn’t be done to protect the small scale local venture were comparatively limited in scale and duration. But today we are no,less embarked on a venture to unify the entire planet. It was a venture put before mankind at the dawn of history, for certainly such a venture was not of our choosing.


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