Playing zither to the Cow

Before you talk to anyone, know who you are talking to.

It is not how hard you try in talking, but how effective your message is received that matters.

There is no point to even start talking, if you are not talking the language that your target audience can understand.

In this sense, there is a widely used idiom in Chinese that would come in useful:  duo4 niu2 tan2 qin2 对牛弹琴.  Literally translated, it is Playing Zither to the Cow.

The cow is a lovely animal. It is docile, demure and hard-working. As someone who is good in music, you would assume that the cow would appreciate your performance on the zither, for which you have toiled and moiled for years to master the playing skills.

Unfortunately, even when it is well-intentioned, the cow will not be able to understand you.

Talking to the cow, you have to use another language.

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