If It’s Worth Doing, It’s Worth Doing Promptly in Japanese is 善は急げ which is read zen wa isoge
The Japanese expression zen wa isoge means “If it’s worth doing, it’s worth doing prompty; If it is a good thing, hurry and do it” and is composed of the kanji 善 (read zen) meaning “good, goodness, right, virtue”, the grammatical element は (read wa) which indicates the previous word is the subject, and 急げ (read isoge) which is the imperative form of the verb 急ぐ (read isogu) meaning “to hurry, to rush, to hasten, to make something happen sooner”.
Notice that the dictionary lists this as “zen ha isoge” and not “zen wa isoge“. The grammatical particle は (read wa) is written with the hiragana ha but it is always read wa. We give how it is read while the dictionary gives how it is written. Interesting, yes?
In Even Monkeys Fall from Trees: The Wit and Wisdom of Japanese Proverbs (Vol 1) by David Galef , the author translates the saying as “Do Quickly What Is Good” and equates this with the saying “Strike While The Iron Is Hot”.
Translations You Can Trust: We want you to be as happy with the Japanese translation as you are with Master Takase’s beautiful art. So we have made it easy to confirm the translation for yourself by simply clicking on If It’s Worth Doing, It’s Worth Doing Promptly (zen wa isoge) which links to the independent Jeffrey’s Japanese English Dictionary.
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