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You have these people who have never left the city and wouldn’t know if their backside was on fire, then all of a sudden they’re telling farmers what to do?
Australia’s Deputy Prime Minister Michael McCormack​, quoted in Stuff.NZ.

In informal Australian speak, Michael McCormack criticizes PETA members as above. I was reading Chinese news, and this was translated to the part in bold below:

莫里森政府对此回应,这些“小动物”已经对农民造成麻烦,善待动物组织(PETA)并不了解这给农民带来了多大的困境,这些言论是非常愚蠢的,副总理麦科马克也表示,提出这些想法的人没有离开过城市,他们当火烧到屁股也不知道该怎么办,在这场鼠患中,这些提出愚蠢想法的人才是真正的老鼠。
澳大利亚正被老鼠侵占?老鼠堂而皇之过马路,民众苦不堪言, 2021年05月24日

However, I feel this translation is imprecise, equivalent to something like:

[My translation:] ...when the fire reaches their bottom, they won't know what to do...
[Google translate:] ...they don’t know what to do when the fire burns to the bottom...

Question: What's a precise translation of "they wouldn’t know if their backside was on fire"?

Here's my attempt:

他们不知道屁股是否着火。

But this doesn't feel precise either, since the original English doesn't mention the alternative (否). I feel like there should be a better, more natural translation.

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  • Could be 后院起火?
    – Shaw
    May 24 at 22:47
  • Does "backside" here mean literally "butt"? Or it refers to their home/farm/something else?
    – dan
    May 24 at 23:17
  • Yes, "backside" in Australian English literally means "butt" in US English.
    – Becky 李蓓
    May 24 at 23:28
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    "wouldn’t know if their backside was on fire": 火烧到他们屁股也不会察觉. "know"->知道->察觉
    – dan
    May 25 at 1:01
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The government statement suggests PETA supporters only see things in their perspective, never care to consider other people's side, or look at the big picture, simply put - they are short-sighted (目光如豆), ignorant (愚昧無知) and don't know the suffering of the people (不知民間疾苦)

...wouldn’t know if their backside was on fire"

...他們後庭着火(自己)也不會知道

(they don't observe and think about things around them)

後庭(backyard) is also slang for 屁股 (buttock)

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There is no precise translation for "wouldn't know if their backsides were on fire" which is good Chinese (屁股放火??火烧眉毛 = sth. urgent) but the meaning of that English phrase is simply "benighted", which is easily translated to:

蒙昧无知,汉语成语,拼音是méng mèi wú zhī,意思是没有知识,不明事理的意思。出自《晋书·阮种传》。

or akin: 愚昧无知

You have these people who have never left the city and wouldn’t know if their backsides were on fire, then all of a sudden they’re telling farmers what to do?
突然间让那些从未离开过这座城市的愚昧无知的人去告诉农民要做什么?

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