50 steps, 100 steps
be pretty much the same (and usually of low quality).
It often contains a negative or sarcastic connotation that none of the available options or things/people to be compared are great or appealing, and they are essentially the same, e.g. 20 minutes late vs. 30 minutes late. In this sense, the closest English expression might be “pot calling the kettle black”.
This idiom originates from “孟子(Mencius), a classic Chinese text based on conversations and anecdotes of the Chinese philosopher Mencius. In one of the stories, Mencius gives a lesson for life using an analogy: during a battle, two soldiers ran away from the battlefront – one did so by 50 steps and the other by 100 steps – and the former laughed at the latter, calling him a coward. However, both of them are chicken-hearted from a third person’s perspective, and there isn’t much difference between them. This story tells us that we should stop comparing ourselves with others just to feel superior to them, and instead focus on our buisness.
Whichever you choose, it’s six of one, half dozen of another.
A: どの大統領(だいとうりょう)候補 (こうほ) が一番(いちばん)いいと思う？
A: Which presidential candidate do you think is the best?
B: 正直 (しょうじき)、どれも五十歩百歩でしょ
B: To be honest, they are pretty much the same (none of them are great).