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  5. "Devo sputare il rospo."

"Devo sputare il rospo."

Translation:I have to get something off my chest.

December 20, 2013



I definitely thought "spit the toad" was going to be an idiom for using the restroom.


BRILLIANT! Take my lingot!


That made me laugh so hard during class that I got stares you deserve my lingot


I guessed at "I have a frog in my throat" :^)


So did I. Alas. I find the ways we have to guess idioms quite silly. This method doesn't work for things that aren't direct translations.


Agreed. This methodology for language learning is great for logical/direct translations, etc. But for idioms, especially ones that almost sound like the mean the exact opposite of what they really do, this method leads to nothing but frustration. It would be nice if for the idioms sections it could be more like a true game, matching, etc. This isn't intended to be a complaint per se. I generally find the Duolingo method quite effective. But it's just that for idioms, it is quite literally a random guess, with nothing to go on, and it just causes annoyance at times. :-(


And it is a problem when you are not native English speaker, as well. Now I discover that this is a great gap in my English, although I speak it quite well, in a sence that people don't have problem understanding what I want to express.


Just relax and enjoy learning with a smile :-)


Good advice for life generally as well as Duolingo


I agree. A matching exercise would be better for us to try to figure out the meaning. :)


Agreed. So I typed "I don't know" just to get the answer.


I guessed that as well! Like one has to clear his or her throat.


That's a great phrase. I think I will use the literal translation in English, never mind Italian!


I like "I have to spit out the toad" the best.


Shouldn't "I have to spit it out" be accepted, too?


It is accepted now


It's exactly what it means ;)


And what does that mean?


It means there's something you really need to say.


Or go to the restrooms


JeanGrey is right. And it can mean you have something bothering you, weighing down on your feelings, or something you have been wanting to say for a long time. Then when you say it, you can say, "Glad I got that off of my chest!" :)


The elephant in the room means that there's something really obvious that everyone knows about but noone is discussing.


Why isn't "I have to get IT off my chest" correct?


My question as well. Since a toad is an "it" I thought that response would be correct. Guess I was wrong.


No-- you're right, it should be right. Duo is not flexible or fully informed.


I think it's because there isn't really an 'it' in any idiom. You have to translate it to the idiom in the other language. I translated this as 'i have to spill the beans', the beans being like the toad in italian.

It's actually really hard to make exercises to learn idioms, because lots are not even translatable!


None are "translatable" (at least literally); by definition idioms are non-literal/ untranslatable ideas with an overall meaning -- often found in other languages as different idioms. Other idioms are translations of ancient Latin (or even Greek like Æsop) sayings or phrases from the Bible, but they come out sounding different through the evolution of the different European languages that inherited them-- closer to literal Latin or even Hebrew. They should be introduced whole with corresponding English idioms (plural, as British and American often differ) and then the individual words and syntax pulled out.


It should be; also "this" would work.


More commonly used among friends as a request made to someone who is worried or sad about something to just let others know what's wrong (so they can help him or console him). So typically "Cosa c'è? Dai, sputa il rospo!"


When I discovered tge meaning of "sputare" I immediately thought of "spilling the beans" and DL accepted it!


Yes, I had the exact same idea, glad it works, 'cause translating idioms to idioms is tricky :P


I thought so, too.


I kind of wish they'd have you translate the idioms literally, and then offer an explanation of the true idiomatic meaning in italian....but i guess the comment sections do a fair job of that, anyway.


I answered "I have to spill the beans" and it was accepted. This would mean in the US that I have to "Let the cat out of the bag". (Okay, so I used an idiom to explain an idiom...am I idiomatic?) Anyway...meaning "I have to let some news out that was a secret." Another translation was "I have to get something off my chest" which would indicate that something is bothering me and I need to discuss it.


Is there an Italian phrase to do with swallowing toads? I know an Italian who uses this odd phrase in English so I thought maybe it was a translation of Italian. Though of course it could be a mistranslation of the phrase we are engaged on.

  • 2704

Haha, yes, "ingoiare il rospo" means having to resignedly accept something you dislike, or ignoring something bad that has been done to you.


Same in Spanish "tragarse un sapo"


thanks mr ant - now I can use it back now and again in Italian :)


Similar to "eat crow" in English, which means accept consequences of something bad you've done.


The first of these sounds like "bite the bullet".


Same in German: die Kröte runterschlucken


I thought this was either "I have a frog in my throat" or "I have to kiss a frog" so I just translated it literally. And I'm glad I did!


Another one that was added recently, so when I went back to practice my idioms, I get a new one instead . . . and a rather bizarre one at that! (Still waiting for "It's raining cats and dogs." which is what was "promised" when I "bought" the idioms lessons but that phrase still hasn't appeared.)


never mind, no English person ever says that any more anyway - it's just to identify foreign speakers who have learned an olde worlde phrase :)


I still say it. (which probably reveals my age) I just stepped in a poodle.


Hahaha, I'm totally gonna use 'I just stepped in a poodle', just to see who gets it that I'd be referring to it raining cats and dogs. Thanks! :)


We in the South (USA) use "raining cats and dogs" very commonly. Of course we also use crawfish, crabs and other edible wildlife as well!


Why not "I've got to get something off my chest"?


should be OK but DuoL is limited to the simple replies the programmers give it.


That is now (nov 17) given as the preferred answer.


Duolingo is telling me that "ought" is 3rd person only in English (when I translated this "I ought" to spill the beans.). Any English experts out there who know if this is accurate?

  • 2704

Nah, don't take those notes at face value, they tried to let the software recognise the type of error but sometimes it causes more misunderstandings that it solves; "ought to" should be fine.


The hints imply that 'spilling the beans (on)' [ telling the heretofore undisclosed, prized truth in a type of betrayal of secrecy] should work but this idiom does not have the same meaning as 'getting something of my chest' [relieving my anxiety by telling something that has been on my conscience or weighing on me]. Is the idiom used for both contexts in Italian or is this another case of one or other idiomatic meaning lost in translation. Personally I like the 'I have to spit out the toad' version best :) but it doesn't matter which English translation we pick as long as we learn how to use it in Italian.


In Spanish we say "saca la sopa" meaning: say what you need to say.


)))) It is soooo hilarious. I thought it is idiom for less drinking


Is this an idoim exclusive to italy or do they say it elsewhere?


This was a really interesting one! I couldn't think of anything besides "I've got a frog in my throat", so "I have to get something off of my chest" was a long shot!

Is there another italian idiom that means the same thing?


I got this first as audio, "type what you hear." Really had no idea what she was saying, let alone the meaning. So I was surprised and thrilled to get it right except for a couple of typos. And I learned what the idiom means. Lucky shot!


Isn't this the same as "I have something to say?" if we're talking idioms?


It said the combined translation of "sputare il rospo" was "spill the beans, but i guess they're pretty much the same. Spill the beans is to tell all, usually in a rush of words, trying to get it over with as fast as possible. Getting something off your chest is to relieve the pressure of a secret that is weighing you down or too shocking to hold in. Can it be translated as both?


There is something wrong with the word translations and the actual sentence did anyone else have a similar problem?


I figured it was something like "addressing the elephant in the room"


I thought this was a big green snot in my throath that i need to get rid off?


I guessed "I must confess" and it wasn't valid, but the meaning is the same.


C'è un rospo nella mia gola :/


Isn't it the same remove and get it off???


I used "I have to spill the beans." Works. :)


what is the meaning?


what a wast of food. i mean, what type of a person spills beans on purpose and tells everybody. he better clean them up or i am telling his mother. if he still doesnt, i will tell his father too.


Muy mal muy mal duolingo


"I have to get it off my chest" and "I have to spill the beans" don't mean the same thing. The former implies saying something that has been held in or might be held in because it is somehow negative, e.g. an embarrassing fact, an unpopular opinion, a grievance. The latter implies saying something that is true, but which is supposed to be a secret. Is one a better translation than the other?


I don't know if it's related, but I've seen pictures of medieval bas-relief sculpture on French cathedrals with sinners in Hell being herded into boiling cauldrons. Some of them were spitting out toads. I think the image was supposed to represent sins that had not been confessed.


I have to fess up.

  • 1249

In the app, the hint says "spill the beans," which means something rather different in English than "get something of my chest"


What on earth?!?!?!?!?!?! I wrote "I have to spill the beans" and it was correct- now I look and it's "I have to get something off my chest!??!? Maybe they were laying on the ground under a tree and something dropped on them?


For thouse who want to get out of closet could be an useful idiom


This lesson should be named, "can you guess?" LOL


whaaaaaaaaaaaaaaat? Hello?? What has a toad got to do with this? In Australia, we have a surplus of cane toads , but spitting is a no-no.... however, RACING them is acceptable ! :-)


I would like to see Doulingo include background information on idioms like ‘spit the toad’...how on earth did that come to represent to need to get something off of one’s chest?

  • 2704

Nobody knows; there are some interpretations like http://www.perchesidice.net/animali/perche-si-dice-sputare-il-rospo.html

In short, toads are disgusting and you'd want to spit them out as soon as possible, so it becomes a metaphor for something you really want to get out.


In italian "sputare il rospo" is usually used when someone reveals something which is supposed to be a secret; so the best translation should be "I have to spill the beans", "I have to spill my guts" or "I have to blow the whistle". Instead "I have to get something off my chest" could be a better translation to match the italian expression "levarsi un peso dallo stomaco" or "togliersi un sassolino dalla scarpa" which mean to reveal something which is bothering or annoying us.

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