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. :-(
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.
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.
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.)
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.
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?
"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.
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.