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  5. "Él contó el secreto."

"Él contó el secreto."

Translation:He let the cat out of the bag.

December 21, 2013



why is "he told the secret" wrong?


While this ''Idiom Ambush'' is an effective way of forcing the loss of a heart and a restart and therefore making the learner remember the pain and the lesson, it greatly reduces my regard for Duolingo.


I'd say losing an imaginary heart is worth learning something new.


I'm here to learn Spanish. I already know that "He let the cat out of the bag" is an English idiom--English is my native language. And in English, "He let the cat out of the bag" and "He told the secret" mean the same thing.


English is not my native language, and letting the cat out of the bag is a very rarely used idiom in Dutch so using it doesn't feel very logical to use it here and it more or less forces me to remember something that is neither Dutch nor Spanish, while learning Spanish is my goal here.

A special idiom section woult be a better idea to fit these idiom translations. I would very much welcome that; it would allow you to focus solely on idioms when practicing and learning! Idioms are an important part of language, but I feel they should have their own section (catch my drift? ;)


There is now a special Idiom lesson now, so the Owlbot does listen! :-D


Where I used to live in the Netherlands a common phrase was "nou komt de kat uit de zak" which means "Now the cat comes out of the bag" in dutch. Anyhow "He told the secret." is accepted as well.


My own experience w the idiom section was not helpful, for your information.


Well unfortunately I will let the cat out of the bag and inform you that the secret here is to find a Spanish/Dutch lesson so you only get idioms only in Dutch or Spanish. Solves the problems eh? I think so.


It seems that your suggestion drove the establishment of a new "special section".



Yes, indeed! I've gone through that drift many times since we first mined it. ;)


I quite like the idioms in the idiom section - but when I last looked, this one wasn't there. And how does 'he counts' turn into 'he told'? 'El le dijo el secreto' is totally functional and precludes any misunderstanding in translation. Puzzling.


Bedankt RuudHier!


Well this section of duolingo is for English learners and uses idoms that Americans use, hence the American Flag. I hope that didn't sound too rude but it's the truth. I'm glad to be learning these idoms and like the fact that duolingo sprinkles them about through out the sections.


Fully agree, the "English " of duolingo is sometimes very weak or even wrong. They should absolutely improve


Sure, but what new is one learning? English speakers know the expression already.Spanish speakers would be learning a questionable translation.


There are just better ways of presenting them such as "type in the audio" or with multiple guess where you have a chance of getting it.


Those of us learning Spanish in this Spanish course, and who have spoken English for 60+ years, learned absolutely nothing from this question. And sometimes you lose a lot more than an imaginary heart, depending on what platform you are using.


That is right man, it is common here (in Arabic) to say : The fault is a good teacher


That's a good idiom!


I agree, Frederick


Aww you poor baby. Had to learn the hard way eh? But guess what? It will be hard for you to forget the next time


Technically it isn't wrong. And it should have been allowed. It literally IS "He told the secret." Reporting.


The duolingo system has a huge flaw that I can't properly teach what an 'idiom' means beyond its literal meaning. This is why I believe they should just be taught as a side note and not via lessons.


March 8, 2014 DL accepts "He told the secret."


Not on January 28, 2018, it doesn't


That's an idiom. In México we say "ir de chismoso"


It shouldn't be. That's what "he let the cat out of the bag" means too. If you let the cat out of the bag, you have, by definition, told a secret. I see no reason why we should be forced to translate idioms with idioms, as long as you get the meaning across.


"he told the secret" is accepted now.


They must have fixed it, because it accepted "he told the secret" for me.


"He told the secret" is accepted as correct on November 21, 2014. It is the literal translation and is very much correct. "He let the cat out of the bag" (very much an idiom) has the same meaning but the words do not translate.


"he told the secret" is now accepted. 30-jul-2014


That's what I typed and it counted as correct. I guess they like me better. But giving you a lingot makes me feel better.


Sept 25, 2014 "he told the secret" is correct, with the idiom being an alternate


It is correct now.


Are you in the new 'idiom' lesson?


I haven't clicked on the new 'idiom' lesson yet - I'm doing the Communications lesson and I missed this translation by a long shot. I hope to remember this when I do go to the new 'idiom' lesson.


same here! Bad DL


I hope for your sake you waited a long time before clicking on the stupid idiom lesson. I did it right away and have regretted it ever since. There good to learn (eventually) but they only cause problems when trying to actually learn something in the beginning. It does get better though and later they help to get in the mind set of 'thinking' in the proper language (so to speak). DUO should move it to the bottom of the tree or give a way to disable idioms when you wish.


I dont idea either. It should be translated as exachly what you mentioned.


se ha descubrieto el pastel


This one really irritated me. I agree, they need to cull the idiom and not spring it on the learner in standard lessons.


AAAHHHH! Come on guys, "tranquilo". This is just a learning tool. I wrote "he told the secret", and fortunately it accepted my answer. Duolingo is a work in progress, but despite that, I am learning Spanish with it. I only need to practice with people. It's true that sometimes, losing a heart really "gets my goat" (an American idiom if I ever heard one), so when I get upset, I just close the program and come back the next day. But keeping at it will eventually bear fruit. (I did not realize how many idioms I constantly use and how important they are in everyday communications.)


Especially with all the picky word for word translating we do here


I gambled and went with "He spilled the beans". No dice.


Just goes to show the mind-set at Duo. They force people to learn one idiom but don't accept another which means just the same thing and is just as well-known.


AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAARG! My last heart, on the last question. Like any sane person, I translated it as "He told the secret." Duo, you're killing me!


This sentance belongs in the idioms section


I agree with other comments that criticize the unexpected use of an idiomatic herein ... A side note would be much more useful than just "bashing" us in our teaching with such obligatory fail !


Missing "of" in the word selection. Only accepted answer was "he let the cat out the bag", which is not used in English.

  • 2368

Yes, this answer is NOT correct English.


Yeah, this is March 26, 2015 and the 'choose-the-words' exercise still doesn't contain the of*. Guess nobody got it reported, or Duo decided it's not worth fixing :-s.


Ambushed. Fix this phrase please!


This is not fair - how could we possibly know this expression. The literal translation should be accepted: "He told the secret'


I reported this a while ago (more than once I think) and just heard from the owl that " He told the secret" is now accepted. Result!


Yes. "He told the secret" was accepted


That is most certainly not the correct translation. There is no cat and no bag.


What is difficult about this idiom is that it is a very simple Spanish sentence which can be translated into a very simple English sentence (He told a secret). The idioms in the Duolingo "Idiom Section" ( which can be purchased by lingots on the PC Duolingo) are not like that. For example "silence is golden" is En boca cerrado no entran moscas." An English speaker can see that this might be an idiom.


He told the secret is accepted now. I'm glad because I would have never known that this is an idiom.


No way is this an "idiom" in Spanish. It literally translates as "He told the secret". I take issue with the way DL has presented this.


Shouldn't it be " He let the cat out OF the bag?"


I think it depends where you're from. I am English and would never say "out the bag" but it seems to be acceptable in other English speaking countries; whether it's grammatically correct is another matter ;)


It has always been "let the cat out OF the bag"; I believe it's just Duo's error and not because it's whatever kind of English.


Maybe it's an American version? Like realized and realised. I'm a native English speaker from Scotland xx


I'm glad you made mention of this! This was a contributor error. Fixed!


how on earth do they reasonably expect anyone without an in depth knowledge of spanish as a first language to decipher this one?? No reference to el gato


Just stay off long and speific idioms in a multi-lingo system.Here you need "offshore" / very international and multi-cultural English. Humor and idioms just do not travel well.


Is this an idiom or something?


Duo should stick to actual translations


I feel like the English translation is an idiom, but the Spanish traslation isn't. Because I'm pretty sure you could throw gato in that sentence somewhere and you'd have a Spanish version. To me this reads the same way as you would say it in English, "He told the secret."


I Agree. I find these poorly placed "idioms" . counterproductive. I'm not even sure they are good translations.


Based upon the comments, I also agree that having us translate an English idiom from Spanish is not the way to learn language. This is something like saying "What's up" and marking the translation incorrect when the poor language learner understands it to mean "what is in the air?," rather than "what is happening." Best to give a warning that the phrase is an idiom or allowing either translation to be correct.


"He told a secret" should be the right translation. There is no point in using an English idiom as an answer to a straight forward Spanish translation! That should be used for Spanish Idioms. All english people understand what it means to "Tell a secret" we don't exclusively use "He let the cat out of the bag"


"He spilled the beans"


how about < he spilled the beans > same thing ?????


Ups, this one surprised me


I was asked to translate this to Spanish. Thankfully, it was a "make a sentence from these words" type of question, otherwise I would've translated it literally.


By previous comments here I see it accepted 'he told the secret' some time ago and yet DL has just rejected it on 05.11.14 in favour of the cat!! Both ways of expressing this thought are commonly spoken in English.


Dejó el gato a fuera de la bolsa???..


You have an error here!


This one completely baffles me.I do not know the word conto,so I have.The ?????the secret.No way can Imake sense ofit.


What if he literally allowed a cat to exit a paper sack? Wtf then?!


El contó el secreto means he told the secret, but in the word options listed, secret was not there. Only options were scream and bag. This is not correct.


He told the secret is not corect?


I suggest introducing tags and in this situation mark the part of the lession with specific tag. That would help for sure.


Él dejó el gato fuera de la bolsa ?????? Really????


se ha descubierto el pastel, is the equivalent Spanish phrase to, the cat is out the bag, according to memrise. I've just learnt it. Lol


Are you kidding me!


"He told the secret." is accepted as of 6.8.17


"He let the secret out" is perfectly correct.


Good one... Él contó el secreto means acording to duo He let the cat out of the bag.


I dont need these cutesy translations


The English translation is the literal meaning of the idomatic expression. However, it has no metaphor. Does Spanish have a similar metaphorical expression?


He told the secret seems to be unacceptable again ! Love the programme anyway! Turning a serious matter of breaching confidence into a glib idiom is not a great idea!


This is ❤❤❤❤❤❤❤❤.


A Duolingo "common idiom skills section" could be a fun and educational addition; however, people should not be graded on it.


?? It is wrong, does not have eny sense...the traslation is tottally wrong


This phrase is for Idioms all right.


This honestly makes no sense. I've never heard this idiom....


this must be: He counted the secret ????


Regardless of the English idiom being correct it would be better if this simply gave the literal translation as the correct answer and allowed the idiom as a correct response. Many new learners are simply confused and frustrated by too many idioms in the lessons. It would be nice to be able to disable them and they should be presented as an option later once the student has learned the basics.


"He told the secret " is now accepted. Keep up the good work everyone. Because of you, DL gets better every day


How is WTF in Spanish? ¡Es una emergencia!


This... is not the correct translation


My admiration for Duolingo aside, this obviously bad translation from Spanish to English is so bad that if you search for "Spanish idioms, let the cat out of the bag" on Google, this thread on Duolingo comes up as one of the top answers. It's so epically bad that it has become a parody of itself as an answer to its own question on Google.

Well played Duo, well played.

NB: I'm surprised that since this is Spanish, they didn't use "spill the beans".

NB II: descrubir el pastel


This idiom should not be part of this lesson


'He gave away the secret' should be accepted. I have reported. Those who had 'he told the secret' rejected should report too. I think DL have got this wrong, but don't be too hard on them. They usually correct things eventually; I've had several emails saying they now accept something I've reported. And DL is a fantastic resource, especially when it's free! Keep up the good work, I say.


Las frases no son iguales


Idioms should be ok as second answers but at this level direct answers should still be displayed first when possible such as in this case.


Once, I put my cat in my backpack


There is a problem with this translation. It's not the good one


In Middle Eastern markets, people would often sell "a pig in a poke" meaning a pig in a bag. Cheating sellers would put a cat in the bag instead. So careful shoppers would open the bag before paying and "let the cat out of the bag" meaning revealing the secret of the cheat.


He told a secret The words are not there


You must be kidding


You're not alone in that sentiment! It's frustrating that it hasn't been addressed in the 6+ years since it was first documented as an issue, (mostly) free app or not. Hope it didn't ruin the lesson for you.


Not a native English speaker, never heard of this English phrase. I suppose I´m learning Spanish here, not an English test


what if i want to say 'He told the secret'? I don't even like the metaphor of cats in bags (being drowned...)


Let the cat out of the bag should have "gato" in it somewhere. Idioms are social. This is educational.


he told the secret > cat out of the bag that escalated quickly!

pun intended


Can duo at least add an explanation of this..saying? Never heard of it before


There's no ❤❤❤❤❤❤❤ cat here


I think this is wrong


Keep in mind this is a free app .You can always pay for Rosetta Stone if your not happy with Duolingo


DL - You're joking? Cruel trick? What?

You deserve a black star for this. Two of them.


this is straight up ❤❤❤❤❤❤❤❤ "He told the secret" should be right!!


cI finished this course over two months ago but have continued to get several emails every day from Duolingo referring me to these comments. I have repeatedly asked them to remove me from the email lists but they completely ignore my requests. So now, out of desperation, I am reluctantly going to use some profanity in the hopes that they will smite me for my iniquity.


If I don't want to continue following discussions I just click the "following" button at the top of the page and it becomes "unfollow" - I know it will take time but eventually you should stop receiving them. Or if you deactivate your account maybe they will all stop? We don't want to see you get really nasty ;)


Thanks. I'll try that. Asking them to deactivate an account seems to be a waste of time.


Can't you just deactivate it yourself? I'm sticking with it sporadically as I finished my tree months ago but still keep going to see if I can ever get to level 25 ... maybe when I draw my pension LOL


Thanks. If I could, I would. I've completed the course but the emails keep coming like spam. I'm hoping if I become an undesirable that they will kick me out.


I don't know if you fixed it and this is yet another email if you didn.t. Click on profile, and then notifications. That is where you can un tic the box.

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