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"Sei come un pesce fuori dall'acqua."

Translation:You are like a fish out of water.

January 27, 2014

76 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/yuioyuio

Would "you're out of your element'' be a good translation? I think it's kind of close as water is one of the elements. It was rejected, but I have a feeling it might be ok (unless I mixed it with my native language ;) ). So do you, English native speakers, use that?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Stsmi

In English, we use the same expression 'like a fish out of water' but to use 'out of one's element' is also natural. Both mean you don't feel comfortable or where you belong. Eg. 'My new job makes me feel like a fish out of water.'


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/PaoloArman2

you can even say that in Italian: "fuori dal proprio elemento". It works exactly as in English.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Stsmi

Thanks, I'm glad to know about that one.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Dianne435839

"you're out of your element" and "you're like a fish out of water" mean the same thing for sure, but I think the statement "you're out of your element" is slightly more harsh a way of saying it.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/CherryTozaki

because using a simile is less harsh than saying it directly


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Tony285103

Ironically, in America, this is so. Here, being direct is frowned upon and considered rude, unfortunately. Using simile is, for some reason considered gentler.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Phil580026

You're out of your element, Donny!... I mean Tony!


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/NarrelleWe

We use like a fish out of water. I am Australian.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/RichardMil16

We do use the phrase, "You're out of your element" but the phrase indicated in the question would translate to, You're like a fish out of water. Both phrases do indicate the same thought though.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/PKE26318

"You're out of your element" is an idiomatic expression in English, that means the same thing as "fish out of water". According to Wordreference, "essere spaesato" or the idiom "fuori del proprio elemento" translations of "you're out of your element". "Fish out of water" can be used as well, but since both expressions have their own idioms in English and Italian, that is probably why Duo did not accept your answer.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/ilmolleggi

more often used in the literary way "un pesce fuor d'acqua"


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/laurelteaches

This is the first one of these that I was able to get right away. Not feeling so stupid this time.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/jimdess

It should allow for the simile as well as the metaphor.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/kcdijbfy-deleted

In italiano si dice "fuor d'acqua" ...


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/lorendani

Even if I will be the 1000th to say this, the correct phrase is SEI UN PESCE FUOR D'ACQUA.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/CalBR

In Portuguese: "Você é como um peixe fora da água"


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Harrison_M

I actually don't bother translating each individual word, I just look at the words i don't know, in this case "fuori dall" and I can guess the idiom from there!


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/ToddPhillips

What's the difference between dell' and dall' ?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/PaoloArman2

dell' = della = of the

dall' = dalla = from the

I come from Italy

( Vengo dall'Italia )

Towns and museums of Italy

( Le città e i musei dell'Italia )


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/ToddPhillips

What about the song Fratelli D'Italia?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/PaoloArman2

You can say both "dell'Italia" and "d'Italia".

When Mameli wrote the anthem (about 1850) "d'Italia" was more used, today dell'Italia is more frequent.

If you put in google "dell'Italia" and "d'Italia" you can see and compare the context.

For instance, when a recent strike blocked Italy's highways, all newspapers unanimously wrote: Il blocco dell'Italia continua (Italy's blockage continues).

Nowadays the problem is often skipped using the adjective whenever possible. For instance, while in the 19th century you could easily read "I docenti d'Italia" (The teachers of Italy), nowadays you read "I docenti italiani". Anyway, the first is correct also.

The same goes with the idiom of this thread.

Sei come un pesce fuori dall'acqua.

You could have written:

Sei come un pesce fuor d'acqua.

Both indeed are correct.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Squooshbugle

So what is the connection between fuori dall' and fuor d'?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Philip803213

surely it should be "like a fish on dry land"? "out of water" sounds like very awkward tranlationese...


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/CoolStuffYT

This reminds me of the book Fish in a Tree.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/HeidiSchigt

Interesting, in Dutch we have a saying 'Als een vis in het water', which means 'like a fish IN the water'... Either the Italians turned it around, or we did. :)


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Lewarsa

does it mean that one's efforts are hopeless?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/PaoloArman2

it means you're not in your environment your among people you don't know and don't feel good about it, or you're doing things you are not used to do, you feel strange / foreigner in that situation or place.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/PaoloArman2

not in your environment, please notice that my english was wrong :) Just edited ....


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/JennaHO

Why is both "fuori" and "dall'" needed?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Stronzia

They stand for "out" (fuori) and "of" (da), also in english you can't say " like a fish out the water" you need "of", the same in Italian: "go out" = "vai fuori", "I rest out of the room" = "resto fuori dalla (da+la) stanza"


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/stefanhk31

OK I understand that "come" means like, but in English the idiom is "you're a fish out of water." I wrote that in my translation and it was wrong. Yes, I missed a word, but I thought that we had some license with idiomatic expressions...


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Stronzia

In Italian the same: you can omit "come": you can say "sei un pesce fuor d'acqua" and it's ok, even more incisive


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/craaash80

Simile vs Metaphor... it's just a matter of figures of speech ;)


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/IraRepik

Don't you, native English speakers, use also 'It is not my cup of tea' instead of this expression? If not, plese, tell what the difference is


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/alciebell

It's not my cup of tea indicates that it is something that others like, but you don't: John loves to get up early for a long bike ride, but that's not my cup of tea. Fish out of water is more that you feel uncomfortable: I felt like a fish out of water when I realized that everyone else in my new school buys their clothes at very expensive stores.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Kujayhawk91

Finally one that makes sense!


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/SarahViaggi

I used 'as' instead of 'like'. Why is that wrong?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Melanie.Vale

'You are a fish out of water' is surely a valid English translation


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Stronzia

even in italian you can say "Sei un pesce fuor d'acqua" (without *come") but it is a little different sentence.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/chacham2

Hold the mouse over "dell" causes the hint to appear repeatedly, as well as the audio continuously restarting. The voice says the word after the mouse is moved away.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/DogPawHat

I've never said the "You are" part of this expression in english. Its always been "Like a fish out of water", which seem to literally mean, " come un pesce fuori dall'acqua."


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/BonBonChat

um tell me why "you are a fish out of water" doesn't work!? wth???


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/laughinlad

I wrote "you're a fish out of water" and got it wrong :/, said i needed the article "a"...?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/tigerlily0909

I wrote "You're a fish out of water" which is how I'd say it and was marked wrong because "You are missing the article 'a' here." Huh?? Maybe it would have been better to include 'like' or 'as' in order to make it a proper simile like it is in the Italian, but I've always said it as a metaphor. Regardless, you wouldn't say "You're a fish out of A water." That's just bad English. Water is mass noun, so it's never singular. Anybody else have this problem?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/craaash80

Actually, you were just missing "like". You had to put it in your translation, since italian sentence has "come".
That's what the (buggy) software was probably trying to tell you :)


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/tigerlily0909

Yeah, ok. I guess that makes sense. I was just so annoyed to be marked wrong when I knew I was technically right. lol!


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/heckiy

Idioms cannot be discussed. But ' out of one's element' makes more sense than 'a fish out of water' especially because when a fish is 'out of water' it's obviously dead while this idiom means that 'you feel uncomfortable'.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/bdelliott63

I'm confused about the difference between come and dalle' . Thus is my first post ever so be gently with me , one at a time.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Stronzia

come is an adverb, it can introduce terms for comparison or mean "the same as". es: "forte come un leone"="as strong as a lion" , "sei una brava persona, come me"="you are a good fellow like me".
dalle is preposizione articolata (i.e. preposition+article) "da"+"le" (or the correct article according to the following noun). da is the preposition that usually indicates the origin of something (from, since, etc). es. "vengo da Milano"="I come from Milan" , "ti amo dal primo istante"="I love you from the first moment".
"out of" = "fuori da"

both "come" and "da" can have some other meanings, but I don't know what very confuses you. If you have other question, ask!

PS: idioms are not the best thing for learning grammar: they usually follow their own rules.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/FumihikoMiura

I omitted "a" as " You are like fish out of water." Isn't this acceptable because " You are like a fish out of water" is just an idiom? I'm not a native English speaker.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Roosie984

Okay so even with the help from the word translations you won't be able to figure this sentence out.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Silverjets

You are a fish out of water. No as a fish out of water....Ma!


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Engi46

Best known as "Sei un pesce fuor d'acqua". It means the same but it's easier


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/A.J.26

As a Brazilian Portuguese native speaker I'd say: "Como um peixe fora d'água", rather similar.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/A.J.26

However I speak Spanish fluently, I don't know a correspondent idiom, but a word-for-word translation would be: "como un pez fuera del agua"


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/StewartWilson

I dont quite understand the "dall'acqua" part. :/ what is "dall"?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/my3bears

fuori dall' = out of the

The proposition "da" is often taught as "by" or "from," but it's used in a lot of phrases and with a variety of different verbs. It is easiest to memorize as part of a phrase (like "fuori da") instead of the exact translation, in my experience.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/nicholas958851

I wonder if these idioms would make any sense to an italian.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/lorendani

To me they do hahaha


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/XianLayva

In English take out the "like." "You are a fish out of water" should be acceptable.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/erginergin

Exact same proverb exists in Turkish


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/LaurieWarmerdam

In Holland we say like a fish IN water


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Markus183993

I have no problem with the translation but why is is every sentence twice in this lesson?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/help....

why wont it accept " you are a fish out of water"


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Gkhan929241

I am from Turkey and we have exact same expression in here. It means "You are so shocked so now you don't what to do" in our language.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/beorno

Doesn't Duo know more idioms than this?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/dadasantic

There was no OUT in the offered words, and it is impossible to add any words not mentioned in the offered words, which I tried to add


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/J1Sic

I was just wondering what the del conected to l'acqua is all about? Dell'acqua


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/RudiPrico-

Umm Im not sure what exactly dall' means.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/my3bears

da + la = dalla (dall' before a vowel) da + il = dal da + lo = dallo (dall' before a vowel) da + i = dai da + gli = dagli da + le = dalle

In this case da means from. Sometimes it means other things, like by or to.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/lorendani

It's a preposition+article. Preposizione articolata (f.) in Italian. They exist in other languages too (here are few examples with French: de+le=du, and German: in+dem=im). Italian simply has much more articulated prepositions.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/RudiPrico-

Im not sure what dall' means.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/MarianaPet994370

Is it just me or I just wasted 1000gems for just a few idioms?

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