"Batti il ferro finché è caldo."

Translation:Strike the iron while it is hot.

March 5, 2014



The actual translation is "Strike while the iron is hot" and it essentially means the same thing, "to act on opportunity while you have the chance" - because tomorrow may be too late!

May 17, 2014



April 25, 2018


My mother (Canadian born), taught me this expression in early childhood. Her father (Leo), has Italian heritage and may have taught her this. Does anyone know if there is any other connection between this Italian expression and Canada? I would ask my mom, but I lost her awhile back. Does anyone know of any other connection?

January 13, 2019


I have know the expression my entire life and am a native English speaker from Indiana

May 29, 2019


It originates from the days of blacksmiths in their forge striking the metal they were forming. This was best done when the iron was hot.

August 15, 2019


My grandma told me it was from when they had to keep the iron (which was literally a block if iron) over the fire so they had to wait until it was really hot but just cool enough for it to not burn thier hands

September 14, 2019



April 25, 2019



June 16, 2019


Куй железо, пока горячо

June 12, 2016



June 21, 2018


I hadn't heard this idiom before so I had to look up the meaning. If anyone's interested it essentially means "act on opportunity while you have the chance." Makes me think it came from smiths. I can't imagine anyone else wanting to hit a hot iron.

May 16, 2014


I suppose it is; in Norwegian the saying is "forge while the iron is hot", very fustrating to try and guess what it is in English (in order to learn Italian)...

July 21, 2014


Especially when the English they give is wrong! Should be 'strike while the iron is hot'

August 2, 2019


It would have come from forging. Seems many cultures use the expression in some form to mean the same thing. "Strike while the iron is hot" is a common American expression.

June 4, 2019


We have the same in the Czech republic: "Kuj železo dokud je žhavé." It means that you have to take a chance and use in your favor.

December 1, 2018


il faut battre le fer tant qu'il est chaud! :)

October 27, 2016



January 13, 2019


"Kuj železo, dokler je vroče." in slovenian :)

August 11, 2016

[deactivated user]

    "Kuj železo, dokud je žhavé" - Czech :)

    September 28, 2016


    kuj żelazo, póki gorące - Polish :)

    October 10, 2016


    Куй железо, пока горячо - Russian :-)

    March 29, 2018


    Kowaj železo, doniž so žehli! - Upper Sorbian. :o) (literally: Forge the iron while it is glowing.)

    August 21, 2019


    Smi mens jernet er varmt - Norwegian :)

    August 23, 2019


    Addig üsd a vasat, amíg meleg - Hungarian :D

    August 13, 2019


    Carpe Diem, or as younger generations say now, YOLO.

    April 17, 2017


    Also "scialla" or "bazza" (maybe only in Northern Italy, other Italians help me please) or also "chissene", which is the abbreviation of "chi se ne importa(not so rude)/ frega(a bit rude)/ fotte (very rude)." This expression (with every of the verbs I put) means "Who cares?"

    June 30, 2018


    In Romaninan it is "Bate fierul cat e cald." In English it sounds weird.

    July 14, 2016


    Actually it's very common in English.

    September 17, 2016


    I am from American midwest and I have always known this expression.

    May 29, 2019


    I have heard this more than once as the son of a blacksmith ;-)

    October 4, 2016


    We have the same saying in Hungarian. :)

    June 5, 2016


    It exists in Arabic too, means like to act immediately instead of leaving it till tomorrow when u might start to feel not excited enough anymore.

    May 3, 2017


    This is fascinating... an otherwise common saying that seems to span the cultures and countries of the world. I wonder where it has its origins?

    January 13, 2019


    And as old as I am, I wonder why I've never noticed that.

    January 13, 2019


    Finché è caldo makes me think of hitting the iron until it gets hot. Wouldn't a more reasonable substitution be 'mentre è caldo'? Can anyone elaborate this meaning of finché?

    November 10, 2017


    You should think of "until" as "finché non". So, for "hitting the iron until it gets hot" you should use "finché NON è caldo". "Finché" should be translated as "while" meaning "as long as". "Mentre" would also be "while", but meaning "at the same time".

    August 17, 2018


    In Chinese, we have the same idiom as 趁热打铁。

    June 18, 2018


    China may very well be the country of origin. That would make sense to me. Ice cream and pasta were gifts to the world courtesy of China. Though... now I'm wondering if the phrase goes back even more... possibly Mesopotamia...

    January 13, 2019


    No. Italian pasta is totally different from Chinese pasta, ok? It was known in Italy even before Marco Polo's travel to China. The Romans used to eat something like pasta, called laganum (plural: lagana), similar to lasagne's sheets of pasta. Gelato (ice cream) firstly appeared in Persia and Greece in the 5th century BC, in China around 200 BC and it was in Roman Empire around the first half of 1st century AD.

    January 19, 2019


    I tried "make the hay while sun shines", but it was not accepted. Doesn't it mean the same?

    October 10, 2016


    It is the same idea, but those words won't translate back to the original Italian phrase.. which is what translation is all about. ;-)

    January 13, 2019


    Make hay while the sun shines is different. You can have a great time when you are young, for example, so enjoy it while you can. Strike while the iron is hot is more like: This is the time to act, so act now. At least, that's the way I look at them. There is more immediacy in "strike while the iron is hot."

    May 19, 2019



    May 20, 2018


    We have the same expression in Dutch: smeed het ijzer als het heet is.

    September 24, 2018


    In Civilization they say: "You should hammer the iron while its glowing hot."

    October 25, 2015


    while in Finland we would say that translated to English: You should hammer the iron while its red.

    January 23, 2017


    Finland as well? Fascinating.

    January 13, 2019


    Finally an idiom we have in German as well :D

    June 28, 2018


    趁热打铁 chen re da tie,Chinese has the exactly same proverb.

    October 20, 2018


    In german we would say"du musst das Eisen schmieden solange es heiß ist "

    March 20, 2019


    Literally: You have to forge the iron while it is hot.

    August 21, 2019


    "Στη βράση κολλάει το σίδερο" in Greek. :)

    May 6, 2018


    we don't say strike the iron while it is hot An idiom is a fast snappy riposte- 'Strike while the iron's hot.' is the only way I have ever heard it said in England

    September 26, 2018


    I don't think we ever say 'Strike the iron while it is hot'.We We say'Strike while the iron's hot!' It's an idiom and it is said quickly and humorously for encouragement not spoken in ever so correct english.

    October 30, 2018


    The saying in English is "Strike while the iron is hot" Duolingo's translation to the English really doesn't make sense to me

    March 27, 2019


    Really? It's the same thing. A blacksmith heats up the iron and strikes it while it's hot and ready to shape. Learn the Italian way since that's what we're learning here, and keep saying the English version any way you want.

    May 29, 2019


    i am Persian and we have "while furnace is hot attach the dough"

    March 31, 2019


    Strike while the iron is hot is the normal English idiom.

    July 1, 2019


    As a native English speaker I have only ever heard strike while the iron is hot and never strike the iron while it is hot

    July 17, 2019


    I tried "make hay while the sun shines" as a possible translation, and it was marked wrong, even though it carries the same essential meaning

    August 14, 2018


    While it may carry the same essential meaning, the idiom here is quite literal in translation.

    August 14, 2018


    I agree with sandykas29.

    October 11, 2018


    The translation is incorrect. It should say mentre instead of finché. As in "batti il ferro mentre è caldo." mentre means while.

    Finché means until. So it says here "strike the iron until it is hot/warm.

    October 11, 2018


    Did you report that to Duolingo so they can change it? (and Thank you!)

    January 13, 2019


    Strike whilst the iron is still hot

    January 4, 2019


    The given translation is incorrect.

    March 20, 2019


    Another way of saying the same thing in America: get while the getting is good

    April 11, 2019


    Nobody ever says "Strike the iron while it is hot." The idiom is "Strike whilst [or while] the iron is hot" (also marked as correct).

    July 10, 2019


    The placement of "it" should not disqualify the answer "Strike while the iron is hot" is the English. Please remove the "it" or accept my translation.

    August 30, 2019


    Can you also say " Batti finchè il ferro è caldo" ?

    August 31, 2019


    "Strike [it] while the iron is hot" should also be accepted.

    September 1, 2019


    I said "Strike it while the iron is hot" and it counted me wrong for not saying "strike while the iron it is hot". That's Italian grammar, not English.

    September 4, 2019


    Öt eh Üf33

    September 6, 2018



    September 29, 2018


    It sounds funny in English because the answer is wrong. To "strike the iron whilst it is hot" would be stupid. However to use "A hot iron" to "strike with" would be powerful weapon hence the proverb "To strike whilst the iron is hot". Oh, and it's whilst(adverb)not while(noun).

    March 21, 2019


    While is an adverb. It can also be a verb, as in "I while away the hours." It is also a conjunction and a noun. Whilst is an archaic adverbial form of while.

    June 16, 2019


    Hay que agarrar em.toro por los.cuernos

    March 13, 2017


    "Agarrar el toro por los cuernos" es enfrentar el problema, pero "batti il ferro finché è caldo" significa que aproveches de hacer las cosas cuando se te presente la oportunidad

    September 9, 2017
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