"Batti il ferro finché è caldo."

Translation:Strike the iron while it is hot.

March 5, 2014

80 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/sandykas29

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

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/AngieBermu8

Thanks!!

April 25, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Kevin968039

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

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/rich593762

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

May 29, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/A2PNaQd4

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

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

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

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Anitab.b.h

Thanks

April 25, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/SophieHall163024

Thanks

June 16, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Mail2me

Куй железо, пока горячо

June 12, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/PS133

Спасибо

June 21, 2018

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

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

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/halv7k

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

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Kathleen36988

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

August 2, 2019

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

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

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Danielsson-44

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

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

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

October 27, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Kevin968039

Oui!

January 13, 2019

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

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

August 11, 2016

[deactivated user]

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

    September 28, 2016

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

    kuj żelazo, póki gorące - Polish :)

    October 10, 2016

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

    Куй железо, пока горячо - Russian :-)

    March 29, 2018

    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Fiyalka2

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

    August 21, 2019

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

    Smi mens jernet er varmt - Norwegian :)

    August 23, 2019

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

    Addig üsd a vasat, amíg meleg - Hungarian :D

    August 13, 2019

    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Ragazzo114658

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

    April 17, 2017

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

    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

    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/SabrinaWal5

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

    July 14, 2016

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

    Actually it's very common in English.

    September 17, 2016

    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/rich593762

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

    May 29, 2019

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

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

    October 4, 2016

    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Carina.Gyorfi

    We have the same saying in Hungarian. :)

    June 5, 2016

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

    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

    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Kevin968039

    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

    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Kevin968039

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

    January 13, 2019

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

    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

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

    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

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

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

    June 18, 2018

    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Kevin968039

    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

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

    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

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

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

    October 10, 2016

    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Kevin968039

    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

    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Patty13647

    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

    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Eric498051

    Yes

    May 20, 2018

    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Helene89086

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

    September 24, 2018

    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/xk-score

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

    October 25, 2015

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

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

    January 23, 2017

    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Kevin968039

    Finland as well? Fascinating.

    January 13, 2019

    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Sasha202049

    Finally an idiom we have in German as well :D

    June 28, 2018

    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Sofie870036

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

    October 20, 2018

    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Laura191194

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

    March 20, 2019

    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Fiyalka2

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

    August 21, 2019

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

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

    May 6, 2018

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

    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

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

    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

    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/DeniseSchaefer1

    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

    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Patty13647

    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

    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/shrin990106

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

    March 31, 2019

    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/SteveD1956

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

    July 1, 2019

    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/tVr23SEG

    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

    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/k8platt

    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

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

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

    August 14, 2018

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

    I agree with sandykas29.

    October 11, 2018

    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Fed588922

    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

    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Kevin968039

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

    January 13, 2019

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

    Strike whilst the iron is still hot

    January 4, 2019

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

    The given translation is incorrect.

    March 20, 2019

    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Denise763738

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

    April 11, 2019

    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Neil636005

    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

    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Dr.Mystetious

    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

    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/BlueBerry7445

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

    August 31, 2019

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

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

    September 1, 2019

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

    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

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

    Öt eh Üf33

    September 6, 2018

    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Tommy556270

    打鐵趁熱

    September 29, 2018

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

    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

    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Patty13647

    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

    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/marvincito777

    Hay que agarrar em.toro por los.cuernos

    March 13, 2017

    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Melanie790359

    "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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