1. Forum
  2. >
  3. Topic: Italian
  4. >
  5. "Batti il ferro finché è cald…

"Batti il ferro finché è caldo."

Translation:Strike the iron while it is hot.

March 5, 2014

83 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!


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?


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

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


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.


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

Куй железо, пока горячо


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.


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)...


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

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


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Martino136298

Yes. At least get the translation correct. "Strike while the iron's hot" is the correct translation.


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.


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.


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

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


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

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


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?"


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

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


[deactivated user]

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


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

    kuj żelazo, póki gorące - Polish :)


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

    Куй железо, пока горячо - Russian :-)


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

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


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

    Smi mens jernet er varmt - Norwegian :)


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

    Addig üsd a vasat, amíg meleg - Hungarian :D


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

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


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

    Actually it's very common in English.


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

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


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

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


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

    We have the same saying in Hungarian. :)


    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?


    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".


    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.


    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?


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

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


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

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


    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...


    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.


    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?


    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."


    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. ;-)


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

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


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

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


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

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


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

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


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

    Finland as well? Fascinating.


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/guevo202049

    Finally an idiom we have in German as well :D


    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


    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.


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

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


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

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


    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


    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.


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

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


    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


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

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


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

    The given translation is incorrect.


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

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


    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).


    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.


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/KATE255821

    Please just correct the answer... Duolingo answer is inaccurate. The iodiom is accurately translated as "strike while the iron is hot" To act quickly, to take advantage of the situation. It is derived from blacksmith acting quickly after pulling the hot metal rod from the fire, strike it with the hammer before the hot rod has cooled. Please correct this.


    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


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

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


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

    I agree with sandykas29.


    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.


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

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


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Dev502125

    No finche can mean while too; finche NON means until. I'm not sure what the differences are though, if there are any.


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

    Strike whilst the iron is still hot


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

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


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

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


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

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


    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.


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Zidane486752

    In Greece there is a very similar idiom which is "il ferro si attacca mentre è bollente"


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Tina607664

    I have only ever heard, "strike while the iron is hot." I had to do this one several times to get through this lesson to "strike the iron..." Whatever!


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

    This Idiom is used in so many different languages

    For instance in Russian " Куй железо пока горячо"

    Or in German "Man sollte das Eisen schmieden solang' es noch heiß ist."

    If there is something like correct Idiom translation in English it would be something like "Speed the Plow"


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

    Most idioms are allusions which is fine and interesting. The concept is lost if the idiom is not explained and context revealed e.g. Schnee von gestern (Yesterdays snow) Old news. In the case of Strike while the iron is hot is an allusion to being able to mold or shape a situation while the opportunity is available. As we can all see it is misinterpreted several times in this discussion alone.


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/ElizabethA923979

    Strike the iron while it is hot is unnatural for an English speaker from England, we say strike while the iron is hot


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/PATRICKPIZ1

    since this is an idiomatic phrase and there is an english idiomatic phrase that either is the source for or the result of the italian, the english version IS the translation of the italian. "strike while the iron is hot", regardless of the literal italian translation, is a correct translation of the above.


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Lindabelli4

    The English idiom is : "Strike while the iron is hot."


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Hanif654114

    تا تنور داغه بچسبون


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Duncan185520

    Strike while the iron is hot.............

    Learn Italian in just 5 minutes a day. For free.
    Get started