Gather your thoughts! - Collect your thoughts! more literally means Raccogli/Riunisci/Riordina i tuoi pensieri!, but in Italian, as you uderstood, we often use the idiomatic expression Fare mente locale (like "to do/make a local mind" which means nothing in your English). That has a figurative meaning, i.e.:
to put your thoughts in order, through a mental concentration activity, about a specific topic.
So we are referring to an action that can be a synonym of :
- reflect/think over
but also of
- try to remember
In fact the word mente comes from the latin word mens (mind/intellect) but also from meminisse (to remember); locale from locus (place).
Finally I want to tell you that in this case there is an Imperative but you could use this expression as a statement as well, e.g. Sto facendo mente locale.
I used the boxes but there was no stress with Fa so my answer was tagged incorrect. Sob...
Hi LiManu, it's not a stress on Fa, but an apostrophe ' indicating an abbreviation :-)
Thank you very much, LotSparham, you taught me something so I've given you one lingot.
There are 3 acceptable imperative conjugations for fare in the second person singular: fa, fai, fa'. My answer was "fa mente locale" but it was rejected
"Fa" without the apostrophe is NOT an acceptable imperative conjugation in modern Italian: fa' is the truncation of fai, which is the only second person singular imperative of fare. See http://www.treccani.it/enciclopedia/fa-o-fa-fa_%28La-grammatica-italiana%29/ - as stated there the spelling without the apostrophe was in use before early 20th Century.
This is where duo falls down. In the translation of idioms. The litteral translation and the idiom should both be displayed. This would allow the student to make the connection.