"Cos'è, un pesce d'aprile?"

Translation:What is it, an April Fool's joke?

April 25, 2013

113 Comments
This discussion is locked.


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

What an interesting term!


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Chris123456

Some other fishy sayings:

"To be at a loss" in the sense of not knowing what to do is "non sapere che pesci pigliare" which is like saying you don't know what fish to get hold of.

"A fish out of water" is "un pesce fuor d'acqua"

"A boring person" is "un pesce lesso" (Hope I'm not being that :)


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

Another one: "il pesce puzza dalla testa" - "the fish stinks from the head". The fish starts to stink from the head is way to say that an organization's problems alway begin from the top (who gives orders). Organization or firm or everything of that type.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Che-Figata

Another one! To say you're "right as rain", as in very healthy, or you're very healthy again after being sick, you can say "sano come un pesce". It means you're lively and well, like a fish: always moving about when in water (or out of water!)


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/loofoo
  • 2190

Grazie Chris123456! by the way, un pesce lesso is also literally, a boiled fish.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/838Maria

Lol, what's up with all the fish talk? Why is fish used to describe a person who is boring?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Rae.F
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  • 3239

Have you ever eaten boiled anything? It's very plain and bland and dull.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Susan88810

I assume it's like our "Casper milktoast" sort of bland and pale. Just like someone is like a "wet noodle"...meh, no oomph to their personality.


[deactivated user]

    You say casper milktoast so casually....umm what is that?


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

    he's a mid20th century comic strip character who is weak in every way. have not seen or heard of for decades


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Maria788601

    the better question is: why is it used to describe a person who is boring AND a person who is lively...


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Roman.sc

    l'ospite è come il pesce - dopo tre giorni puzza


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

    > "A boring person" is "un pesce lesso"

    Sort of like “a cold fish” in English? And a fish out of water is a perfectly acceptable idiom in English, too.


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Susan88810

    "A fish out of water" refers to someone out of their element. He arrived at the bar hoping to connect with a luscious babe, but he was a like a fish out of water.(unable to fit in, in this enviornment)


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

    Isn't "A fish out of water" "Un pesce fuori dell'acqua"? xD


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

    Como se diche 'Louie's sleeping with the fishes?"


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Crash421780

    No you're not: )


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

    Nice expression, and the history behind it (read below). For beginners though, DL should stay clear of these expressions - either expand the idioms section or offer the solution as a hint... I have encountered a couple of expressions without hints which you can't possibly know what they mean and word for word translation won't do.


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

    I fully agree with staying clear of the idioms for beginners. This is really frustrating!


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

    No way - idioms are where you start to learn how Italians tick as opposed to just translating everything literally. I am amazed at how many idioms are the same in English and Italian. That means that Italians and English often think the same way / have the same sense of humour.


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

    I agree that idiomatic expressions are important when learning a language. But, the DL system encourages learning the pieces and building up and breaking down the language. That process doesn't work with idiomatic expressions. We can't really apply what we know because it doesn't make sense--which is what makes it an idiomatic expression.


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

    Or perhaps they share an ancient common cultural history!?!?


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

    I sort of agree. Not because I don't think springing idioms at us isn't a good idea - it is, it's an essential part of the language we've set out to learn. But it's confusing because Duolingo also has a very strong penchant for being annoyingly literal. I answered in the sense of April fool's joke, but felt it was a crapshoot, there being a 50/50 chance it was about a fish in April


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/SuperSharon707

    I was confused, but don't mind the odd idiom dropped in as a way to learn. And the ensuing conversation is hilarious.


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

    I disagree. I'm enjoying the idioms I come across, even though I have no idea what they mean, or how to translate them. Sure, I had to listen to this about 6 or 7 times, before typing what I heard, which I thought would be wrong, because it made no sense. But at the bottom, in 'meaning' it told me what it meant. Then I came here to discussions to learn more.

    I'm not here to get every answer right, I'm here to learn. And when something is really unusual, I remember it even better. I don't want to be handed a whole bunch of idioms at once - I'll never remember them. But when one is thrown in every so often, it's fun, and I'll remember it.


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Schatzie14

    Me too. Idioms never can be translated to their real meaning. Same in every language


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Casey152078

    Like DL says, you are learning even when you make mistakes. It is a natural way of learning languages... even idiomatic expressions.


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Hibernia65

    In French it is "poisson d'avril" - same "fish of April" idea


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

    Poisson d'avril means April fools in english. It happens 1st April.


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Alex445330

    M8 it directly translates to aprils fish. Not april fools. Thats what is being discussed: how its interesting that other languages call it aprils fish


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

    the trouble with these vernacular phrases is the duolingo's software does not really support multiple answers


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

    Nor does it explain it. This should be in idioms not in the regular lessons.


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

    it does up to 2 from what i've seen. I guess it's at the programmer's/linguist's whim how many answers to add.


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

    This should be under idioms.


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

    I certainly didn't see that one coming.


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Jeepin76

    Whoa, what? where does the fish fit in here? I'm clearly missing something..


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

    It's an expression because in April you stick a fish to people's back and wait for them to notice ! Nowadays we use papers fishes


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Jeepin76

    Ah, now I get it. Thank you!


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/brienza112

    It's just an expression. There is no actual fish involved


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Jeepin76

    I'd assumed so after seeing the solution, but seeing the sentence without knowing any backstory might be a little confusing.


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

    How are we expected to know this idiom? Sometimes duolingo is so frustrating!


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

    You're not expected to get it the first time. The hope is that you get it every time after that. It's important to remember that you're probably not here to collect hearts, but to learn Italian. In their system, sometimes you lose a heart through no fault of your own, but you do end up learning.


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

    Who cares about losing hearts when it is fun to learn?


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

    Thank you for the history! I loved it!


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

    Grazie A great help


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Tallman69

    Ok, that's annoying. When you hover over the term, it says April's fool, but marked me wrong saying it should be April fool's.


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/BankVault3

    when i came across this sentence, I did not know what it meant because they never taught me any of this material.


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/emily.shim

    The teaching is happening right now. Hopefully you will know for next time :)


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

    I can never remember this, has anyone found a way to remember this easily?


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

    Well in French and Italian speaking countries, there is a tradition is to stick paper fishes behind people's back without them knowing as a prank on April Fool's day. That's why it is called "pesce d'aprile", literally "April Fish".


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/ChrisMc73

    See, and here I had images of Italian clowns running around whacking people on the head with a floppy fish - which at least gives me an entertaining image to remember this with.


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

    Well, this one is a gem! Must be an common idiom in Italian. A fish of April is an April Fool joke? I'll remember that one.


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

    No wonder it made no sense to me. Its like "I am broke" having something to do with green. (I dont get that one either)


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

    And certainly not a catchy phrase that I am going to throw into the conversation when I am sitting in a restaurant in Tuscany to show off my Italian linguistic skills!


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

    Is this an April Fool's joke?


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Andy96954

    This app is just taking the pesce!


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

    Do Italians really use this term? "pesce d`aprile" in Spanish "dia de los inocentes" no reference to any fish in Spanish :)


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Hekko2
    • 1221

    I finished this lesson months ago and have reviewed it many times and this is the first time I encounter this phrase. It's also not the first time some word or phrase only comes up when I'm reviewing a finished lesson. Is it supposed to work like that? Shouldn't we learn all of the vocabulary of a lesson before it gets golden and we start reviewing it?


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/guimauve24

    The translation into English put the pronoun "it" directly before the direct object. A pronoun may replace a direct object but not accompany it.


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

    In portuguese they have "piada de primeiro de Abril" ...that means: April 1st, joke.


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

    Does this mean Italian's also celebrate April Fools?


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

    What is it .... It stands for the noun already mentioned in the aentence a few words after. Odd formulation. Joke? Where is that .in the sentence??


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Rae.F
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    • 3239

    Yes, "it" is something mentioned "off-camera". Presumably someone said something absurd or played some kind of prank. The other comments on this page explain the rest of it.


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Crash421780

    i find idioms /expressions very helpful in understanding the culture of which language we are trying to learn. Once we start seeing things their way then the language becomes easier to learn and make sense of .. so thanks everyone for sharing :)))


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/BeckyH1974

    This is tricky, I'd only heard of April Fools day having anything to do with fish because I was in France once on that day and was taught about poisson d'avril by the local children.


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/MichaelZon10

    I don't like these. The answer should be direct translation with maybe the meaning of it in brackets or something


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/currency93

    Wow Duolingo threw this at me wothout having ever teaching me this.


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/GeraldineE452406

    And to be told I “have a typo” and it should be “Whats it, an April fool” when there is no apostrophe? Well really.....!


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

    For me, under the "è" in cos'è, it shows that it can be "(you) are." Could this translate to "What are you, a fish of April?" That would make more sense to me seeing as that a person can be the fool or "fish." Or perhaps it is referring to the prank itself, such as the fish on someone's back?


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

    In Italian the formal form is you is to use the 'she' tense. So "Lei è un pesce" is the formal of "you are a fish".


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

    Does the "d'" derive from "di" or "da"? ... and why would that be? thx in advance :)


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Rae.F
    Mod
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    • 3239

    d' is the contracted form of de.

    da does not get contracted.


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/TanyaBella76

    This gets more confusing!! What does a fish have to do with April Fool's!!!


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Rae.F
    Mod
    Plus
    • 3239

    Back when the Gregorian calendar replaced the Julian calendar, the start of the new year was also changed from the end of March to the start of January. People who were reluctant or otherwise slow to accept this change were mocked with fish. Why fish? Possibly because of how the old (fool's) new year coincided with Lent.

    http://libguides.ctstatelibrary.org/hg/colonialresearch/calendar

    https://frenchmoments.eu/april-fools-day-traditions-in-france-le-1er-avril/


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

    seems to be a wrong hover hint, isn't it? "April's fool" - as you type it, it won't be accepted. So it's only "April fool" or "April fool's" right?


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

    hm, obviously even "April fool's" isn't accepted, though the dictionary says it is correct.


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

    nor is ''April fool'' should be reported


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

    I read this as "What is a fish of April?" like someone asking about the meaning of this phrase. (I know that Pesce d'aprile means April fool's joke like poisson d'avril in french) Now that I've seen the answer is "What is IT" I want to know how would I ask "What is ----" without the pronoun?


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

    Does this saying refer to the joke or April fool's prank or the person who has been pranked, the April Fool,


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/AngelodeMa8

    Why is April Fool's not accepted? Even the help from Duolingo displays joke in brackets, thus optional? Or am I missing something? To be honest: I am not a native English speaker.


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Rae.F
    Mod
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    • 3239

    The 's at the end of April Fool's is the possessive. You can't just have a possessive adjective without the noun. It's an April Fool's what? It's an April Fool's joke or prank.

    Without the possessive -- April Fool -- Fool is the noun and April is the adjective.


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/andrew35982

    how the hell does that make sense,where does a fish come into it


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/CodyClark19901

    Interessantissimi xD


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

    I've read the comments. I'm still confused. What does a fish have to do with April Fool's?


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/JeffreyQui387587

    Would have never guessed what the phrase meant. It's similar to how we have sayings that don't translate to other languages and vice versa. (Ex. "In bocca al luppo" is a way to say "good luck" in Italian but literally translates to in the mouth of the wolf.)


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/brichard81

    Why am i reading, " What is it, a fish in april"


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/cipcip65

    What is an April Fool?


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

    i clicked it and it immediately went to incorrect pls fix this


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

    What is a screwed up sentence?!!


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Batz67

    How is this translated into an April fools joke... All I see is a fish of april...it makes no sense to me


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Hekko2
    • 1221

    It's an idiom, an expression that can't be translated literally word by word, but only as a whole expression.


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

    One that a sixth grader taught me: "Chi dorme non piglia pesce."


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

    "What is an April Fool's joke?" or "What is it, an April Fool's joke?" awe man cmon...


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/EAlmonte07

    I was going great, now this just threw me ALL THE WAY OFF.


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

    Man I love failing a legendary level quiz because DuoLingo never told me Pesce suddenly means joke instead of Fish! Money well spent!


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/LeviJohnso493899

    Pesce and fish are the same word?


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/PaulMolone1

    Bit annoying to get this out of nowhere


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/O7t1t7O

    Who knows this?


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/GeraldineE452406

    If anyone can work all the way through the 132+ replies (!) it should be pointed out this translation immediately confirms the speaker is not a native. It is very subtle but “What is an April Fool’s joke?” would be correct.

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