"Cos'è, un pesce d'aprile?"

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

April 25, 2013



What an interesting term!

April 25, 2013


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 :)

April 26, 2013


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

January 29, 2014


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.

April 29, 2018


In American English, it's "A/the fish rots from the head down". Same idea, different expression.

May 14, 2018


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!)

May 5, 2018


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

October 25, 2014

  • 1944

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

September 16, 2018



September 29, 2018


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.

June 4, 2019


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

October 4, 2018



June 1, 2013


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

February 19, 2014


> "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.

November 2, 2016


"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)

June 4, 2019


Not boring at all. Quite interesting actually. Thank you.

April 26, 2018


Thank you Chris. Interesting.

June 20, 2018


Not boring, thank you I love these kind of comments

January 28, 2019


What's the infatuation with fish

February 2, 2019


Thanks, interesting.

March 6, 2019


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.

June 28, 2014


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

June 29, 2014


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.

May 30, 2018


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.

January 14, 2019


I'm with you

January 22, 2015


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

June 29, 2015


I agree

June 17, 2018


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

March 1, 2019


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

December 1, 2013


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

August 15, 2014


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

July 15, 2018


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

June 24, 2013


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

May 22, 2016


"What is it, a fish from April?" accepted 13 May 2018

May 14, 2018


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.

June 28, 2014


Thank you for the history! I loved it!

March 5, 2014


Grazie A great help

January 12, 2014


I certainly didn't see that one coming.

December 31, 2013


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

June 20, 2013


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

August 1, 2013


Ah, now I get it. Thank you!

September 23, 2013


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

June 21, 2013


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

September 23, 2013


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

May 14, 2014


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

June 3, 2014


but you. learned, eh?

December 24, 2014


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

May 25, 2014


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.

January 15, 2015


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.

June 19, 2018


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

January 10, 2014


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".

January 28, 2014


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.

January 28, 2019


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

June 18, 2014


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.

June 19, 2014


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

August 20, 2014


This should be under idioms.

December 16, 2016


Isn't *cos'è" a kind of all-purpose expression which serves as a kind of attention getter, like saying, "Hey!"

May 14, 2018


Only when it is on its own. As part of a sentence means 'what is it'

August 30, 2018


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

October 31, 2018


Is this an April Fool's joke?

December 21, 2018


This really shouldn't be in the lesson. Idioms are not clear translations. The Italian could mean almost anything, in this context. Plus it is of little use to the beginner and only serves to confuse.

March 6, 2019


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

March 9, 2019


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?

March 5, 2014


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".

April 10, 2014


Weird. I translated this correctly, but had NO idea it was an idiom....it made no sense at all, haha

August 4, 2014


What does this sentence mean?

June 29, 2015


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

July 24, 2016

  • 1944

d' is the contracted form of de.

da does not get contracted.

August 14, 2018


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

January 29, 2017


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

April 5, 2017

  • 1944

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.



March 6, 2019


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?

September 29, 2017


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

September 29, 2017


nor is ''April fool'' should be reported

November 1, 2018


That's exactly what this is...

May 6, 2018


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?

May 30, 2018


"What's a" wrong. Really? What a joke...

July 4, 2018


I only knew this because my high school French teacher was Italian, and when he'd sneakily fool us, he'd say, "Aha, you got fished!"

July 21, 2018


My translation, "What is it, an April fish?", was accepted as correct!

August 8, 2018


April Fools' Day?

August 21, 2018


April Fools' Day?

August 21, 2018


This is an idiom. Can't get it by translation.

August 30, 2018


It should have two question marks.... cos'ė? un pesce d'aprile?

September 15, 2018


It didn't accept an April's fool...

September 23, 2018


WTF???? How could i not get that it is as clear as day now, I totaly missed the part about the joke

November 16, 2018


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.

December 12, 2018

  • 1944

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.

December 12, 2018


When I did it, this had been in Idioms. But I started the translation as 'What is..' I see this makes sense in English if you imagine someone has dine something they mean to be funny and the person says "What is this? An April Fool's joke?" But I would put in a first question mark not comma.

February 16, 2019


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

February 18, 2019


Interessantissimi xD

March 19, 2019


The translation is not literal. It's confusing at this point. I get it as an expression but we are still learning words. I agree it should be in another category.

April 14, 2019


Does this mean Italian's also celebrate April Fools?

April 15, 2019


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

May 2, 2019

  • 1944
May 2, 2019


And how are we supposed to know these sayings ...

June 11, 2015


We are not. We are supposed to be learning.

June 12, 2015


They need to erase this.

November 2, 2018


Duolingo should not teach us English which they do only too often. When they do this, they slow up the process.

November 7, 2018


Idioms should not appear on this level of the course, especially as difficult as this one ...

August 3, 2014
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