When I am returning to Australia from my grandmother's home town in the North of Italy they say "buona fortuna in gamba" . I think it means "good luck in (your) travels". Up there the only form of transport was walking or horses for centuries. Both involve legs.
My first translation was "He is a leg man," meaning a man who is more attracted by a woman's legs than by her breasts. Shows where my mind is at, I guess.
DL suggested "He is a man on the ball" as an alternate for me. Although I definitely use "He is on the ball" I don't think I have ever used "He is -a man- on the ball" Any other native English speakers think I should suggest correcting this English sentence?
I said "He is an on the ball man" just to see what happened, and it was accepted. But if I were being serious, I just say, "He is a capable man", as "capable" is the first suggested translation for "in gamba"
I agree with Mutt & sur- idioms need to be a separate lesson -toward the end - when we're ready for the nuances of the language... and it will be a "piece of cake!" Until then, we're "not playing with a full deck" and "your guess is as good as mine!"
I've always understood "in gamba" to correspond to our English expression, "with it," which can have many applications. WordReference also translates it as "on the ball" or "on top of things," and gives "In gamba!" as a way of saying "Take care!" "Capable" seems a rather boring way to translate it.
I also vote for WordReference to help get at the nuances of these expressions.
I have always understood 'in gamba' to mean smart or clever. Capable surely isn't the only way to correctly translate this?
Maybe this idiom has something to do with the Hebrew connection between the word רגיל <rageel> (=used to something/capable of something), derived from the root ר.ג.ל (RGL), and the word רגל <Regel> (=leg) of the same root. So far i've encountered many similar phenomenons, where the Italian association of words was identical to the Hebrew equivalent...
Collins Dictionary gives in gamba = in buona salute = well (therefore, presumably, healthy) and = capace, sveglio = bright, smart
Good way to remember the phrase. It's closer to the Italian than what I contrived: a man (who in tough situations) always lands on his feet.
Sorry to say that, but this is totally over the top, Duolingo. We really need a separate section with idioms. This is not helpful at all.
Funny! In Spanish "gamba" means "prawn" so reading this sentence one cannot avoid picturing a man riding a prawn or sort of.
If the anti idioms are not pulling our leg i think they should toe the line. Some of us want to learn italian as spoken, idioms and all.
Why test us on idioms when we are learning the language? I am still in literal translation mode.
This is not the lesson to teach idioms. There is a different lesson for idioms.
And i agree with you; it looks like no one is interested on doing comments in this page. I think it's a sad situation for us, languages learners, not expressing our feelings. Maybe, we are afraid of making mistakes, not knowing that it is another way of learning. Greeetings!
Another idiom that is here only to introduce the word "gamba", but has nothing medical in it.
The word could be introduced in another sentence, more suitable to the medical section (and to get the meaning of the word).
whoever selected this translation got it wrong. I have three dictionaries that say 'in gamba' means 'well' or 'in good health'.
This is not the lesson for idioms. Hey Duo, keep the idioms in their own lesson.
Eessere in gamba means to be in good shape. The "correct" answer in the exercise shows the answer as He is a man on the ball! How in the world would we know all these idioms? Here it shows the answer as He is capable man.
A French friend of mine used to say, "He is in his legs." Maybe this is where that came from.
Enough of the idioms. I am trying to learn to speak the language. Before I learn the idioms I just want to be able to understand the words I am speaking. At the end of the course, there should be a whole section on idioms, but not while we are still trying to learn the definitions of words and sentence structures.
If you are really trying to have conversations with people who actually speak the language, idioms are a vital part of the language. REALLY listen to your conversations some time - idioms such as these make up a pretty large portion of your speech. Some of them have become so fossilized you don't even realize that they started AS idioms (metaphors, largely).
Yes! You only need to watch an italian soap opera to confirm this Hypothesis.
Words for body parts can be both remarkably stable, as can be seen in the words for 'nose' and 'heart', for example, and changeable. Slangish metaphors become, for example, the "regular" terms. Classical Latin crus (crura) 'leg' was replaced in Late Latin by gamba, borrowed from Greek kampe 'curvature'...In Japanese, gambaru means 'hang in there, do one's best'. But I remember gamba from the French form jambe, cf. il a des jambes.
Why not man on the ball instead of capable man? Same meaning, both given as translations of in gamba?