à mes yeux

Icetrance

Senior Member
US English
Hello,

I would like to know if I'm correctly understanding the meaning of "à mes yeux" in the paragraph below.

This extract, discussing how ambition can ruin mankind, is from a novel.

Nous n'aurions dû trouver dans ce qui nous a été dit depuis le commencement de notre captivité, que de la justice et de la sincérité ; mais, hélas ! l'ambition n'aveugle que trop souvent le cœur des hommes; ce qu'elle entraîne avec elle les rend parfois injustes ; elle les empêche de croire à la franchise des autres ; elle dénature à leurs yeux les paroles et jusqu'au bon sens de ceux-ci.

My translation:

We should not have only seen justice and sincerity in what was told to us since the beginning of our captivity; But, alas, ambition simply blinds the hearts of men too often; its accompaniments corrupt mankind at times; it keeps men from believing in the sincerity of others. It distorts how they understand what is said, even their ability to use common sense...

I think that "à leurs yeux" means "in how they understand". This French sentence has to be phrased completely different in English.

ambition distorts how they understand what is said (paroles)
ambition distorts even the common sense of their understanding (leurs yeux)

de ceux-ci = leurs yeux


I'd appreciate any help.
 
  • bh7

    Senior Member
    Canada; English
    We should have found nothing but justice and sincerity in what had been told to us since the beginning of our captivity, but unfortunately, ambition only too often deceives the hearts of men. What it brings with it renders them [hearts] sometimes unjust. It keeps men from believing in the sincerity of others. It twists in their minds the words of others, even right down to their common sense meaning.
     

    Juggernauth

    Member
    English
    Technically:
    à mes yeux = to my eyes
    à leurs yeux = in their view

    Icetrance, your translation renders perfectly well the literary aspect of the phrase, well done.
     
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