être dans le brouillard

Discussion in 'French-English Vocabulary / Vocabulaire Français-Anglais' started by scape, Jun 1, 2007.

  1. scape New Member

    Hello! Does anybody have a clue if this proverb exists in English? Or how it could be translated?
  2. FranParis

    FranParis Banned

    Français - France
    To be in the fog is quite used..
  3. floise Senior Member

    If it's an expression (it's not a proverb), I believe it's 'to be in A fog'.

    Ex.: After taking that medication, I felt like I was in a fog for a few hours.

  4. FranParis

    FranParis Banned

    Français - France
    Quoting "to be in the fog" and googling it: 62 300 hits.
  5. hanbaked Senior Member

    English (UK)
    I've never heard the word-for-word translation used as an idiom - 'to be in the fog' only means one thing for me - very literally to be somewhere that's foggy.

    Am I right in thinking 'etre dans le brouillard' means to be a bit confused? I can't think of a snappy English idiomatic equivalent at the moment though...
  6. Rouleau Senior Member

    French-Speaking Maine
    English United States
    Weighing in from the other side of the Atlantic, there is a definite difference in the connotation of "to be in a fog" and "to be in the fog." "To be in a fog" is a figurative way of expressing confusion, disorientation, etc. "To be in the fog" means to literally be in hanbaked's :) snappy English brouillard.
  7. pyan

    pyan Senior Member

    Vendée, France
    English, UK, London
    The WR dictionary gives "in an alcoholic haze" and "somewhat in the dark" for "dans le brouillard". (These two have different meanings to me.) It gives "to be in a fog" for "dans un brouillard".

    I would use "in the fog" more often literally, to be caught in a thick mist. I would use "in a fog" more often figuratively, to be confused, to not be able to think clearly. But I am still in a bit of a fog about the correct use of the French term.
  8. scape New Member

    Thanks for all your replies!
    I also found 'to be all at sea' as english translation (?) or version (?) which sort of describes feeling lost, confused, disorientated.

    hanbaked: "I've never heard the word-for-word translation used as an idiom"
    You're probably right. I was wondering if there is an English expression that is as brilliant as 'etre dans le brouillard' - with 'brouillard' denoting mist, heat haze, fog as well as confusion, disorientation etc. The English translations seem somewhat very specific (eg. referring to alcoholic haze). Even 'to be in a fog' seems quite specific to me -?
  9. kiwi-di

    kiwi-di Senior Member

    Perth, Western Australia
    New Zealand, English
    Sorry, I don't agree. To be in a fog can be used for a variety of situations, as has already been suggested, e.g. confusion; disorientation; After taking that medication, I felt like I was in a fog for a few hours; not able to think clearly.

    To my mind, these translations are much more usual that using it to describe an alcoholic haze.

    My 2 cents worth, anyway. :)
  10. olliemae

    olliemae Senior Member

    Kyoto, Japan
    New Zealand/America, English
    I'd go with "to be all at sea". It's a slightly dated expression, but still like it. Or you could use something along the lines of "it was as clear as mud to him" in a less formal context.
  11. Pedro y La Torre Senior Member

    Paris, France
    English (Ireland)
    Tout simplement:

    To be confused.

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