A kind of swimming

Jumpy

New Member
French, FRANCE
Bonjour,

comment traduire en français l'expression "a kind of swimming" dans ce contexte -> "To look at someone with a kind of swimming" ?

Merci
 
  • polaire

    Senior Member
    English, United States
    I've no idea what this expression means :confused: What context have you found it in?
    Me, neither. I did see, on an online dictionary site, "to have swimming eyes," which means to have eyes brimming with tears. But this is an unusual usage.
     

    roland098

    Senior Member
    English UK
    Thinking about it, saying that someone's eyes swam could possibly mean they were feeling dizzy and the things they were looking at seemed blurry anad confusing. You could say 'he was very drunk and the scene in the bar swam before his eyes' or something. Not a common expression though.
     

    carolineR

    Senior Member
    France
    Jumpy ! Really ! Here's the context !!!
    "I came home on the last train. Opposite me sat a couple of London Transport maintenance men, one small, fifty, decrepit, the other a severely handsome black of about thirty-five. Heavy canvas bags were tilted against their boots, their overalls open above their vests in the stale heat of the Underground. They were about to start work! I looked at them with a kind of swimming drunken wonder, amazed at the thought of their inverted lives, of how their occupation depended on our travel, but could only be pursued, I saw it now, when we were not travelling." That changes everything !
    Merci Grégoire
     

    Jumpy

    New Member
    French, FRANCE
    Jumpy ! Really ! Here's the context !!!
    "I came home on the last train. Opposite me sat a couple of London Transport maintenance men, one small, fifty, decrepit, the other a severely handsome black of about thirty-five. Heavy canvas bags were tilted against their boots, their overalls open above their vests in the stale heat of the Underground. They were about to start work! I looked at them with a kind of swimming drunken wonder, amazed at the thought of their inverted lives, of how their occupation depended on our travel, but could only be pursued, I saw it now, when we were not travelling." That changes everything !
    Merci Grégoire
    In the book it's writting "...They were about to start work! I looked at them with a kind of swimming, drunken wonder, amazed at the thought of their inverted lives,..."

    Where do you find it without comma ?

    Thank you
     

    Jumpy

    New Member
    French, FRANCE
    comma or no comma, the sentence was not complete... anyway, do you still need a translation or can you find a solution yourself ?
    Is it possible to have a translation of this sentence ?

    "I looked at them with a kind of swimming drunken wonder, amazed at the thought of their inverted lives, of how their occupation depended on our travel, but could only be pursued, I saw it now, when we were not travelling."

    Thanks ^^
     

    carolineR

    Senior Member
    France
    Je les regardai, plongé dans une sorte de stupeur alcoolique, stupéfait à l'idée de ces existences inversées, de ce qu'était la profession de ces hommes, étroitement liée à ce trajet, et qui ne pouvait cependant être accomplie, je m'en rendais maintenant compte, que lorsque nous ne voyagions pas.
     

    roland098

    Senior Member
    English UK
    It doesnt matter if there's a comma or not, 'swimming' still goes with 'wonder', which makes much more sense than seeing it on its own.

    I think Caroline R's 'plongé dans sorte de stupeur alcoolique' sounds good, but without knowing the wider context it's hard to know if the speaker actually is drunk, or just means he's very tired or something, with drunken used more figuratively, or if it is even used just to emphasize his wonder/amazement,disorientation at these men's lives which are so different to his (which would seem a bit over the top). But being drunk would explain the 'swimming' vision.

    The phrase combines three elements : wonder -- étonnement -- and drunkenness and the idea that the image of the men seems blurry -- flou -- and as if moving about slightly, as if you were very drunk. It emphasizes how their lives seem disorientatingly different to his, not part of his usual experience.
     

    International Jools

    Senior Member
    Français, France
    Bonjour,
    Voilà ma traduction pour ce passage bien difficile à rendre en français s'il on veut biensûr garder le sens de la prose anglaise.
    'Je les observais avec la stupéfaction qu' un ivrogne ou un nageur peut avoir, ébahi à l'idée de l'échange de leurs vie et de voir au combien leurs métiers dépendaient de nos trajets. Cependant, je comprenais maintenant qu'ils ne pouvaient uniquement exercer leur profession, quand on ne voyageait pas.'
     
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