Fouiller des yeux

Esther Brooke

Member
United States
Hi there,

The sentence I'm trying to translate is:

"Il a dû entrer dans la salle de bains, fouiller des yeux les vetements de toute la famille."

The kid is being sent in search of a lost item of clothing.

The best I've come up with, is "he gazes searchingly."
But, I don't like it. Both because I think it loses the frisk, fumble, nature of fouiller; and also because it changes the verb, in fact.

Any suggestions would be appreciated. Thanks in advance.
 
Last edited:
  • Black Widow

    Senior Member
    French
    Hi!!

    I'm sorry to say that but your sentence is wrong..

    in french we don't say "fouiller des yeux les vetement de toute la famille" because it doesn't mean anything...

    I propose you rather this :

    Il est certainement entré dans la salle de bain, et a regardé/fouillé tout les vetement de la famille.

    in english:
    he's certainly get/come in the bathroom, and has look at/dig in all family's clothes. (I don't know if my sentence mean something, my english is not very good, sorry : ( )
     
    Last edited:

    Esther Brooke

    Member
    United States
    Hi again,
    This is actually a sentence out of a French novel, so in spite of your idea that it's not French, I guess, here, it's the expression of an idea in literary terms. I was looking for an answer that would replicate the same notion the French evokes. In any event, I think, in the absence of other suggestions, I've now settled on:
    "to fumble through the entire family’s laundry with his eyes..."
     
    Last edited:

    Black Widow

    Senior Member
    French
    Good evening

    ah oui!!

    What's this novel??
    It's not a reproach that I make you!! ; ) i was saying this sentence doesn't mean anything in french...

    it's the expression of an idea in literary terms.
    I suppose you're right, but I'm suprise!!
    I think this sentence have been mistranslated..

    He had to go into the bathroom, fumble of eyes the clothes of all the family

    I'm translating this sentence to show you what it give in french!!
    this means something for you?? : (

    I'm right with what you write:

    "to fumble through the entire family’s laundry with his eyes..."

    fouiller à travers l'ensemble de la buandrie de la famille, avec ses yeux

    ; )
     

    ovaltine888

    Senior Member
    Mandarin Chinese & Shanghaiese
    Well, I also saw the expression "Elle fouilla la pièce des yeux" in a translated novel.

    I'm curious why it is "des yeux" rather than "avec ses yeux"? Does "des yeux" here make any sense to French people?

    Thanks.
     

    LART01

    Senior Member
    French-France
    Hello
    It's a set phrase : Fouiller des yeux/ to gaze into ( a room).
    You would hear sometimes people saying to children: avec tes yeux! or avec les yeux! as a warning : Have a good look but don't touch anything :)
     

    OLN

    Senior Member
    French - France, ♀
    De exprime le moyen ou l'instrument et signifie "à l'aide de X" (with or using X) : toiser qqn du regard, tenir quelque chose de la main droite, fermer la porte du pied/ du coude, saluer de la main, taper du pied, etc. Déjà expliqué dans ces forums. :)

    search with one's eyes, scan a room
     
    Last edited:

    Locape

    Senior Member
    French
    i was saying this sentence doesn't mean anything in french...
    it's the expression of an idea in literary terms.
    I suppose you're right, but I'm suprise!!
    I think this sentence have been mistranslated..
    N'importe quoi !! Fouiller des yeux existe bel et bien en français :
    fouiller : (TLFi)
    4. Au fig. Fouiller des yeux, du regard; fouiller la vie de qqn. Sarcelotte « donnait ses coups de lanterne », fouillait partout la nuit profondément (Genevoix, Raboliot,1925, p. 253). Je ne vois plus rien : j'ai beau fouiller le passé je n'en retire plus que des bribes d'images (Sartre, Nausée,1938, p. 51).
    fouiller
     

    Kecha

    Senior Member
    French (France)
    "Fouiller des yeux" existe, on regarde si on voit quelque chose (sans les mains !).

    Mais dans une pile de vêtements j'ai du mal à croire qu'il n'y met pas les mains ! Je trouve donc aussi la formulation malheureuse.

    Ou alors c'est pour dire qu'il cherche sans se fouler trop ? Ou peut-être qu'il n'ose pas toucher parce que ce sont des vêtements sales ? Des sous-vêtements de fille qu'il n'est pas sensé toucher ? Mystère.
     
    Top