My eyes are swimming

Discussion in 'Italian-English' started by Stain, Nov 18, 2013.

  1. Stain Member

    Hi everyone!

    I'm having some trouble with this phrase:

    "[...] and by this point, my eyes are swimming."

    Three guys are trying to figure out what's happening in their town, one of them recaps what he's found out and ends his account with that sentence.

    The meaning should be something like "I'm clueless".

    The thing is I'm not sure it's 'swimming', to me it sounded like that, but no results are shown when I google it.

    So, if it's wrong can you help me to figure out what he really said?

    Thank you in advance.
  2. CPA Senior Member

    British English/Italian - bilingual
    Che io sappia, "my eyes are swimming" significa "ho le lacrime agli occhi". Per caso ha scoperto qualcosa di tremendo?
  3. Stain Member

    BOBBY: Well, I found something. But I'm not sure what the hell it means. Demonic a frickin' tidal wave. Cattle deaths. Lightening storms. They skyrocketed from out of nowhere. Here. (He points to Wyoming on a map.) All around here, except for one place...Southern Wyoming. That one area's totally clean ...spotless. It's almost as if... the demons are surrounding it.
    DEAN: But you don't know why?
    BOBBY: No, and by this point my eyes are swimming. Sam, would you take a look at it? Maybe you could catch something I couldn't.

    Che ne pensi?

  4. CPA Senior Member

    British English/Italian - bilingual
    Mah. Forse gli si è appannata la vista a forza di scrutare la carta.
  5. Mary49

    Mary49 Senior Member

    Per curiosità sono andata a vedere la puntata di "Supernatural" in questione e con mia sorpresa l'espressione "My eyes are swimming" non è stata tradotta nei dialoghi italiani. Non sta piangendo nessuno, tantomeno Bobby, che sta parlando, quindi le lacrime non c'entrano. Siccome Bobby mostra una cartina in cui devono trovare vari luoghi, propenderei per "Mi si incrociano gli occhi" (anche se non letterale).
  6. GavinW Senior Member

    British English
    I think that's a perfect solution. The expression can (literally) mean "my eyes are watering a lot" (as mentioned above), but the metaphorical meaning is more common: "My eyes have been working so hard that I now find it hard to focus on the detail(s)" (cf the expression "My eyes are beginning to swim"). This is consistent with a looking at several points on a map (especially if the map is small, or full of details).
    Obviously there is a logical connection between the literal and metaphorical uses of the expression.
    HTH, and hope people agree with me. If not, shake a leg! ;-)
  7. Matrap

    Matrap Senior Member

    Abruzzo, Italy
    "Mi si annebbia/è annebbiata la vista."?
  8. joanvillafane Senior Member

    U.S., New Jersey
    U.S. English
    I agree with Gavin - I never associated "my eyes are swimming" with tears. It's about not being able to focus, as Gavin said. There's a feeling that your eyeballs are overwhelmed with input and don't know which way to look - up, down, sideways all at once. Matrap's translation is only one part of it. :D
  9. CPA Senior Member

    British English/Italian - bilingual
    Funny that. Googling "his/her eyes were swimming" returns a lot of tears. :D
  10. AlabamaBoy

    AlabamaBoy Senior Member

    Northern Colorado USA
    American English
    For future readers of this thread: In AE, "my eyes are swimming" could be used to indicate an extremely urgent need to urinate (the, uh, water is up to my eyeballs). In the OP's case, it is clear that he means his eyes are tired and he can no longer read the map. "Mi si incrociano gli occhi" might be more literal than Mary thought. I imagine eyes rolling around doing a swimming motion in the poor chap's head.
  11. Stain Member

    Thank you all very much, guys!

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