On nage en plein délire !

Giulia2213

Senior Member
French - France
Good evening,
I am trying to find an English-speaking equivalent of the French expression : "On nage en plein délire !"

This idiom is brought from psychiatry. A delirium is a speech which the person believes firmly in something which cannot happen in the reality, she doesn't make any kind of difference between reality and her fantasm.
For example, she will say that she is God (which is absolutely impossible).
This symptom appears in psychotic pathologies, like Bipolar I disorder, schizophrenic-kind pathologies, borderline personality disorder....

We brought this definition to daily language to say : "this situation is so unbelievable".
The situation shall never happen, it's absolutely not logical and we can't believe that it happened.

The verb "nager" means that the situation is difficult to manage ("nager" has a connotation of difficulty).


This sentence explains in a clearer way the meaning of the expression :
"Non seulement ce toubib ne dit pas qu'il ne faut pas boire d'alcool avec ce médicament, il te demande de faire une fausse déclaration à la Sécu, et en plus, il te laisse en plan quand tu es malade comme un chien après avoir pris ce médoc ! On nage en plein délire !"

Some help to understand the sentence :
- toubib : familiar word for "doctor, physician"
- Sécu : abbreviation for "Sécurité Sociale", it's the French equivalent of the NHS in the UK, the ASL in Italy or the IKA in Greece... (and I had to manage with Greek IKA while on holidays alone and sick like a dog, without my parents. It wasn't an easy task and I was only 18 yo)
- laisser en plan : to drop (in this case : the physician drops the person while she is suffering with the medicine he prescribed)




=> Any idea to help me ? I hope the explanations will help to help me....
 
  • cropje_jnr

    Senior Member
    English - Australia
    The context you have provided is brilliant (I sometimes wish all posters would take a leaf out of your book ;)).

    My suggestions are hardly amazing, but for what it's worth:

    => It's just unbelievable!
    => It's totally beyond belief!
     

    Giulia2213

    Senior Member
    French - France
    Thanks for your help :)
    However, I would like to keep a figurative, and "unbelievable" is not enough idiomatic for my text.

    I just want to say that we are like hearing someone delirious, and you can't believe it.
    But any other figurative expression will be great for me :)
     

    Giulia2213

    Senior Member
    French - France
    Thanks for your absolutely brilliant ideas (and you are even more brilliant than I can be ;)) :)

    The idea of "absolutely nuts" or "absolutely madness" are brilliant (the "crazy" situation also, but it seems nearer of the French "C'est dingue").
    The last one, "this is cloud cuckoo land !" is fun, but what's the origin of this expression ?


    I have plenty of choices to translate my expression (I could understand that a direct translation "We are swimming in a full delirium" has no meaning in English) :)
     

    Scrivener

    Senior Member
    English - UK
    cuckoo is a slang word meaning "nuts" or "insane" but I have to admit that the whole expression, cloud cuckoo land, means something more like a utopia which exists only in the minds of crazy people (see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cloud_cuckoo_land) so it may not fit the dystopian situation you describe. Perhaps you should save it for a rainy day!
     
    Last edited:

    Giulia2213

    Senior Member
    French - France
    Thanks for your explanation :)

    But I don't think it's out of the subject, it's in the full subject :) It means a crazy situation, and it approachs itself of the psychosis.
    => As the delirium is a symptom of psychosis, the "cloud cukoo land" goes together :)
     

    Scrivener

    Senior Member
    English - UK
    Well, let's not get too clinical! "On nage en plein délire" do not sound like the words of a qualified psychiatrist, except in a Mel Brooks movie!
    Maybe something like The guy is off the wall or simply Get real! would capture the tone better than a literal rendering. To get it right, one would need to know more about the speaker and their attitude towards the person they are speaking to. But if you like cloud cuckoo land, it's yours!
     
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