He comes off the engine

Discussion in 'French-English Vocabulary / Vocabulaire Français-Anglais' started by GroFlo, May 28, 2007.

  1. GroFlo Senior Member

    France et français
    Que signifie come off dans ce cette phrase ? J'ai beau chercher dans les dico bilingues et unilingues, je ne trouve rien qui puisse l'expliquer.

    Une phrase du genre "The governor comes off the engine". Est-ce quelque chose comme "Le capitaine met les gaz" ou plutôt "Le capitaine coupe le moteur" ?

    Merci par avance,
    GroFlo
     
  2. sound shift Senior Member

    Derby (central England)
    English - England
    Tout dépend du contexte, GroFlo. Où as-tu vu cette phrase?
     
  3. LARSAY Senior Member

    Hanoi, Vietnam
    BI-NATIONAL FRENCH-ENGLISH.
    Does not depend on the context! A governor is also "an attachment to a machine such as a car engine for automatic control or limitation of speed; also, a device giving automatic control of something such as pressure or temperature". So, in your text, the governor came off (s'est déconnecté en français)
     
  4. GroFlo Senior Member

    France et français
    Dans un texte, où l'auteur parle d'un film (A la poursuite d'octobre rouge - The hunt for red october en VO, qui est un livre à l'origine), et il parle du commandant qui fait une manoeuvre "surprise" en décidant de le faire à une heure donnée.

    Et le contexte est en gros : A l'image de la stratégie "Crazy Ivan", vous pouvez vous dire tout simplement : au début de la prochaine heure, the governor comes off the engine"
     
  5. GroFlo Senior Member

    France et français
    Ok, donc si on veut réinterpréter, vu que le governor serait une sorte de 'limitateur' de vitesse, et qu'il se déconnecte, on peut revenir à l'idée que j'avais dis au départ : "Mettez les gaz", non ?
     
  6. sound shift Senior Member

    Derby (central England)
    English - England
    Yes it does depend on the context!

    A "governor" can be a person and an "engine" can be a locomotive, in which case "the governor comes off the engine" means that the governor climbs down off the locomotive.

    A "governor" can be a device, in which case "the governor comes off the engine" could mean that the governor is detachable from the engine.

    There are lots of meanings to verb-particle combinations such as "comes off", so it is essential to provide context - otherwise a lot of time will be wasted on guesswork. :(
     
  7. LARSAY Senior Member

    Hanoi, Vietnam
    BI-NATIONAL FRENCH-ENGLISH.
    I did not know that the driver of a locomotive could be called a governor! It is a definition which is in none of my excellent dictionnaries (Webster, Oxford, etc.)! One learns every day. But don't you think that, if your version is correct, the writer would have not simply say "the driver got out of the locomotive" or smth like that?
     
  8. LARSAY Senior Member

    Hanoi, Vietnam
    BI-NATIONAL FRENCH-ENGLISH.
    Well, GroFlo is giving us the answetr. The governor in her example is un limitateur de vitesse, which, in that case, "comes off", meaning that the submarine will go faster than normal
     
  9. sound shift Senior Member

    Derby (central England)
    English - England
    I didn't say that a driver was called a governor. All I am saying is that if a person sees a phrase such as "the governor comes off the engine", without any context, he/she cannot tell if the governor in question is a person or a thing. How was I to know that the phrase wasn't taken from, for example, a book about a concentration camp served by a railway line, particularly as the title of this thread is "he [a person, not a thing] comes off the engine"?

    "The governor comes off the engine" is a strange way of saying that the governor is somehow disconnected. If the governor is disconnected deliberately, through human intervention, I would expect to see "The governor is disconnected"/"The governor is turned off"/"The governor is overriddden"/"The governor is disabled".

    Assuming that the governor is a device, "The governor comes off the engine" suggests to me that the speed limiter falls physically off the engine.
     

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