Ça passe ou ça casse

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MWJacobs

Member
USA, English
Moderator note:
This thread results from the merger
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Hello everyone,

Please help me translate this sentence. I'm trying to read an article and I think the author is asking whether one's opinion on the subject matter is favorable or unfavorable. Can someone tell me the literal meaning?

Thank you.
 
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  • ob1

    Senior Member
    France, French
    I think I can explain this sentence like this:
    we are talking about a quite desesparate action, if it works, all is fine else all is over (I don't think I'm very clear)
    we also said "c'est tout ou rien", i.e. "it's all or nothing"

    BEN
     

    Guiguitte

    Senior Member
    France, French
    When I use "ça passe ou ça casse" it is always in a situation where what I want to do may or may not work but I want to try all the same. So I just say "(anyway) De toute façon, ça passe ou ça casse!". Passer means to work and casser means not to work, i.e. to fail.
     

    Guiguitte

    Senior Member
    France, French
    I thought that this was the equivalent of "croiser les doigts" and that it implied superstition in a way. Do you think there is superstition in "ça passe ou ça casse"?
     

    Kelly B

    Senior Member
    USA English
    A make-or-break situation est tout à fait différent de cross our fingers and hope. Celui-là signifie que si l'on ne réussit pas dans cet essai, c'est très grave, tout le projet va sans doute rater, tout sera perdu. D'après les autres explications données, il me semble que ça ne convient pas, même que les mots paraissent s'aligner au premier coup. Que pensez-vous ?
     

    zaby

    Senior Member
    Kelly B said:
    A make-or-break situation est tout à fait différent de cross our fingers and hope. Celui-là signifie que si l'on ne réussit pas dans cet essai, c'est très grave, tout le projet va sans doute rater, tout sera perdu.
    Il y a la même notion dans ça passe ou ça casse :
    - soit on réussit, tout est OK, ça passe
    - soit on ne réussit pas et ça aura des conséquences irréversibles, ça casse.

    Comme disait Guiguitte cross our fingers and hope correspond à croisons les doigts en français.
     

    cyb

    Senior Member
    French, France
    il y a effectivement une notion de risque ... que l'on ne retrouve pas dans croisons les doigts.
     

    Kelly B

    Senior Member
    USA English
    Pardon, je n'ai pas remarqué que ob1 a déjà dit la même chose que vous venez de dire, merci de l'avoir éclairci.
     

    Gil

    Senior Member
    Français, Canada
    Kelly B said:
    Pardon, je n'ai pas remarqué que ob1 a déjà dit la même chose que vous venez de dire, merci de l'avoir éclairci.
    Mes références:
    "Make It or Break It by Eminem & Snoop Dogg":D
     

    x_Sarah_x

    Member
    Scotland - English
    salut tout le monde...

    I know this is a bit late, but I have a question about the phrase ca passe ou ça casse and didn't want to post a new thread when this was already here. I'm doing a translation about couples from different cultures getting married and how differences in customs, religion etc can put stress on a relationship. The conclusion revisited these issues and then ended with "ca passa ou ca casse". I know this means that either they work out their differences or they'll break up but wondered if anyone could think of a neat way to put it...

    Merci en avance

    Bisous!!
     

    timpeac

    Senior Member
    English (England)
    The phrase that springs to my mind given the definitions above is "here goes nothing!" The sort of phrase you say when you have made up your mind to do something rash or dangerous etc - for example before you throw the dice you have bet your house on, or jump out of the airplane door with your parachute.
     

    Cath.S.

    Senior Member
    français de France
    ou, a fortiori, sans ton parachute. :D

    Here goes nothing is said when you don't think you'll succeed, though, while ça passe ou ça casse implies 50-50 odds.
     

    timpeac

    Senior Member
    English (England)
    egueule said:
    ou, a fortiori, sans ton parachute. :D

    Here goes nothing is said when you don't think you'll succeed, though, while ça passe ou ça casse implies 50-50 odds.
    No - I wouldn't say it's said when you don't think you'll succeed (after all I can well imagine many people say it before making a parachute jump - but I suspect that they think they'll succeed!!;))

    I think you say it meaning something like "well there's nothing else for it" "this is my last option" - "I've got nothing to loose because there is no other viable option" or "I'm throwing caution to the wind". So maybe it is this "devil may care" attitude that doesn't fit in with the original French?
     

    Cath.S.

    Senior Member
    français de France
    So maybe it is this "devil may care" attitude that doesn't fit in with the original French?
    Si, si, simplement here goes nothing me paraît (après consultation de thefreedictionary.com :eek: ) plus pessimiste que l'impression française.
    Quand on dit ça passe ou ça casse, cela peut être aussi pour souligner le péril que l'on ose affronter et donc, le courage de celui qui tente l'exploit en question.;)
     

    timpeac

    Senior Member
    English (England)
    egueule said:
    Si, si, simplement here goes nothing me paraît (après consultation de thefreedictionary.com :eek: ) plus pessimiste que l'impression française.
    Quand on dit ça passe ou ça casse, cela peut être aussi pour souligner le péril que l'on ose affronter et donc, le courage de celui qui tente l'exploit en question.;)
    OK compris - it sounds to me then that the "make or break" suggestions above are fine. I can't say I've heard of "a make it or break it" situation (US perhaps) (make or break situation, yes) but people do say "well this is make it or break it (time)!"
     

    Kelly B

    Senior Member
    USA English
    Tim's airplane jump brings to mind two classic wedding clichés, though not usually stuck together like this: for better or for worse, they take the plunge. Actually, the former is not really a cliché, it's in the actual vows of the wedding service. I think it fits rather well in Sarah's context.
     

    LaseLiep

    Senior Member
    France/French
    Thanks for this thread, it helped me a lot : )
    I just wanted to add the translation in French for Here goes nothing --> J'ai rien à perdre.

    When I do something it is unlikely to be successful, I said : "De tout de manière, je n'ai plus rien à perdre".
     

    livvi1

    Senior Member
    UK, English
    They might say it just before they switch on the second particle beam in the LHC at CERN

    ha ha ha super...!!! as with alot of experiments

    ok but in this context... that I didnt write much of.. sorry

    I think its more 'it happens from time to time'
     
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