bifurquer

nickcross

Senior Member
English (Canadian)
I checked the forums and I am having some trouble with this word: "bifurquer".
Clearly, one meaning for roads is "to branch" or "to fork".

The dictionary also suggests "to diverge". Collins has "to turn off". In the forum discussions, there was also the implied sense of each person going off on their own separate ways. By comparison, my dictionary (for francophone children) simply suggests "to change direction" in a general sense.

Would "to veer off" be the right translation for "bifurquer" in these sentences?

1) Quand tu arrives au carrefour, bifurque à droite.
2) À l’intersection, la voiture a soudain bifurqué au carrefour.

In particular, I am having difficulty understanding #2 and picturing how you can *suddenly* "turn off" or "diverge" to the right at an intersection.

Thanks in advance,
Nick
 
  • guillaumedemanzac

    Senior Member
    English - Southern England Home Counties
    Your first example is on every gps/satnav/tom tom; simply bear left, bear right which doesn't mean turn but fork slightly right/left at the Y junction.
    The second is totally different and is veered off suddenly or turned off sharply
    I would also use fork off as a verb but for the obvious implications - I think people now use veer off instead of fork off because of that!
    ps intersection is American - I would say crossroads for carrefour
     
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