What does “Pourvu que ça tienne !” mean in this context?

From Tintin au Pays de Soviets

2 Answers 2


I think it could possibly have two meanings.

The most probable meaning (espérons que) is exactly what pat27 said, which could also be translated as "Let's hope it (the car) holds up/stays in one piece" or in order to capture more fully the sense of "pourvu que" and Milou's fear of the consequences if the car in fact fails to hold up, perhaps the following:

For the sake of our own survival, let's hope that it holds up.

The other meaning (à condition que), although probably a little far-fetched, but perhaps slightly indicated by the ellipses following Tintin's statement is that Milou/Snowy is actually finishing Tintin's statement with

AS LONG AS (instead of "Let's hope") it (the car) holds up/stays in one piece,

which would give the meaning of "He's going to bomb us again if/only if (provided that) the car holds up" (slightly optimistic, I suppose) or the more pessimistic "He'll continue dropping bombs as long as/(so long as) the car holds up."

  • thanks a lot man, good analysis. In english that was translated to: “Let’s hope it holds!”
    – juanpazos
    Feb 12, 2015 at 18:47
  • 1
    The second explanation doesn't hold because of the exclamation point at the end of Milou's "Pourvu que ça tienne!"
    – MasB
    Feb 13, 2015 at 0:56
  • Agreed that the exclamation point means that it certainly works for the "espérons que" option, and as I said the "à condition que" option is probably far-fetched, but couldn't a two-clause sentence beginning with "He's going to bomb us again.." be viewed as at least a little exclamatory, meriting it's own exclamation point, which it would get by tacking on "if the car holds up!" to it? @BernardMassé
    – Papa Poule
    Feb 13, 2015 at 2:19
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    Unrelated note - Tintin au pays des soviets is truly underrated. As an art piece, but sadly also as a propaganda stereotypic example. Feb 13, 2015 at 17:22

it means "I hope it will remain operational". He hopes his repair/assembly won't break .

  • thanks!! :) I just downloaded an english version that translated that to: “Let’s hope that holds!”
    – juanpazos
    Feb 12, 2015 at 18:46

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