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Via Mala, John Knittel
— Ohé! lui cria-t-il. Quand Don Juan Lauretz arrive il faut se soumettre ou que ça saute!

Que signifie « sauter » dans cette phrase ? Pourrait-il vraiment s'agir du sens populaire en référence au coït, c'est à dire le sens suivant ?

(TLFi) 2. Pop. Posséder une femme. Synon. baiser.

Je n'arrive pas à concevoir un autre sens, et ce dernier, même s'il pourrait avoir une certaine légitimité vu la référence à Don Juan, ne me semble pas être avec certitude ce que l'on devrait comprendre.

2 Answers 2

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This seems like it's maybe too literal a translation; the translator may not be familiar enough with English idioms.

The English is (from Google books snippet view)

"Jäho!" he cried after her. "When Don Juan Lauretz comes, you've got to submit or hop it!"

Here "hop it" is an English idiom meaning something like "go away" or "get out of here."

To me, it seems like ça saute might be a literal translation of hop it. However, looking in French dictionaries, I can't find any indication that sauter can mean something like s'en aller. Maybe a native French speaker can confirm that there's no such idiom, and thus that this is a mistranslation.

ADDED: Anne Aunyme's answer explains that que ça saute in French is an idiom meaning dépèchez-vous. In fact, hop to it in English is also an idiom meaning dépêche-toi. So it seems that the most likely reason for the mistranslation is that the translator confused the idioms hop it and hop to it.

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    "Sauter" can mean "to be removed" in some cases, but it doesn't work to speak about someone running away. (You could say that for example for regular activities you had to sporadically remove from your schedule because there was too much to make fit: "notre rendez-vous cinéma a du sauter: Charlotte était malade et Jean avait une visite exceptionnelle d'un vieil ami") Apr 3, 2023 at 16:48
  • This is in fact a meaning that occurred to me but I couldn't find anything sufficiently close in the TLFi.
    – LPH
    Apr 3, 2023 at 17:02
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"... et que ça saute!" est une expression idiomatique, signifiant "dépèchez-vous!" en faisant jouer son autorité.

Je veux voir tout le monde debout, et que ça saute!

sens: "Je veux que tout le monde se mette debout, et de par mon autorité de chef j'exige que ce soit fait rapidement."

Ici on a "ou que ça saute" (pas et), ce qui est inhabituel. Il pourrait donc s'agir d'un autre sens. Le contexte n'est pas suffisant pour trancher ici mais il s'agit probablement de "sauter" dans le sens "exploser": "si on ne se soumet pas, la situation peut exploser".

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    Oui, bien sûr, je crois que je ne me serais pas arrêté sur cette phrase si un « et » s'était trouvé à la place du « ou ».
    – LPH
    Apr 3, 2023 at 16:59
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    Ah ... it seems the translator may have confused the English idioms hop it! and hop to it! Apr 3, 2023 at 20:21
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    @PeterShor "Ou que ca saute" can actually mean something like "or else heads will roll", even if it's not the most common use. It looks like the translator, Denise Van Moppes, was actually French so there's little chance she used non idiomatic turns, even in a mistranslation. Apr 5, 2023 at 12:50
  • @guillaume31: When a translator comes across a piece of dialog containing non-idiomatic English that doesn't make any sense, what is she to do? (a) Translate it into non-idiomatic French that doesn't make any sense, or (b) Translate it into something that doesn't have much relation to the original. I think in this case, she chose (a). Jun 1, 2023 at 14:32
  • I will agree that in this case, the French seems even less idiomatic than the English would with hop to it, but I really can't see any reason for this translation other than the translator confusing the idioms hop to it (a rather common English idiom) and hop it (a less common one). Jun 1, 2023 at 14:46

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