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09:56 Feb 16, 2006
English to French translations [PRO] Tech/Engineering - Transport / Transportation / Shipping
English term or phrase:Wander lead
A long length of cable (wander lead) will be required to carry out the earth continuity tests.
Mactrad has made a good point about avoiding 'lead' because of the potential confusion with the metal lead [Pb]. However, I have to say that 'lead' and 'cable' conjure up different ideas for me, and I don't think they can be regarded as 100% interchangeable in all uses; for me, in a technical sense (i.e. not merely everyday lay usage), 'lead' usually implies a single conductor, whereas 'cable' implies a multi-conductor --- as in 'red battery +ve lead' and '3-core mains cable'.
However, OED does not support these distinctions of meaning that I have gleaned more through empirical observation, etc. But I still believe you would say "connect the 4 fine leads to the pick-up cartridge" (and NOT cables!) and you would say "a new transatlantic telephone cable has just been laid in record time" (and NOT 'lead'!)
I do not agree with Proelec's suggestion of 'rallonge' --- usually, this kind of single patching cable goes from a plug to a plug (often male), whereas one tends to think of an extension cable as specifically going from M to F.
However, if this context is US, maybe usage is different there? Perhaps 'wander' could have the sense of 'portable', as in 'baladeur' --- I don't know, my perspective is a totally UK one!
Tony M France Local time: 07:25 Native speaker of: English PRO pts in category: 71