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I am French and I am looking for how to express the concept of the French word débrayable: Something débrayable is able to be manually configured as opposed of something which is always automatically configured.

This word is often used about camera modes. Nowadays, camera modes (exposure, shutter, focus, meter...) are automatically computed (sensors). When a mode (exposure) can be manually configured, we can say the mode (exposure) is débrayable.

Maybe the translation is declutching, so we could translate the following:

(fr) Certains réglages automatiques de l'appareil photo peuvent être débrayables.

(en) Some automatic camera modes can be declutching.


This first part of the question is to explain the concept. Now I give the context I want to use this concept:

It's about a software that automatically configures a build (compilation). And now, there is a new feature: the automatic configuration processing is débrayable => each project can specify any change within the configuration at the prebuild stage.

How would you express the concept of débrayable ?

(this question was first asked on French Language & Usage)




EDIT: Thanks for your answers
But I made a mistake, the correct sentence in French is:

(fr) Certains réglages automatiques de l'appareil photo peuvent être sont débrayables.

We could also say this next one, but it is not actually used in French:

(fr) Certains réglages automatiques de l'appareil photo peuvent être débrayés.

As débrayable implies the camera mode is by default computed automatically, we can remove the word automatique:

(fr) Certains réglages de l'appareil photo sont débrayables.

Proposed translations:

(en) Some camera modes are declutching. (mine)

(en) Some camera modes are overrideable. (by StoneyB)

(en) Some camera modes are configurable. (Roddy of the Frozen Peas and moidib)

(en) Some camera modes are manually configurable. (moidib)

(en) Some camera modes are switchable. (proposed by Gilles but he says it is weird)

The french sentence maybe also be changed:

(fr) Certains réglages automatiques de l'appareil photo peuvent être désactivés.

(en) Some automatic camera modes can be disengaged. (by Henry)

(en) Some automatic camera modes can be turned off. (by Henry and Gilles)

(en) Some automatic camera modes can be switched off. (by Gilles)

or even:

(fr) Certains réglages automatiques de l'appareil photo peuvent être configurés manuellement.

(en) Some automatic camera modes can be overridden manually. (by Gilles)

(en) Some automatic camera modes can be set manually. (by Henry)

(en) Some automatic camera modes can be set to manual. (by bib)

(en) Some automatic camera modes can be set to custom. (by bib)

(en) Some automatic camera modes can be manually configured. (moidib, word automatic not required)

or last:

(fr) Certains réglages automatiques de l'appareil photo peuvent être débrayés pour être configurés manuellement.

(en) Some automatic camera modes can be disengaged and set manually. (by bib)


About the description of my new software feature, I choose the option to change the French thinking sentence:

The software package XXX generates the files needed by the building process (Makefile, pom.xml...). These generated files can be customized depending on your project specific requirements.

Therefore, I used the concept of customizable proposed by Roddy of the Frozen Peas (comment) and bib (answer).


All answers are valid. I have chosen the one from StoneyB because he fixed the mistake within my original French sentence - he replaced can be (peuvent être) by are (sont).

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How about "override"? - Automatic modes or configurations may be overridden –  StoneyB Aug 6 '13 at 0:32
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In software we generally say "configurable" or (less often) "customizable". "Overridden" would be a poor choice because overriding variables or behavior is an important aspect in object-oriented programming (polymorphism, in particular), and would lead to confusion in the context described in the question. –  Roddy of the Frozen Peas Aug 6 '13 at 3:03
1  
It is not declutching. –  Malvolio Aug 6 '13 at 3:12
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5 Answers

up vote 1 down vote accepted

We often speak of overriding automatic or default settings and of the action or capability as (manual) override so débrayer would be "override" and débrayable "overrideable".

Some automatic camera modes are overrideable.
Automatic build settings are overrideable.

But it I think a verbal use is more idiomatic:

You may override the automatic modes.
Each parameter of the automatic build settings can be overridden manually.

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Declutching is related to car gearboxes and similar machinery, separating the engine from the wheels. A better general term is disengaged if what you want to say is that the automatic nature of the feature can be turned off.

If it applies to the feature then what you say "... able to be manually configured" is fine. It might also be said as for example "the focus can be adjusted" or "exposure can be set manually".

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I think you could say just "manual". That's the term we used for manual adjustment cameras in high school, but there might be a different, more modern term. –  KitFox Aug 5 '13 at 23:05
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I think clutch and family can only apply to mechanical systems.

In English, I would tend to eschew ornate verbiage avoid fancy words. A simple sentence conveys the meaning well: “Some automatic camera modes can be turned off” (or “… can be switched off”), or “… can be overridden manually” If you really want an adjective, “switchable” has about the same degree of weird-but-comprehensible as the French.

Mind you, in French, I would also use a simple formulation: “Certains réglages automatiques de l'appareil photo peuvent être désactivés” (or “… être configurés manuellement”).

When you're looking for translations of technical terms, I recommend trying Linguee. It is a database of bilingual texts. On the first result page, most of the hits are about a mechanical system, and several of them omit the concept débrayable in English. One very is close to your meaning (note that Linguee extracted the wrong sentence from the English page):

Cependant, cette option est débrayable dans les préférences du logiciel.
This feature can, however, be turned off in the software in Configuration>Global Setup.

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In American at least, the most obvious choice is configurable. In automotive terms we say manual vs automatic.

That works for other things as well. i.e a manual setting. Or more verbosely, a manually configured setting.

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+1 to this. In software, configurable is commonly used to mean exactly this concept. Build managers are configurable, which is the idea expressed by the second part of the question. –  Roddy of the Frozen Peas Aug 6 '13 at 3:01
    
@RoddyoftheFrozenPeas Some precision: My software package automatically generates a configuration (for another program) based on its own configuration. This automatic generation processing is overrideable (before the other program is executed). This override is also done by another script - not manually. Therefore, in my case, it is not a manually configured setting. Thanks for your two comments ;-) However, I have just summarized the answers (and your first comment). I wrote this summary at the end of my question. Could you check whether what I say is correct? Cheers –  olibre Aug 7 '13 at 12:08
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A term that is often used for systems that can be put in either automatic mode or user controlled mode is customize and its variants custom and customizable

Customize means

to modify (something) according to a customer's individual requirements

This is also used when the customer (user) is controlling or modifying the choices.

Additionally, the term manual is often used for devices that also have automatic settings

by human labour rather than automatic or computer-aided means

The understanding is that automatic configurations will not apply and the user must manually select each setting.

In your example, the phrasing could be

Some automatic camera modes can be set to manual [or custom].

If you wanted a fuller explanation, you could say

Some automatic camera modes can be disengaged and set manually.

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Your use of my suggestions looks correct. –  bib Aug 7 '13 at 12:09
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