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I have translated an article into English. The author of the original article uses a “Bumpy ride on a plane in a hazardous weather” as an analogy to predict an unfavourable political development in a certain location. He advised the citizens there should “sit tight” (a literal translation here) and be prepared.

I could have translated the phrase sit tight as brace yourself, but it would lose the mental picture of the analogy. Besides, sit tight means something entirely different in English:  to be patient and await the next move.  It’s not a good idea to use sit tight to mean brace yourself.

So, is there any alternative phrase to brace yourself that conveys the same meaning while retaining the picture of the original phrase?

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I would think brace yourself is exactly what you do when expecting turbulence, physical or metaphorical. But you could try hold tight (or hold on tightly, depending on how formal the context is).

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    I think you're probably right. The English readers will find the expression 'brace yourself' fits well in the context; it is me who should let go of the 'mental picture' :-) – Anthony Kong Aug 3 '12 at 10:41
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    I agree. Brace yourself is perfect here. – Ste Aug 3 '12 at 13:12
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The term hang on tight is often used in conjunction with reference to a bumpy ride, both literally and figuratively.

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Keeping the analogy you could use the usual airline instruction "Brace positions, please!"

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How about “fasten your seat belts”?

  • LOL This phrase is good in certain contexts. +1 – American Luke Aug 3 '12 at 19:13
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You could say 'steel yourself' or 'prepare yourself'.

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