Thanks for the confirmation, ferynn. In English, the verb "abandon" requires an explicit direct object. You can't write "I do not want to abandon" without specifying what you don't want to abandon. "Give up" works differently; the suggested translation is fine. I understand that French words often work differently from their English cognates, but I couldn't see any evidence of that in my dictionaries in this case, so I decided to ask.
There are a few contexts where "abandon" doesn't take a direct object, e.g. when a cyclist drops out of the Tour de France. "Contador abandoned during yesterday's stage". That's what I thought of when I saw this sentence, anyway.
That sentence does not sound right at all. "Abandon" is a transitive verb and needs an object.
Don't take my word for it, watch the TdF coverage sometime. I'm not making up the example.
Look I know it is a transitive verb in general. My only point had been that it is such a common colloquial usage to say "XXX abandoned after his crash", in that particular context, that it is the first thing I thought of. I'm talking about the live coverage where people are speaking, not about news articles that have gone through sub-editing. No you will not find this in an English lesson, but yes it is said.
I'm sure you saw it but it wouldn't be the first bad example to be found on the internet. It does not really work in English. Note that the verb tense was changed in the process. I would simply call it a bad translation. It should read, "Contador gives up during yesterday's stage." This is faithful to the meaning of abandonner and also correct and natural in English.
I knew about using "give up", but I decided to try "give in" and I got bumped by DL. However, I believe it should be accepted because "abandoning" could be in the sense of accepting defeat as in a game of chess. When I "give up", "quit", "surrender", "concede victory", I am also abandoning. Thus, "Je ne veux pas abandonner" can be thought of as "I do not want to give in"
To give in = to finally say yes; to admit defeat. (For you to give in, it means you are experiencing some type of coercion or pressure to do something and you have been resisting and then you finally stop resisting. In a game, your opponent is trying to force you to admit defeat. So when you give in, you stop resisting that pressure to admit you are the loser. That is why we say you "give in TO somebody/something")
To give up = stop trying to do something that is proving impossible to achieve or to quit doing something that was your norm for a long time. (There does not need to be coercion. You simply just decide "enough!")
Now if you specifically state that you are "giving up power/control", then I suppose that can be considered "giving in" to the one who now has the upper hand. But still, it would only be "giving in" if prior to that you were fighting against relinquishing that power/control.
So looking at every sense of the word abandonner I do not get the idea of "giving in" but rather one of wanting to turn your back to something and have nothing more to do with it.