Rédaction, révision, édition, et montage

Rédaction, révision, édition, et montage

ray-dack-seeYAW, ray-vee-zeeYAW, ay-dee-seeYAW, ay maw-TAHZH. Click below to hear this. 

Editing, editing, publishing, and editing.

Where is Susan, from Sesame Street, when we need her?

Let’s start from the top:

La rédaction can be almost anything from drafting an article, an essay, a letter, or whatever, to making final editorial decisions on the document. It may involve re-writing, correcting, cutting, or just approving what has been written. It can also refer to the editor or the editorial board or the editing department. Note that in English, the word redaction has taken on a somewhat different meaning: in law, for example, a document may be redacted to obscure sensitive material such as names or dates, so the opposing side cannot see prejudicial information. This is done by covering the offending text with black strips. Just another form of editing.

La révision refers specifically to the act of looking over (“re-seeing”) a document, and making changes if necessary. In the world of mechanics, it refers to repairing a car, an appliance, or a piece of machinery. Interestingly, the noun has two different verbs that correspond to it. One is revoir, which means to review, and the other is réviser, which means to edit, to fix, or to give a checkup to. In other words, editing. Again.

How about l’édition? Oddly, that’s the one that “doesn’t belong”. Un éditeur is a publisher. Éditer means to publish, not to edit. That’s the work of la rédaction or le rédacteur or la rédactrice. And une maison d’édition is a publishing house. That’s where a book becomes a book, whether it’s made out of paper and glue or zeroes and ones.

And le montage? Ah, now we are in a different world altogether. Now we are in Hollywood, or anywhere else where movies are made and loved. We are in yesterday’s world, where they should have edited the film I talked about. And what do they call the award for best editor at the César ceremonies? That’s le prix du meilleur montage. The word designates not the person who does it, but the act of editing itself…although you can’t hand a trophy to an editing job, so someone has to accept it.

Alternate link to audio file: redaction-revision-edition-montage


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