Supplements, Gallicisms, Terminology Galore!

In my last entry, I told you that translation supplements of La Scena Musicale articles were available only for subscribers. That statement still holds true. However, I am pleased to inform you that I have access to the English and French supplements that accompany texts in this month’s issue. For those readers interested in accessing them, below are the links:

French translation supplements: http://www.scena.org/pdf-files/sm19-6_FR_TransSupplement_v4.pdf

English translation supplements: http://www.scena.org/pdf-files/sm19-6_EN_TransSupplement_v4.pdf

Remember, you can always access the magazine online by clicking here. If you prefer to obtain a physical copy, and you live in the Montreal, Quebec City, Gatineau-Ottawa, or Toronto areas, be sure to visit your nearest music outlet or bookstore. Here in Quebec, Archambault bookstores usually carry copies of the magazine. You may sometimes find them in international press outlets or other bookstores such as Renaud-Bray or Raffin. Enjoy reading articles in either language of your choice!

Does anyone remember my blog entries that talked about the English equivalent of réviseur and revisor? In a way, that hairy topic is back. As I was browsing some colleagues’ Twitter feeds this afternoon, I came across this screenshot that defines the French term réviseur (fem. réviseure).

Definitions provided by Quebec's French-language office, the OQLF (Office québécois de la langue française).

Definitions provided by Quebec’s French-language office, the OQLF (Office québécois de la langue française).

When I looked at the English equivalents, I noticed that reviser does not appear; instead, the following terms are provided: copy editor, editor, as well as proofreader, reader, and corrector. I commented on this omission, and later this afternoon, a Twitter colleague answered, “Reviser is a gallicism. Proper English word is ‘copy editor.'” (My bold print.)

Some of you are probably asking yourselves what a gallicism is. The online Merriam-Webster Dictionary provides these two defintions:

1:  a characteristic French idiom or expression appearing in another language

2:  a French trait [1]

The Oxford Dictionary provides a similar definition:

A French idiom, especially one adopted by speakers of another language. [2]

Now I understand why reviser was nowhere to be found. I thank my colleague Michael Pasternak for the heads-up 🙂 On that note, a word of advice for my English-speaking or multilingual colleagues who identify themselves as revisers: Stop using the term! Use one of the five equivalents listed above.

I tell you, we learn something new every day.

[1] Merriam-Webster Dictionary, [http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/gallicism], accessed 16 April 2014

[2] Oxford Dictionary, [http://www.oxforddictionaries.com/definition/english/Gallicism], accessed 16 April 2014

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2 comments

  1. Hi Dwain. Reviser may be a gallicism but we are in quebec and in this province, an English copyeditor is probably better off selling his/her services as a “Reviser”. Outside Quebec however, I suggest sticking to copy editor.

    1. Thank-you for your insight in the matter. It’s so easy to be influenced by other languages when we live in a particular province, country, territory, or city. Just because one language community uses a specific term does not necessarily mean that other communities should follow suit! We should stick to correct, original terms whenever possible.

      In my case, I identify myself as an “editor”—and sometimes “copy editor”—when addressing English-speaking businesspeople, and “réviseur” when addressing professionals in French-language circles. No matter the language I speak, both communities understand my reality and the services I offer.

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