After having lived in a Spanish-speaking country for a couple of years, and having heard the term “edition” being used almost daily to mean “editing,” I began thinking that maybe “edition” was in fact a synonym for “editing” and that these two words were interchangeable. However, I was wrong. After conducting some research I came to the conclusion that in the translation world we should use the word “editing” instead of “edition.”
I ran a simple Google search and I came up with the following results:
9,350 results for the terms “translation, edition and proofreading” and an astonishing 304,000 results for “translation, editing and proofreading.”
According to Merriam Webster’s Dictionary “Edition” refers to “the form or version in which a text is published,” i.e.: “the novel’s paperback edition” or “the book’s Spanish edition.”
Edition also refers to the “whole number of copies published at one time” or the “special issue of a newspaper,” for instance, “the Sunday edition of the New York Times” or the “Financial Times international edition.”
“Editing” means “to prepare (as literary material) for publication or public presentation; to alter, adapt, or refine especially to bring about conformity to a standard or to suit a particular purpose,” for example one might say “she carefully edited the speech” or “he will edit the translation.”
In the translation world, we should say: “this translation needs to be edited” or “this translation needs editing” instead of saying “this translation is for edition.”
Although these two words may sound very similar and have similar meanings, in today’s thriving translation market, these two concepts should not be confused.