As someone who makes his living editing, I am interested in foreign terms for my profession, and I always vaguely wondered about the French situation, because éditeur means ‘publisher.’ Now I learn from this Victor Mair post at the Log that there is no word for it; one commenter sums the situation up well:
The puzzle is that “éditeur” in French mainly means “publisher”, though it can also be a person who prepares, selects or annotates a text (an edition of Shakespeare). The editor of a multi-author volume is the “directeur (de la publication)”, the editor of a newspaper is a “rédacteur”, etc. But for some reason there doesn’t seem to be a word for the person who helps an author to get his text together, corrects spelling, suggests changes, and hand-holds generally, distinct from the publisher.
I still find it hard to believe. What do they put in the ads when they’re looking to hire an editor? What do editors put on their business cards?