maîtrise d'ouvrage / maîtrise d'oeuvre - maître d'ouvrage / d'œuvre - MOA / MOE


A translator myself, who has translated hundreds of pages of construction documents (including a 85-page construction contract for a superdeluxe condo building in Bangkok), I confirm Keith's translation (NO doubt):
- Le maitre d'ouvrage est celui qui paie la note, donc le Owner du terrain ou batiment
- Le Maitre d'oeuvre est celui qui supervise ts les travaux pour le compte du Owner, donc Project Manager
- L'entrepreneur est le Contractor, qui peut engager des Sub-contractors (plombiers, electricitiens, etc.)

PS. je viens de m'apercevoir que j'ai ecrit ca ds les 2 langues. Je laisse !
  • Piereloi


    Maitre d'ouvrage : DEVELOPPER during the construction
    OWNER once construction is handed over

    Maitre d'oeuvre : PROJECT MANAGER - can be an architect as well, depend of diplomas.



    New Member
    French & English
    My two cents are this.
    Maitrise d'ouvrage is about the process and keeping up with all the tasks involved in bringing the project to an end. Hence I would say it is Project Management.
    Maitrise d'oeuvre is about the oeuvre, right? So the end product. What are the goals, what are the requirements, etc. This is usually the task held by a Business Analyst. This is the person who knows about the product/process and whom you refer to in order to know anything about the product itself.
    Usually, when the project is completed, there is still a point in referring to the Business Analyst but the Project Manager moves on to a different project.
    Hope that helps.


    Senior Member
    English - England
    I'm translating "dont X est le maître d'oeuvre" but it is used in a figurative way in my text (X is the organiser of a film festival - nothing to do with building or architecture).

    I'm going to use: "which was planned and seen through by X" or "which was planned and organised/managed/run/programmed by X", something like that.

    Hope this helps someone.
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    Senior Member

    I need to translate th French acronyms MOA, MOE, RECMV and their definitions in English, and I have never heard of equivalent official acronyms in English. Does someone out there know? This is what I have so far:

    MOA: Maîtrise d’ouvrage
    = CA: Contracting Authority

    MOE: Maîtrise d’œuvre
    = PM: Project Management

    REXMV: Responsable de l'équipe d'Exploitation des messageries vocales
    = VMOP: voice mail operations manager ????

    I am very confused about the last one. Help please? Thank you in advance!!


    French, Belgium
    Les anglo-saxons sont beaucoup plus pragmatiques que les français.

    Le Maître d'Ouvrage est tout simplement le "client".
    Le Maître d'Oeuvre est le "prime contractor" (c'est le sous-traitant qui assume la responsabilité du projet, et qui supervise les autres sous-traitants).

    Et l'Assistance à la Maîtrise d'Ouvrage (un autre concept classique) est le "Project Office".


    It is possible, however perhaps (?) one good question which not arised meanwhile regarding the translation of these terms is to highlight that the legal frameworks behind are still based on different fundamentals, in particular for the construction sector, what we usually identified as "droit anglo-saxon" and "droit napoléonien" ? (but I'm not a jurist, and engineers like me seem to regularly wonder what is the most appropriate terminology to handle according to the context...).

    -- et sur la question du "plus pragmatique" en tant que belge européen je botte en touche diplomatiquement tant qu'il y a encore suffisamment d'europhiles au Royaume-Uni... ;-)


    New Member
    Francais - France
    En Amérique du Nord (Canada) Maitre d'œuvre= "On site Architect". Un moyen très pragmatique de te nommer l'architecte responsable de la construction d'un édifice.


    New Member
    En Amérique du Nord (Canada) Maitre d'œuvre= "On site Architect". Un moyen très pragmatique de te nommer l'architecte responsable de la construction d'un édifice.

    My contribution (from IT world): imagine company B (the MOA) has found a business with company A (the customer). They conclude the 'contract' that B will give A what A wants. B is a contractor to A, but B needs more workforce. They therefore engage C (the MOE), as a sub-contractor, who is not a contractor, in the sense that C is not under direct contract with A, but instead a delegate of B in the execution of this contract.

    I hope I'm not adding confusion ;-)



    New Member
    In its glossary, a large international bank's IT department lists "maître d'ouvrage" as "project owner", and "maître d'oeuvre" as "project developer". I hope that helps.
    In an IT context both roles are in fact Project Managers.
    On the « Maitrise d’ouvrage » side, the Project Manager is a non technical person. he is NOT a developer. He is in charge with the general management of the project (cost, time, features). he is the person who writes the functional requirements and specification documents.
    On the « Maitrise d’oeuvre » side, the Project Manager is a senior developer. he is in charge with actually coding following the specification documents written on the "Maitrise d’Ouvrage » side.

    The exact terminology might differ according to the Project Management method used. For example the term "Product Owner" directly refers to the Agile-Scrum methodology. It roughly corresponds to Chef de Projet MOA (Maitrise d’Ouvrage).
    There is no Chef de Projet MOE (Maitrise d’Oeuvre) in Agile Scrum as all developers in the team are supposed to assume this role. There is no manager on the development side, at least with this specific project management methodology.


    British English (scouser)
    Hi everyone,

    Sorry to add another post to this very long (and confusing!) thread, but I just wanted to be sure that my translation of maîtrise d'ouvrage was correct.

    The context is:

    Certaines données structurantes, comme la capacité volumique des bâtiments souhaités, seront précisées par la maîtrise d’ouvrage au moment du lancement des appels d’offres.

    I have understood that it's the person or body in charge of carrying out the work, so therefore the contractor? Or is it the developer?

    I'm getting confused because there is the maître d'ouvrage and then the maîtrise d'ouvrage, so I wanted to make sure I had fully understood the distinction between the two. Hope this is clear enough.

    Thanks a lot,

    Keith Bradford

    Senior Member
    English (Midlands UK)
    No, look, if these details are being specified at the moment the work goes to tender, then it must be the owner who specifies them. Because he hasn't yet chosen his contractor, has he? That owner may be an individual wanting a new house, a manufacturing company seeking to expand, or a property developer doing it for the money. But not a building contractor.

    There is no difference in this instance between maître d'ouvrage and maîtrise d'ouvrage, though in principle maîtrise d'ouvrage ought to mean ownership.


    British English (scouser)
    Right of course, it seems so simple now that you have explained it to me! I think I thought it couldn't be owner as I had seen you had translated maître d'ouvrage as owner and it wasn't quite the same term. I guess it's just not very clear in the French.

    Thank you very much Keith for your quick response and very clear explanations!


    Senior Member
    English - England
    Hi. I'm translating a document where a bank is certifying that someone has worked for them in various capacities. One of his job titles is "Responsable de projet en maîtrise d'œuvre". Would it be appropriate to translate this as something like:
    Project manager: Outsourcing​
    Manager of outsourced projects​

    Adam Warren

    London, Great Britain: British English
    Moderator note: multiple threads merged to create this one
    These terms are used in many different areas (construction, information systems, etc.). Please read the whole thread to find a translation appropriate to your situation. If you still are unsure of the translation in your particular context, please reply at the end of the thread to ask for help.

    Note de la modération : nous avons fusionné plusieurs discussions pour créer ce fil.
    Ces termes s'appliquent dans plusieurs domaines différents (bâtiment, systèmes d'information, etc.). Lisez donc le fil entier pour trouver la traduction qui convient à votre situation. Si vous avez encore des doutes concernant la traduction du terme dans votre contexte, répondez à la fin du fil pour demander des précisions.

    comment traduit on les termes "maîtrise d'ouvrage" / "maîtrise d'oeuvre" dans le contexte des systèmes d'information pour désigner les donneurs d'ordres et les responsable de l'exécution de ces ordres.

    Merci d'avance de votre aide.
    C'est une demande très spécifique, j'ai fait des recherches sans succès et je n'ai pas la moindre idée de synonymes ou de péri-phrases.

    PS: j'ai besoin des deux traductions.
    Cordialement. Joker.
    To begin:

    The root terms in this aggregated query set, Maître de l’Ouvrage (usually abbreviated MOA) and Maître d’Œuvre (usually abbreviated MOE), refer to the broad area of Project Management.

    The all-important distinction must be drawn between:

    Maître|Maîtrise d'Ouvrage

    denoting, according to context:

    project ownership
    in-house project support


    Maître| Maîtrise d’Œuvre

    denoting, according to context:

    project supervision
    prime contractorship
    project development

    So, the “Maître de l’Ouvrage” can be termed the “Project Owner”, which can be a person or an entity. Respectfully, the distinction one contributor makes between these two identities strikes me as not substantiated. I also, though rather gingerly, approve “Project sponsor” as a possible rendering for this term.

    A contributor refers to an architectural dictionary, which cites “maître d'ouvrage” rendered as "contracting authority". This is a very good rendering, but only in the context of public (or government) procurement. Otherwise, I advise keeping any notion of “contract” out of the maître d'ouvrage arena.

    For "Maître d’oeuvre", another contributor rightly cites "Prime Contractor". Correct, although this is not the only rendering. This term can also be rendered “Project Supervisor,” “Project Developer,” and “Contract Supervisor,” among others.

    In the IT project field, a large business entity cites the following in-house elements:

    BPM Business Project Manager => MOE Maître d’Œuvre
    BPO Business Project Owner => MO Maître de l’Ouvrage (MO strikes me as extraneous for our purposes, MOA being more usual, but see the following distinguishing term)
    BPOR Business Project Owner Representative => MOA Maîtrise d’Ouvrage

    Elsewhere in this entity’s massive word-store, we have, also for in-house IT projects:

    Maître d'oeuvre ME Project Developer Representative PDR
    Maître d'ouvrage MO Business Project Owner Representative BPOR
    maîtrise d'œuvre MOE Project Developer Unit PDU (perhaps too specialised to be of use here)
    maîtrise d'ouvrage MOA Business Project Owner BPO

    Again, I would regard the MO and ME abbreviations as extraneous to our purpose, and potentially misleading here.

    In other contexts, I have seen AMOA, Assistance à maîtrise d'ouvrage which broadly refers to in-house project support.



    Note that, respectfully, the contributions which got the terms and translations crossed should be disregarded.

    One contributor mistakenly suggested for “Maître d’Œuvre” something on the lines of “foreman” or “team leader”. Now, a foreman is a “contremaître”, of a class of workers called “agents de maîtrise”. On no account should a translator confuse these terms with the earlier, more relevant terms.

    To remind, a "team leader," being an individual, would be “chef d’équipe”. On the same project-related wavelength, “chef de projet” also refers to an individual, termed a “project manager” or, possibly lower down the management hierarchy, a “project team leader”.


    These are all ideas, and in view of the many contexts of use, cannot be hard-and-fast. I hope my contribution doesn’t perplex like an overloaded Ice Cream Parlour :)

    With kind regards,

    Adam Warren.
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