Italian Translation Completed!
Urantia Foundation announces with great pleasure that translators have completed work on Il Libro di Urantia, the Italian translation of The Urantia Book, and that the text is now being formatted to prepare it for publication. Volunteers started the Italian project in 1987, and in 1995 the Foundation endorsed the effort. Four years later the translators finished their first draft, and since then they have been polishing and refining the text.
We extend hearty congratulations to the Italian translation team and thank them for their years of dedication and perseverance. In a very real sense the completed translation is a living memorial to the late Giuseppe Zecchinato, who led early phases of the effort but unfortunately passed away while it was still in progress.
The Italian translators worked out of love for the revelation and entirely without pay, but Urantia Foundation must bear the cost of publication. We appeal for your generous contributions so that the millions of Italian-speaking truth lovers all over the world can read the revelation in their own language.
We now yield to chief translator Memo Zago, who tells the story from his perspective line.
Il Libro di Urantia
by Memo Zago
I met Giuseppe Zecchinato some time in the 1980s. He told me about the Urantia Papers and quickly discovered that I was intensely interested in learning more. So he let me do some reading, and I started with "The Life and Teachings of Jesus" from the original French edition.
The stories seemed intriguing, and I felt the urge to buy the complete edition in French. After I read the entire book I decided to translate the text into my own language, Italian. When I finished a few papers, I gave them to Giuseppe and asked for his appraisal.
Sometime later we both decided to try to translate from English. With much toil and after many hardships we managed to translate some forty papers; then the work came to a sudden stop because Giuseppe fell seriously ill. In part, his illness caused him to lose his eyesight almost completely.
After a while I decided to resume the translation effort. I was translating from English but also had the French translation open as a reference tool. I would visit Giuseppe every Saturday and share my work with him. (This was easy to do, for we both lived in Verona.)
I read the new translated text to Giuseppe, who could not read anything because his eyesight had deteriorated. After we discussed what I had read aloud, Giuseppe and I agreed upon any corrections that needed to be made.
This working method was extremely slow. Based on Giuseppe's impressions of what he was hearing, he formed the belief that the text was good enough for publication and in 1999 told the Foundation that the translation could be published in 2000. I thought we had done a good job but should have the work checked by an expert in English, and I passed along these views to Trustee Georges Michelson-Dupont.
A short while later Giuseppe died. Seppo Kanerva, the Manager for Translations, suggested that I consider accepting Antonella Carrara as my co-worker in revising and polishing the Italian text, since she had volunteered to help. She in turn recruited her friend Salvatore Frustaci, another expert in English.
This was the situation in 2001, and from that time onward Antonella, Salvatore, and I worked together as a team. They sent me their proposals for modifications and improvements, and in general I agreed with their suggestions and was grateful to them both.
I have gone through the Italian text three times, always making corrections here and there and removing imperfections. Finally on May 27, 2004 we considered the work done. The Italian translation really was finished
! I thank God I met Giuseppe Zecchinato. I thank God for inspiring me to work on the translation project using the French and English texts. I thank him especially for having given me the physical and mental energy to persist throughout these many years, overcoming innumerable difficulties that seemed to obstruct the completion of this immense effort. I thank him because now we can see the results, the first edition of Il Libro di Urantia.
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