A Report on Translations of The Urantia Book
By Georges Michelson-Dupont, Trustee, Manager of Translations, Recloses, France
Translations of The Urantia Book and revisions of translations constitute much of the work of Urantia Foundation. There are fourteen translations in print, two translations in electronic format only, and eight translations in progress. In addition, three revisions of translations are under way. The translators and revisers work diligently, and everyone at Urantia Foundation is grateful for the efforts and service of these remarkable individuals!
Translation Software―Déjà Vu
In 2013, Urantia Foundation established policies and procedures to achieve its goal of producing the highest quality translations. To implement these policies and procedures, translation software was necessary. In 2015, Jay Peregrine, retired executive director now working with the Translation Committee, investigated a dozen software programs. He concluded that Déjà Vu was the software program best suited for translations and revisions of The Urantia Book. Déjà Vu provides 1) superior project management, 2) helpful translation tools, and 3) effective ways to ensure a consistent use of terms. In addition, the program can confirm if a translation is complete when compared to the English text.
The first step with Déjà Vu was creating exhaustive lists of English terms found in The Urantia Book requiring translation into all target languages. As you can imagine, this is quite a job. Thank you, Jay!
The Term Lists
1. Compound Nouns. There are 477 terms with definitions specific to The Urantia Book. Example: Adamic Sons of the Systems―one of the orders of permanent citizenship, the Material Sons and Daughters known on the planets as Adam and Eve.
In addition, the first reference in the book is included.
2. Neologisms. There are 164 new terms with definitions specific to The Urantia Book. Example: Abandonters―a dual-origin being of the stationary order resident on Uversa headquarters spheres.
In addition, the part of speech (male, female, adjective, substantive, etc.), the pronunciation, and the etymology (when possible) are included.
3. Words in the Dictionary. There are 57 terms that may pose difficulties for translators. Example: Absolute—complete and total; not limited in any way; having unlimited power.
In addition, the part of speech, a definition from The Urantia Book, and a contextual reference are included.
4. Ancient Egyptian and Acadian Names. There are 39 such terms found in The Urantia Book. Example: Amenemope―an ancient Egyptian pharaoh of the Twenty-First Dynasty.
In addition, the meaning is given (when possible) and a reference for other sources: wikipedia.org/wiki/Amenemope(pharaoh).
5. Ancient Roman Names and Places. There are 39 terms found in The Urantia Book. Example: Herod Antipas—the son of Herod the Great.
In addition, the meaning (when possible), the Greek name, and a reference from the Bible and The Urantia Book are included.
6. Biblical Greek Names and Places. There are 168 terms found in The Urantia Book. Example: Abimelech—the man who appropriated Abraham’s wife Sarah after the disappearance of Melchizedek.
In addition, the meaning (when possible), the Greek spelling, and references from the Bible and The Urantia Book are included.
7. Biblical Hebrew Names and Places. There are 288 terms found in The Urantia Book. Example: Abila—a city in the Decapolis. In addition, the meaning (when possible), the Hebrew spelling, and references from the Bible and The Urantia Book are included.
8. Other Historical Names and Places. There are 89 terms found in The Urantia Book. Example: Agni—the Rig Vedic three-headed fire god.
In addition, the meaning (when possible), the Greek name (when necessary), references from the Bible and The Urantia Book, and a reference to another source are included: wikipedia.org/wiki/Agni.
These term lists are necessary for translators and excellent study tools for scholars and students of The Urantia Book. These lists total 1,351 terms. When the translation of these lists are complete and uploaded to Déjà Vu, translators and revisers will no longer have to worry about these terms because they will automatically “pop up” when the translator is working in the software system. This assures the consistent use of terms throughout the entire text.
To date, the term lists have been completed and uploaded to Déjà Vu for the French translation and for the Chinese translation in simplified format.
Translations in Progress
• Chinese Translation―Simplified Format
The translation has been completed through Paper 95. The revision of the Chinese term lists and the uploading of the translated papers to Déjà Vu required the majority of the translator’s time over the past few months.
• The Czech Translation
The translators of the Czech translations have completed their first draft and are working on its revision. So far they have revised the Foreword and Paper 1 through Paper 170. They hope to finish by the end of 2017.
• Danish Translation
The translator is Jean Ascher, a.k.a. “Yourantiaman.” Jean is working on the first draft of the Danish translation and is almost done. He has only seven papers remaining and three additional papers requiring some revisions. He works alone and would very much enjoy some input from a Danish-speaking reader of the book. If you are that someone (or if you know someone), please contact Tamara Strumfeld at email@example.com.
Jean has done much to prepare the way for this translation. He places books of the English text in the main libraries in Denmark. He gives books to local persons from various trades and professions, and on certain occasions, he writes articles for public media.
Jean has a library consisting of his translation and about two hundred secondary works and other printed materials related to The Urantia Book. Under agreement with the Danish Royal Library, this collection will be saved and made available for future generations.
• Farsi Translation
The translator has written the following: “My name is Hamid Mazdeh. I was born in Iran, and I come from a Muslim background. In the early nineties, an Iranian doctor introduced The Urantia Book to me. She spoke about the book with such love, respect, and enthusiasm that I became fascinated with it. Soon the book became the centerpiece of my life, and, as the result, my philosophical views became dramatically influenced and transformed by its teachings. Some time later I learned that only a handful of Iranians knew about this amazing book, and that no one had taken any initiative to translate it into Farsi. So I decided to become that special person who would bring this life-changing book to the Farsi-speaking people around the world.
“So far I have translated about 63% of the book. Since I could not wait for the book to become officially published, I started posting my partial translation on the internet and quoting from it on Facebook. As a result, from only a handful of Iranians who knew about The Urantia Book, there are now tens of thousands of Iranians who have read my translation, and who have been tremendously inspired by it. I have received email messages of appreciation for my work from hundreds of persons.”
• Greek Translation
The Greek translation is being uploaded to Déjà Vu and is being checked against the English text to make sure it is complete. Two readers of the book who speak Greek have expressed interest in reading the translation to help with this verification process.
• Hebrew Translation
The translator, Gabriel Rymberg, has written the following: “The Hebrew translation has entered its fifth year. Currently, I am working on the first draft of Paper 147, and my editor is revising Paper 90. Progress is proceeding according to schedule.
“We are looking forward to uploading the translation to Déjà Vu! It will make our lives as translators much easier.
“Please keep us in your prayers!”
• Indonesian Translation
The Indonesian translation began in April 2013. Nugroho Widi is the chief translator; Yusuf A.M. is the copy editor; and Rahman Trimulyana, Jahan Miyadi, and Intan Nugroho make up a reader focus group that comments on the translation.
The team has begun their second revision.
For some history, please read (http://www.urantia.org/news/2014-10/happenings-in-indonesia).
• Japanese Translation
For a variety of reasons, the Japanese translation has been the sole work of Hagiko Wattles. Her husband, Jeff, has served as the consultant on the meaning of the English text; Rob Reno has provided technical assistance; there has been some financial support, and an offer to increase that support has been recently made.
Hagiko began her work in 2001, and it took ten years to produce the first draft. Then she took a break from the work, began a revision a few years ago, and has in the last several months shifted into high gear to complete it. After this month, only Part IV will remain for her to do. After this revision, there will remain one more significant task: to establish terminological consistency in the translation of the approximately one thousand key terms. Déjà Vu will be able to help.
Revisions of Translations
• Portuguese Revision
The chief reviser, Susana Hüttner, has finished Paper 120.
Saulo Fraga is working on Paper 112.
Helder Cherubin is working on Paper 73.
The reader focus group is commenting on Paper 72.
The Foreword and Papers 1 through 72 have been officially signed off on.
To read more on the details of how this revision team works, please see http://www.urantia.org/news/2016-06/revision-portuguese-translation-urantia-book.
• Russian Revision
This revision team consists of Michael Hanian, the chief translator, and Andrey Reznikov, the chief editor. An immense contribution to the revision project was made by Ludmila Pavlova, who supplied hundreds of pages of comments, suggestions, and in-depth analysis of the text. The revision is currently approaching the proofreading stage. The Foundation will do its best in helping Michael and his team create the highest quality translation possible.
• Spanish Revision
This revision team continues to function harmoniously and to generate papers of excellent quality. The copy editor and the chief reviser sustain their work pace and continue to improve significantly the linguistic aspects of the revised text.
To date, the team has revised the Foreword and Papers 1 through 138. The copy editor has completed editing the Foreword through Paper 35.
• Ukrainian Translation
The project of translating The Urantia Book into Ukrainian began in 2010 with a young lady, Oksana Andrushchyshyn, who lives in Toronto, Canada, and her brother Andrey. She has already translated 45 Papers.
In September of 2015, Anton Miroshnichenko of Ukraine approached Urantia Foundation requesting to be a member of the translation team. More details concerning the establishment of this team are being worked out, and the next step will be the completion of the list of terms.
Recently some individuals have proposed to translate The Urantia Book into Tagalog (the language of the Philippines). In addition, conversations have commenced concerning a translation into Urdu (the language of Pakistan). More conversations are required, and we hope to have more information for you in the future.
All translations and revisions require funding. Urantia Foundation depends on the generosity of the readership community to help support this work. Please help seed The Urantia Book and its teachings globally by contributing to the Foundation’s translation fund. If you have a particular translation that you are passionate about, translators and revisers welcome your support.
Click here to donate http://www.urantia.org/donate/online-donations
Déjà Vu translation software program screenshot
Déjà Vu translation software program screenshot
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