The Swedish Translation Story

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The effort to translate The Urantia Book into the Swedish language has been accomplished. In February 2002 the head of the Swedish translation team delivered the disks containing the final text of the work.

Swedish is the official language of Sweden and one of the official languages of Finland. It is spoken by about 9 million people: 8,500,000 in Sweden and 500,000 elsewhere, chiefly in Finland, Norway, and Estonia.

The Swedish project was launched in late 1993, soon after the Finnish Urantia-kirja was published. The reader who became the chief translator for the Swedish translation was one of the first Urantia Book readers in Finland. His enthusiasm and devotion to The Urantia Book has been instrumental in shaping the reader community in Finland. This translator's native language is Swedish, but his Finnish is impeccably correct also, and his knowledge of the English language is excellent.

Back in 1993 another long-time reader volunteered to help in any way he could. When he called he did not know about the incipient Swedish project. At that time he was teaching Swedish translating in Helsinki University, so he was more than fit to be included in the team. This man was a polyglot person. He was very well versed in the differences and nuances between the two variants of the language, the variant spoken in the Republic of Finland and that spoken in the Kingdom of Sweden. Apart from his native Finnish, he also spoke Swedish, English, Norwegian, Icelandic, Danish, German, some Russian, Hebrew, Spanish, and French.

The arrangement for the translating team was that the chief translator would submit his work to the Foundation's Manager for Translations (who is also fluent in Swedish) who would compare the chief translator's renderings with the English text to ensure his understanding matched the English concepts and that nothing had been missed in the Swedish rendering.

The second team member would then read the work again, make linguistic corrections, and check that the work did not come with anything objectionable to Swedish-speakers, like expressions, words, or inflectional forms that would be archaic or outdated in the view of the speakers of this language in Sweden.

Several rounds of refining and editing took place. Many discussions were held in order to solve the innumerable problems. The concept of “bestowal” was the last problem to be solved.

Sadly the second member of the team died unexpectedly last May after a very difficult illness. He had made his corrections only on the paper printouts, and was just about to start entering the corrections into the electronic files when he came to the premature end of his earthly career. After a short delay, however, the work continued with the chief translator himself entering the last round of corrections into the electronic files. The work of the second team member has been of tremendous valuehedida great service for the Swedish people in his short life.

It is our hope that the Swedish translation will be published in the very near future and that our Swedish brothers and sisters will join in the privilege of being able to read The Urantia Book in their native tongue. We welcome all contributions toward the publication and distribution of this work.

Foundation Info

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