A Decade of Quality and Dedication—the Revision of El libro de Urantia

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Gaétan Charland

By Gaétan Charland, associate trustee, Québec, Canada

Several years ago, I was invited to serve on a new committee tasked with organizing and managing the rollout of the new revision of El libro de Urantia. This service opportunity gave me the privilege of meeting the team of readers who dedicated 10 years of their lives to this revision project. It also gave me an inside look at, and appreciation of, the processes put in place by Urantia Foundation that guarantee the highest-quality revision of a translation of The Urantia Book.

As an outsider looking in, I share my observations of what I have seen, witnessed, and appreciated. While I am not an expert on either translating or revising, I do have firsthand experience studying and managing study groups with readers who use the original French translation and its subsequent revisions. Hence my sympathy with Spanish-speaking readers for the difficulties they might anticipate or even experience with this new revision. But please be assured that great care, substantial resources, and unparalleled expertise have been invested in this project.

Urantia Foundation takes its translation and revision responsibilities seriously. Previous articles have outlined the challenges and intricacies involved in a five-stage process that can take decades. You can learn more by reading here: https://www.urantia.org/news/2019-06/creating-translations-out-love-urantia-foundations-quality-process.

Numerous steps were involved in this revision, each of which necessitated an element of quality assurance. It began with the revision team whose members hailed from different Spanish-speaking countries. They all had proven comprehension of the English text as well as experience with the English language. They had also participated in study groups for many years.

The team was assisted by a professional copy editor, one with extensive experience revising translations from English into Spanish. This copy editor spent many years carefully analyzing the revised Spanish text and recommending changes that would ensure the highest quality standards for the revision.

A group of Spanish-speaking Urantia Book readers were invited to read and evaluate papers, then make suggestions about words or concepts they felt needed modifying. Their contributions became a critical part of the process.

The next step in this long process called for a professional quality evaluation. This was performed by not one but three different evaluators who specialize in translation into Spanish. All were given papers from different parts of the book, and all reported high marks with only minor changes suggested.

The standards established for this project became the cornerstone upon which the revision was created: Truth in the conveyance of concepts; Beauty in the expression of language; and Goodness transforming perceptions to new levels of sublime understanding.

During my many years of service in the Urantia community, I have never seen such dedication, cooperation, and true fraternity from a group of readers hailing from different cultures and backgrounds. I have been truly edified by their loyalty to one another and to the project.

I can tell you firsthand that this undertaking was a tremendous journey in teamwork and trust. With the new revision, Spanish-speaking people across the globe will be able to enjoy El libro de Urantia in a way that's analogous to how readers of the original text experience it.

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