The Story Of Urantia Raamat
Posted 06 February 2011 - 08:29 AM
A million more Europeans have the book available, thanks to 25 years of preparation and translation effort. The translation story below is one of eight updates Urantia Foundation published recently.
Urantia Foundation News Online
Date: Mon, 12/06/2010 Author: Peep Sõber
Photocopies of Urmas's translation circulated among a few Estonians, but nothing more happened with it until the Soviet Union collapsed and the Republic of Estonia was reestablished in 1991...
By Peep Sõber, Estonia
I have met many astonished Urantia Book readers in the US who ask, "How can you have long time readers in Estonia which was not long ago part of the Soviet Union?" They don't know that we started the translation in 1985 with a group of translators. In two years the whole draft was ready. We made 50 to 100 copies of this draft for people to read.
In the early 1970s, thanks to Finnish readers, the first copy of The Urantia Book arrived in Estonia, which at that time was still part of the Soviet Union. After several years of reading the book in English, a few of us formed a team to translate the book into Estonian. Urmas Lipand agreed to be the chief translator, although he was not experienced.
Photocopies of Urmas's translation circulated among a few Estonians, but nothing more happened with it until the Soviet Union collapsed and the Republic of Estonia was reestablished in 1991. At that time, I had the idea to start a second Estonian translation with a professional translator. I knew that a French translation existed, and that Finnish, Spanish, and Russian translations were nearing completion. I had a strong conviction that our small nation of a million inhabitants needed a translation.
After giving a few introductory lectures and writing a few articles for magazines, I received a tremendous response: More than 500 people sent me letters expressing interest in reading The Urantia Book. At that time I had a regular radio program on which I introduced books published by my publishing company. Sometimes I would talk about the teachings of The Urantia Book.
On August 21, 1994, I spoke of Jesus' birth 2000 years ago. We had a birthday celebration and invited Seppo Kanerva to our meeting in Tallinn where we introduced our new translation team. We had a great event in a high school auditorium with music and speeches. Three hundred people who were curious about the book attended.
The next year, in 1995, I was invited to Helsinki by the Finnish Urantia Association, and after speaking about our preparations for an Estonian translation, the Finns decided to financially support our project. Urantia Foundation agreed with our plan, and the work began.
We had a professional translator and several assistants. After the first 21 papers, the chief translator tired and bowed out of the project. We then found a new translator, Meeli Kuura, who was even more skilled with the English language than the first one. We also had on our team an Estonian language teacher, a long time editor, and several readers.
In 1997 we organized the first conference for readers of The Urantia Book in Tallinn, Estonia. Richard Keeler, Seppo Kanerva and several Finnish readers were our guests. The following year we created the Estonian Urantia Association and have had annual conferences since then.
In autumn of 2000, the translation team was convinced that the translation was ready for printing. It just so happened at this time that I met a professional editor who took a keen interest in the Jesus Papers. I told her to make a few corrections here and there if needed. She soon called and asked, "Do you know how many corrections I have made in the first ten pages?" I was astonished! How could she have corrected our "almost perfect" work? But she was right, and we soon found out that her skillful editing would make the translation significantly better.
What a disappointment to our readers! They knew that Urantia Foundation was ready to publish our book. Now we calculated that three to four more years of editing were needed to "perfect" the translation. Our professional editor spent eight years correcting Parts III and IV. She then retired from the project. Luckily we found another professional to complete the editing of Parts I and II.
Impatient readers criticized us for taking so long with our work. But my response was always the same: The Estonian translation is not only for you but also for all Estonians and for many generations of Estonian readers.
Estonia is the smallest nation in the world which has The Urantia Book in its own language. The great saga, which began 25 years ago, finally came to an end this year on October 1. Urantia raamat appeared in bookstores throughout Estonia. We readers enjoy this new reality of having a printed book. We no longer rely on photocopies of the first or second translation drafts which were so difficult to read.
The Estonian translation resulted from the fruits of teamwork, which affords us pleasure, not only because the Estonian translation is now a reality, but also because we know teamwork is one of the most important lessons to learn during our mortal careers.
Posted 14 February 2011 - 02:48 PM
The leader of the Estonian Green Movement (a member of the Estonian parliament) , with his wife, slept at my home. There was another medical doctor with his family, who slept with his family at our leading parliament member of the Green movement in Finland. I supplied them with some money during the stay in Finland. Further I remember that there was a young astronomer who gave to me an optical telescope "made in Estonia".
Estonia was then very near independence from the Soviet, and the Estonian flag was hang in Finland at our conference for the first time!
here is some official history:
The green environmentalist campaign, the Estonian Green Movement (Estonian: Eesti Roheline Liikumine) was established by Juhan Aare in May 1988. The Estonian Green Party was established on August 19, 1989, and a rival Green Party under the leadership of Vello Pohla in May 1990. After 2 years of fragmentation the party Estonian Greens was established on December 1991. Only one representative, Rein Järlik was elected to Parliament in September 1992.
Aug. 23, 1987 First large political demonstration in Hirvepark, Tallinn
Sept. 11, 1988 Rally "Song of Estonia" with 300,000 participants
Nov. 16, 1988 The 11th Supreme Soviet of the Estonian SSR passed a sovereignty declaration
Aug. 23, 1989 A 600 km long human Baltic Chain was organized from Tallinn to Vilnius (2 million people)
March 11-12, 1990 The first session of the Congress of Estonia (representative body of Estonian citizens) decided to restore the Republic of Estonia on the basis of legal continuity
March 30, 1990 The Supreme Soviet proclaimed a transition period for the restoration of the Republic of Estonia
March 3, 1991 Referendum on restoration of the independent Republic of Estonia (supported by 77.8 % of the voters)
Edited by HSTa, 15 February 2011 - 02:42 AM.
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