Swedish Project Nears Completion
People are sometimes curious about how a translation project begins. The answer to that question is not as straightforward as one might expect. The majority of the translation projects have come at the request of a church planting network or grass-roots church planters who want to use the books in their ministry – primarily to help new believers understand their faith. Other requests are a bit more serendipitous. Such is the case with our Swedish translation project.
In June of 2017, we received a request from the contact page on the CSM website. The note was from Jonas Vestlund, a Christian and professional translator. He wrote:
In cooperation with Gothenburg International Baptist Church, I plan to do a Swedish translation of the catechism Simple Truths during summer/autumn 2017. I did a translation of the New City Catechism during 2014, http://evangeliekatekesen.se/, and value a catechism as a teaching tool. This weekend I am finishing proof-reading of Spurgeon’s Catechism in Swedish.
The easy to understand language of the Simple Truths catechism and the definitions at the end will be very useful in Sweden, both among immigrants and among secular Swedes that do not have a “Christian language”. Well, it will actually be of good use also among teens in my church. It amazes me how our churches often are lacking a modern simple vocabulary for the evangelical truths of the Bible.
Since that correspondence, the project hit a few bumps and delays along the way. One of which was Jonas’ involvement in the Swedish translation of John Calvin’s small 1537 book, Truth for All Times. The book was originally published in English by the Banner of Truth Trust who granted translation permission. That project took “a bit longer than expected”, so our project moved into 2018. This past week, Jonas informed us that the project is completed and is now being field-tested, after which it will go through final edits. With that news, he added:
I think this catechism is what we need. It fits us better than both Spurgeon’s Catechism and New City Catechism, that are the two reformed catechisms we have translated to Swedish. So, I have not [made] the progress to report that I had hoped. But, I have not given up this important work.