Charlie Hebdo to be translated into Swedish

Charlie Hebdo to be translated into Swedish
Another issue of Charlie Hebdo, published after the terror attack. Photo: AP Photo/Lionel Cironneau
A Swedish translation of the last edition of French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo printed before terrorists killed a dozen of its staff is going to be published in Sweden on Thursday.

The issue was originally published on January 6th, the day before extremist Islamist gunmen swooped on the magazine's Paris offices, killing 12 of the satirical weekly's staff.

It has now been translated into Swedish in a project involving the national branch of Reporters Without Borders (Reportrar utan gränser) and is set to be handed out at Sweden's annual literature festival in Gothenburg on Thursday.

Thousands of Swedes gathered in Stockholm's main square to pay tribute to the killed journalists and cartoonists days after the attack.

But the controversial French magazine has also been the subject of frequent debate and criticism, often centred around its satirical depiction of Islam as well as other religions.

Translator Maja Thrane told Swedish Radio in an interview late on Monday that she wants Swedes to be able to form their own opinion of the weekly.

“Charlie Hebdo is not a newspaper that hits out at Muslims, but it's a satirical paper that hits in all directions. It's very difficult to talk about a newspaper if you haven't read it,” she said.

France's Ambassador Jacques Lapouge speaking in Stockholm. Photo: Henrik Montgomery/TT

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Sweden's biggest newspaper, Aftonbladet, had planned to translate the edition shortly after the fatal shooting. But the plug got pulled on the project at last minute after the daily failed to make contact with Charlie Hebdo's editorial staff, but also because some of the content was considered too brutal.

Thrane, who was one of the translators involved at the time, then decided to move the project forward on her own.

“A lot of translators start translating out of a desire to publish something in a language. Not that you absolutely want to translate something just because, but because you want the text to get out,” she told Swedish Radio.

A typical print run for Charlie Hebdo magazine is just 75,000 copies, but another issue sold in France after the terror attack to honour the victims was bought by millions.

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