How much of the future should we project?

Swedish and English can differ when referring to the future explicitly. The following sentence is a good example of this:

“Vi diskuterade hur viktigt det är som forskare att kunna bidra till eventuella framtida behandlingar för svårt sjuka patienter.”

“att kunna bidra till eventuella framtida behandlingar” is a lot of information. Some of it would likely not be expressed by a native English speaker when writing this type of text. For example, the uncertainty of “eventuella” and the future aspect would be handled differently.

Here’s a proposed version in English:

“We discussed the importance of being able to contribute to developing treatments for seriously ill patients.”

So I eliminated “eventuella” and “framtida”. Why? “Developing” includes the concept of both the uncertainty and of not yet existing treatments.

“Framtida” is a subject worthy of discussion in itself. Swedish writers often add the term to indicate something does not yet exist when in fact this is often obvious by context. I suspect it is more the habit of phrase rather than a necessary element of the sentence. For this reason I often try to eliminate it if no meaning is lost.

I also changed the focus slightly by not emphasising the “forskare”/researcher. The reason is that from context (not shown here), the actor was abundantly evident and stating it again was redundant in my judgement.

The point: it is worth considering whether you really should include “framtida” in your translations or if you are simply doing so because the Swedish includes the word without considering the context.