Translating the Qur'an into regional languages in Indonesia began back in the 1800s. At the time, Kyai Sholeh Darat from Semarang translated the Qur'an into Javanese. He translated it into pegon, which is Javanese written in Arabic letters. This particular translation had considerable influence on the country's national heroine, Raden Ajeng Kartini.
Last June, the Islamic community in the East Java city of Madura launched the Qur'an in the local Madurese language. Although only three of the Qur'an's 30 sections have been translated, it nonetheless becomes the latest addition to the already long list of local translations of Islam's holy book.
What are the problems of translating the Qur'an? Can local languages capture the essence of Qur'anic verses? Tempo looks into the stories behind the translations of the Qur'an in Madurese, Acehnese, Sundanese and Mandar.