The Indonesian Religious Affairs Ministry has translated the Quran into many regional languages through the Center for Research and Development of Lectures, Religious Treasures, and Organizational Management (LKKMO).
“We have translated the Quran into regional languages. There are already 26 Qurans in regional languages,” the LKKMO Head, Mohammad Ishom, said as quoted from nu.or.id on Thursday, Nov. 9, 2023.
He explained that the 26 regional languages were regional languages spread across the islands of Sumatra, Java, Kalimantan, Sulawesi, and Bali. The agency is still exploring other languages in other islands, particularly East Nusa Tenggara and Papua.
“[We have translated the Quran into] all languages on the island of Sumatra, except Lampung language, and into all languages on the island of Java, except the Betawi language,” he added.
In Kalimantan, the holy book of Islam was translated into the Banjar and Dayak languages. “There are many varieties of Dayak languages. We only had one,” Ishom claimed.
The Quran has also been translated into the Kaili, Bugis, and Mandar languages of Sulawesi, as well as the Ambonese Malay language of Maluku. “It has been published in the Balinese language, but not yet in the languages of NTT and Papua.”
Ishom explained that this Quran translation program aims to preserve culture as mandated by Law No. 5 of 2017 on the Advancement of Culture and to help people understand the holy book in their native language.
“This is in line with the pillars of the state, namely Bhinneka Tunggal Ika, that we are different, we have different languages, different religions, different tribes, races, and groups, so we must be able to preserve the Quran in our languages, regional languages,” he remarked.
The Quran translation process involves many parties, including academics, religious leaders, traditional leaders, and local regional language preservation institutions. The LKKMO also collaborates with local provincial and district/city governments as the distributors.