The Jakarta Post
Published in 1994, "Hujan Bulan Juni" has found a lasting place in Indonesian society for its simple words that carry deep meaning. (Shutterstock/-)
Poetry anthology Hujan Bulan Juni (A June Rain) by Sapardi Djoko Damono is now available in Mandarin, after a reader was compelled to translate the work.
As reported by tempo.co, TF Chan, who is of Indonesian descent but lives in Hong Kong, became a fan of Sapardi's book.
Despite not being familiar with Sapardi, as well not having any background in linguistics, Chan said his interest in the work encouraged him to translate it.
"Sapardi's works are very interesting; it resonated with me, and there was an urge to translate it into Mandarin," Chan said during the book's launch in Jakarta on Wednesday.
The translated book of poetry uses two languages, as the original Indonesian poems are shown beside the Mandarin translation.
"I am not a literary person, not a professional translator, not a cultural observer. It was just a coincidence," Chan said.
Sapari expressed happiness about the positive reception of his work, which has also been translated into a film with the same title.
"Film and then translation. I'm very happy. That means a lot of people want to read my poetry," Sapardi said at the same event.
Hujan Bulan Juni had previously been translated into English, Japanese and Arabic. An established writer, Sapardi's previous works have also been translated into various languages, including German, French and Russian, among others.
Siti Gretia, publishing company Gramedia Pustaka Utama's general manager, expressed hope that Sapardi's work would be used at schools in Indonesia for students studying Mandarin.
"Many schools' curriculum include Mandarin. Hopefully this book can be complementary Mandarin reading material for Indonesian students, while at the same time introducing an Indonesian author to the students," Siti said.
Siti further expressed hope that the book would also be sold in China. (liz/kes)