During my last visit to the Holy Grand Mosque of Mecca, I found it extremely hard to explain to the Indonesian woman sitting next to me what the preacher was saying. Trying to support her efforts to understand the sermon, I felt sorry for her inability to get the spirituality behind his words because of the language barrier.
Today, thanks to a new translation service, more non-Arabic-speaking Muslims at the mosque can finally listen to sermons in their native languages. After the successful launch of live translation of Friday sermons into Urdu and English at the Two Holy Mosques, Malay and French will be added as well at the Grand Mosque, according to Dr. Abdulrahman Al-Sudais, chief of the presidency of the affairs of the Two Holy Mosques.
Non-Arabic speakers will be provided with headsets and small audio devices connected to an FM frequency that broadcasts the translation of the Arabic sermon. Currently, this service is restricted to the area of King Fahd expansion project. This step, however, represents a great expansion of the scope of outreach, since French is spoken in many African countries, and Malay is widely spoken in Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore and Brunei.
For more info – The Saudi Gazette