Axel Hecht Mozilla in Your Language

January 27, 2012

What’s a glossary term?

Filed under: L10n,Mozilla — Tags: , , — Axel Hecht @ 5:23 pm

I’m hacking on some tool that indexes the localizable strings in our apps.

One of the fall-outs could be a glossary tool, i.e., which terms in Firefox, Thunderbird, etc should localizers bother to get consistently translated.

Which raises an interesting question, where do you draw the line? What’s a good metric to use to define a glossary? Are there glossary-based applications that don’t need a cut-off at all?

Insights welcome.


  1. hi Axel:

    a good start would be a compilation of single-word nouns and verbs (actually and/or – like in the case of “File”). That should carry it a long way.

    Check such a compilate by Slovenian Ubuntu community here:

    The most appropriate container for this kind of information would be the TMX format, allowing a single-file, multilingual solution.



    Comment by smo — January 28, 2012 @ 5:50 am

  2. Seems like indexing everything and then getting a count for frequency for each occurrence would be the place to start…or I’m not fully understanding the concept…

    Comment by Caspy7 — January 28, 2012 @ 7:26 am

  3. Perhaps Caspy is right, you could use Antconc or a similar tool and substract articles, prepositions and any list of bad words you can make up along the way. However the process will still be highly manual, and sometimes frequency is not the best filter: some key terms appear just a few times as compared to many other words like open, file or whatever. I think there’s been people working on this for years and there still is no solution but to hire a full-time terminologist yey :D

    Comment by Eloi — February 3, 2012 @ 8:37 am

  4. Do you need something like this :

    For now it’s a quick glossary just based on the frequency, I plan to use more heuristic rules and similarity in the near future.

    Comment by Philippe — February 7, 2012 @ 3:14 am

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