Category Archives: Vietnam

Vietnamese language Firefox localization group

With the hard work of Hung Nguyen, we have had a Vietnamese Firefox since 3.6. However, Hung is working on his own and is looking for additional help to localize Firefox as well as other Mozilla software and websites into Vietnamese. This mailing list has been set up to coordinate the localization of Firefox and other Mozilla software into Vietnamese. We are actively looking for volunteers- please come help if you are interested.

If you would like to join the mailing list, please do so here:

If you prefer the Google Groups interface (same emails, different interface) you may sign up here:!forum/

Note this is a moderated list because the spam to Usenet has been severe in recent years. Only spam messages will be moderated/deleted.

Asia-related links I am reading

China’s censorship arms race escalates – Excellent coverage on Internet censorship in Mainland China by Rebecca Mackinnon.

Why and How Facebook should come to Southeast Asia – Bernard Leong’s excellent treatise on Facebook in SE Asia. If he wasn’t running his own SNS, Facebook should hire Bernard 😉

Google Losing in China as New Users Go to Baidu – Google losing search market share in China.

Forbes: The Man Who’s Beating Google – Long portrait of Robin Li, Founder & CEO of Baidu.

Japan’s PPC ad market will reach $2 billion by 2013 – Decent, but it could/should be bigger.

E-Commerce Is Getting Chinese to Loosen Their Purse Strings – NYT on ecommerce trends in China. Ecommerce and the related Internet advertising to support ecommerce will be key to a more vibrant web in China.

South Korea Approves Sale of Apple’s iPhone – Channy has been waiting for this day for a long time 🙂

South Korea Clears Way for iPhone Sales – No one has still explained how S. Koreans are going to do anything on the iPhone that requires a secure transaction if no Korean web services support SSL.

Vietnam’s rebounding economy – V not yet for victory – Economist on Vietnam’s macroeconomic challenges.

Software piracy costs Vietnam $275 million every year – Vietnam has done well with open source software but could do a lot more.

Want to live like Commons people?
Joi Ito talks about Creative Commons, Twitter, and the White House – Guardian UK interviews Joi Ito.

survey of Internet users in Vietnam

This post has no specific Mozilla-related information.  It is more for reference and to better understand the Vietnamese Internet market as Mozilla prepares to launch Firefox 3.5 in Vietnamese.

Thanh Nien is reporting on a survey of Vietnamese Internet users. This may be the first survey of Internet users in Vietnam and thus is worth looking at in detail. Yahoo conducts Vietnam’s first Net-users survey

The survey was conducted in December of 2008 by “Yahoo and TNS Media polled more than 1,200 people aged 15 and above in Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh City, Da Nang and Can Tho who use the Internet.”

* 80% of Vietnamese Internet users are between 15 and 19 years old. Large portions of the Vietnamese populace have yet to get online.
* average time online doubled from 2006 to 2008 to 43 mins./day
* average time watching TV fell by 21% but still significant at almost 4 hours/day.
* more Internet users at home than at net cafes (66% from home in the 3 months before the survey); I had imagined more net cafe usage.
* online advertising market in Vietnam is $2.8 mil. USD in 2008.

Firefox 3.1 Beta feedback from Vietnam

In preparation for the upcoming release of Firefox 3.1 3.5 later this year, we have been looking for feedback from users regarding the current beta builds and specifically feedback for the new localization efforts to date.

Kevin Miller Jr., a programmer/blogger and educator in Vietnam, was kind enough to offer help by assigning his 11th and 12th grade students in his ICT class at the American International School (in Saigon, Vietnam) to review the Firefox 3.1 Beta Vietnamese builds. Note that these students are not programmers but as they go to an international school in Vietnam, they are fluent in English and are able to provide us feedback directly.

We received 33 pieces of feedback which I have aggregated into this pdf: Vietnam_feedback.pdf. I’ve taken out real names and left in nicknames.  I’ve also reformatted the text to be a little more readable.

Looking at the feedback in aggregate, a few thoughts.

A number of comments mentioned that the 3.1 Beta seemed slower than 3.0. It’s unclear if this was due to the application or the website visited or the network connectivity at that moment. We hope to follow up with Kevin’s students once the final 3.5 is released to see if the perceptions of slowness have changed.

A number of comments discussed the frustration of having to download plugins to run Flash. I think this is a common point of frustration for average users that we may want to review.

A number of comments discussed the fact that the Vietnamese interface was confusing to those who had only used English interfaces to date. Some of the comments discussed possible other translations for menu items, which can be reviewed and debated by the vi l10n team.  Some of the comments discussed the fact that the reviewer did not know the Vietnamese computer terms due to the fact that they had only used English-language software.

It is important to remember that this particular sample is of users who are fluent in English.  While probably many Internet users in Vietnam are comfortable with English, the goal for the Vietnamese Firefox localization is for those users who are not comfortable with English or who will be getting online in the near future and would prefer a localized Vietnamese interface. Unfortunately, I think this is a common issue in locales where software has been late to be localized and English interfaces have been the default.

We would like to thank Kevin and all of his students for taking the time to review the localized builds and provide this feedback.

I’ll close with a few quotes from the students.

I am not a professional user in the internet world so I do not have any ideas about other to add in features, I just feel happy to know there will be more Vietnamese can easily go online and do research in a web browser has their own language. I hope this new version in Vietnamese of Firefox will be supported strongly by a big amount of users.

Although English is common and understandable for many people right now, it is good to have a Vietnamese version so that a wide range of people can get access to this technology without knowing English. Sometimes the English used commonly on the websites are easy, but when it comes to explaining technical terms or errors, it is very hard to understand. Moreover, it is good to see Vietnamese besides other big languages.

While using Firefox 3.1 Beta, I have no trouble and feel more comfortable than using Internet Explore[r]. The majority of Vietnamese population doesn’t know much English especially people who live in rural areas or elder people or the one who received a limited education. Thus, the Vietnamese version of Firefox would be necessary and convenient for them. I think the mother-tongue version of Firefox would be not only useful in Vietnam but is also helpful in non-English speaking countries. To perfect the version, Firefox should fix the translating problems so everyone can fully understand.

All of the localizations that are in beta are looking for feedback and we appreciate all efforts to provide feedback so that our localizations can be the most accessible and understandable in each specific locale that Firefox is released in.

viral ads in China, the year in browsers, cute corporate mascots, IDN

  • The Mozillagumi’s 9th annual party will be held in Tokyo on May 31st. Presentations by John Daggett and David Tenser of Mozilla, Channy Yun of Mozilla Korea, Takagi-san of AIST, Nakamoto-san of, and a number of others. This event is free and open to the public but requires signup iirc.
  • We object to “Restriction of Harmful Information on Network Bill”
    The Wide Project, (a non-profit that works to promote the Internet in Japan), takes a stand against recent movements by the government in Japan to increase censorship of content on the Internet (a futile effort led by a clueless politician who wishes to blame the medium and not the users.)