Moving the needle on translation quality

Jeff Beatty

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Identifying translation issues is hard

Trying to measure translation quality is like asking someone to tell you if a cake they’ve made tastes good. It may taste very good to you, but it may taste terrible to your friend. Despite the fact that the cake’s recipe might have been followed very closely, each of us has our own unique set of criteria of what makes a “good” cake. If someone were to ask you to describe why the cake was or was not good, you may struggle for the right words. It often comes down to a gut feeling that determines whether or not it’s good.

When you’re asked to evaluate a translation into your native language and describe whether the translation is good, you might find yourself struggling for words, leaving you to simply say, “The translation just doesn’t sound/feel right.” While this may be true, it doesn’t describe the issue with the translation or what needs to be corrected to make it better. Often we simply lack the right words to identify the translation issue.

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Localization hackathon in Dublin

Jeff Beatty

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This year’s Mozilla Celtic l10n hackathon was held in the heart of Dublin in an Irish language school near Trinity College Dublin called Gaelchultúr. We were thrilled to bring the Celtic Mozilla communities (Irish, Scottish Gaelic, Welsh, and Breton) together again to discuss Celtic language technologies, the Mozilla l10n process, and collaboratively raise the bar for l10n quality.

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Irish, Welsh, Breton, and Scottish Gaelic Mozilla l10n communities together in Dublin.

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L10n invitations to Mozilla All Hands

Jeff Beatty

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Twice per year, Mozillians from around the world meet together for a week to work closely on projects that have a high-level impact. We also learn about new directions in the Mozilla vision and the roles that we play in that vision.

We (the l10n-drivers) have the pleasure of selecting Mozillians in the l10n community to join us for specific projects at each of these All Hands work weeks. The way it works is like this:

  1. The Platform group (l10n is part of Platform) is given a budget and a number of Mozillians we can select to come to All Hands to collaborate on specific projects with us about 3-4 months in advance.
  2. We determine which projects we will focus on during our time together and make goals for what we’ll accomplish in those projects during the week.
  3. Once the projects are decided, we identify Mozillians who are actively contributing to those projects we want to tackle at All Hands.
  4. We then follow a similar process to the process we use to invite Mozillians to the l10n hackathons we organize by asking ourselves this series of questions about those Mozillians we’ve identified:
    1. Who is most engaged in the specific l10n infrastructure projects we’ll be working on at All Hands (for example, Transvision, Pootle dev, etc.)?
    2. Who will be able to represent a particular l10n perspective when involved in cross-functional area meetings (for example, who can contribute code to implementing RTL support in Fennec)?
    3. Who is tuned into the global l10n community and can represent their viewpoints in l10n conversations?
    4. Who is currently working in l10n and other functional areas of Mozilla and would benefit from meeting with multiple teams in a Work Week?
    5. Who can participate best within the l10n agenda and goals that we hope to accomplish during this specific Work Week?

How can I apply or be nominated to go to All Hands for l10n?

There is no self-nomination or application process. We support the Participation Team’s “open nominations” program, which engages with global community leaders to nominate members of their community who seek to deepend their participation within the Mozilla project. We will be part of the nomination review process here. During that process, we’ll apply our selection criteria (mentioned above) for All-Hands Work Weeks to those of you who apply for the program.

We look forward to seeing a many localizer nominations to this “open nominations” program. If any of you have questions about this, please feel free to ask. We’re always interested in improving our selection criteria for these opportunities and we attempt to improve and iterate where we’re falling short. Feel free to reach out to us if you have ideas on how we can iterate and improve here.

Mozilla localization hackathons in 2016

Jeff Beatty

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In 2015 the l10n-drivers sought out to re-unite localization communities that hadn’t had an opportunity to gather and hack on localization challenges in person in years. We created a three year plan to bring back a sense of community and collaboration that is critical to Mozilla’s ability to deliver quality localizations of Firefox and other products to users worldwide. The plan is as follows:

2015: L10n-drivers organized and led these hackathons, including most (if not all) logistics and a templated agenda for each hackathon.

2016: L10n-drivers create a hackathon schedule and plan parts of the hackathon, leaving most of the agenda and some logistics to be collaboratively planned by the l10n communities participating in each. L10n communities lead the hackathons during the event.

2017: L10n communities organize and lead l10n hackathons for their community or for multiple communities, including logistics and agenda. L10n communities invite l10n-drivers to attend the hackathons in which their presence is needed.

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Firefox L10n Report (Aurora 47)

Jeff Beatty

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Hello localizers!
Thank you all for your great work with Firefox 45 and 46. Here’s an outline of what is currently in Aurora this cycle (47) and what we accomplished together last cycle:

This cycle (Fx47)

Key dates:

  • Beta (46) sign offs for *already shipping locales* must be completed before 6 April.
  • Aurora (47) sign offs must be completed before 18 April.

String breakdown:

  • Approximately 177 new strings landed in Firefox desktop and 13 for Fennec (unshared).
  • About 59% of the new strings in desktop are in devtools and DOM. 10% are for a Synced tabs sidebar. 10% are related to rewording the phishing warning message in Safe Browsing. 5% are for the Narrate feature in  Reader Mode. Please see the Aurora release notes for Firefox desktop for more info (to be available soon).
  • 23% of the new strings in Fennec are related to rewording the phishing warning message in Safe Browsing. 23% are concerning the phasing out of Gingerbread support. Please see the Aurora release notes for Fennec for more info (to be available soon).

Last cycle

Noteworthy events (45):

  • 63% of all locales signed off on updates of Firefox 45 on desktop. Congratulations to everyone who signed off and shipped this last cycle! Sadly, this is an 11% decrease in locale coverage between Firefox 44 and Firefox 45.
  • 62% of all locales shipped signed off updates of Fennec 45 on Android. Congratulations to everyone who signed off and shipped this last cycle! Sadly, this is an 12% decrease in locale coverage between Fennec 44 and Fennec 45.
  • Despite the lower number of sign-offs, about 96% of all l10n communities contributed to making Firefox & Fennec 45 available in their native languages. Thank you for your time and effort!
  • The Guaraní localization team launched their first localization of Firefox desktop in Fx45! This is the first indigenous Latin American language community to ship a Mozilla localization.
  • The Romansh and Maya Kaqchikel localization team will launch their first Mozilla localizations in Firefox for Android in Fennec 46!

Thank you to everyone for all of your dedication and hard work this last sprint. As always, if you note anything missing in these reports, please let us know.

Mozlando Localization Sessions

Jeff Beatty

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Twice per year, Mozillians from around the world are invited to attend All Hands work week. All Hands is an opportunity for both paid and volunteer staff from all functional areas to meet together to solve problems, brainstorm new goals, and find ways to make the Mozilla mission a reality. For the localization functional area, All Hands gives us a chance to collaborate on resolving challenges in the l10n process, discuss community needs, and start new programs within the functional area. Below is an overview of the highlights and l10n-specific sessions that were held in Orlando. More information about many of these sessions will be made available in the coming weeks.

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Firefox l10n report (Aurora 45)

Jeff Beatty

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Hello localizers! 


Thank you all for your great work with Firefox 43 and 44. Here’s an outline of what is currently in Aurora this cycle (45) and what we accomplished together last cycle: 


This cycle (Fx45)


Key dates: 
  • Beta (44) sign offs for *already shipping locales* must be completed before 13 January
  • Aurora (45) sign offs must be completed before 25 January
String breakdown:
    

Last 2 cycles

    
Noteworth events (42):
  • 84% of all locales shipped signed off updates of Firefox 42 on desktop. This is a massive 17% increase in locale coverage between Firefox 41 and Firefox 42!
  • 80% of all locales shipped signed off updates of Fennec 42 on Android. This is a 6% increase in locale coverage between Fennec 41 and Fennec 42!
Noteworthy events (43): 
  • 66% of all locales shipped signed off updates of Firefox 43 on desktop. This is an 18% decrease in locale coverage between Firefox 42 and Firefox 43.
  • 62% of all locales shipped signed off updates of Fennec 43 on Android. This is an 18% decrease in locale coverage between Fennec 42 and Fennec 43.
  • We’re also looking forward to seeing the Lao and Romansh localization teams launch their first Mozilla localizations in Firefox for Android soon.
    
Congratulations to everyone who signed off and shipped this last cycle! Thank you to everyone for all of your dedication and hard work this last sprint. As always, if you note anything missing in these reports, please let me know. 

 

Mozilla Turkic l10n Meet-up – Istanbul

flodolo

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At the beginning of October, Axel and I took a trip to Istanbul to organize a new l10n hackathon. Is there a more iconic place than a city extending over two continents, with such diversity of culture, to host a localization event?

The target for these meetings is to gather key l10n contributors in the region, bring them up to speed on the latest updates regarding Mozilla, and understand their team’s health and perspectives.

At this event, hosted by a local hacking space named Iskele47, we had representatives from five languages: Azerbaijani, Kazakh, Russian, Turkish, and Uzbek.

Mozilla Turkic Meetup - Istanbul Oct 10-11

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