Experts have discovered that there are approximately 7,000 spoken languages around the world, as cited by Ethnologue. Many of these are well known and are spoken by millions of people. Others are on the brink of extinction. It is estimated that nearly half of the world’s 7,000 languages could become extinct within this century, according to the Endangered Languages Project. Preserving these cherished languages has become a high priority for many organizations and people worldwide, including the localization teams at Mozilla.
Mozilla’s localization efforts aim to bring the open web to every corner of the globe, offering every user a regionally customized web experience. We are only able to accomplish this mission by teaming up with a very talented and dedicated, global community of volunteers who share our same values. Many of these volunteers are native speakers of languages that are considered to be endangered. For many of them, they localize Firefox for two reasons: they love the web and they want to preserve their language.
Mozilla works closely with volunteer localization teams who form part of organizations such as AnLoc in Africa and Nacnati in Mexico, as well as individuals and small groups who localize Firefox into the following languages:
- Scottish Gaelic
To support these teams, we provide the framework and vehicle for them to distribute their work as either official language packs or official localized Firefox builds. We seek to mentor their efforts wherever possible through dedicated Localization Community and Program Managers. In addition, we actively encourage experienced localizers to join us in mentoring these teams. As part of our mentor efforts, we work to visit these teams as often as possible, providing them with one-on-one trainings called L10n Sprints.
We love all of our localization teams and look forward to our continued opportunities to aid in preserving the languages of the world.