Mozilla at the Icelandic Language Institute

In August, I had the priviledge to meet with the members of the Icelandic Language Institute (ILI) to discuss their efforts to preserve the Icelandic language in technology. Icelanders are very proud of their unique language and have spent decades working out the most effective ways of reappropriating antiquated terminology to modern uses. The ILI also gave some very valuable advice on how Mozilla could help other language communities seeking to preserve their language through the use of technology.

Jeff Beatty with members of the Icelandic Language Institute

Jeff Beatty with members of the Icelandic Language Institute

Organize specialists

Specialists in your native language who understand the internet, software, and browsers specifically will be able to most accurately identify terms to use in localizing Firefox. Creating a gathering for them to collaborate, discuss, and make progress can help your efforts to establish standardized terminology within your language.

Involve the public

Your users will not only be using your localization, but they’ll be using your terminology too! It’s important to get their feedback on standardized terminology within the browser. The ILI gave the example of how difficult it has been for Icelandic users to adopt the ILI’s term for “app.” Terminology adoption is challenging and even standardization bodies struggle to increase its usage. Getting your users involved and creating a way for them to provide feedback will help your ability to increase terminology adoption.

Take your time

Creating the right term in your language for a modern, technological concept can be a long process. Since these terms will exist for a long time and be used by all speakers of your language, it’s important to be accurate and thorough. Be patient and push forward!


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