Awesome l10n contributor: Biraj Karmakar

Part of a series similar to the Awesome L10n Communities series where individual contributors are spotlighted for their efforts.

Biraj Karmakar biraj

Nationality: Indian
Languages: Bengali, English, Hindi
Background: Been a Mozillian for four years. Starting at the beginning of his university studies four years ago. Was recruited by Runa to localize Thunderbird. Studying Computer Science Engineering at West Bengal University of Technology in his final year.
Role in L10n community: I have started working with mozilla as a translator. But now I am locale owner. Driving product l10n for Indian Bengali.

Projects you’re currently working on:
Firefox desktop, Firefox OS, Firefox for Android, previously on Thunderbird, Webmaker, and SUMO.

How did you get started with the Mozilla project?

One day, arrbee (Runa) asked me if I was interested in Mozilla Thunderbird translation or not. So, I told her that I was really interested to translate the Thunderbird and I began right away.

What have been some of the biggest challenges to reviving your localization effort?

There were technical barriers to entry for people to get involved because bn-IN was not hosted on Pootle. Training localizers has also been a challenge. Language differences among community were a challenge.

What have been some of your biggest successes?

At last Firefox Aurora 27 came after Firefox 16 and Bengali India page was been re-enabled. L10n sprints have been a very helpful tool to update and maintain Firefox desktop localization. One of these last year, in particular, was very helpful in this area.

How do you help your team find new L10n contributors?

Generally, in every event in my region, I take a session on localization and introduce the participants how to do localization in their languages. Talking to people at all events I attend and encouraging people to get involved. I try to encourage them to get involved in multiple areas of Mozilla, but specifically to start with l10n and I mentor them through the process of getting started with l10n.

What’s your philosophy/method on mentoring new contributors?

First of all, I give them some example about localization, like mobile phone operating system.
Then ask them why it is needed. After hearing their answer I discuss its importance. I give a small presentation on localization. After that, I give a hands-on session how to do localization .
I tell some rules and regulations which have to followed at the time of localization.

If you could identify several best practices that have helped you to become a successful Mozilla localizer, what would they be?

  1. I don’t use the machine translating system. Only use MT for specific purposes, like terminology lookup, instead of sentences. And even then, I use it for inspiration, not for the concrete term. Example : খাতা is wrong for “File” word . We have to use “ফাইল” for “File” word.
  2. I like Pootle’s error checking system which helps me to check silly mistakes.
  3. Also I like Pootle’s string auto suggestion system which helps me to save my time for translating similar strings.
  4. For translation, I always use the Bengali keyboard layout.
  5. Look to knowledgeable people for help.

What are you most looking forward to accomplishing this year?

Firefox OS  and Firefox for Android.

Five things you may not know about me:

  1. I’m a Web Developer (with 2 apps in Firefox OS Marketplace).
  2. I also work on SUMO, Webmaker, and QA.
  3. I’m a good mentor.
  4. I’m a nice person 🙂
  5. I have a photography business and enjoy photo editing and graphic design.



6 comments on “Awesome l10n contributor: Biraj Karmakar”

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  1. koustav samadder wrote on

    I am feeling lucky to have a great mentor like him in our bn-IN localization team, his mentality, enthusiasm, dedication inspires me all the time. He is one of the great helpful persons I have met in my life. Wish you all the very best and all the success in life 😉


    1. Biraj wrote on

      Thanks you so much. I am always very glad to teach like you.


    2. Sgtm Saha wrote on

      Great article ..
      You are such a very good person no doubt .. prosper my friend .. wish you a good luck .. 🙂


  2. Akshay wrote on

    Hi Biraj,

    It was nice to meet at MozCamp Beta this year, I still remember me the “File” example you told me then.

    Congrats for being featured, and keep contributing!


  3. Rajesh Ranjan wrote on

    Thanks Jeff!. It good to see a very young and always smiling face of localization here on this blog from India. He is really a dedicated foss contributor. I wish him great success in his life.


  4. Soumik Roy wrote on

    I am exited to meet you after heard about you from kaku..


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