Localization Hackathons in India and Sri Lanka

In February, three of the l10n drivers were able to make an overdue trip to meet with localizers in India and Sri Lanka. It was a really wonderful experience to meet localizers in person that we had interacted with for so long virtually.

We had a particular format for the event and a few specific goals. The format was to spend half of each day in large group discussion and half broken up into each l10n team so that localizers could fix bugs, translate strings, and collaborate in person while we discussed l10n community health status with each l10n team, one-on-one. Unfortunately, this format was slightly confusing the first day, particularly the breakout half of the day. The second day was much more productive. Our goals for the meetup were specific to matters in India localization communities:

  1. Share updates to product release schedules and the Mozilla organization with localizers.
  2. Discuss how localizers see their localized products being used in India and Sri Lanka and brainstorm how to increase the user base for Firefox and Fennec in local languages.
  3. Discuss how Indic and Sri Lankan localization teams prioritize localization work.
  4. Identify outstanding internationalization bugs that specifically affect Indic languages.
  5. Create a strategy to raise the number of Indic languages we ship Firefox into from 12 to 22.

We were able to accomplish each of these goals and enjoy the collaboration with the community to do so. We learned a lot of helpful insights into the challenges faced by Indic l10n teams.

There were three discussions that were particularly engaging: the virtuous participation cycle, the Mozilla l10n landscape, and increasing the user base for Firefox and Fennec in local languages. One of the most interesting outcomes of these discussions was the creation of a local language promotion taskforce in India. This taskforce is responsible for creating campaigns to educate users on how to find Firefox and Fennec in their local languages and to help Mozilla identify successful marketing strategies for increasing the local language user base in India.

In Sri Lanka, we had a great opportunity to meet with both new and veteran localizers for the Sinhala localization team. In addition to a very engaging conversation about how people in Sri Lanka use Firefox in Sinhala, the most interesting and motivational part of the hackathon was the breakout portion. Seeing veteran localizers become very involved in mentoring new localizers and collaboratively creating a Sinhala style guide and glossary was inspirational.

All-in-all, this was a very fulfilling experience for Axel, Arky, and I. I want to thank Ani Peter, Rajesh Ranjan, Galaxy Kadiyala, Danishka Navin and Konstantina for all of their help to make these events possible and successful.

For more information about these events, please see the following links:

  • https://wiki.mozilla.org/L10n:Meetings/IndiaQ12015
  • https://wiki.mozilla.org/L10n:Meetings/Sri_Lanka2015

Here are some of our favorite pics from the events:

2015-02-02 14.57.33 2015-02-03 15.43.12 2015-02-03 17.00.16 2015-02-03 17.28.53 2015-02-05 11.04.33 2015-02-05 13.29.06 2015-02-05 14.02.58 2015-02-06 12.13.25 2015-02-06 17.07.142015-02-08 13.59.36 2015-02-08 14.00.07 2015-02-08 14.22.31

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