Categories: L10n Reports Planet

L10n Report: December 2020 Edition


New localizers

Are you a locale leader and want us to include new members in our upcoming reports? Contact us!

New community/locales added

New content and projects

What’s new or coming up in Firefox desktop

Upcoming deadlines:

  • Firefox 85 is currently in beta and will be released on January 26. The deadline to update localization is on January 17 (see this older l10n report to understand why it moved closer to the release date).

As anticipated in the last report, this release cycle is longer than usual (6 weeks instead of 4), to accommodate for the end of year holidays in Europe and the US.

The number of new strings remains pretty low, but expect this to change during the first half of 2021, when we should have new content, thanks to a mix of new features and old interfaces revisited. There will also be changes to improve consistency around the use of Title Case and Sentence case for English. This won’t result in new strings to translate for other locales, but it’s a good reminder that each locale should set and follow its own rules, and they should be documented in style guides.

Since we’re at the end of year, here are a few numbers for Firefox:

  • We currently ship Firefox in 96 languages. You should be proud of that accomplishment, since it makes Firefox the most widely localized browser on the market [1].
  • Nightly ships with 10 additional locales. Some of them are very close to shipping in stable builds, hopefully that will happen in 2021.

[1] Disclaimer: other browsers make it quite difficult to understand which languages are effectively supported (there’s no way to switch language, and they don’t necessarily work in the open). Other vendors seem to also have a low entry barrier when it comes to adding a new language, and listing it as available. On the other hand, at Mozilla we require high priority parts to be completely translated, or very close, and a sustainable community before shipping.

What’s new or coming up in mobile

In many regards, you can surely say about 2020 “What a year…” – and that also applies to mobile at Mozilla.

We shipped products, dropped some… Let’s take a closer look at what’s happened over the year.

In 2020, we shipped the all new Firefox for Android browser (“Fenix”) in 94 languages, which is a great accomplishment. Thank you again to all the localizers who have contributed to this project and its global launch. Your work has ensured that Firefox for Android remains a successful product around the world. We are humbled and grateful for that.

As for the latest release that comes out in December, we will be able to try out a few new features, such as a tab grid view and the ability to delete downloads.

2020 also brought improvements and cool new features to Firefox for iOS – especially since the iOS update to version 14. To only list a few:

But 2020 has also been a year when we have had to drop some mobile projects, such as Scryer, Firefox Lite and Firefox for Fire TV. We thank you all for the hard work on these products.

Firefox Reality should be available until at least 2021, but not much l10n work is to be expected. We are still figuring things out in regards to Lockwise, we will keep you posted once we know more.

We are looking forwards to 2021 to continue shipping great localized mobile projects. Thank you all for your ongoing work and support!

What’s new or coming up in web projects

This year, saw the long awaited migration from .lang to .ftl format. The change gives localizers greater flexibility to localize the site in their language more naturally, and the localized content is pushed to production from once a day manually to a few times in an hour automatically. The new file structure ensures consistency usage in brands and product names across the site. The threshold to activate a locale has lowered, with the hope that it would attract more localizers to participate.

In the past seven months or so, 90+ files have been migrated, added and updated to the new format, and more are still in the work. New pages would be more content heavy and more informational.

Another major change is, instead of creating a new What’s New Page (or WNP) with every Firefox release, the team has decided to promote the evergreen WNP page with stable content for an extended period of time. If Firefox desktop is offered in your locale, please make sure this page is fully localized.

The team would like to take the opportunity to express their deep gratitude to all of our community localizers, all over the world. Your work is critical to Mozilla’s global impact and essential for making Mozilla’s products available to the widest possible audience. 61% of 2020 visits were in locales served primarily by community localizers. In those locales, non-Firefox visits to our website grew by 10% this year and downloads increased by 13%! Mozilla’s audience is all over the world, and we couldn’t reach it without you, the localizers who bring to your communities. Thank you!

Firefox Accounts

This year, a limited payment feature was added to a few select markets. Next year, the payment feature will be expanded to support PayPal and in more European regions. The team is working on the details and we will learn more soon.

Common Voice

Despite a challenging year, the project saw a significant growth in dataset collection in the past six months: an additional 2,000 hours added, 6 more languages (Hindi, Lithuanian, Luganda, Thai, Finnish, Hungarian) , and over 7 million clips total! Check out which languages have the most hours on Discourse.

Project WebThings

Given the year 2020 has turned out to be, you may not recall that Mozilla’s strategy for Project WebThings this year was to successfully establish it as an independent, community-led open source project.  The important work needed to complete that transition took place in November and December.  Through the efforts of community members the project streamlined its name to just “WebThings”, established a new home at, relocated all the project’s code and assets on GitHub, created a new set of backend services to support and maintain the global network of users’ WebThings Gateways, and provided a simple path for transitioning Gateways to the new community infrastructure through the release of WebThings Gateway 1.0.  Though a lot changed, Pontoon continues to be our platform for localization and the WebThings team has been continually delighted by the contributions there, with teams supporting thirty-four languages.  You’ll still find WebThings discussion on Discourse, including several more detailed announcements about the community’s newfound independence and plans for 2021.

What’s new or coming up in Foundation projects

Wagtail has become the first CMS to be fully integrated & automated with Pontoon — and managing translations doesn’t require writing or manually deploying a single line of code. This will dramatically reduce the amount of time required to make some content localizable and get it published.

Mozilla Foundation worked directly with Torchbox, Wagtail’s editor, and sponsored the development of the Wagtail Localize plugin, adding localization support into Wagtail. This solution will not only work for us, but for any organization using this free and open source CMS!

Wagtail is currently used on the Foundation website, the Mozilla Festival website and on the Donate websites. A lot of efforts went into designing a system to manage content at a granular level for each locale, so that you will only translate content that is relevant for your locale. For instance you won’t see in Pontoon content that is used for performing A/B tests in English, or custom content that is only relevant to other locales. Another nice feature is that your work gets automatically published on production within a few minutes. You can read more about the changes for the Mozilla donate websites here and you can expect even more content to be localized via Wagtail Localize in 2021!

What’s new or coming up in SuMo

We’ve got a few releases including Firefox 83 in mid-November and Firefox 84 just this week. Some of the following articles are completely new but most are only updated. You can also keep track of SUMO’s new articles on our sprint wiki page in the above links.

Here are the recent articles that have been translated:

What’s new or coming up in Pontoon

Team insights

We’ve just landed a new feature on team dashboards – Insights – which shows an overview of the translation and review activity of each team. Stay tuned for more details in a blog post that will be published soon.

Editor refactor

In order to simplify adding new editor implementations to Pontoon, Adrian refactored the frontend editor code using React hooks. All features should work exactly the same as before, but perform better.

Upgraded to Django 3

Thanks to Philipp Pontoon has been upgraded from Django 2.2 to Django 3.1. The process also brought several related library upgrades and new dependency management using pip-compile.

New test automation

We have moved our test automation fromTravis CI to GitHub Actions. Thanks to Axel and Flod for taking care of it! We’ve also split automation into multiple tasks, which comes with several benefits.

Front-end bugfixes

Several frontend bugs have been fixed by our new contributor Mitch. Perhaps the most interesting one: changing the text to uppercase directly in JS files instead of using the text-transform property of CSS. Reason? The text-transform property is not reliable for some locales. Welcome to the team, Mitch!

Project config improvements

Thanks to Jotes we’ve landed several improvements and bugfixes for the project config support. Jotes also migrated several unit tests from using the Django test framework to pytest.

Upcoming changes to Machinery

April and Jotes have made good progress on the implementation of the Concordance search. It will be added to the Machinery panel and will allow you to search all your past translations without leaving the translate view. Two related changes have already landed – you can now reset custom search with a click of a button, and when you copy custom search result, it gets added to the editor instead of replacing its content.

Friends of the Lion

Image by Elio Qoshi


  • Huge kudos to Alejandro, Manuel, and Sergio who only joined the Galician community recently but have accomplished a lot! All three are studying for a Master’s degree in Translation Technologies and would like to get some hands-on experience in the field and an open-source company like Mozilla can help expand that experience. In a short month, they studied all the onboarding documents, familiarized themselves with Pontoon and the localization process,  then single handedly brought the site to the best shape it has seen in recent years: 36k+ words localized. While they are finishing up their studies, based on their experience with this project, they want to share with us some of the fruits of their effort that might benefit Pontoon and future projects. Thank you all so much, we can’t wait!

Know someone in your l10n community who’s been doing a great job and should appear here? Contact one of the l10n-drivers and we’ll make sure they get a shout-out (see list at the bottom)!

Useful Links

Questions? Want to get involved?

Did you enjoy reading this report? Let us know how we can improve by reaching out to any one of the l10n-drivers listed above.

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