Localization Special Interest Group (SIG) in Mozilla Reps

Jeff Beatty


We’re excited to announce the launch of the Localization Special Interest Group in the Mozilla Reps program! The Mozilla Reps program is a fantastic program aimed at representing Mozilla publicly. The program also helps regional Mozilla communities gather together, recruit new mozillians, and attend events where a Mozilla presence is needed.

As stated in the Mozilla Reps wiki, “Special Interest Groups (SIGs) are groups of people within the Mozilla Reps program who have a particular interest (focus) in a specific area of the Mozilla project (eg. Marketing, localization, Support, QA, add-ons etc…).

These groups are created to enable Mozilla Reps to focus on developing specific skills and work more closely with Mozilla staff responsible for those projects. Also they act as key drivers to onboard and help new volunteers to contribute to those projects they are particularly interested in.”

The Localization Special Interest Group (SIG) will aim to train Mozilla Reps on the Mozilla localization program, how and where to find skilled localizers to recruit to the Mozilla project, and connect them with their regional localization team(s). The Localization SIG will help to bridge any existing gaps between regional localization teams and regional Mozilla Reps in an effort to create sustainable relationships, networks, and teams within Mozilla Localization.

If you are interested in joining the Localization SIG, please add your name and Mozilla Reps profile link to the Members section of the main Localization SIG wiki page. We will be organizing a mailing list as well as a training days event in the near future.

Mozilla at the Icelandic Language Institute

Jeff Beatty


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!


Localization sharing challenge for the upcoming summit

Jeff Beatty


The World Fair at Summit is a great opportunity to celebrate the unique elements of your culture and language within Mozilla. Being that all of us are passionate about sharing our language through localization, the World Fair provides a platform for sharing our language and the experiences we’ve had as we’ve incorporated it into the Mozilla project.


If you are participating in the World Fair, we would encourage you to feature in your World Fair booth your experience and challenges using your language in translation and localization at Mozilla. Sharing your language experiences will educate developers, project managers, marketing specialists, and many other about the challenges and rewards of localization in your region. Sharing your language experience here will help localizers that have encountered similar challenges in their own language experience at Mozilla. Sharing your language experience here will open minds, lift hearts, and allow you to connect to more Mozillians.


Unsure how to share your language experience? Here are some examples of experiences that we’ve seen and would be great to share:
  • Naming BrowserID “Persona” and the discussion from many localizers about the term’s meaning in their own language versus the meaning the branding team was intending.
  • Idiom equivalencies in marketing materials and how you arrived at selecting the right idiom (e.g., what challenges did you encounter when translating the term, “elevator pitch”?).
  • In Polish, the Firefox OS slogan “Blaze your own trail with Firefox OS” literally translated to “Burn down the road with firefoxOS” by a contractor. The Polish l10n team had to be creative to adjust and capture the correct meaning for their translation of the slogan.
  • Finding the right term for a new Firefox feature that didn’t exist before in your language (for many the English term, “Tab” was an example).
  • Users in Germany love Firefox for its security features.
Summit is a chance to share information and experiences with each other to improve the way we work together. We hope that by sharing language experiences, we can improve the way we localize the Mozilla project in all regions of the world. We’re very excited about seeing you at Mozilla Summit next week and having the chance to learn more about you, your culture, and your language!

Firefox Aurora 23 L10n Report

Jeff Beatty


Hello localizers!

Thank you all for your great work with Firefox 23 and 24. Here’s an outline of what is currently in Aurora this cycle and what we accomplished together last cycle:

This cycle (5 August – 16 September)

Key dates include:
– Beta sign offs are due before 9 September.
– Aurora sign offs are due before 16 September.
– Firefox 24 releases 17 September.

– 150 new strings were added to Aurora desktop, 95 for Aurora mobile
– Many of the new desktop strings cover additions to devtools.
– The mobile strings cover the new guest mode being added to Firefox for Android (see https://wiki.mozilla.org/Mobile/Projects/Guest_browsing ) for more details.

Please remember that sign offs are a critical piece to the cycle and mean that you approve and can vouch for the work you’re submitting for shipment.

Last cycle (May 14th – June 24th)

Noteworthy accomplishments:
– 71% of all locales shipped Firefox 23 on desktop updates on time. Sadly, that is a 7% decrease from last cycle but the 71% shipped still has the potential to impact, literally, millions of users and deserves to be congratulated!
– Localizations of Firefox OS have begun shipping! Congratulations to all involved.
– Between 22 & 23, three new locales were added to Firefox for Android: Slovak (sk), Turkish (tr), and Hungarian (hu)! Congratulations!

As always, thank you all for your efforts! You’re fantastic and we certainly appreciate you very much!

Verbatim has landed!

Jeff Beatty


We’re very happy to announce that the web localization tool, Verbatim, has been updated to Pootle 2.5. Thanks to this upgrade, Mozilla localizers can look forward to the following new features:

  • restructured databases enabling faster performance,
  • the ability to commit directly from Verbatim to Git repositories,
  • a sleeker user interface,
  • and many more outlined in Translate House’s release notes.

We’d like to thank Milos Dinic, Peter Bengsston, Axel Hecht, Dwayne Bailey, Julen Ruiz Aizpuru, and many others for all of their help with this upgrade. Visit localize.mozilla.org to start translating!


Updates to localizations in Firefox 22 and 23

Axel Hecht


If you haven’t noticed already, we think our localizers are pretty awesome. We’re proud to announce that, on top of all the teams that follow the rapid release process, today’s update to Firefox desktop 22 (and Firefox 23 Beta) contains major updates to a few localizations that we’d like to call out.

We’d like to thank the teams for their rededicated efforts and commitment to provide the users of their regions with the best localized browser on earth. In order to demonstrate the potential impact their efforts have made, I have outlined the potential number of native speakers of each language based on the populations of the language’s regions (see  Ethnologue’s research):

  • Gujarati (gu-IN) = 46,633,190
  • Hindi (hi-IN) = 260,302,820
  • Kannada (kn) = 37,739,040
  • Malayalam (ml) = 33,534,600
  • Northern Sotho (nso) = 4,101,000
  • Oriya (or) = 50,137,290
  • Punjabi (pa-IN) = 29,518,600
  • Songhay (son) = 3,400,000
  • Tamil (ta, India) =  68,763,360
  • Telugu (te) = 74,049,000
  • Zulu (zu) = 10,349,100
  • Thai (th) = 20,421,280
  • Maithili (mai) = 32,800,000
  • South African English (en-ZA) = 50, 500,000
  • Hungarian (hu) = 12,319,330
  • Ukrainian (uk) = 36,028,490

Thank you very much and congratulations on your success!

New homepage and design on l10n.mozilla.org

Axel Hecht


Today we’ve launched a new homepage on l10n.mozilla.org, and a new sandstone theme.

l10n.mozilla.org with the theme

l10n.mozilla.org with the theme

The l10n site now integrates better with the rest of the mozilla websites, and the homepage is more engaging.

Special thanks go to Matjaz Horvat, it’s his first big landing to elmo, the code behind l10n.m.o. The homepage redo was spearheaded by Jeff Beatty, and the design was done by Matt Ternoway.

Teach yourself L20n at L20n.org

Jeff Beatty


Language can be very difficult to capture within software localization. Each natural language in the world evolves at its own pace and in its own unique way, creating vibrant and rich means of expression. Sadly, simple static string translation is often ill-equipped to properly accommodate gender, conjugation, plural, or case changes required within the language by changing string variables and other run-time string composition issues. This is why we created L20n.

We’re super happy to announce that we’ve released an amazing tool to help localizers, engineers, and localization tool developers learn and practice L20n themselves! l20n.org contains a real-time text editor that allows you to edit L20n code and visually see how it impacts localization. The real-time editor is part of the “Learn” section of l20n.org dedicated to walk you through what L20n has to offer, feature by feature, and give you a chance to try these features out in real-time.

L20n is a localization framework (comprised of a pseudo-programming language) meant to transfer the ability to localize software using the fullness of any language from the developer to the localizer. L20n empowers localizers to be more independent of source language developers and have more control and flexibility in localizing software according to their native language’s demands.

l20n.org is live and running now! Go give it a try! Not only is it live, but its hosted on github for you to fork and contribute to. Enjoy testing out L20n!


New locales added to Firefox Aurora

Jeff Beatty


Today we’re very pleased to announce the addition of three new locales to the Firefox Aurora channel: Azerbaijani (az), Burmese (my), and Sakha (sah).

Azerbaijani (az), also known as Azeri, is primarily spoken in Iran, Azerbaijan, Turkey, Armenia, Georgia, Russia, Afghanistan, Iraq, Turkmenistan, and Syria. Ethnologue reports that there are approximately 25,000,000 native Azerbaijani speakers. To help their localization of Firefox move to the Release channel, join the Azerbaijani l10n team.

Burmese (my), also known as Myanmar, is primarily spoken in Burma/Myanmar, Thailand, Malaysia, and Singapore. Ethnoloque reports that there were approximately 32,000,000 native speakers of Burmese in 2000. To help their localization of Firefox move to the Release channel, join the Burmese l10n team.

Sakha (sah), also known as Yakut, is spoken primarily in the Sakha Republic of the Russian Federation. Ethnologue reports that there were approximately 450,000 native Sakha speakers in 2010.

Congratulations to these teams! We look forward to seeing their hard work on the Release channel soon.

Giving linguistic feedback for Firefox localizations

Jeff Beatty


Testing and getting feedback about a localization’s linguistic quality is critical to delivering a browser that will meet users’ needs. We want to attract people in any region to the world’s best browser by making sure that it is the best localized browser available. The language availability and feedback mechanisms vary according to the language’s current status.

At Mozilla, we release Firefox desktop localizations in two ways: through language packs (also known as langpacks) and official builds. Before a language hops on the rapid release train to be distributed as an official build, it is distributed through the Firefox add-ons manager (AMO) as a langpack. L10n teams will update these langpacks as they progress with their l10n efforts. Users in that region (or users whose preferred language is found as a langpack instead of an official build) can download, install, and give feedback on the langpack’s linguistic quality all on the langpack’s AMO page. Here’s a list of all of the current localizations distributed as langpacks.

Official localized builds of Firefox desktop can be found here. These localizations have been technically evaluated by passing rigorous technical reviews. Although they’re on the rapid release train, these Mozilla l10n teams still benefit greatly from receiving feedback from their users. The best way users can provide feedback on a localization’s linguistic quality is to download and install the localized Firefox Aurora build and begin using it as their default browser. As users see translation errors they can log them in Firefox Input, located in the toolbar under Help > Submit Feedback. The Mozilla l10n team responsible for that localization can see their users’ feedback and then make corrections as needed.

Giving feedback is simple and can take as little time as 1-3 minutes to do. If you haven’t already downloaded and installed your language’s Firefox Aurora build or langpack, go for it! Your Mozilla l10n team will be grateful for your help.