Categories: Contributor News

Organizing a localization marathon

Oskar Ivanić, SUMO’s amazing ginger Serbian locale leader, has written a very interesting post on what it means to organize a localization marathon. A must read for anybody interested in organizing something similar! Cross-posted from


Previously I have wrote an article about the first SUMO (Support Mozilla) marathon that we organized at VTŠ (College of Applied Sciences) in Subotica – the city where I live, and where most of SUMO localizers are from.

I’m going to share how we do these marathons, and hopefully this article will help you to organize the same in your community.


Well, this can be a problem sometimes.

Depending on how much people you expect and how many people have laptops, you can choose the following options:

  • in a classroom – best for bigger number of translators due to availability of dekstop’s
  • at your (someone’s) place – up to five people (depends on laptops availability)
  • Coworking space – depends on laptops and desktop PC availability

I would strongly recommend you to avoid paying for the venue, as you can find someone who will understand what you do and why you do it.

Personally, I had few rejections from high schools, but that was due to their closed minds, where they didn’t see the opportunity to involve their students into something that can be very useful in future.

That didn’t stop me, and I have found a university that offered us a classroom whenever we need it to translate or even organize events. I’m happy to say that half of our community are from this university.


When filling a budget request (if you are a Rep) you should try to follow the guideline in order to avoid any problems.

Depending on how many people are coming to marathon, you should plan on what you want to buy and that can be from pizzas, drinks, ice-creams, chocolates, coffees and etc.

Usually, this is how it looks like on ours end:

  • Pizza(s) family size
  • Refreshment drinks

Depending on how much people will attend, budget request can go from 20 to 60 $.  Also, pizzas can be changed for going out to some coffee shop where you can relax and chat – and you should mix that from time to time.


Make sure that all people who are attending had experience with translation, or you will lose time to explain them how to.

Depending on language you are translating SUMO articles, translation rate can differ.

In our example, we tend to localize and transcribe most of IT terms, and that can be tricky sometimes.

You should create a guideline for you community about how they should translate and on what they need to take a note.

When translating, try to understand that you are translating that article for someone who’s barely into IT, and you should try to translate in their language of understanding, otherwise your article won’t help them.

Remember, quality over quantity – at least for this.


Etherpad – you can use it to write down the notes for localization, track the articles and etc.

Doodle – helps you to decide the time by enabling people to vote for their best date and time option.

Google Translate – use it when you need it. Do NOT translate the whole article with it, because we wouldn’t need you to help us if GT was that good.

Glossary – very useful when you are translating and when you are having doubts on how to translate something.

Do you have something to add? Maybe your example on how you organize marathons?