Event Report: 1st SUMO l10n Sprint in Tunisia

We’re continuing our series of guest posts by you, the people who make SUMO happen. This time, I have the pleasure of introducing Ghaith, a great local(e) leader for the budding SUMO community in Tunisia.

Don’t forget that you can find all the stories written by those among you with a SUMO (or Mozilla) story to share checking this category page.

Sunday, February the 28th, from 10 am to 4 pm: it happened just like that, the first localization sprint for SUMO in Tunisia.

An amazing (and interesting) experience for everyone involved, especially since some of us didn’t have any localization experience before that day.

And there you go foxies: mission accomplished! Here’s the summary of what happened during the first Arabic SUMO sprint in Tunisia.

But first, let’s track you with cookies…

We want YOU to join the SUMO army !

This event was a real opportunity for the new community members (Welcome Adib, Amal, Fatma, Ghada and Marwen!) to participate in their first Mozilla L10n Sprint.

In all, 9 members were active during this 6-hour long sprint, with 4 of them being new members in the Tunisian community.

Ghaith acted as the event’s lead, presenting the tools we were going to use as well as offering advice and directions for the new SUMO warriors to maintain good translation quality.

Although two of our senior community members had to take a break due to personal matters, it didn’t hinder our efforts as we kept hammering at the goals we set.

We’ve mainly been using Transvision (A big thanks to the French Mozilla community for this tool) to search for the UI strings already localized in the Firefox Release repos. We also used an online keyboard that transformed latin letters in their phonetical arabic counterparts for those who were too used to their AZERTY and QWERTY Latin keyboards.

And last but not least, we wanted to experiment with machine translation. A warning though: we are not yet able to obtain understandable sentences from automatic translators, especially in Arabic (Note to self: machine translation is a true gold mine of funny, incomprehensible sentences) – but it did help when a fast way to translate the short and common words was needed, leaving to us only the fixing of the overall form and grammar, and replacing the technical words. Afterwards, we’d obtain a quality sentence understandable by all and in sync with the rest of the Arabic Firefox locale. But as noted, this was just an experiment (albeit a surprisingly successful one), and most of the other localization was done the old fashioned way: by hand.

Ghaith offering a demonstration of Transvision to the team

Did someone say “goals”?

Speaking of goals – as the first localization sprint for SUMO organized in Tunisia, we lacked the proper metrics for such an event. We also planned for this event to be as cheap as possible, so we’ve set a couple of goals for this:

  1. First, we wanted to have a few metrics on which we could work on for future l10n sprints (how many articles per hour one can do, who’s interested in documentation in our community, how to organize time to maximize the results…).
  2. Second, our beloved SUMO milestones. We originally set the bar on localizing 100% of the templates and the global top 20.

Bye-bye templates, you guys were fun to work with.

At the end of the day, we’ve made it to around 85% of the goals we’ve set, with all the templates localized and 75% on the way to finishing the top 20. We can only expect better results for next sessions now that our amazing volunteers are familiar with the localization process for SUMO.

Milestones aside, the other results are promising: we did not sacrifice comfort, and the six hours we’ve set were sufficient to work without stress.

This is the first step for more regional Arabic Mozilla SUMO sprints. Now all we need is to crunch the numbers, scale them for bigger and longer sessions, and keep the awesomeness coming!

The family picture

There you go, a truly inspirational story with a great background of many smiling faces that bring Firefox closer to millions of users using Arabic daily. Thank you Ghaith – thank you SUMO Tunisia! :-)