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At Mozilla, translation by localizers is 100% volunteer-driven. This document describes the steps you need to consider and take to localize your web project while respecting localizers' time and work. After reading this document, you should be able to construct a good localization plan that acknowledges a process for all to follow and the technical choices you need to make before starting.

  1. The localization workflow checklist (↓ below)
    The process explained from A to Z. After Web Dev has approved the development of your project, immediately contact l10n-drivers to discuss your localization strategy for the order of events described here.
  2. Web Localizability on MDC
    A collection of howto's and recommendations for creating localizable content, code and infrastructure.
    1. Creating localizable web content
      A very good read for marketing folks, this document helps you remember what to keep in mind as you create your content for a global audience.
    2. Localization formats
      Tech focused, but something marketing folks should familiarize themselves with. The choice of the right localization format is heavily dependent on the project's type.
    3. Creating localizable web applications
      Web-dev focused, but a good resource for marketing folks interesting in web project management and who want to strengthen their knowledge about localizing web projects.
    4. Setting up the infrastructure
      Very tech focused, but a good read.


After Web Dev has approved the development of your project, immediately contact l10n-drivers to discuss your localization strategy for the following order of events:

  1. Create a clear timeline for the l10n-drivers to manage the workflow to localizers.
    • Depending on the project's scope, the l10n-drivers need anywhere from 6 weeks to a quarter of planning time.
    • Consult with Pike to know the current localization workload and where your project will fit within it.
    • Keep in mind, it's been our experience that highly visible, critical pages, like the "What's new" page, can require 3 weeks for 40 locales to localize. If your project has less exposure, please allow for more time.
  2. Prepare a project scope outline that describes the points below:
    • Length of content (in number of strings and words)
    • Functionality
    • Locales affected
      • Keep in mind that our localizer community is overall very active and enthusiastic. However, other locales (not from the "affected" list) may ask why they weren't targeted for your project and if they can participate. Be prepared to have an answer for them.
      • Consider as well what happens if a localization team does not have time to take on your request or simply says, "No."
    • Available budget and resources
    • Expected life-cycle (one-time/short/long?)
      • For projects with short life-cycles:
        • Localization requirements should be simple.
      • For projects with long life-cycles:
        • Use techniques to make updating the site much easier.
        • Updating content is a laborious task. Beware of localization burnout.
        • How "evergreen" is the content on your site?
        • How often do you plan to change it?
  3. Create a release schedule for the project.
  4. Prioritize your content (i.e., What pages are mandatory for which locales?). Consider different requirement for different tiers.
  5. Create the content.
  6. Freeze your content.
  7. Set up the L10n infrastructure.
  8. Create templates.
  9. Verify all copy to confirm that the strings you are using will not change after localizers start working.
    • Localizers will not start working until there is a final sign-off.
  10. Notify QA lead that L10n is a requirement.
  11. Have the l10n-drivers file bugs to begin localization.
  12. Open translation to the communities.
  13. Test on the staging server.
  14. Launch