L10n:Starting a localization
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Every existing L10n team began with a common characteristic: they all wanted to share the open web with everyone who shared their language. From there, they began an effort that ultimately resulted in a localized version of Firefox for their region of the world. As this desire spreads around the world, more and more people come to the Mozilla L10n program to either localize Firefox for a new region of users or to join forces with an existing L10n team in their region.
The L10n teams
A comprehensive list of our awesome L10n teams is located on the L10n:Teams page. We use locale codes to identify these teams. Locale codes list the language first, then the region where the language is spoken (e.g., Mexican Spanish = es-MX). Each organized team has a wiki page to identify their team members, their main projects, and how to contact them. These teams are largely self-governing and can often include contributors who are focused on more areas of Mozilla than only L10n. They all range in sizes from a single active contributor to twenty active contributors, but regardless of size, they're always looking for more people to join their efforts!
Joining existing L10n teams
Localizing Mozilla products is a lot of work (and fun) but that means there are plenty of opportunities to get involved! Visiting the L10n:Teams page is the best way for some one to learn if there is an ongoing effort to localize Firefox and other Mozilla products in their region. If an effort already exists in a region, then those who are interested in joining that team do the following:
- Email the owner of that region's L10n team about getting involved.
- Visit the mozilla.dev.l10n newsgroup and introduce themselves as a new contributor joining the xx-XX community.
New L10n teams
Of course, not everyone who visits the L10n:Teams page will find a L10n team for their region. Instead these people find a unique and exciting opportunity: starting a new L10n effort for their region, from scratch! While the opportunity can seem like a mountain of a challenge, everyone who has successfully walked that path will agree that it is also exciting and very rewarding. If an effort doesn't exist in a region, then those who are interested in starting that effort do the following:
- Visit the mozilla.dev.l10n.new-locales newsgroup and mozilla.dev.l10n newsgroup and introduce themselves as new contributors starting the xx-XX community.
- Create your team's wiki page by using the template form found on the L10n:Teams page.
- Visit the Localization quick start guide to learn about all of the technical details involved in localizing Firefox and other Mozilla projects.
Mozilla L10n maxims
In order to be successful and have fun with localizing Firefox, each member of the L10n teams follow some very simple maxims.
Be very vocal.
The most successful L10n teams are those who jump in on discussions and ask for help when it's needed. We offer several communication platforms for localizers to express themselves and get be heard.
- The #l10n IRC channel is a chat room where localizers from all over the world discuss L10n issues and help one another to succesfully localize their products.
- The mozilla.dev.l10n.new-locales newsgroup, mozilla.dev.l10n newsgroup, and mozilla.dev.l10n.web newsgroup are available to post questions or suggestions for various L10n-related topics. They are available as newsgroups or Google groups.
- We use Bugzilla to track L10n developments and individual L10n team progress.
- For more on how localizers talk at Mozilla, visit the L10n:Communication wiki page.
The more people involved, the merrier.
The larger the L10n team, the easier it is to distribute the workload. Each L10n team can set up an IRC communication channel for their language. They can also use mailing lists or newsgroups, which many open source hosting partners offer, or simply open a Google or Yahoo group. Collaboration is important to building a L10n community to support and distribute the workload. It is an essential part of being an open source project.