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L10n:Localizing Projects and Content

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If you're visiting this page, you are interested in getting your particular project localized and are wondering where to even begin. Don't worry, take a deep breathe, and know that we, the l10n-drivers, are here to help and answer your questions. Here we'll walk you through the process of starting your project's successful L10n program. We'll identify some considerations to keep in mind when submitting your L10n request. We'll also point out some resources that could be valuable to you as you prepare for localizing your project.

The considerations

Below are some considerations that you should make when planning a rocking L10n program for your project:

  • Our volunteer localization community is overall very active and enthusiastic. However, non-target locales may ask why they weren't targeted for your project and may request to participate. Should that be the case, be prepared to have an answer for them.
  • Have a plan in mind if a localization team does not have time to take on your request or simply says, "No."
  • Depending on the project's scope and classification, the l10n-drivers will need anywhere from 6 weeks to a quarter for products and 1-3 weeks for web projects of planning time.
  • It's been our experience that highly visible, critical pages, like the "What's new" page, can require 2-4 weeks for 40 locales to localize. If your project has less exposure, please allow for more time.
  • Be sure that you are linking to the appropriate locale sites for your project (e.g., Mozilla Hispano's twitter account instead of their PR site).
  • Get L10n involved as early as possible. This will help us to collaborate with you on setting manageable release dates for your project.
  • It is important to provide us with as much information as possible in your project's form, even if the info contains mostly rough estimates. L10n turnaround and planning are largely based on three things:
    1. The infrastructure required to leverage the L10n teams and implement their work.
    2. The number of final source strings.
    3. The number of target locales for your project.

The process

  1. If your project is a web-based project, file a bug under the web project's Bugzilla component and add Pascal Chevrel, Peiying Mo, Francesco Lodolo, and web@localization.bugs to the bug. Be sure that your bug description contains the following information:
    • Project owner:
    • Length of project (in number of source strings or words):
    • Description of target audience:
    • Where the source project will live:
    • Target locales for first iteration:
    • Rate of adding new locales per quarter:
    • Resources available for L10n drivers and localizers (can include personnel):
    • Identify project's life-cycle:
    • Project's release schedule (URL preferred):
    • Project's target release date:
  2. If your project is a not a web-based project, file a bug under using this bugzilla template. The bug template's description will contain the project scope details that you'll need provide for us to efficiently execute your project.
  3. Your request will then be reviewed by us, the L10n-drivers. Anticipate being contacted for all of the following:
    • asking questions
    • nailing down specifications (e.g., repo structure, dependencies, etc.)
    • helping to prioritize content
    • discussing potential L10n blocks that you should be aware of.
  4. Set up the L10n infrastructure for your project (e.g., project locale metrics, repos, localization notes within copy, etc.).
  5. Create the localizable content and templates.
    • Request a content review by adding your project to the world ready mailing list.
  6. Verify all 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.
    • Ensure that legal has reviewed approved copy before it goes to localizers.
  7. Have the L10n-drivers file bugs to begin localization and announce that the project is ready to be localized.
  8. Localizers/L10n-drivers will test on their locale staging sites.
  9. Launch your localized project!

The resources

Creating localizable web content guidelines.

Creating localizable web applications guidelines.

Setting up the infrastructure guidelines.

Guide to using Simple English in localizable content.