Translation

Local in every locale

If you do localization work for Mozilla, first of all, thank you. Second of all, thank you. We’re incredibly lucky to have community members who undertake this important and difficult task.

Localization isn’t an extra step in our communication process; it is the process. We’re all part of the same team. And although our copy is generally written in English first, that doesn’t mean that localized versions should be perceived any differently. We only have one audience at Mozilla — users — and regardless of their language, location or any other factors, they should all have the same experience with Firefox.

To that end, here are some tips to help you along

  1. Make it your own.

    Localized content shouldn’t be a literal translation, but it should capture the same meaning and sentiment. So feel free to pull it apart and put it back together; replace an English expression with one from your native language; Mozilla-fy it for your region.

  2. When in doubt, ask.

    If something isn’t clear — or even if it is but you just want to be extra sure — speak up. You can find us on irc.mozilla.org in the #l10n channel or send us an email at dev-l10n@lists.mozilla.org. It can only help make the process better if we know what kinds of problems you’re running into, which leads nicely into:

  3. Help us help you.

    Pardon the cliche, but this is an important one. We can work to fix the problems we know about, but we can’t do a thing about those we don’t even know exist. So tell us what recurring issues you’ve experienced, what works and what doesn’t — it could be a language thing, a cultural issue or something to do with tone (especially when dealing with languages that have both formal and informal forms). Whatever it is, please pass it on.

A note on branding

Our brand names do not get localized, translated or transcribed. Anything that’s a proper noun with a leading capital letter (Firefox, Marketplace, etc.) remains in the original English and is always spelled out in Roman characters. In some languages, depending on the grammatical case of the word, it may need to have a different ending or be otherwise rewritten to make sense. In these instances, please rewrite the sentence instead to keep the brand name unchanged. All other names (add-ons, themes, etc.) should be localized as usual.