Mozilla l10n is going to « ROAR »

Few days after the International Women’s Day, I coudln’t help myself comparing my title with Katy Perry’s clip « Roar » – a woman getting stronger than man in a wild jungle…

Though we are not going to talk about last Katy Perry’s haircut (my taste is binding only on me) but about Mozilla l10n and some new directives we are willing to take.

If you wanna help to translate Mozilla’s tool, this article can help you on how to build your l10n community or just improve it. Of course these are just tips and not strict rules to follow – we are still looking forward to improve this process.

Fosdem l10n sprint

At Fosdem 2015 in Brussels, we – Mozillians – weren’t only playing on the Mozilla booth with tatoos on our cheek. It might not seems so obvious but we are hard workers 😉

It was the first time we decided to rule a Fosdem l10n sprint. This event was organized by Elio Qoshi, a mozillian friend from Albania. We succeed in a place crowded of people to get a table and start our brainstorming about l10n and the different communities working on localization projects. Because as you know l10n stands for « Localization » with ten letters between the first and last letters.

So with Elio Qoshi, Edoardo Putti, Tim Maks van den Broek, Daniele Scasciafratte, Gabriele Falasca, Lyubomir Popov and I, we work hard on how to improve the help Mozilla can provide to l10n communities. Well it’s a lot of name, if you want to get a better idea of the situation, different countries were represented such as :

  • Albania (sq)
  • Italy (it)
  • France (fr)
  • Netherlands (nl)
  • Bulgaria (bg)
An example of l10n event in India – did we forget to take photos?! yes 😮

Building and improving your localization team

After several hours of talk, we’ve ended up with some tips to make « ROAR » your l10n team. The main issue we might have faced is how to keep a transparent and communicativ team.

  • Use tools and workflows that easily tracks specific translation

If you want your l10n community uses the best pratices, meaning not loosing time on translation, you need to establish a workflow that easily tracks specific translation. By example in France localizers use Transvision (tool) to help them to track translation in every articles. Don’t hesitate to fork this project in your country.

Of course, make sure you use tools that let every member collaborates – like the Etherpad Mozillians can use. But we don’t really recommend you to directly work on forum threads to translate the articles – online collaborativ tools are better. Forum are good to talk about your community.

And choose tools that are easy to use for beginner. It’s important to let your community grows.

  • Create a collaborativ community where everyone can discuss

Most important point for your community, you should create a Wiki accessible to everyone. There is a thousand of articles about how to create a Wiki on the web. Mozilla is an Open community, so everyone should be able to discuss.

As we said you can use forum to talk about main topics and some translations issues. But don’t forget to write the main rules and solutions on your Wiki with the references (articles on which you discussed), so you keep your workflow understandable and reachable on one place.

You should also consider to make conferences and real meetings to build and improve your community. In several countries Locasprint are created : these are events lasting 1 or 2 days and made to translate in group of people lots of content. You can exchange between members and share good pratices. Plus it’s more lot fun to translate with fellow mozillians next to you 😀

Don’t hesitate to ask your local reps or Mozilla to get a budget for this kind of event.

  • Help new contributors to integrate your community

Sometimes it might be better to simplify the process to engage new contributors. Attribution should not be blurry, it might be simplier to find a way to track it down to contributor : use the Wiki ! As an example localization can be structured like reps.

Netherlands is redefining the way they mentor new contributors. A good mentorship is when you protect new contributors from too much critics at once. They need time to learn and need to feel embraced in their new community – make them feel like at home.

At a certain point you can certify the new contributors when they are capable to work on their own. We are willing to create badges that can fit for « Lion(ess) cub », « Lion(ess) », « Roaring Lion(ess) » (new contributors, members of the l10n community, and confirmed contributors) 😉

Few last words to conclude

If you are not doing the same as what is written above, don’t worry! We agreed communities should keep their independences and it is not recommended to force people following a guideline, or using specifics tools. It’s only some common guideline to make ROAR your l10n community.

And if you want to make your community embraces best and new practices, it needs to be done slowly and smoothly. The goal is not to harm communities and freeze situation in conflicts.

By the way, don’t hesitate to share your pratices by commenting this article. I might update this article to get a good and easy-to-read Wiki.

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