Thursday, February 12, 2009

Sharing the story: localization matters

Ever since I installed a Narro instance on the server I received requests for supporting languages that you don't usually find next to other languages in localized software versions. They want Firefox in their language. Like Mayan, Oromo, Valencian, Kabyle, Kazakh, Zapotec, Malayalam and others.

They have to register an account and I have to give them administrative permissions on their language. After that, they can start translating in Narro. They can invite their friends to help. Whenever they feel like testing, they export the translation and a language pack is generated ready to be installed. That's a language pack that they can post on for others to enjoy.

So a low entry barrier to the localization matters. If people like the software, sooner or later they want it in their own language. And be sure that there are people that won't use software in English.

So today I feel the essence of localization, which is making a product suitable for use in a particular country or region. I might add "by simply translating it", because usually you need tools and knowledge.

Love your language!

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