Over 100 multilingual volunteers have translated nine of the most popular Firefox add-ons from English to simplified Chinese, Dutch, French, German, Italian, Brazilian Portuguese and Spanish.
The newly localized extensions are: Adblock for Firefox, Download Flash and Video, Greasemonkey, New Tab Override, NoScript Security Suite, Pinterest Save Button, signTextJS plus and (understandably for a global audience) To Google Translate.
A translated version of 1-Click Youtube download is coming very soon too. If you want to use it in a language other than English, install it now and the localization will be added with the next update.
Firefox itself is available in 90 languages, but translating extensions is no easy task. Many plugin developers don’t have the resources to hire a professional translator, and although translation software is improving, it doesn’t compare to a human – particularly when technical terminology is involved.
Firefox developer Mozilla – a nonprofit organization – put out an open call for volunteers. After signing up, volunteers were invited translate pieces of text from the various extensions, and upvote and downvote other people’s work. The finished translations were approved by an experienced team of software localizers to iron out any wrinkles before release.
The method is similar to that used in Mozilla’s Common Voice Project, which “aims to teach machines how real people speak” to improve voice recognition. Volunteers can ‘donate’ their voices to an open source database, and vote on the accuracy of spoken sentences.