On Saturday, September 28, 2019, in celebration of International Translation Day in two-days time, MCIS Language Solutions and Mozilla‘s Toronto office co-hosted a Localization Lab event, where participants contributed to localization 6,000+ words towards Psiphon, an organization that offers an open source software aimed at circumventing Internet censorship via localizing software. Below is a portion of an interview with one of the event’s facilitators, going by the initials AO:
How did you first hear about and get involved with the Localization Lab?
After three decades of working for various employers, a couple of years ago I was ready to give to the community through volunteer work. I was using various kinds of open source software on Ubuntu and I thought the translations could be better. The proliferation of mobile apps came with, what I considered to be, the spread of bad translations. I knew nothing about crowd-sourced localization at the time, but soon discovered a global volunteer force translating apps, websites, operating systems and the like. I started with Ubuntu and with some open source applications that I was using on a regular basis. I liked the challenge, and I liked seeing the result of my translations going into production.
One of the apps I wanted to work on was translated on Transifex, and I discovered a host of other projects I could dedicate myself to. I was interested in digital security, so I quickly came across projects hosted by the Localization Lab. I fully dedicated myself to the task, first translating, then reviewing and coordinating language teams. I guess the amount of work I was putting into the Localization Lab’s managed projects drew the executive director’s attention. She contacted me and asked if I was interested in attending the Internet Freedom Festival in 2015. I accepted the invitation and the rest is history. I have been coordinating the French language translations of all Localization Lab’s projects ever since.
What has motivated you to take such an active role in the Localization Lab community?
I have a lot of experience in management and information technology. So for me, quality is paramount and I see localization as any other part of software or content delivery — it has to be good quality before it goes to the users. Crowd-sourced translations can come with issues related to quality. I knew it would be a long never-ending task, but I decided to tackle it. Furthermore, with its clear translation guidelines and reviewing process structure, devoting my time to the Localization Lab was and still is a sound manner to approach the problem. I know that the quality translations offered by the Localization Lab reach millions of users and set a standard as far as crowd-sourced localization goes. Not many open source projects have the means to hire professional translators — the Localization Lab is the next best thing.
Photos taken at the event can be found HERE.
In the near future, we will bring you more updates from this exciting event.