“What is human being without freedom?” – Localizing Internet Freedom Tools for International Translation Day

By: Jack Xu
Localization Lab 2019 participants

Localization Lab 2019 participants

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.

To view the full interview blog, visit this link.
For the latest Localization Lab updates, visit: https://medium.com/@L10nLab

Photos taken at the event can be found HERE.

In the near future, we will bring you more updates from this exciting event.
#L10n4IF #InternationalTranslationDay