How to contribute to article localization

Revision Information
  • Revision id: 18708
  • Created:
  • Creator: Kadir Topal
  • Comment: Major update to almost all parts
  • Reviewed: Yes
  • Reviewed:
  • Reviewed by: KadirTopal
  • Is approved? Yes
  • Is current revision? No
  • Ready for localization: No
Revision Source
Revision Content

Thanks for localizing Firefox Help. More than half of all Firefox users speak a language other than English and we depend on contributors like you to make support available to people all over the world.


Help wanted!

We are always looking for new localizers. Please have a look at our Site Credits, to see if we are already covering your language. In case it's not covered we would love to work with you to start a localization. In case we already have a locale leader we would like to put you in touch with him or her to localize or review more articles.

I want to be a localizer. What should I do?

First things first. The best place to start is to email me, Kadir - the SUMO Community Manager - atopal (at) mozilla (dot) com. I can answer your questions and get you started or connect you with people already working in your locale. In case you see your language listed on the Site Credits you can click on the name of the locale leader and send him or her a private message to get in touch. In either case you should register an account here on SUMO.

How does support localization work?

There are two parts to support localization. The first part is the user interface (the buttons, text in the sidebar, etc.). See How to localize the SUMO interface for how to do that. Then there are the actual articles. They are translated on the site itself which is a fully localizable Wiki. The things to localize break down are as follows:

  • Normal articles
    • Troubleshooting articles (article explaining how to fix a problem)
    • How to (article explaining how to use a feature)

Normal articles are full Knowledge Base articles for visitors, like in any other wiki, with the added benefit that they are localizable.

  • Non-normal articles
    • Navigation
    • Templates/Content Blocks
    • How to contribute
    • Administration

Navigation articles: Those articles are special pages, like the startpages, or the Ask a question page.

Templates: Some parts of articles, like how to open the preferences window, are repeated in so many articles, that it makes sense to write those blocks once and have them inserted in article when they are needed. We use Templates for that. You can see a list of all templates on your localization dashboard.

How to contribute: Those are articles that are meant for contributors. You don't need to localize them, they are only for people who are registered as contributors, and don't show up in search results.

I'm a new localizer, where do I start?

Your your localization dashboard is where all the action is. Please take the time to look at it carefully. This will be your starting point for all future localizations.

  • Start by translating an article to get a feel for it.
    1. Go to your your localization dashboard.
    2. On the very top there is a list of the most visited articles. Pick the first article and click on the Translate Article tab on the article page. Then choose your language.
    3. On the next page the English version is displayed on the left hand side, the translation goes into the right hand side. Start from the top. Give the article a name, and leave the slug as it is.
    4. Go on to give the article translated key words so it's easier to find.
    5. Also, translate the search results summary. This paragraph is listed on the search results page.
    6. Finally move on to the actual article. Translate everything that is not within brackets. If you are unsure what something means, you can read up about How to use For and Using Templates for some guidelines.
    7. When you are done, submit the article for review, and make sure you add a meaningful comment, as it will be displayed on the article history page
    8. On the article history page you can now click on Review in the Status column and approve the translation. That's it, your first article is translated and visible to the public. Congratulations!

When you are done with your first article, you can translate the Firefox start page. Here are the instructions for the Firefox one. There are several more start pages though, one for each Mozilla product or service (like Firefox Sync and Firefox Home). We keep a list of all start pages here.

How can I keep track of all the changes going on?

  1. Go to your your localization dashboard.
  2. On the right hand side there is a text that says Email me when revisions are.... Click on it.
  3. The menu presents you the following options:

Waiting for review: Anyone can submit articles. If you are a locale leader you should follow this category in your own language, so you an see when someone contributes to your locale.
Approved: Once an article is approved it's visible to the public. Again, follow this in your own language if you are a locale leader.
Ready for localization: Once an article is stable in the English version the editors will mark it as ready for localization. If you are a localizer you should follow this, so you will always be alerted of changes to the English KB.

How does the minor/major edit system work?

We have 3 levels of edits of English articles in the new system.

  1. minor edit = Punctuation and spelling errors, no one is notified of this change
  2. major edit/content change = more than minor edit, but the change doesn’t diminish the value of the localized articles. Only localizers are notified by mail.
  3. major edits/translation = This major edit changes the content of the article so much that the value of the localization is severely diminished. Localizers are notified about the change and the localized page get an ‚out of date‘ header, telling readers that the article is not up to date anymore.

What does slug mean?

The term 'Slug' appears right below the space where you choose your article title. It's part of the url of the article, like: http://support.mozilla.com/en-US/kb/this-is-the-slug

What are keywords?

Keywords appear on the edit page of an article. They are words that help the search algorithm select the right article. So, if you have bookmarks article, you can give it the keyword 'bookmark', but also 'favorites' for IE users or other words that might be used by people who are looking for the article.