How to contribute to article localization

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  • Revision id: 52535
  • Created:
  • Creator: rock
  • Comment: changes done such as spelling mistakes
  • Reviewed: No
  • Ready for localization: No
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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, Rosana - the SUMO Community Support Program Manager - rardila (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 sidebars, 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 as follows:

  • Normal articles: They are full Knowledge Base articles for visitors, like in any other wiki, with the added benefit that they are localizable.
    • Troubleshooting: articles explaining how to fix a problem.
    • How to: articles explaining how to use a feature.
  • Special articles:
    • Navigation: Those articles are special pages, like the start pages, or the Get Community Support page.
    • Templates/Content Blocks: 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.
    • 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.
    • Administration: Miscellaneous articles that don't belong to the above categories.

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

Your localization dashboard is where all the action is. You can also access it from the Contributors banner in the home page or the Contributors sidebar in other pages. 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.

Translating an article

  1. Go to your localization dashboard.
  2. On the very top there is a list of the most visited articles. Pick and click the first article, expand Editing Tools on the left, and then click Translate Article. 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 make sure the slug is correct.
  4. Go on to give the article translated keywords 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. Be careful about the product UI label translation. 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 if you have the appropriate rights and approve the translation. That's it, your first article is translated and visible to the public. Congratulations!

Translating the slug

The slug is part of the url of the article, like: It shouldn't exceed 50 characters. From the auto-generated slug, you can remove stop words and other unnecessary words. Make sure it stays human readable and has the most important information.

Translating keywords

An article must be easily findable. That's the role of keywords. All words in the title that are not English stop words such as "the" and "is" are already considered as keywords, so don't add them as keywords. Depending on your locale, translate some or all the keywords and eventually add synonyms, related terms, regional versions, usual typos, and usual anglicisms. DO NOT add too many keywords because each one of them will have less weight. For more info, see When and how to use keywords to improve an article's search ranking.

Translating the search summary

Try to find a compromise between an accurate translation and the 160-character max limit so that it's fully displayed in Google search results.

Translating product UI labels

The product UI is usually not translated by you. In order to know what the chosen label is, use the Transvision glossary.

How do I update articles after their first translation?

English articles are regularly updated with three levels of edits:

  1. minor edit = Minor details that don't affect the instructions. These minor changes are not important for localizers and they will not be notified.
  2. major edit/content change (default) = 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.

Here are some tips to make the KB update easier.

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

  1. Go to your localization dashboard.
  2. On the left 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 can 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.

Editing an article with a large diff

When an English article has many changes, the diff is large and it's hard to track which changes you've already taken into account in the localization editor. To ease this task, clone the editing page in a new window, put it at the right of the current page and scroll up to the diff. You will have the English source at the far left and the diff at the right.

Localizing Article Diff

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