Localize Thunderbird Help

This article is no longer maintained, so its content might be out of date.

More than half of all Thunderbird users speak a language other than English. We depend on contributors like you to help translate articles, making them available to people all over the world.

Help wanted!

We are always looking for new translators.

If there is no translation for your language, we would appreciate your help with starting a new localization. If we already have a locale leader for your language, we will put you in contact with him or her and you can help that team localize or review more articles.

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

This page should have the instructions you need to get started. You might also find the articles "Improve the Knowledge Base TB", "About the Knowledge Base and "How to write Knowledge Base articles TB" helpful as well.

If you need additional help, email Roland, the Thunderbird Support Lead - rtanglao (at) mozilla (dot) com. He can answer your questions and get you started or connect you with people already working in your locale.

How does support localization work?

There are two things that need localization. The first is the user interface of this site (the website buttons, text in the sidebar, etc). See How to localize the SUMO interface for instructions. The second thing is the support articles. These are translated using the localization interface on this site.

The articles that need to be localized include:

  • Normal help articles
    • Troubleshooting articles (explaining how to fix a problem)
    • How to articles (explaining how to accomplish specific tasks)
  • Non-normal articles
    • Navigation
    • Templates/Content Blocks
    • How to contribute

Navigation articles: Those articles are special pages (like the start page, or the "Ask a question" page). You will see them on the localization dashboard.

Templates: Some parts of articles, like "how to open the preferences window", are repeated in so many articles that the blocks of text are stored in independent "templates", which can be inserted into any article as needed. A list of all templates is here.

How to contribute: These articles that are for contributors to this Knowledge Base site. You don't need to localize them, because they are only accessible to people who are registered as contributors. They are not included in regular search results.

What kind of wiki syntax do we use?

The Kitsune wiki is based on MediaWiki with our own special additions. Check out the Markup Chart and How to use For.

How do templates work?

We solve the need for content snippets in a broad way: Everything is a wiki article, and behaves like a wiki article with history, localization tracking, etc. Templates look like this: [[T:NameOfTemplate]]

Where do I start?

Pick an article! To see which articles require translation, log in to the site in your target language then select the translated version of the phrase "Knowledge Base Dashboard" from the "For Contributors" section on the right side of the page. This page will show you the most visited articles and the articles which require translation.

Select an article by clicking on it, then click "Translate Article" from the tab on the right.

Is there a list of all articles?


How does the minor/major edit system work?

When someone edits an English-language article, they mark it with one of three "levels" when they submit their changes:

  1. minor edit = Punctuation and spelling errors. No one is notified of this change.
  2. major edit / content change = More than a minor edit, but the change doesn’t diminish the validity of the current versions of the translated articles. Only localizers are notified by mail.
  3. major edits / translation = A major edit that changes the content of the article so much that the validity of the current translated version 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?

When you create or edit an article, there is a field labelled "Slug" below the space where you enter the article title. It is populated by default with a version of the article title. It becomes part of the URL of the article, for example http://support.mozillamessaging.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 return relevant articles to specific search terms. For example, if you have bookmarks article, you can give it the keyword "bookmark" and also "favourites" for Internet Explorer users.

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