Ten Manifestos

Just a few days ago I wrote about putting a new introduction page up for the Mozilla Manifesto that would let us link to different localizations of the text. Since then there’s been a great response from the community and there are now versions of the Manifesto in ten different languages. I’m definitely impressed and would like to thank everyone who has contributed their time and effort to help with this.

One thought on “Ten Manifestos

  1. I’m glad that so many people put energy in translating the manifestos.

    However, I would like to make a small complaints about localisation in general, which is exhibited in this particular case more obviously than in others: why is it that localisation in general is done by people who are so overly proud of their language, and how can we fix that? In this case, I think this is the reason that there is, say, Frisian but no Dutch, Galician but no Spanish, etc.

    In general, it leads to worse translations: translators go to great length to find translations in their own language, even when no word exists for the technical term that is used (“download”, “bookmark”, etc.), leading to clumsy sounding terminology, as the entire population is used to the original words instead of the lengthy description of what they mean in their own language. Commercial projects (Mac OS X and Microsoft Office/Windows being prime examples) tend to have much better quality translations, because they are made by people who aren’t so obsessed with purity of their own language. A major newspaper in the Netherlands recently wrote a big article about how it wished that translations stopped translating to words or descriptions that don’t make sense (the example being translating “to download” as “binnenhalen”. It’s one of the reasons I just use Firefox in English – the Dutch translation at least used to be horrible (full disclosure: I haven’t even tried Dutch for 3.0).

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