Cape Town - Mozilla, the maker of Firefox, has officially launched the isiXhosa version of its popular web browser, following Version 27 of the English source.

The translation was donated by Rubric, a global language service provider (LSP), in support of Mozilla’s drive to make knowledge broadly accessible on the web.

While the isiXhosa version has been in alpha and beta iterations since mid-2013, it has only been accessible to developers.

Consumers can now get it on the Firefox landing page at (https://www.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/all) and (https://www.mozilla.org/xh/firefox/new), says Jeff Beatty, localisation engineer at Mozilla.

He explains that localisations are released concurrently with the source every six weeks. “Back when work started on the isiXhosa version, the source text was in Version 20.”

Françoise Henderson, CEO at Rubric, says the company translated more than 30 000 words into isiXhosa and will continue to support Mozilla in the interests of broadening mother-tongue access to information.

“We’re proud to be associated with a very noble undertaking,” she says, “albeit one with commercial spin-off. For a long time, Xhosa-speakers have had to put up with being served in English. We expect this pathfinder project will stimulate interest in Xhosa-translated content, which in turn will boost translation requirements.”

 

Mozilla structures its coding efforts as open source projects, so it is relatively easy for translators to contribute. Translators who want to become involved may contact [email protected] for more information.