Browsers and minority languages

Came across this interesting article that talks about Mozilla’s attempt to translate its browser into as many minority languages as possible: Cookies, caches and cows.

It’s really interesting to see how different IT terms get translated. For example:

Ibrahima Sarr, a Senegalese coder, led the translation of Firefox into Fulah, which is spoken by 20m people from Senegal to Nigeria. “Crash” became hookii (a cow falling over but not dying); “timeout” became a honaama (your fish has got away). “Aspect ratio” became jeendondiral, a rebuke from elders when a fishing net is wrongly woven. In Malawi’s Chichewa language, which has 10m speakers, “cached pages” became mfutso wa tsamba, or bits of leftover food. The windowless houses of the 440,000 speakers of Zapotec, a family of indigenous languages in Mexico, meant that computer “windows” became “eyes”.

Might just have to take the plunge and update my Firefox to Cymraeg. Hope it includes some equally creative translations! For anyone else who’s interested, here’s the link to the Cartref Project Mozilla.

Interesting - though some of them seem a bit dodgy. The cow one makes perfect sense, but “cached pages” being “bits of leftover food”? That really doesn’t seem like it’s expressing the right concept.

Thankfully, the Welsh translation of Firefox makes much more sense than that :lol:

I’ve noticed that the Welsh Firefox has changed the lovely ‘The Corner Cupboard’ to a much more boring ‘Side Bar’. Boo!

Edited to add: 20m speakers and Fulah is a minority language? Is that because it’s thinly spread?

It’s all relative innit. French is a minority language in Canada but it’s got no shortage of speakers :wink:

'Snot a minority language in Quebec, though. :confused: :wink:

Edited to add: Those smileys are creepy.