Rubric, a global language service provider (LSP), has donated its translation services to make Mozilla’s Firefox Web browser available in isiXhosa – South Africa’s second most spoken language.
Françoise Henderson, CEO of Rubric, says the company completed the translation of 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. But it will also have commercial spin-off, she adds. “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.”
Spike of interest
Citing Common Sense Advisory’s “Can’t read won’t buy” report (here), Henderson says 72.4% of consumers are more likely to buy a product when it offers information in their own language. “We also learn better in our own languages.”
By rights, the announcement should lead to a spike in online platforms and products packaged and marketed in isiXhosa, she says.
“It is the second-most spoken language in South Africa after isiZulu, ahead of Afrikaans and English, and it deserves to have a dedicated browser, just as the others do,” she concludes.
Ian Henderson, Rubric chief technology officer, says Firefox is available in over 70 languages thanks to a fantastic community effort.
“Firefox is being developed along the lines of the latest thinking in software development – with a new version being released every six weeks. Alongside a large group of volunteer translators, our contribution of translation, project management and quality assurance has added isiXhosa to the list of languages Firefox is available in,” he says.
Mozilla structures its coding efforts as open source projects, so it is relatively easy for translators to contribute, he says. Translators who want to become involved may contact firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
Rubric is a global Language Service Provider, offering language solutions to companies in the technology, marketing, media and publishing industries. It translates to and from 103 languages through an extensive network of translation professionals.
Rubric specialises in document translation, desktop publishing, typesetting translated content, as well as localisation of software and websites. Its strengths lie in leveraging technology with well-established language technologies and enterprise-wide terminology management software, together with well-developed project management skills.
Founded in 1994, Rubric was one of the first Language Service Providers to automate the translation and localisation processes for technology companies as a means to reduce costs and time to market. Rubric South Africa, which has been active since 1997, has facilitated African language translations for Microsoft, Oxford University Press, Pearson Education Group, National Language Service, Development Bank of Southern Africa and the Jupiter Drawing Room. International clients include Amway, Toshiba, Adobe and SAP.
Rubric’s headquarters are in Edinburgh, Scotland with offices in San Jose, Waltham and Cape Town (www.rubric.com/za)