Published in Tectonic
Students and linguists from Makerere University have translated the open source web browser, Mozilla Firefox, into Luganda at a Translate@thon held on the campus in Kampala, Uganda last week.
The two-day gathering brought together almost 200 students and allowed them to make a practical contribution to their language’s presence in the digital age.
The Translate@thon was a partnership between Makerere University, Rhodes University and Translate.org.za, originators of the Translate@thon concept.
Translate.org.za created the Translate@thon concept and the translation software that allows hundreds of people to translate simultaneously.
Researchers from Rhodes had the idea to run a Translate@thon to coincide with a conference held in Uganda.
The Translate@thon concept has been used in similar events across South Africa. It involves bringing a number of mother tongue speakers together to translate a piece of software into their language.
The students made use of a web-based translation tool called Pootle to make it possible for all 200 students to translate simultaneously. After translating key aspects of the software they spent a large amount of time correcting technical and language errors.
A lot of work remains on the translations, the use of terms needs to be clarified, technical issues need to be resolved but as it stands the product is usable by a Luganda speaker.
A beta test release of the translated software is available from: