Mozilla Italia l10n Guide

The localization guide made by volunteers localizers for volunteer localizers!

Thank you for stopping by the Guide of the Mozilla Italia l10n (localization) team.

We are a group of volunteers passionate about localization and open source. Our goal is to make Mozilla’s products, events and core values accessible for Italian users.

The guide was conceived as a sort of manual for volunteers joining the Mozilla Italia l10n team. However we believe in the Open philosophy, therefore we welcome fellow localizers from other communities and languages to participate, discuss, give their input and remix or adapt the guide for their own needs.

If you want to help us make this documentation even more comprehensive and inclusive, please join us on GitHub and suggest enhancements for the next version of the guide.

What does it take to become a contributor?

  • good command of the English language, very good command of your native language

  • an interest in the world of open source (you don’t necessarily have to be a technologist or some kind of engineer, many of our finest translators started as simple satisfied users of Firefox and other Mozilla products!)

  • commitment to follow the translation project assigned to you through time, to make an effort and comply with localization standards and guidelines.


In order to regulate interaction between volunteer localizers, the Mozilla Italia l10n Team adopted the following Participation Guidelines. We think these are very simple, common sense rules that may avoid unpleasant situations, and encourage each community to adopt them.

In a volunteer-run community it would be out of place to demand a professional commitment. Still, each volunteer should uphold a certain conduct while interacting with other people and with the project itself.

Keep your project up to date

When you start contributing in ongoing projects, keep in mind that they are a work in progress: whenever they get updated, their translation must also be maintained up to date. When a new content lacks its translation, this compromises accessibility for users.

Conform to established style

A fundamental part of localization is being consistent with terminology used in previous localization of the same project (or related projects). Moreover, a localizer needs to conform to the different styles used, for example a formal register in guides or documentation, a more friendly language in web pages.
When translating new contents, you must always check previous translations and make use of the same terminology and style. The terminology used in related products must be consistent. For example, if you are translating a guide on how to use the Private browsing in Firefox, you have to keep the term already in use in your language, even if other translation choices are possible.

The use of a consistent terminology across projects is very important to achieve a solid experience for users. The reviewers’ job is to give translators the list of tools and terminology resources, the translators’ job is to read and make use of it during the translation process.

Interaction with other contributors

When participating to a collaborative project, you interact with other volunteers such as yourself. Be respectful of their time and don’t use inappropriate language or trash talking in messages. Using proper language makes communication easier and more efficient. Avoid “SMS language” and abusing acronyms.

Consider suggestions

If reviewers share tips or suggest to change translation, try to follow advices. If you don’t agree, try to be propositive and offer alternative changes in a respectful discussion. Sometime suggestions are made according to previous translations and maintaining a consistent terminology across projects is very important.
We realize reading pages over pages of documentation can be time consuming. However if a reviewer encourages you to read guidelines or instructions, please make the effort and go through it carefully before asking for help. Don’t waste other people’s time over questions that have already been answered. It is an act of consideration toward your fellow community members.

Provide your availability

When you are engaged in a translation project, it is very important to provide a means of contact (email, forum account etc.) for the community to get in touch with you.
We realize that community members have sometimes very little time to spare for volunteer activities, but it is also true that there may be deadlines involved and the community must know if they can count on you for a project in a specific range of time.
It is generally an act of consideration to state promptly if you are available or not for a project and communicate if you’re going to be unavailable for an extended period.


Most of the material used in this guide comes from the years-long efforts and steady commitment of the Mozilla Italia community volunteers (see guide credits for details). Thank you, guys! :heart:


Open source definition of source code that can be inspected, modified and upgraded by anyone.

l10n abbr. of localization (L-(ocalizatio=10 letters)-N, in case you were wondering).

Locale a set of parameters including not just language but also currency, dates and number formatting and other local uses of a certain geographic region.

Localization a translation process with emphasis on making the context familiar for the readers of a given country/region.

Localization guidelines a set of linguistic and stylistic rules that help making documentation of the same project/community look more uniform and consistent.

QA quality assurance, a review process to ensure the localization meets certain quality standards.

Senior translator veteran member of a localization community (such as Mozilla Italia), with experience of coordinating with others in a long-term project.

Source language the original language of the content that undergoes localization.

String the smallest translation unit (may be a single word or an entire paragraph). Most translation tools break down a text in strings to make it more manageable.

Target language the language in which a content is going to be localized.

Volunteer translator a person, proficient in at least two languages, offering their free time and commitment to help non-profit organizations (such as Mozilla) make their contents available for users of different languages.

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

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