Would you be interested in a Filipino Firefox?

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Chin Wong echoed a Mozilla call to gauge the interest in creating a Filipino version of Firefox. As Chin has posted, the Firefox localization is not isolated to translation but the localization of the whole user experience. The question is if the Filipinos are going to be interested in joining this effort as localization is entirely a volunteer-based effort.

I have the same sentiment as Chin with regards to localization. The Filipino language is a romantic language that not suited for technical terms. I would hazard a conservative guess that at least 40% of the resulting translation is going to be a pidgin version where foreign terms without direct counterpart. For the rest will be some very deep Tagalog words that will not be appreciated by the masses unless they have a balarila ready at hand (online balarila, anyone?). Would you prefer reading a menu item labeled “Simulan|Umpisahan ang Pansariling Pagbabaybay…” or “Start Private Browsing…”. My translation may be poor but that is already a 15-character difference that will definitely be noticed.

Another point is that Filipinos in general are familiar with the English language. Another pompous guess from me would that a great majority 90-95% of Filipino Internet users are comfortable with using a browser using English menu items. The translation risk of introducing confusion due to the translated texts is greater than the benefit of using the English variant. Compound this with the risk that English-savvy support persons (cousins, child, grandchild, etc.) will be scratching their head on what the menu item in question is for.

With the other non-translation related customizations, I would rather have a firefox extension that does the internal reconfiguration seamlessly rather than messing up the standard Firefox UI experience.

Just an opinion on a middle-aged middle-class IT worker who hates the Tagalized cartoons and foreign tele-novelas and film shown in local channels.

$DEITY forbid that somebody starts using street slang and text-speak to fill in the void.


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One of the distinctive qualities of man is the opposable thumbs. Does that mean that for a week I am half the man I used to be?