Contributor Insights into Breton

“Contributor Insights…” is a series of interviews leveraging the experience of Localization Lab contributors in order to provide more insight into the needs, threats, and challenges faced by users living and working in different parts of the world.

Breton is a Brittonic Celtic language spoken in Brittany, France and despite seeing its numbers dwindle from 1 million in 1950 to a little more than 200,000, Breton speakers are pushing to ensure their language grows. Bilingual “diwan” schools are offering Breton immersion education across Brittany and some estimates show that the number of children learning Breton is on the rise; however, like many minority languages, Breton must constantly fight for a place at the table.

Localization Lab spoke with a Breton language localizer who is working to offer open source tools to his community and, in the process, claim space online for other Breton speakers.

In your opinion, how do individuals in your community and in France generally view Breton?

This is a very complicated issue. During France’s Third Republic, Breton was banned entirely from schools, and there are many stories of children who were beaten by their teachers for using the language. My own father was beaten when he spoke Breton at school. This oppressive policy against minority language speakers lead to many people feeling ashamed to speak Breton — for some, this feeling still exists. Before WWII, there were so many of us and now there are only about 200,000 speakers. That means our speaking population has been cut down from around 1.5 million at the beginning of the 1900’s to the numbers we have today. So even though the government is working to support Breton now, it often feels like it is not doing enough.

How do you go about choosing tools to work on? Are there specific tools that are particularly important for the needs of your community?

I think it is important to work on tools that promote the Breton language for young people. Right now I am working on localizing video game software which targets teenagers. I want them to see the language in the games they play, so they can learn new words and expressions while having fun.

I am personally interested in projects like Tor and No Script because I think it is very important for everyone to protect themselves online. If Google Chrome were to offer me the opportunity to work on a project with them, I would turn it down. I prefer open source software.

How has your community come to a consensus on technology terms that don’t exist in Breton? What are the challenges with creating new terminology?

The Breton language has a public office which updates new terminology in a dictionary they have created. However, there is another “purist” dictionary by an organization called Preder which prefers to stay away from modern terms and instead looks to Old Breton and Middle Breton (sometimes even Old and Middle Welsh and Cornish) in order to have the most “celtic” source of words for their dictionary.

There is an interesting debate between both schools of thought which can be quite challenging to navigate. The public office allows for international loan words and others that have been “Bretonized” in their dictionary, whereas the Preder group feels that permitting those types of words promotes so-called “bad” Breton.

An example of this is the word “sandwich”. For the public office dictionary, the word “sandwich” is acceptable while the Preder dictionary prefers the term “bara pok ha pok” (literally translated as bread kiss and kiss).

There is a lot of conflict between these two approaches to Breton. Some people feel that incorporating loan words from other languages is not real Breton while others feel that purists, like Preder, are making things more complicated. An expression that people use when referring to this is, “Brezhoneg chimik eo” (it’s chemical Breton) which is a derogatory way for people to refer to purists, implying that they use a type of “chemistry” to invent complicated words.

When you translate do you use a “purist” approach or a more flexible approach?

I personally prefer the more flexible approach because the words are more understandable for everyone. I have participated in translations, like the translation of Firefox, that used a more purist approach but the meaning of some of the words was not always clear to me — and I am a translator! I think that if it’s difficult for me, regular people who use the tools will also be confused.

This is a big problem because if people become confused by the translation, they will probably switch to using the tool in French and that would defeat the purpose of translating it in the first place.

Looking specifically at localization of technology, what are some of the biggest challenges that you face when localizing into Breton?

All Breton speakers can speak French because the Breton community was forced to learn French; however, not all Breton speakers can read in Breton. This poses a big problem when localizing software because a lot of Breton speakers are illiterate in their own language. For this reason, many people don’t want to use software in their own language. It’s difficult to say who is at fault whether it be the government, households, schools etc…

What is the one piece of advice that you would give to speakers of a minority language as they try to build community and make more content available in their language?

Behind all of the translations we are doing is a Facebook group that is dedicated to discussions around localization and translation. It is almost 100% in Breton and it aims to help the Breton-speaking community produce high-quality localizations for software. When someone has difficulty translating something into Breton, they can ask the community for advice. The group is very interesting because it is made up of people who prefer the purist approach and others who have a more flexible philosophy about the language. Some of our members even belong to the public office. There are some other groups out there that have these conversations without an element of respect. For us, respecting one another is key.

If you had to tell people why it is important to localize tools into Breton, what would you say?

For me, it is really important to make an effort to translate software into a lot of different minority languages. If we don’t work on these projects, we won’t challenge ourselves to grow as a language. We won’t challenge ourselves to build new vocabulary. By taking on these localization projects, it’s also a way to reappropriate the software for our own communities.

Some people ask me, “Why are you translating into Breton?”. Maybe they wouldn’t ask me this if I was a French translator because they would probably see the value immediately. But if Breton is still spoken now, it’s because a lot of people decided to create language associations to promote its use. They saw that the French government wasn’t doing enough to support minority languages, so they decided to interview the older generation of Breton speakers, to create and translate literature, like Jean de le Fontaine. The Breton language is surviving because a lot of speakers worked hard to preserve it and, nowadays, it is important for us to translate software if we want our language to survive.

Localization Lab Community Updates: July 23, 2018

Staff Updates

Erinm will be on vacation from the 23rd of July through the 5th of August. If you have any urgent questions, please direct them to Andrea (acb555 in Mattermost, andrea@localizationlab.org via email) and she will assist you.

Community Events

Introducing our new community-led training series!

Session 1: Intro to Weblate

Join us on August 16th @ 13:00 UTC on Jitsi Meet for an Introduction to Weblate training session facilitated by @dachary. If you want to contribute to projects that are already working with Weblate (like SecureDrop) or you are just curious to learn more, drop by and find out how this translation platform works!  

Project Needs

OpenKeychain

OpenKeychain will be releasing version 5.2 of the application by 27th of July. There are several languages that just need a little push to reach 100% translation including the following:

Dutch (nl), German (de), Dutch (Belgium) (nl_BE), Ukrainian (uk), Spanish (es), Portuguese (Brazil) (pt_BR), Japanese (ja), Chinese (zh), Basque (eu), Serbian (sr), Swedish (sv), Galician (gl), Italian (it)

Let us know if you are interested in providing review for any of the above languages.

Dutch Review

Both Briar Project and Ooni Probe have been translated into Dutch and now require review. If you are available to help with review of either project, please let us know so that we can provide you the necessary permissions and put you in touch with the original translator.

 

Localization Lab Community Updates: July 10, 2018

Community Events

Localization Lab Community Meeting

Mark your calendars! We will be hosting another community meeting this Thursday, July 12th at 13:00 UTC and would love to hear from new and returning voices in the community. The meeting will be held on Jitsi Meet.

This is an opportunity to ask questions, bring up concerns, make suggestions and propose projects that you think will move the Localization Lab community forward. It is also an opportunity to interact with fellow contributors and put voices to usernames.

Please feel free to suggest topics for discussion in the open notes document.

Even if you are not able to attend, feel free to add topics and questions that you would like us to cover in the meeting.

SecureDrop Community Meeting

From the SecureDrop Forum:

The SecureDrop Community meeting is the best way to get a quick overview of what happened in the past month. It also is the time for everyone to connect, ask for help and announce their intention to do something new.

Information

Project Updates

Surveillance Self-Defense Guides

At a recent Localization Sprint, Khmer and Bahasa Indonesia-speaking groups localized the Electronic Frontier Foundation’s Surveillance Self-Defense guides for Signal Android and Signal iOS in addition to localizing updates to Signal Android, iOS and Desktop.

Want to take a look at the draft guides? There are available to view below. Feel free to provide feedback so that we can incorporate it prior to finalizing the guides once we are able to include localized screenshots!

How-to: Use Signal on iOS [Bahasa Indonesia] [Khmer]

How-to: Use Signal on Android [Bahasa Indonesia] [Khmer]

Project Needs

Courier

Thank you to all of the volunteers that contributed to the Courier project over the past month. As a result of everyone’s efforts, Courier has been translated into 22 languages, with only a couple that still require review (Japanese, Hindi, Tamil).

Courier is now looking for feedback on which news feeds to include in the default feed lists of the localized Courier applications. Have suggestions for feeds that should be included in the default list of news RSS feeds in the following languages? Share them with us!

Arabic, Azerbaijani, Breton, Dutch, French, German, Hindi, Hungarian, Italian, Japanese, Norwegian (Bokmål), Persian, Portuguese (Brazil), Tamil, Telugu, Turkish, Ukrainian

If you speak German, Norwegian (Bokmål), Italian, Hungarian or French there are feed lists available that we would like feedback on that we can pass through Transifex message or via email. Please let us know if you are interested in reviewing the list.

 

Localization Lab Community Updates: June 12, 2018

* LocLab community meeting, Upcoming Courier and SecureDrop translation & review deadlines, help us draft a process for creating style guides.

Upcoming Events

LocLab Community Meeting

Mark your calendars! We will be hosting another community meeting this Friday, June 15th at 14:00 UTC and would love to hear from new and returning voices in the community. The meeting will be held on Jitsi Meet.

This is an opportunity to ask questions, bring up concerns, make suggestions and propose projects that you think will move the Localization Lab community forward. It is also an opportunity to interact with fellow contributors and put voices to usernames.

Please feel free to suggest topics for discussion in the open notes document.

Even if you are not able to attend, feel free to add topics and questions that you would like us to cover in the meeting.

Project Updates

Courier

Courier, the app formerly known as SecureReader, is a mobile news reader for Android that allows you to securely read, store and share news. Courier is ideal for users in regions where the network is slow, being monitored or manipulated and for users who prefer to use public networks as little as possible.

A new version of Courier will be deployed in the coming months with significant updates. Localization Lab is actively coordinating the translation and review of several languages, however anyone who would like to see Courier available in a particular language is welcome to contribute translations & review prior to the 30th of June in order to have them included in the next release of Courier.

You can access Translator Guidelines and play with a recent test APK which has several full and partial translations available.

Please contact erinm if you would like help finding individuals to collaborate with you on a particular language. A big thank you to everyone who has worked on translation and review of the project thus far.

SecureDrop

SecureDrop dropped new strings yesterday! What does that mean? You have until the 18th of June to provide feedback on the strings and make any recommendations for changes before a string freeze takes effect through the 25th of June when translation and review for the next release of SecureDrop are due.

Translations available in prior SecureDrop releases will need translation and review of the few new strings, so if you contributed to either translation or review, please take a look at the new content when you have a moment.

Finnish, Polish, Romanian and Vietnamese translations of SecureDrop are almost 100% finished! If you would like to see SecureDrop available for organizations working in any of those languages, let us know if you can contribute to translation or review.

You can keep up with the SecureDrop localization schedule on the SecureDrop forum

Working Groups

Drafting a Style Guide

We are looking for more individuals who are interested in trying out a test approach to building language team style guides using existing Mozilla style guides as a base. In addition to testing and developing the approach to building style guides using framaGit, we are also looking for more input on key content you want to see in a Style Guide for your language team and how you would prefer to access the end product.

If you are interested in joining the conversation and contributing, you can contact erinm or contribute to the thread in the SecureDrop forum.

Localization Lab Community Updates: June 05, 2018

Staff Announcement

We are very excited to introduce Andrea Chong Bras to the community as our new Localization Associate! The Localization Lab community has grown exponentially over the past several years and we are pleased to have Andrea join us to assist with community management and outreach so that we can better understand volunteer needs and priorities and continue to strengthen our community networks.

Andrea has worked in education and translation projects for the past 10 years and speaks Spanish and Portuguese. She also has experience in workshop facilitation and community management for community-based initiatives across different sectors. Most recently, Andrea has been localizing projects with Localization Lab and is very excited to have a bigger role in the Localization Lab community. 

Please join us in welcoming Andrea to her new role in the Localization Lab community!

You can find Andrea on Mattermost (@acb555) and get in touch by email (andrea@localizationlab.org).

Upcoming Events

LocLab Community Meeting

Mark your calendars! We will be hosting another community meeting this Friday, June 15th at 14:00 UTC and would love to hear from new and returning voices in the community. The meeting will be held on Jitsi Meet.

This is an opportunity to ask questions, bring up concerns, make suggestions and propose projects that you think will move the Localization Lab community forward. It is also an opportunity to interact with fellow contributors and put voices to usernames.

Please feel free to suggest topics for discussion in the open notes document.

Even if you are not able to attend, feel free to add topics and questions that you would like us to cover in the meeting.

Project Updates

Psiphon 3

A new version of Psiphon 3 for Android and Windows has been deployed with the recently finished Afaan Oromoo and Tigrinya translations! Psiphon 3 is now available in Tigrinya, Amharic and Afaan Oromoo to support Ethiopian users.

Are you connected to networks in Ethiopia? Do you speak Tigrinya, Afaan Oromoo or Amharic? Share the news, download the application and give us your feedback!

Platform Updates

Transifex Filter Updates

Transifex has updated their (recently updated) web editor search filters, allowing users to search for multiple tags at once and offering suggestions when searching for a tag. You can also now filter strings by developer notes, instructions and issue status.

Project owners take note: Being able to search by issue status will now allow you to filter strings based on whether they have an open issue, a closed issue or no issue. This will allow you to respond to contributor issues more effectively.

You can view all of the available filters in the updated Transifex documentation.

May Translation & Review Contributions

In May we welcomed 30 new contributors to projects in the Localization Lab Hub. These new volunteers are contributing to projects in Dutch, Greek, Norwegian (Bokmål), Persian, Italian, Gujarati, Hindi, Simplified Chinese, Arabic, Gujarati, Polish, Romanian, Russian, Georgian, Galician, Spanish, German, Catalan, French.

Over the course of the month roughly 410,023 words were translated, 265,556 words were edited and 9,318 were reviewed across Localization Lab supported projects in the Transifex hub.

Summary: SecureDrop AMA

Thank you to all who participated in the recent Ask Me Anything with the SecureDrop team! The discussion was littered with diverse questions about who uses and can use SecureDrop, the tool's technical features and localization needs. Below you will find some key resources and questions as well as an abridged transcript of the discussion.

Want to see more AMAs with Localization Lab supported projects? Let us know who you would like to see an AMA for or if you are a project that would like to host one.

Read More

Contributor Insights into Turkmenistan

“Contributor Insights into Turkmenistan” is the first of a series of Localization Lab user profiles and interviews leveraging the experience of Localization Lab contributors in order to provide more insight into the needs and threats of minority language users and users living and working in closed societies.

Read More